Understanding the University Core Curriculum

Author: Luzolo Matundu

As a modern Catholic liberal arts institution, the University of Notre Dame has a core curriculum that all undergraduate students are required to take before graduation. The core curriculum is a set of requirements that apply to all students regardless of college or major. These “ways of knowing” expose students to diverse modes of thought to address different aspects of the world. There are a variety of courses that students can choose from to apply to the University Core requirements.

Luzolo Matundu '24 stands with a project from a course under the University Core Curriculum.

One course under the University Core is Moreau. Moreau is a one-credit course that all students are currently required to take during their freshman year in their first and second semester. Moreau is named after Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C. who founded the Congregation of Holy Cross: the religious community that founded the University of Notre Dame. Moreau fosters personal development by asking questions and discussing contemporary topics to promote meaningful conversations. Students learn about Notre Dame and are encouraged to discuss their thoughts and beliefs with their instructor and classmates.

In addition to the University Core Curriculum, each college has its own required curriculum as well. Here are the requirements for the College of Arts & Letters, the College of Science, the College of Engineering, the Keough School of Global Affairs, the School of Architecture, and the Mendoza School of Business. Every major also has a list of requirements and electives as well. Each college lists all their majors’ requirements on their websites.

During my time at Notre Dame, I have taken advantage of the ability for courses to “double count” for different requirements. While one course can not apply to more than one category “per bucket,” courses can apply to multiple buckets. For example, one class I have taken is Black Political Thought; this course applies to Philosophy 2 in the University Core, Social Science in the College of Arts and Letters, and Political Theory in Political Science. While BPT can also apply to Africana Studies, it can not apply to both Political Science and Africana Studies since they are both majors. Likewise, one course can not count for two requirements within college requirements or the University Core.

I like the University Core because it allows me to study multiple topics that I am interested in and am passionate about since students are allowed to choose their own courses in the university offerings.