Saint Louis University

Connecting with the Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum of the College of Arts & Sciences provides a framework which allows students to acquire a broad foundation of knowledge in the Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. At the same time, the different Core Components offer opportunities to investigate new ideas, as well as to establish connections with different disciplines.

  • Making Connections through Foundational Knowledge: Making connections among disciplines is enhanced by the foundational knowledge gained in the Core Components. Skills learned in one discipline can serve as a basis for exploring another area of study. For example, developing mathematical skills prepares for quantitative study in any field of knowledge. Acquiring an understanding of the process of scientific inquiry enhances the ability to evaluate and solve problems effectively in many different contexts. Acquisition of proficiency in a second language and development of cultural awareness provide access to information and ideas in other fields of endeavor.
  • Bridging the Disciplines: The Core also offers students opportunities for bridging disciplines through the selection of courses to match their interests. Connecting a course of the Core with other courses from different disciplines broadens students’ understanding of the relationship among areas of study. Linking courses in this way also enhances opportunities for students to round out their education further by preparing a double Major or Minor in a second field of concentration.

Below are some recent examples of how students made some of these connections with different components of the Core Curriculum:


Tom Schrage, Bachelors of Arts
Majors: Political Science, Russian Studies
Minor in Russian and Eastern European Studies

Many of Tom's Core courses supported his two majors and his minor:

  • His study of the Russian language has proceeded far beyond the three semesters required by the Core. His upper-level philosophy course focused on the philosophy of Karl Marx.
  • The Core courses in History prepared Tom to study the History of Russia since 1905, a course required for both the Russian Studies Major and the Minor in Russian and Eastern European Studies. 
  • Tom's political science courses in Post-Soviet Politics and in Russian Political Culture fulfilled both Political Science and Core requirements. 
  • Tom linked the Cultural Diversity Component of the Core to Russian Culture and Civilization, which also fulfilled requirements for his Russian Studies major. 
  • Tom's 300-level elective in Theology allowed him to examine issues of Social Justice that had also been raised in his Political Science and Minor courses.

Allison Lesch, Bachelor of Arts
Majors: Art History, Studio Art

In her studies, Allison linked several of the Core Components to her two Majors:

  • French: Wrote a paper on Monet which she presented at a symposium
  • Philosophy: Wrote a paper applying Plato to a Botticelli painting
  • English, Intro to Literary Study: Discussed illustrations in literature
  • Age of Romanticism:  Analyzed Rossetti's illustrations
  • Social Practice in the Arts: Relates to social justice Mission Statement

Kirstin Misfeldt, Bachelor of Arts
Majors: Psychology, Women’s Studies

In her studies, Kirstin linked several of the Core Components to her two Majors:

  • two courses in the Literature Component (Women and the Novel and Women and Literature), 
  • one course in the Philosophy Component (Feminist Philosophy), and 
  • two courses in the Social Science Component (Marriage and the Family and Psychology of Women).

Patrick King, Bachelor of Arts
Major: Computer Science
Minors: English, Mathematics

Paul linked his interest in scientific inquiry with two courses for his English Minor:

  • Science Fiction: Fiction of the Future
  • Tolkien: Lord of the Rings

He also combined his Core Language Component, for which he chose Japanese, with one course in the Theology Component, Religions of Asia

Sarah Meyer, Bachelor of Arts
Majors: French, International Studies
Minor: Biology
Honors: Pre-Med Scholar

In her studies for her Majors, Sarah selected a number of Core Components that fit the International Studies requirements:

  • her Language Component (French),
  • her Social Science Component (Intro to Anthropology), 
  • two courses of the Theology Component (Jerusalem: City of Three Faiths and Religion and Human Rights*), and 
  • one course of the Philosophy Component (Philosophy of Human Rights*).

* Taken with SLU-Lyon program

Jeremy Schiefen, Bachelor of Arts
Majors: Political Science, International Studies,French

In his studies for his Majors, Jeremy linked:

  • his Core Language Component (French, Chinese),
  • his Social Science Component (Intro to International Politics),
  • one course in the Theology Component (History of Chinese Religions*), and
  • one course in the Philosophy Component (International Business Ethics*).

* Taken with SLU-China program


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