Course and Co-Curricular Requirements

The general education curriculum includes:

  • Basic Skills Courses
  • Distribution Requirements
  • Writing Intensive Courses
  • Global and Sustainability Courses
  • Interdisciplinary Seminars
  • Learning Community and Engaged Learning experiences

Many courses meet multiple requirements of the General Education program. We use a star system to help you find courses and experiences that will fit your schedule and progress to graduation. Star Courses are listed here.

If you are a transfer or adult student, your general education requirements may vary. Click here to view the requirements.

Basic Skills Courses

Basic Skills

  • Academic Writing
  • Writing, Research and Information Fluency
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Numeracy
  • Speech
Distribution Requirements

Distribution Requirements

These courses give you a chance to discover your talents, find new interests and strengthen your understanding of how your major fits into the wider world.

Students take one course in each of the following areas:

Artistic and Creative
Computational, Mathematical and Analytical
Life Science
Literary and Rhetorical
Physical Science
Individuals, Organizations and Societies
Political, Global and Economic Systems
Religious and Theological

Arts and Humanities: 15 semester credit hours

3 semester credit hours in the Creative Arts (QCA). 

3 semester credit hours in Theology or Religious Studies (QRT). 

3 semester credit hours in Philosophy (QPL). 

3 semester credit hours in History (QHT). 

3 semester credit hours in Literature and Rhetoric (QLR). 

Natural Sciences: 9 semester credit hours

3 semester credit hours in the Life Sciences (QLS). 

3 semester credit hours in Physical Sciences (QPS). 

3 semester credit hours in Mathematics and Analysis (QCM). 

Social Sciences: 6 semester credit hours

3 semester credit hours in Social Science: Individuals, Organizations and Societies (QIO). 

3 semester credit hours in Social Science: Politics, Global Studies and Economics (QPE). 

Writing Intensive Courses

Students take three Writing Intensive courses: an IDS 200-level course, a Writing Intensive course in their major, and one other course which is designated as Writing Intensive.

Global and Sustainability Courses

At Benedictine, we strive to develop knowledge of our interconnected global society and the responsibilities we have to other cultures, peoples and the natural world through our General Education Curriculum across all colleges and departments. These are not additional course requirements. Global and Sustainability designated courses are found in courses meeting the Distribution requirements, courses within majors, Learning Communities and IDS courses.

Courses which meet the Sustainability requirement:

  • ANTH 291 Cuba, Tourism and Environment Sustainability
  • ANTH 291 Environmental and Community Development in Costa Rica
  • BCHM 100 Impact of Science and Technology on Society
  • BIOL 180 Ecology of a Changing Planet
  • BIOL 191 Conservation Biology & Biodiversity
  • BIOL 191 Humanity and Environment
  • BIOL 197 Principles of Organismal Biology
  • BIOL 205 Environmental Science
  • BIOL 279 Honors Organismal Biology
  • BIOL 291 Global Warming
  • BIOL 291 Field Studies in Pollination Biology
  • BIOL 297 Honors Organismal Biology.
  • BIOL 363 Ecology
  • BIOL 364 Ecology Laboratory
  • BIOL 391 Disease and the Environment
  • BIOL 394 Nature Writing
  • CHEM 125 General Chemistry II Lab
  • CHEM 232 Analytical Chemistry II
  • CHEM 249 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
  • ENVS 205 Environmental Science
  • ENVS 210 OSHA Haz Wst Op & Em Re Trng
  • ENVS 211 OSHA Hazard & Emerg Refresher
  • ENVS  398 Capstone Project
  • HIST 213 Contemporary Latin America
  • HIST 215 The African Diaspora in Latin America
  • HIST 313 Contemporary Latin America
  • HIST 315 The African Diaspora in Latin America
  • HNRS 191 First Year Colloquium II
  • IDS 202 ALL
  • IDS 204 ALL
  • IDS 302 ALL
  • IDS 304 ALL
  • LCOM 241 Costa Rica
  • LITR 241 Environmental Literature
  • LITR 291 Environmental Literature
  • LITR 391 Advanced topics in Literature
  • MGT 120 "Going Green" in the Business World
  • MGT 125 Business Sustainability Topics
  • NUTR 220 Mediterranean Diet:  relationship to Health & Culture
  • PHIL 248 General Ethics for the Ecologically Minded
  • PLSC 215 Model United Nations
  • RELS 180 The Divine Economy
  • THEO 252 Business Ethics
Interdisciplinary Seminars

Interdisciplinary Seminars

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDS) are courses that integrate and synthesize multiple perspectives on complex issues such as environmental change, health care or global cities. IDS courses aim to help every student begin to apply and appreciate holistic thinking.

The IDS 200-level classes focus on the Benedictine and Catholic Intellectual Heritage; the IDS 300-level classes focus on the Person and the Common Good.

Many of the seminars will also meet other requirements such as the Global, Sustainable or Writing Intensive designations, and/or the Learning Community and Engaged Learning requirements.

IDS 200-level Catholic and Benedictine Intellectual Tradition

  • IDS 201 
  • IDS 202  Fulfills Sustainable requirement
  • IDS 203  Fulfills Global requirement
  • IDS 204  Fulfills Global and Sustainable requirements

IDS 300-level Human Dignity and the Common Good

  • IDS 301 
  • IDS 302  Fulfills Sustainable requirement
  • IDS 303  Fulfills Global requirement
  • IDS 304  Fulfills Global and Sustainable requirements
Learning Communities

Learning Communities

What are Learning Communities?

Learning Communities are experiences in which students integrate and apply knowledge learned in their classes with experiences outside the classroom. These communities are designed to have students work together in groups in order to learn and problem-solve more effectively. All Learning Communities therefore include course-related activities that take place outside the classroom or off-campus. At Benedictine University, Learning Communities can be stand-alone courses, two linked courses or  a group of students who take a series of courses together (cohort). Examples of Learning Communities at Benedictine University include our music ensembles, Model United Nations, the Scholars Program, the Catholic Studies Learning Community, Christian-Muslim dialogue mission service trips and faculty-led study abroad.

Why take Learning Community courses?

Studies show students can learn effectively in the type of social environment that Learning Communities provide. They enhance learning, heighten student engagement and result in greater student success both academically and personally. At Benedictine University, Learning Communities will allow you greater contact and personal interaction with faculty members inside and outside of the classroom. Learning Communities will enrich your educational experience and help you to succeed academically and after graduation.

Engaged Learning

Engaged Learning

Engaged Learning experiences at Benedictine University might involve work in the larger campus community, a juried public performance or show of visual art or music, significant volunteer service, or an internship or professional project, public blog or e-portfolio. The common element in all of these experiences is that the student applies classroom learning and skills to experiences in the wider world. Engaged Learning experiences help prepare students for full participation in the world as effective citizens, community members and ethical professionals.

Some Engaged Learning experiences may be performed as a component of a traditional course while others are free-standing, such as internships. Some Engaged Learning experiences are paired with Learning Communities.

General Education Curriculum
Benedictine University
Christine Fletcher
Phone: (630) 829-6263