Academic Catalog

General Education Curriculum

At Benedictine University, our General Education Curriculum is at the heart of all undergraduate degree programs. Required courses include:

Interdisciplinary Seminars
Select one of the following:3
Catholic/Benedictine Traditions
Catholic/Benedictine Intellectual Traditions: Sustainability/Stewardship
Catholic/Benedictine Intellectual Traditions: Global
Catholic/Benedictine Intellectual Traditions: Sustainability/Stewardship and Global
Select one of the following:3
Human Dignity/Common Good
Human Dignity/Common Good: Sustainability/Stewardship
Human Dignity/Common Good: Global
Human Dignity/Common Good: Sustainability/Stewardship and Global

Topics for these seminars will vary depending on faculty areas of expertise, but all sections of the seminars involve exploration of the relationships between areas of knowledge and of real-world ethical and intellectual challenges. IDS 2201 Catholic/Benedictine Traditions, IDS 2202 Catholic/Benedictine Intellectual Traditions: Sustainability/Stewardship, IDS 2203 Catholic/Benedictine Intellectual Traditions: Global and IDS 2204 Catholic/Benedictine Intellectual Traditions: Sustainability/Stewardship and Global are informed by the resources of the Catholic and Benedictine intellectual traditions and their hallmarks, which include valuing community, extending hospitality to all persons and promoting the exchange of ideas. IDS 3301 Human Dignity/Common Good, IDS 3302 Human Dignity/Common Good: Sustainability/Stewardship, IDS 3303 Human Dignity/Common Good: Global and IDS 3304 Human Dignity/Common Good: Sustainability/Stewardship and Global are informed by the ideals of human dignity and the common good from Catholic Social Teaching and that emphasize mutual responsibility, cooperation and respect. The seminars are designed and staffed by Benedictine University faculty across disciplines and curricula, ensuring that all undergraduates have the opportunity to learn and practice integrative skills that promote professional success and career flexibility.

The General Education Curriculum also requires all undergraduates to complete a Liberal Arts-based system of curricular and co-curricular electives in areas representing multiple disciplinary approaches and modes of problem-solving. These distribution requirements are courses designated by programs and departments as representing critical skill and knowledge areas for active and responsible citizenship and stewardship of the earth, lifelong learning, global awareness, integrative knowledge and effective interpersonal communication. The distribution requirements of the curriculum includes coursework in the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences. To enhance effective and broad-based learning, the General Education Curriculum also requires students to complete designated global and sustainability courses or activities, as well as at least one Learning Community or Engaged Learning co-curricular experience.

Goals of the General Education Curriculum

  1. Critical-Thinking and Problem-Solving
    1. Demonstrate critical thinking and analysis.
    2. Identify, study, and solve problems.
    3. Achieve computational skills and an ability to understand and interpret numerical data.
    4. Work cooperatively as a member of a team.
  2. Communication
    1. Express concepts and ideas clearly, creatively, and effectively in oral and written forms.
    2. Understand and interpret written, oral, visual, and aural forms of communication.
    3. Demonstrate interpersonal communication skills consistent with effective academic discourse.
  3. Information Fluency
    1. Navigate different information formats and media technologies to find pertinent information.
    2. Evaluate sources of information critically to conduct responsible research.
    3. Become an active, informed, and creative user of established and emerging technologies.
  4. Global Perspective
    1. Recognize the interdependence of peoples and nations, and understand the forces that connect and divide them.
    2. Understand the benefits of diversity of perspectives, abilities, and cultures.
    3. Understand the relationship between language and culture, and communicate effectively and respectfully across cultural boundaries.
    4. Relate the person to community and the local to the global.
  5. Social Responsibility
    1. Engage ethical problems thoughtfully and actively, and contribute to the work of peace and social justice.
    2.  Understand conflict resolution processes.
    3. Practice stewardship of self and the environment, and understand the principles of wellness and sustainability.
    4. Develop the traits of good citizenship, and gain knowledge and skills necessary for civic engagement.
  6. Personal Growth
    1. Develop intellectual curiosity and a desire for lifelong learning.
    2. Strive for a life lived in balance.
    3. Cultivate leadership skills.
    4. Nurture the capacity for creative and artistic expression.
  7. Breadth of Knowledge and Integrative Learning
    1. Use knowledge, theories, and methods from the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences to raise and address questions germane to those areas of study.
    2. Recognize relationships among different disciplinary approaches to the study of human cultures and the natural world.
    3. Integrate learning from different disciplines to illuminate intersecting topics of investigation.
    4. Explore connections between classroom knowledge and real-world experiences.
  8. Catholic and Benedictine Traditions
    1. Understand the Catholic intellectual tradition: its philosophy, theology, practice, history, and engagement with questions of our time.
    2. Understand “The Rule of St. Benedict” and the contributions of Benedictine monasticism to history, culture, spirituality, and education.
    3. Show knowledge of how different religions and philosophies view the human person, spirituality, and the divine.