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Saint Louis University Undergraduate Core

The Saint Louis University Core is an integrated intellectual experience completed by all undergraduate students, regardless of major, program, college, school or campus.

Student body around campus

SLU-Madrid aims to help students construct their own futures and fulfill themselves as people for and with others. We do not know what the future holds, and so we strive to provide practical holistic skills and tools that will be useful such as: to perceive and see from multiple perspectives, to understand and collaborate with others, to be flexible and resilient, and to think creatively and critically in the spirit of the Jesuit tradition.

To this end, all students choose a series of Undergraduate University Core classes and experiences that run parallel to the courses they take for their majors and often also count for the major itself. Students should consult with their academic advisors and plan their academic roadmap to ensure the most efficient, effective and interesting route toward graduation.

In these Core classes, some students discover passions and even change majors because of them. Others may be less enthusiastic but discover they learn new concepts and ways of thinking of which they were previously unaware and meet peers from other disciplines with whom they would otherwise never have coincided. 

What Makes Up the University Undergraduate Core?

Ignite Seminar: Discover the Passions That Drive Academics

CORE 1000: First-Year Ignite Seminar (2-3 credits)

The Ignite Seminar introduces you to what makes learning at Saint Louis University distinctive and transformative. In these seminars, SLU-Madrid faculty members invite students to join them in exploring the ideas and questions that have sustained and continue to fuel their passion and commitment as individuals and teachers. SLU-Madrid offers the following Ignite Seminars:

  • CORE 1000 – A Musical History of Spain (Alberto Bosco)
    In this seminar, you will be guided by music to address one of the most controversial questions about Spanish identity and culture: is Spain really different from other European countries? We will analyze the cultural and social reasons that have shaped Spain's distinctive musical legacy, and we will consider the country’s unique contributions to the history of music and to the identity of Europe. You will have the opportunity to reflect on notions of nationhood and identity, to learn about the history of Europe and Spain and to connect this knowledge with musical works.
  • CORE 1000 – Milestones in European History and Music (Alberto Bosco)
    In this seminar we will examine a series of crucial moments in the history of Europe as seen through music's eyes. Musical works reflect the transformations of society’s collective consciousness. Amongst the arts, music is the most unfettered from the contingencies of the external world, and from the objective and material surroundings that wither with the passing of time. Its testimony possesses, therefore, a directness that is unique. Through its privileged lenses, we can experience and comprehend the beliefs of individuals that lived in a distant past, and if we attune our perceptions, we can immerse ourselves in their same ideals, desires and disenchantments.

  • CORE 1000 – Behind the Mona Lisa's Smile (Fabiola Martínez)
    Students learn through artworks and museum collections that connect the past with the present while reflecting on the legacies of colonialism and the ongoing struggles for social and racial equality. Departing from the iconic image of Beyoncé and Jay-Z standing in front of the Mona Lisa, we embark on three journeys that explore the cultural history of the Transatlantic world. A complex and vast geopolitical space across which people, objects, foodstuffs, natural and manufactured goods traveled and moved, shaping the world we inhabit today.
  • CORE 1000 – Design your Sustainable Way of Life (Bethlem Boronat)
    In this seminar, you will change how you live your life. But don't worry, it's for the better. You'll learn how to generate a positive personal impact in your surroundings, with your friends, at work, in your neighborhood and, of course, on the planet. You'll become one of those grains of sand that, together, will make our cities become 'beaches' again, habitable places respectful of people, the environment, and equal opportunities. You'll also become an activist, a conscious individual capable of raising awareness in others of the possibility of living a healthy, responsible, mindful, and happy life, allowing everything around you to also be healthy, responsible, mindful and happy.
  • CORE 1000 – Fairytales: Then and Now (Olivia Badoi)
    In this seminar, we embark on an exploration of the enduring allure of fairy tales, seeking to understand the reasons behind their timeless appeal and their capacity to reflect both our inner and outer worlds. These timeless stories possess a remarkable ability to illuminate the human experience, employing recurring archetypes like evil stepmothers, enchanted talking animals, and cruel siblings. What do these universal motifs reveal about our collective unconscious and the deep patterns within us?
  • CORE 1000 – Planet 3.0: How Non-state Actors Impact the World (Barah Mikaïl)
    This seminar is focused on anticipating and understanding the world that comes next. Together, we will explore the profound influence wielded by non-state actors in shaping global affairs. To do this, we will dissect and discuss the role and impact of multinational corporations, NGOs, transnational movements and private military companies on international relations. Through dynamic analysis, interactive activities, and thought-provoking discussions, we will challenge traditional state-centric paradigms and focus on the evolving landscape of international relations. At the end of the course, you will be proud to have acquired a nuanced and accurate understanding of power dynamics, sovereignty, and the far-reaching implications of contemporary shifts in geopolitics and the world's future.
  • CORE 1000 – Gender and National Identity through Woman's Stories (Anne Dewey)
    Often assigned at birth, gender and national identity can seem natural, native to our very bodies. These identities entwine in stories of national heroes, monuments, iconic images, and notions of what it means to be a "good [supply nationality] woman." Studying stories by an international range of women writers in their national contexts will deepen your understanding of the global diversity of women's experiences and conceptions of femininity, and of your own gender formation in local, ethnic, national and global contexts.
  • CORE 1000 – Music, Self, and Society (Hamish Binns)
    We look at how music is fundamental to human evolution and development, and how it is used and abused in today's society, whether it be for teaching children, improving productivity in a factory, inducing trance or torturing prisoners. Students will have the opportunity to research into the relationship between music and a field of their choice and to test the effects of music on their peers. They will also have the chance to see, hear and try over 50 musical instruments that illustrate the evolution of music, and even build their own.
  • CORE 1000 – Philosophy That Makes a Difference (Jawara Sanford)
    Can a life have meaning or no meaning or negative meaning? How? What should our relationships to other animal species be like? Is God real or just something many people imagine? How humans answer these and other philosophical questions greatly impacts the world we live in. That's why the Ignite Seminar, in which we try to answer these and other questions, is called Philosophy That Makes a Difference.
  • CORE 1000 – Spanglish (Cristina Matute)
    Spanglish is everywhere in the U.S.: Music, ads, and even books show how this variety of Spanish in the U.S. takes part of the American linguistic landscape. This course studies this "bilingual Spanish-English speech" from the perspectives of bilingualism, language contact, and especially, sociolinguistics. We consider the attitudes that sustain it and the language policies in the U.S. that could lead to its maintenance or disappearance. Prior knowledge of Spanish (intermediate level) and English (intermediate level) is required.
  • CORE 1000 – The History of Science and its Impact on Society (Carl Saluste)
    This is a fun, discussion- and presentations-based course where we go over the history of science and how it has influenced society. We also make frequent references to today's society, for example by discussing if there is a fourth industrial revolution, or how new discoveries in the field of genetics may help us increase life expectancy drastically etc. We also look into pseudosciences, such as eugenics, and their consequences, and how to distinguish pseudoscience from real science. As a final project, the students will look at the history of an invention and try to foresee the status of that invention in 100 years (flying cars...).
  • CORE 1000 – The Theology of Death (Philip Porter)
    This seminar is about death. In it, you will be guided through a theological investigation of death in three parts 1) death in creation, 2) the death of Christ, and 3) death in Christ. The aim is to expose you to resources from the Christian theological tradition that ask and answer the question "What is death?" from each of these three perspectives. Learning how to ask and answer these questions will help you understand what death is, what difference the death of Jesus Christ makes, and what demands his death places on Christians who aim to live and die in Christ.
  • CORE 1000 – The Urban History of Madrid (Bradley Mollmann)
    This Ignite Seminar offers an in-depth exploration of Madrid, providing first-year students with a comprehensive understanding of their adopted city. Though the lens of urban history, we will examine the complex interplay of socio/economic, political, and cultural factors that have shaped Spain's capital, from its medieval origins to its current status as a global metropolis.
  • CORE 1000 – The World Through Film (Brian Goss)
    This course attempts an at once innovative and rigorous approach to films as windows through which to regard the hurly-burly of our world in social and political terms. Thinking will be required. Students will watch, analyze, and discuss films, as one expects in a film course. Moreover, we will drill down into the film language that constitutes the medium such as mise-en-scene. On a conceptual plane, we will analyze films as they inform identities and reconstruct (or interrogate, or reject) reality. Finally, in a liberal arts spirit, we will be attentive to some of the many artforms that constitute film, for example, acting, scripting and designing a promotional poster.
  • CORE 1000 – Togetherness in a Changing World (Eduardo Fernández-Cruz)
    This seminar will focus on loneliness. In different moments of our lives, we experience this feeling to different degrees. It is important to recognize how we experience it and how it can affect our lives, and the way we relate to others. The goal is to learn and integrate the concept of loneliness and how we can benefit from it, rather than experience its negative consequences.
  • CORE 1000 – Writing Nature (Ryan Day)
    This seminar pushes students towards new ways of thinking about nature and consciousness. Readings and discussions consider the agency of the natural world and interrogate the ways in which story ties humans to environment. We will look at genetic code as a language that permeates all of life as we read stories that center around the connection between psychology and landscape, and question the origins of religious texts in stories about the creation of nature. Ultimately, we will read and produce writings that encourage us to better understand the relationship of mind to the world it occupies. Students will produce a running series of journal entries as well as a series of short op-ed style interjections in the conversation(s) of the students' choice. Ultimately, we will work towards producing our own creative work of narrative scholarship that engages the human connection to nature.
  • SE 1700 – Life on Mars (Charles El Mir)
    This course is mandatory for students majoring in engineering. It introduces engineering problem solving process. Algorithmic and visual skills and computer tools are introduced. It also exposes students to the engineering career paths.
  • NURS 1430 – Human Development across the Lifespan (Martha Nelson)
    This course, mandatory for students majoring in Nursing, focuses on the different life stages from birth to death. It allows students to learn and reflect on personal experiences about the factors that influence physical growth and cognitive development.
Cura Personalis 1: Discover the Campus and the City

Cura Personalis 1 – Self in Community (1 credit) 

This course, inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, places you on a path of self-discovery and deeper meaning-making by exploring fundamental questions of identity, history and place. Completed in your first year at SLU-Madrid, this course is designed to ground and support you as you join SLU's academic community and navigate its distinctive intellectual and interpersonal opportunities. Approved courses include:

  • CORE 1500 – Cura Personalis 1: Self in Community 
  • BIZ 1000 – Business Foundations
  • NURS 1400 – Introduction to Nursing
Cura Personalis 2: Stop, Think and Reflect

Cura Personalis 2: Self in Contemplation (0 credits)

This non-credit-bearing experience, inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, permits you to envision a clearer sense of who you are and how you might contribute to your communities by considering how your values and calling shape your aspirations. These experiences guide you in a structured process of reflection and discernment informed by or in dialogue with the Ignatian tradition. SLU-Madrid offers the following CP2 experiences:

To ensure your registration in CORE 4500, inform the associate director of the UUC in Madrid (hamish.binns@slu.edu) that you are fulfilling the requirement and provide your name and I.D. 

  • CORE 2500 – Book Club "CURA in the library"
    CURA in the Library Book Club is conceived as a space for students to be contemplative in action, that is, to reflect on their day-to-day life in conversation with a set of chosen books and with each other. The experience will be guided by the Saint Louis University — Madrid Library staff and moderated by the students. For more information:  sara.perez@slu.edu.
  • CORE 2500 – Convivium
    Convivium is a multimedia arts collective based at SLU-Madrid. Convivium seeks to celebrate art in all forms and to promote the people responsible for creating such artwork. Students can complete the undergraduate Core Cura Personalis 2: Self in Contemplation requirement by participating in the organizational aspects or in the creative submission aspects of Convivium, attending meetings and carrying out reflective tasks in conjunction with their administrative or creative contributions. For more information: timothy.day@slu.edu
  • CORE 2500 – Five Monuments to Social Justice
    Students in groups of two to four will visit five monuments to social justice in Madrid, research them, discuss them and draw parallels to their own lives and cultures. The final assignment is an oral presentation and a roundtable discussion with a faculty coordinator. This experience also counts for RIA. For more information: hamish.binns@slu.edu
  • CORE 2500 – Ignatian Pilgrimage Retreat to Loyola
    The Ignatian Pilgrimage Retreat to Loyola traces the life of St. Ignatius, visiting his birthplace, family home and — perhaps most notably — the spot where he converted to Catholicism and gave his life to God. During the three-day retreat, students of all faiths reflect on the rich history of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuit order, and also in finding God in all things through nature, yoga and making new friends. For more information: ashley.jost@slu.edu
  • CORE 2500 – Looking Inward: A Day for Self-reflection and Mental Health
    The Counseling Center's "Looking Inward" Retreat is a day-long retreat in Albergue Fray Luis de León in the Sierra de Guadarrama, north of Madrid. Through self-reflection exercises, yoga and meditation, students can reflect on their purpose, values and what moves them as people. This retreat is designed to care for the mind, body and soul. For more information: carla.apariciogallardo@slu.edu
  • CORE 2500 – Madrid Sports Program
    Cura Personalis for Athletes provides students in Madrid participating in athletics/club sports a chance to reflect on their life experiences on and off the field. Students meet five times over the semester and discuss vocational discernment, wellness, self-identity, values formation and spirituality. For more information: cesar.rioja@slu.edu 

The following classes carry the CP2 attribute:

  • THEO 2110 – Introduction to the Old Testament
  • THEO 2210 – Introduction to the New Testament
  • HR 4810 – Honors Teaching Assistantship
Ultimate Questions: What? How? Why?

Philosophy and Theology lie at the intellectual center of the Jesuit educational tradition. Both disciplines raise questions regarding the meaning of human existence and desire for transcendence — questions of faith and the divine, of creation and human destiny, of evil, reconciliation, and the good. 

The University Core introduces these disciplines in two introductory courses that ask you to reflect critically on your own and others' worldviews by wrestling with ultimate questions in dialogue with the Catholic, Jesuit tradition:

Ultimate Questions: Philosophy (3 credits) 

This course focuses on the nature of reality and our ability to know it, the nature of wisdom and the good life, and the nature and meaning of human existence. This course introduces you to philosophical ways of reasoning about such questions, including philosophical approaches found in the Catholic tradition. Approved courses include:

  • PHIL 1700 – The Examined Life: Ultimate Questions

Ultimate Questions: Theology (3 credits) 

This course focuses on the nature of faith; the nature, existence, and personhood of God; the nature and ends of creation and human life; and evil and salvation. This course introduces you to the fundamental texts, teachings, practices and modes of inquiry of one or more major religious traditions, including Catholicism. 

  • THEO 1600 – God-Talk: Ultimate Questions in Theology
  • HCE 1600 – Ultimate Questions Theology: Embodiment, Life and Death in Context
Eloquentia Perfecta: Write, See, Speak and Create

The cultivation of eloquence in speech and writing has been a fundamental part of the Jesuit tradition since the 1599 Ratio Studiorum defined eloquentia perfecta (perfect eloquence) as a central goal of the liberal arts curriculum. The University Core advances this tradition with courses in written, oral and visual communication and creative expression that foster forms of reasoned discourse essential to academic excellence and action for the common good.

Eloquentia Perfecta: Written and Visual Communication (3 credits) guides you in learning to write effective expository prose, design effective visual messages and participate in academic discourse. Approved courses include:

  • ENGL 1900 – Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research
  • ENGL 1920 – Advanced Writing for Professionals

Eloquentia Perfecta: Oral and Visual Communication (3 credits) teaches you how to prepare and deliver effective oral and visual messages, advancing your ability to think critically about oral and visual messages and to reflect on how identity and values shape your own and others' oral and visual communication. Approved courses include:

  • CMM 1200 – Public Speaking
  • LLC 1255 – Modern Languages and Intercultural Competence
  • SPAN 3020 – Eloquent Communication in Spanish

Eloquentia Perfecta: Creative Expression (2-3 credits) cultivates critical thinking through engagement with a creative process. These courses foster technical skills that allow you to communicate ideas creatively. They also advance your capacity to become an informed critic of art and media, developing your awareness of how personal and cultural contexts influence creative expression. Approved courses include:

  • ART 2000 – Drawing I
  • ART 2100 – Design
  • ART 2150 – Color Theory
  • ART 2200 – Painting I
  • ART 2300 – Printmaking
  • ART 2450 – Sculpture I
  • CMM 2550 – Photojournalism
  • CSCI 1050 – Intro to Computer Science: Multimedia
  • DANC 2650 – Spanish Dance
  • DANC 2660 – Latin Rhythms and Dance
  • DANC 2670 – The New Flamenco Experience
  • ENGL 3060 – Creating Writing: Fiction
  • ENGL 3100 – Topics in Creative Writing
  • MUSC 2090 – Reflection Seminar: Applied Music
  • MUSC 3400 – Reflection Seminar: Ensemble
  • SPAN 4180 – Creative Writing in Spanish
  • THR 2510 – Acting I: Fundamentals

Eloquentia Perfecta: Writing Intensive (attributed course) is an attribute added to one of the courses you take for the Core, for your major or as an elective. These courses will further strengthen their ability to write effective argumentative prose within the context of a specific Core or disciplinary inquiry. Approved courses include:

  • CMM 2100 – Journalism: News Writing
  • ENGL 3140 – Poetry
  • ENGL 3220 – Film and Literature
  • ENGL 3240 – Reading the Female Bildungsroman 
  • ENGL 3260 – British Literary Traditions after 1800
  • ENGL 3470 – Introduction to Shakespeare 
  • ENGL 3875 – Conflict Writing
  • ENGL 4000 – Professional Writing
  • SPAN 3030 – Refining Spanish Expression: Grammar & Composition
  • THEO 3375 – Women in the Bible
Ways of Thinking: See the World From Different Perspectives

A liberal arts education — in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition — will expose you to a breadth of disciplines and intellectual traditions. The Ways of Thinking distribution in the University Core introduces distinct, disciplinary lenses through which to encounter and engage with the world around you. 

Aesthetics, History and Culture courses (3 credits) advance your ability to understand the meaning and diversity of human experiences both within and beyond your own social and cultural contexts. These courses develop your ability to draw reasoned conclusions about primary sources, including visual art, literature, cinema, historical documents and other cultural products. Approved courses include:

  • ARTH 1010 – History of Western Art
  • ARTH 1080 – Masterpieces in Art
  • ARTH 1090 – Global Masterpieces in Art
  • ARTH 2500 – Renaissance Art Survey
  • CMM 3460 – International Cinema
  • CMM 3840 – Analysis of Popular Culture
  • ENGL 2250 – Conflict, Social Justice and Literature
  • ENGL 2350 – Faith, Doubt and Literature
  • ENGL 2450 – Nature, Ecology and Literature
  • ENGL 2550 – Gender, Identity and Literature
  • ENGL 2650 – Technology, Media and Literature
  • ENGL 2750 – Film, Culture and Literature
  • ENGL 2850 – Nation, Identity and Literature
  • ENGL 3140 – Poetry
  • ENGL 3220 – Film and Literature
  • ENGL 3240 – Reading the Female Bildungsroman
  • ENGL 3260 – British Literary Traditions after 1800
  • HIST 1110 – Origins of the Modern World to 1500
  • HIST 1120 – Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present)
  • HIST 1600 – History of the U.S. to 1865
  • HIST 1610 – History of the United States Since 1865
  • HIST 3090 – The Age of the Renaissance
  • HIST 3720 – Cultural Encounters
  • MUSC 1170 – World Music
  • SPAN 4200 – Introduction to Hispanic Literatures
  • SPAN 4760 – Spanish Literature and Film
  • SPAN 4790 – Spanish Culture and Civilization
  • THEO 2110 – Introduction to the New Testament
  • THEO 3375 – Women in the Bible
  • WGST 2550 – Gender, Identity and Literature
  • WGST 3930 – Special topics: Analysis of Popular Culture

Natural and Applied Sciences courses (3 credits) foster your understanding of modes of inquiry used to study structures and mechanisms of the universe. In these courses, you develop an understanding of scientific laws, principles, and theories as well as methods to test empirical claims. Approved courses include:

  • BIOL 1240 – General Biology: Information Flow and Evolution
  • BIOL 1340 – Diversity of Life
  • BIOL 1460 – Exercise and Health
  • CHEM 1110 – General Chemistry 1
  • EAS 1030 – Earth's Dynamic Environment II
  • EAS 1420 – Introduction to Atmospheric Science
  • EAS 1430 – Introduction to the Solid Earth
  • EAS 1450 – Introduction to Oceanography
  • EAS 2700 – Sustainable Development in Latin America

Quantitative Reasoning courses (3 credits) introduce you to the ubiquity of quantitative data, theories and applications. In these courses, you will attain a breadth and depth of mathematical and/or statistical skill sets that allow you to assess quantitative information to develop rigorous arguments and communicate reasoned conclusions. Approved courses include:

  • CSCI 1060 – Introduction to Computer Science: Scientific Programming
  • MATH 1220 – Finite Mathematics
  • MATH 1250 – Math Thinking in the Real World
  • MATH 1270 – Math Media: Reading News with Mathematical Eyes
  • MATH 1320 – Survey of Calculus
  • MATH 1400 – Pre-Calculus
  • MATH 1510 – Calculus I
  • MATH 1520 – Calculus II
  • MATH 2530 – Calculus III
  • MATH 2660 – Principles of Mathematics
  • POLS 2000 – Methods in Political Science
  • PSY 2050 – Foundations of Research Methods and Statistics
  • STAT 1100 – Introduction to Statistics

Social and Behavioral Sciences courses (3 credits) develop your ability to systematically study society, culture, individuals, institutions, and/or communication. In these courses, you will consider the diversity of social, political and civic life. You will also gain the tools to draw reasoned conclusions about the complexity of real-world challenges experienced by individuals or groups, locally, nationally, and globally. Approved courses include:

  • ANTH 1210 – Intro. to Anthropology
  • ANTH 2200 – Cultural Anthropology
  • CMM 1000 – Human Communication and Culture
  • CMM 2400 – Media and Society
  • CMM 3000 – Interpersonal Communication
  • CMM 3300 – Intercultural Communication
  • CMM 4010 – Introduction to Linguistics
  • CMM 4460 – Global Media
  • ECON 1900 – Principles of Economics
  • ENGL 4110 – Introduction to Linguistics 
  • POLS 1100 – Introduction to American Government 
  • POLS 1150 – American Political Systems
  • POLS 1600 – Introduction to International Politics
  • POLS 2640 – International Terrorism
  • PSY 1010 – General Psychology
  • PSY 3120 – Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 3210 – Developmental Psychology: Child
  • PSY 3300 – Social Psychology
  • PSY 3460 – Abnormal Psychology
  • SPAN 4020 – Spanish in the World
  • SPAN 4030 – Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
  • WGST 2201 – Cultural Anthropology
  • WGST 2930 – Special Topics: Social Justice
  • WGST 3300 – Intercultural Communication
Reflection-in-Action: Get Involved and Be Proactive

Curricular and co/extra-curricular experiences — including internships and service work — that encourage you to experience meaningful learning opportunities beyond the university. This requirement also asks you to reflect upon how your community engagement enhances your understanding of acting with and for others.

SLU-Madrid offers the following CP2 experiences:

To ensure your registration in CORE 4500, inform the associate director of the UUC in Madrid (hamish.binns@slu.edu) that you are fulfilling the requirement and provide your name and I.D. 

  • CORE 4500 – Community ESL
    Teach an English language class to members of the local community once or twice a week for 12 weeks. Students are responsible for creating a course and then planning and teaching each session. The classes meet on campus from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, or twice a week from 7 to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. This program provides a great opportunity to teach ESL in a classroom setting and experience a profound cultural immersion experience. The University provides materials, equipment and mentorship but, for the most part, volunteers have almost complete autonomy, and are encouraged to be independent and creative. For more information: hamish.binns@slu.edu
  • CORE 4500 – Five Monuments to Social Justice
    Students in groups of two to four visit five monuments to social justice in Madrid, research them, discuss them and draw parallels to their own lives and cultures. The final assignment is an oral presentation and a roundtable discussion with a faculty coordinator. This experience also counts for CP2. For more information:  hamish.binns@slu.edu
  • CORE 4500 – Fundación Sanders
    Fundación Sanders is a nongovernmental organization that develops and provides social and emotional learning activities to enhance the educational experience of children at risk of social and economic exclusion through extracurricular programs. Volunteers may go on Mondays at 5 p.m. to the center in Malasaña or on Fridays at 5 p.m. to the center in Lavapiés to work with children 6 to 16 years of age, helping them with English and computer literacy, and – more importantly – making them feel included. Volunteers must go to at least 12 sessions to fulfill the RIA requirements. Students get to experience a side of Madrid that most never see, but they also grow a strong relationship with the children in the program and become key figures in the fight against social inequity that is so inherent to the educational system. For more information: pmartin@fundacionsanders.org or hamish.binns@slu.edu
  • CORE 4500 – School Outreach Program
    Volunteer in a group at CEIP Mireia Belmonte, a primary school where many students are at risk of social exclusion. We help as language assistants in the classes on Friday morning. Then, on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, we organize creative workshops or collaborative projects that may include mural painting, team-building activities, or arts and crafts. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to visit the surrounding area and try the Manchego gastronomy. The University partially subsidizes the trip, but students pay 100 Euros toward food, transport and materials. For more information: hamish.binns@slu.edu
  • CORE 4500 – Volunteering While Abroad
    Choose any volunteer opportunities on the list of Service and Community Outreach offerings on the SLU-Madrid website. Speak to Sharrad Belin in Student Life or to the contact that appears on the webpage to organize an introduction. Some of the organizations may need proficiency in Spanish or specific skill sets. You must complete at least 15 service hours to fulfill the RIA requirements. For more information: sharrad.belin@slu.edu 

The following classes carry the Reflection in Action attribute:

  • ARTH 4910 – Internship
  • CMM 4910 – Internship
  • IB 4910 – Internship
  • ISTD 4910 – Internship
  • INTN 4910 – Internship
  • POLS 3910 – Internship
  • POLS 3912 – Internship
  • POLS 3913 – Internship
  • POLS 3914 – Internship
  • POLS 3918 – Internship
  • WGST 3850 – Feminism in Action
Equity and Global Identities: Creating People For and With Others

Many courses you take at SLU will help you understand the world so that you can better advocate for justice and act in solidarity with people who are disadvantaged and oppressed. The University Core ensures that you develop an understanding and response to 21st-century challenges through taking courses — in your major or as electives — that carry the following three "attributes":  

Identities in Context (IIC) courses (attributed) examine how diverse and intersecting identities shape how people move through and experience the world. In these courses, you will analyze how identities form through interaction with others and within social structures, explore key categories of identity analysis, reflect on your own biases, and connect across differences. Approved Courses include:

  • ANTH 1210 – Introduction to Anthropology
  • CMM 3300 – Intercultural Communication
  • ENGL 2550 – Gender, Identity & Literature
  • ENGL 3330 – World Literary Traditions III
  • HCE 1600 – Ultimate Questions Theology: Death, Disability, Disease, and the Meaning of Life
  • HIST 1600 – History of the U.S. to 1865
  • HIST 1610 – History of the United States Since 1865
  • HIST 3750 – Cultural Encounters 1500-1700
  • IPE 2100 – Interprofessional Collaboration and Healthcare in Global Context
  • PHIL 4810 – Philosophy of Feminism
  • POLS 2590 – Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
  • SPAN 4020 – Spanish in the World
  • SPAN 4790 – Spanish Culture and Civilization
  • THEO 2710 – Religions of the World
  • WGST 2550 – Gender, Identity & Literature
  • WGST 3300 – Intercultural Communication
  • WGST 4810 – Philosophy of Feminism

Global Interdependence (GI) courses (attributed) provide you with the intellectual tools to understand and participate in our interconnected world. In these courses, you will explore the global impact of personal choices and local actions to become an engaged and responsible global citizen committed to finding solutions to global or transnational interdependence challenges. Approved Courses include:

  • ANTH 2200 – Cultural Anthropology
  • ARTH 1010 – Art and its Histories
  • ARTH 1010 – History of Western Art
  • ARTH 1090 – Global Masterpieces in Art
  • CMM 4460 – Global Media
  • ENGL 3330 – World Literary Traditions III
  • ENGL 3500 – Literature of the Postcolonial World
  • HIST 1120 – Origins of the Modern World (1500 to Present)
  • HIST 3750 – Cultural Encounters 1500-1700
  • IB 2000 – Introduction to International Business
  • IB 3700 – Transitioning to a Sustainable World
  • IPE 2100 – Interprofessional Collaboration and Healthcare in Global Context
  • POLS 1600 – Introduction to International Politics
  • POLS 2560 – The Politics of Asia
  • POLS 2590 – Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
  • THEO 2710 – Religions of the World
  • WGST 2201 – Cultural Anthropology (María Belén Molinuevo)
  • WGST 2930 – Special Topics: Social Justice (Melanie Mitchell)

Dignity, Ethics, and a Just Society (DEJS) Courses (attributed) apply concepts of human dignity, well-being, equity and justice to the analysis of existing social systems. You will evaluate those systems as they currently function and use this critical analysis to envision systemic social change that promotes human dignity, equity and justice.

  • BME 2200 – Applied Physiology for Engineers
  • CSCI 3050 – Computer Ethics
  • ENGL 2250 – Conflict, Social Justice and Literature
  • ENGL 3240 – Reading the Female Bildungsroman
  • ENGL 3500 – Literature of the Postcolonial World
  • ENGL 3720 – U.S. Law and Literature: Equality Since Brown v. Board of Education
  • HCE 3100 – Public Health and Social Justice
  • HIST 3340 – The Spanish Civil War
  • PHIL 2050 – Ethics
  • PHIL 3050 – Computer Ethics
  • PHIL 4810 – Philosophy of Feminism
  • POLS 1500 – Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLS 2590 – Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
  • POLS 2691 – The Theory and Practice of Human Rights
  • POLS 3567 – Political Development in Contemporary Spain
  • POLS 3850 – Feminism in Action
  • WGST 1900 – Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • WGST 3850 – Feminism in Action
  • WGST 4810 – Philosophy of Feminism
Cura Personalis 3: Get Ready for Life After Graduation

Cura Personalis 3: Self in the World (1 credit)

This one-credit course, inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, asks you to look outward by articulating how your skills, competencies and knowledge transfer to your vocation as a SLU graduate. This course guides you through exploring academic and nonacademic options and logistics, preparing career-enhancing tools, and developing practices that will help you move forward with confidence and purpose, enabling you to find meaning in your life and career. Approved courses include:

  • CORE 3500 – Cura Personalis 3: Self in the World
  • BIZ 3000 – Career Foundations
  • ARTH 2000 – Art History Seminar
Collaborative Inquiry: Working With Others Toward Solving World Problems

Collaborative Inquiry (minimum 2 credits)

Jesuit education prepares you to explore complex questions without straightforward answers. Your SLU Core experience culminates in working with other students to apply concepts, methodologies and ways of thinking learned in earlier Core and other coursework to find multidimensional approaches to contemporary societal problems like climate change or racial inequality, or enduring questions concerning topics such as the nature of beauty, effective leadership or the transcendent. Approved courses include:

  • ARTH 3770 – Art and Politics: From Goya to the Cold War
  • CORE 4101 – Are We Alone in the Universe?
  • ENGL 3720 – U.S. Law and Literature: Equality Since Brown v. Board of Education
  • ENGL 4160 – Deep Narratives: From Microbiomes to AI
  • IB 3700 – Transitioning to a Sustainable World
  • MGT 3200 – Managing Ideas in Entrepreneurial Firms
  • MGT 3201 – Social Entrepreneurship
  • PHIL 3700 – Sustainable Happiness
  • POLS 3800 – The Structure of Poverty: Globally and Locally
  • POLS 4930 – International Challenges
  • SPAN 4150 – Spanish for the Health Professions

Learn More About the Saint Louis University's Undergraduate Core Curriculum

Students who started their degrees before 2021 should contact their academic advisor or faculty member for requirements that fulfill SLU's previous Arts and Sciences core curriculum