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Common Curriculum Committee Goals and Objectives

(Approved December 16, 1999)

(Amended April 13, 2000)

The goal of the Common Curriculum is to provide a liberal and general education in accord with the Jesuit focus on the growth of the whole person. Thus the Common Curriculum promotes a values-based critical understanding of our lives and beliefs and of society and its institutions. The Common Curriculum also assures that Loyola students have the skills and knowledge needed to contribute productively and creatively to society.

The Objectives of the Common Curriculum are to help students develop:

  • Effective skills in research, writing, speaking, reading and listening
  • Mathematical proficiency and an understanding of the mathematical world
  • Critical and analytical reasoning skills required to solve abstract and concrete problems.
  • An understanding of the natural world, the scientific method and the power and limits of science.
  • An understanding of philosophical and religious traditions.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of the fine arts and great works of literature.
  • Comprehension of the great historical, economic, political, social and technological forces that shape societies.
  • An understanding of cultural traditions and perspectives other than our own, and of our own traditions from a more global perspective
  • A commitment to social justice characteristic of the Judeo-Christian tradition and the Jesuit mission.
  • The fullest capacity for intellectual and spiritual growth.
  • An awareness of the connections among disciplines and of the interrelationships among all things.
  • The ability to reflect on and critique the presupposed values latent within our world, our commitments, our beliefs, our methodologies, our institutions and our courses of study. 

Criteria for Common Curriculum Courses

(Approved December 16, 1999)

(Amended April 13, 2000)

 Introductory Common Curriculum courses should substantially achieve the following:

  • Foster critical reflection on values
  • Be introductory and foundational in style
  • Be broad and general
  • Be fundamental in nature
  • Address specific objectives of the Common Curriculum

Advanced Common Curriculum courses should substantially achieve the following:

  • Be interdisciplinary and foster awareness of the interconnectedness of disciplines
  • Contribute to a values-based critical understanding of our lives, of society and its institutions of our methods and beliefs
  • Address the significance of topics as they relate to the broader human experience
  • Use significant texts, figures or themes
  • Be distinctive from major's courses and suitable for broadly educated non-major students
  • Be challenging and appropriate for sophomore and higher level students
  • Foster maturity in oral and/or written communication
  • Address specific objectives of the Common Curriculum


Final Version accepted by SCAP 11/05/91


This document establishes desired outcomes for that portion of a Loyola student's undergraduate education which is called "general educatiAugust 9, 2006f courses dealing with the knowledge and skills, outside a student's major concentration, that forms the basis for a student's liberal education. Loyola's commitment to general and liberal education arises out of its Christian, Catholic, and Jesuit vision of the goodness and interconnectedness of all creation, including all fields of learning. This vision also emphasizes our individual and communal responsibility to show leadership as caretakers of creation and as brothers and sisters of one another.

The desired outcomes which follow are intended as an aid in the University's process of self-evaluation. Some of the outcomes can be accomplished by specific courses; some across part or all of the curriculum; and some both by specific courses and across the curriculum. Student participation in extra-curriculars can also serve to accomplish these outcomes. By establishing a list of desired outcomes and then assessing what its graduates know and can do, Loyola will be able to chart over time its progress in providing a strong liberal education through its general education component.

The ordering of outcomes below is not intended to indicate the relative importance of each. Rather, it is intended to suggest that each attribute listed is of sufficient import that every graduate of Loyola University should possess each in an important measure. However, an individual student will not have to demonstrate proficiency in every area in order to graduate.

SECTION I. Desired Outcomes Relating Principally to the Jesuit Tradition of LIberal Education

Loyola expects its graduates, as a result of the education they have achieved here, to understand and be able to analyze the moral dimensions of what they study. They should form and be able to articulate their own moral values, both personal and social, in dialogue with great philosophical and religious traditions. In addition, they should appreciate the unity and diversity of religious experience and its influence on personal and social behavior. They should also understand the development of religious traditions, including their own.Loyola expects its graduates to understand their responsibility to be leaders in their chosen fields and in society at large. They should understand local, national and international movements concerning peace and social justice.

SECTION II. Desired Outcomes Relating Both to the Jesuit and to the Secular Traditions of Liberal Education

Loyola expects its graduates to be able to read critically and write well. In addition, they should be able to speak effectively before a variety of audiences.

Loyola expects its graduates to know the political and physical geography of the world. They should have knowledge of world history and be able to view, with a critical perspective, contemporary world developments in their historical context. In addition, they should demonstrate a significant familiarity with the language and culture of at least one society other than their own.

Loyola expects its graduates to appreciate the basic principles which describe individual and collective human behavior.

They should also understand the basic functioning and underlying values of political, economic, and other social institutions. In addition, they should understand their relationship to and their dependence on the natural ecosystems of the earth and be educated concerning the environmental problems facing the planet today.

Loyola expects its graduates to have read great works of world literature and be able to discuss these works critically. They should know how basic philosophical questions are relevant to the contemporary world and be able to reflect critically on these questions. They should also appreciate the arts. They should have the knowledge and skills necessary for creative thinking and self-expression through theatre arts, creative writing, music, communicative arts, or visual arts.

Loyola expects its graduates to possess basic mathematical skills. They should be able to evaluate quantitative information commonly presented in public debate. They should also be able to apply the principles and understand the limitations of scientific inquiry. They should be able to understand public discussion of science and technology. In addition, they should be able to use computers appropriately.

Loyola expects its graduates to demonstrate familiarity with library and other reference resources and show facility at information retrieval. They should be able to evaluate critically the information they acquire.

Loyola expects it graduates to have well begun to perceive the interconnectedness of various fields of learning, and to possess problem-solving and critical-thinking skills which support decision making.