Jul 17, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Core Curriculum


The Core

Saint Joseph’s College’s core curriculum is a set of courses that reflects the College’s vision of what it means to be an educated person. It is the heart of our baccalaureate education, and provides the grounding for the student’s major course of study. The core curriculum’s concentration on the liberal arts and science supports key parts of the College’s mission: to “encourage students to explore widely the arts and sciences while they also prepare to lead ethical and meaningful lives” and to “enhance students’ awareness of human dignity and the meaning of life.” Moreover, the core curriculum supports several of the College’s Institutional Learning Outcomes.


  • Identify and apply the ethical and moral dimensions of their particular field of study;
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills in both written and oral formats;
  • Engage in responsible citizenship, social justice, and environmental stewardship;
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze and evaluate information from diverse sources and perspectives.

Core Curriculum:

1. Foundations for College Thinking (2 courses)

  • EH 101  College Writing
  • Mathematics (MA) elective (or MA course required by major)

2. The Human Condition and the Human Story (6 courses)

  • HY 104   Modern Global History
  • TH 100   Intro to the Judeo-Christian Tradition
  • PH 200   Human Nature & Ethics
  • Choose an elective from each of the following disciplines: History (HY) (200 level or above), Theology (TH), and Philosophy (PH)

3. Nature and Society (2 courses)

  • ES 300   Ecology and the Environmental Challenge
  • One additional course from a list of courses in natural or social science (See Approved NAS course list)

4. Art, Creativity, and Self-knowledge (2 courses)

Note:  A grade below C- in EH100 Fundamentals of Writing or EH101 College Writing is considered a failure, and the student should follow the Repeat Course policy stated in this catalog.
Honors Core Curriculum  

Thematic Structure of Core Curriculum

The thematic structure of the core curriculum aligns with the college’s institutional learning outcomes, consisting of four learning themes:  Foundations for College Thinking; The Human Condition and the Human Story; Nature and Society; and Art, Creativity, and Self-knowledge.

The Foundations for College Thinking learning theme supports the development of fundamental writing and quantitative reasoning skills, which are critical for all majors and careers. These courses lay the groundwork for both effective communication and critical thinking.

The Human Condition and the Human Story learning theme adds to students’ understanding of the world. Through philosophy, students better understand the metaphysical and epistemological foundations of human life; through theology, students learn to investigate the phenomenon of religious faith as an enduring concern of the human community; and through history, students learn how the practice of preserving the past helps us understand the present. These subjects are meant to foster spiritual and social growth, helping students think critically about the ethical and moral dimensions of their actions.

The Nature and Society learning theme provides opportunities for students to learn about and engage in responsible citizenship, social justice, and environmental stewardship. Ecology and the Environmental Challenge (ES300) provides students with both a foundational understanding of the earth’s past, current, and future environmental problems and with service leaning experiences that invite them to actively engage in environmental stewardship. Electives in this category allow students the freedom to build on this foundation and learn about responsible citizenship, social justice, or deepen their understanding of the makeup of our planet.

The Art, Creativity, and Self-knowledge learning theme is a multidisciplinary experience that helps students build their creativity and develop self-knowledge. The foundational requirement is a literature elective. Students can explore creative expression through a writing course or reflect upon and think critically about the expressions of others in literature courses. Both options align with the college’s goal to increase the students’ communications skills. Students will also take an elective from a multidisciplinary list of courses that empower students to think creatively and develop their spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Core Flexibility

There is no required sequencing. Although it is recommended that students take EH 101 College Writing during their first year, academic departments may sequence the remaining core requirements as appropriate for their majors.

Students may count core classes towards fulfillment of a major, minor or specialization requirement. Specifically, a core course can satisfy both a core requirement and a major, minor, or requirement.

Students may not “triple-dip,” meaning a core class cannot count as fulfilling both a major and a minor requirement.

Students may not “double dip” within the core. For example: a course cannot fulfill both a Human Condition and the Human Story requirement and an Art, Creativity, and Self-knowledge requirement.

Approved List of Nature and Society Electives:

BI 101  - Biology I

BI 102  - Biology II

BI 105  - Oceanography

BI 110  - Concepts in Biology

BI 204  - Anatomy & Physiology I

BI 297 Special Topics for NAS core

CH 103  - Principles of Chemistry I

CH 104  - Principles of Chemistry II

CH 105  - Chemistry for the Health Sciences

CH 297 Special Topics for NAS core

CO 101  - Contemporary Communications

CO 350  - Politics and the Media

ES 120   - Field Research Methods in Environmental Science

ES 130   - Physical Geology in the Southwestern US

ES 107  - Research Science on Sebago Lake

ES 297 Special topics for NAS core

EC 203  /PS 411  - Economics

ED 325  - Educational Psychology

PC 103  - Astronomy

PS 101  - Introduction to Political Science

PS 102  - American Government and Politics

PS 201  - Comparative Politics

PS 202  - International Relations 

PS 297 Special topics for NAS core

PS 306  - Politics and the Media

PY 101  - Introduction to Psychology

PY 210  - Adolescence and Adulthood

PY 297 Special Topics for NAS core

PY 307  - Educational Psychology

PY 308  - Psychopathology

PY 314  - Cognitive Psychology

PY 333  - Sleep and Dreaming

SO 201  - Principles of Sociology

SO 202  - Introduction to Criminal Justice

SO 208  - Introduction to Gender Studies

SO 215  - Culture & the Anthropologist’s Toolkit

SO 297 Special topics for NAS core

SO 303  - Relationships, Marriage, and Family Issues

TH 206  - Introduction to the Old Testament

TH 207  - Introduction to the New Testament

TH 303  - Contemporary Christian Morality

TH 308   Liberation Theology


Approved List of Art, Creativity, and Self-knowledge Electives:

AT 108  - Music Appreciation

AT 116  - Basic Drawing: Theory and Practice

AT 202  - Elem. Art and Technology Methods

AT 206  - Printmaking

AT 215  - Digital Photography

AT 216  - Beginning Ceramics

AT 297 Special topics for ACS core

AT 302  - Painting 1

CO 110  - Digital Media

CO 210  - Web Design

CO 218  - Oral Communications

CO 222  - Introduction to Film Studies

CO 335  - Topics in Film Studies

CO 297 Special topics for ACS core

EH XXX Second literature elective

EH 209  - Creative Writing

EH 211  - Nonfiction Prose Writing

EH 319  - Interpretive Nature of Cinema

EH 297 Special topics for ACS core

HE 111  - Personal Health

HE 204  - Stress Management

HE 297 Special topics for ACS core

HY 318   - The History of Venice through its Art & Architecture

MA 107  - Contemporary Math

MA 297 ACS Special topics for core

NU 422  - Stress Management

PH 204  - Philosophy of Gender

PH 221  - Good and Evil

PH 225  - Happiness, Character, and Well-Being

PH 305  - The Moral Self

PY 214  - Psychology of Gender

PY 225  - Happiness, Character, and Well-Being

PY 254  - Cultural Psych

PY 298 Special topics for ACS core

SW 101  - Introduction to the Profession of Social Work

TH 201  - Saving Encounters

TH 209  - Christian Spirituality: Life and Prayer

TH 214  - Discovering Islam

TH 297 Special topics for ACS core

TH 301  - Christology: Who Is Jesus?

TH 307  - Death: Comparative Views