University Core Curriculum

Philosophy and Goals of the Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum at Loyola Marymount University is at the heart of the university’s unique educational offering to our students. The Core draws upon the Catholic Intellectual Traditions, Ignatian Pedagogy, and the Liberal Arts tradition to craft a unique curricular pathway to foster Cura Personalis – Education of the Whole Person. 
The University’s educational mission lives in its Core Curriculum. The Core is designed and organized to foster Encouragement of Learning, the Jesuit, Marymount, and CSJ values of the Core ensure Education of the Whole Person, and the Core inspires students to become persons in Service of Faith and committed to the Promotion of Justice. 
The Core allows students to craft their own educational pathway in their chosen field of study but ensures that our graduates are ready for challenges of the contemporary world and can ignite the world with their passion, knowledge, and commitment to social justice.  

Core Learning Outcomes

Through the LMU Core, students will...

  • Demonstrate foundational skills in writing, speaking, information literacy, and quantitative and analytical reasoning. 
  • Acquire knowledge from the primary disciplines of a liberal education in the Ignatian tradition and guided by our sponsoring communities: The Society of Jesus, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange.
  • Connect course themes to issues of concern in the contemporary world.
  • Engage fundamental questions of faith and justice.
  • Construct arguments using evidence, logic, creativity, and critical thinking.
  • Integrate skills gained in the course of study in preparation for social justice work in diverse local and/or global contexts.

Developmental Pattern of the Core

The LMU Core is organized across three levels – Foundations, Explorations, and Integrations. The Foundations courses (see below) introduce students to the intellectual traditions of the Academy and LMU. Students are guided through six courses to understand, appreciate, and analyze key issues in philosophy, theology, ethnic studies, STEM fields, rhetoric, with an emphasis on developing fundamental communication skills. 
The four Explorations courses (see below) build on the skills and knowledge base of the Foundations level refining them through the different disciplinary methods and perspectives of the humanities, arts, natural sciences, and social sciences.  
The three Integrations courses (see below) are designed to offer a culminating experience to students. These courses challenge students to take the skills and knowledge from the Foundations and Explorations courses, as well as their majors, and apply them to interdisciplinary consideration of thematic questions. 

In addition to the above, students will also take one or multiple courses that emphasize community led and mission driven courses, referred to as Experiential Learning for Mission which emphasize the university’s commitment to promotion of social justice. 

Summary of the Area Requirements of the University Core Curriculum

Students are required to earn credit for all thirteen Core criterion and the Experiential Learning for Mission (ELM). Not all courses that a student will take at LMU carry Core attributes. Core attributes must be earned by faculty through a rigorous peer review process. Individual courses can only meet ONE Core requirement, except when they also carry the ELM learning attribute. Students can fulfill Core requirements by taking courses in their major. Typically, students take a combination of courses in their major and outside of it to complete the LMU Core. 

Foundations (Years 1-2)
Students fulfill One Area Requirement per course in each of these Areas:

First Year Seminar (Year 1)
Rhetorical Arts (Year 1)
Quantitative Reasoning
Theological Inquiry
Philosophical Inquiry
Studies in American Diversity

Explorations (Years 2-3)
Students fulfill One Area Requirement per course in each of these Areas:

Creative Experience
Historical Analysis and Perspectives
Nature of Science, Technology, and Mathematics
Understanding Human Behavior

Integrations (Years 3-4)
Students fulfill One Area Requirement per course in each of these Areas1:

Faith and Reason
Ethics and Justice
Interdisciplinary Connections

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Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Engineering or Engineering Physics program are required to take only two Integrations courses: Faith and Reason and Ethics and Justice. For these students, there are a total of 12 required Areas.