Core Curriculum

A Personal and Professional Education

Sacred Heart University’s Core Curriculum flows from its Mission and is designed to integrate the Catholic intellectual and liberal arts traditions to meet the personal and professional needs of students. The Catholic intellectual tradition is an ongoing 2000-year conversation of thinkers, writers and artists asking the fundamental questions of human meaning and purpose. Similarly, liberal arts education is broad-based learning that provides a well-rounded foundation for any major and career path.

Students take courses that ask them to reflect on their personal growth as well as develop the essential skills and abilities needed for professional success. Throughout their time with us, students work with instructors who are helpful and committed to student success.


Writing and speaking with clarity, concision and confidence is a skill that transcends specific professions. Possessing and developing one’s interpersonal skills is essential for both personal and professional development. Sacred Heart’s Core Curriculum is unique in that it includes three seminar-style courses (a theme-based First-year Seminar and two Human Journey Seminars in the Catholic intellectual tradition) for students to develop these skills and abilities.

The Human Journey

Great Books in the Catholic intellectual tradition are the University’s academic signature core seminars and are a direct reflection of the University’s Mission and Core Values. In these seminars students reflect upon and discuss great writers of western culture as well as fundamental questions of human existence. Students relate these ideas and texts to their own lives and the world in which they live.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking usually appears at the top of what employers want to see in employees. At Sacred Heart, in their first year, students take a dedicated introductory course in critical thinking that helps them develop this important skill. These critical thinking-strategies and activities are reinforced throughout the curriculum and into the major course of study.

Critical Reading, Information and Media Literacy

Locating, analyzing ad evaluating texts and materials is indispensable for a lifetime of independent learning and also for becoming and remaining a competent professional in any field. Every course in the Core includes some element of reading and research.

Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning

In addition to the math course required for the major, students also take two courses in the natural or behavioral sciences that focus on understanding and applying the scientific method to real-world problems and scenarios.

Social and Global Awareness

Western Civilization gives students an introduction to the historical development of our culture, while other courses explore the ethical, social and political dimensions of the current globalized economy. Our goal is not only that our graduates will lead fulfilling and productive lives, but that they will act as responsible citizens in their community and in the world.

The Core Curriculum

  • First-year Seminar     3 CR
  • Critical Thinking     3 CR
  • Western Civilization     3 CR
  • The Human Journey Seminars: Great Books in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition     6 CR
  • Liberal Arts Explorations—with an emphasis in Humanistic Inquiry, Scientific Literacy or Social and Global Awareness     9 CR
  • Students also take an appropriate course in math and select a course from each of the following: English; philosophy; theology and religious studies; art, design or communications; and the social and natural sciences     21 CR