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Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum allows students to contemplate the compatibility of faith and reason and the ideals of the Catholic intellectual tradition, including the distinctive values lived by the Sisters of Mercy. Core courses are designed to deepen students' knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences and refine their skills of inquiry, analysis and communication.

A deepened understanding of Christian values, the development of an essential knowledge base and the refinement of a liberal arts skill set are necessary to converse and connect with:

  • The past: Engaging authors, events and traditions in search of enduring human wisdom.
  • The present: Understanding forces, both material and social, that directly impact us now.
  • The future: Envisioning alternative possibilities for personal, social and global change.

Learn more: Student learning outcomes for the core goals.

Core Curriculum Overviews

Part I: University Seminars

Small seminars focusing on critical reading and written communication skills. A variety of topics are offered, with faculty teaching what they know and love.

  • Fall semester: UNV101 University Seminar I - This course is focused on engaging new students in a community of scholars focused on reading, thinking, writing and speaking. Students begin to develop college-level analytical and communication skills to prepare them for academic success and lifelong learning.
  • Spring semester: UNV102 University Seminar II - This writing-intensive course challenges students to deepen the connection between writing and thinking, equips them with the necessary skills to effectively develop ideas and argument through academic writing, and prepares them for a variety of writing that they will encounter throughout the course of their studies at Salve Regina.

Part II: Faith and Reason

Specifically designated common courses in religious and theological studies and philosophy.

  • PHL225: Quest for the Good Life - This course engages the philosophical and ethical literature seeking answers to the question: What makes a good life? Students explore the roles of reason and faith in the search for the good life and probe subjects such as happiness, wisdom, justice and other virtues through the works of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant and Mill.
  • RTS225: The Quest for the Ultimate: Dialogue With Global Religious Traditions - The Catholic tradition places high value on thinking seriously about spiritual matters and doing so together rather than alone. In this exciting yet dangerous time of global pluralism, religious traditions are very much in dialogue, thinking together about ultimate questions and how they impact peoples' lives. In this course, students bring their own spiritual perspectives into dialogue with the great religions of the world and, in keeping with the mercy tradition, consider how religious vision impacts concrete human needs.

Part III: Exploring the Liberal Arts

Part A: Link Past, Present and Future

At least eight courses across four themes, with at least two courses in each theme from different disciplines.


  • What is Western Heritage? Ancient and Modern
  • Defining the American Experience
  • Building Global Awareness
  • Engaging Creative, Aesthetic and Spiritual Experience

Part B: Seek Truth, Pursue Goodness, Encounter Beauty

  • Three credits in mathematics
  • Four to six credits in science
  • Six credits in modern and classical languages
  • Three credits in religious and theological studies
  • Three credits in philosophy
  • Six credits in social sciences
  • Three credits in history
  • Three credits in English literature
  • Three credits in visual and performing arts

Part IV: Integrating and Applying Knowledge

The integrative capstone links enduring questions and interdisciplinary knowledge from the Core Curriculum to students' majors in a culminating experience.