College of Arts and Sciences

General Education Requirement

For Class of 2013 and for Transfer Students entering under the GER

For information on courses offered next semester, please see the GER Registration Help Page

The General Education Requirement (GER) consists of 20 courses: six common core courses and 14 courses in the University Distribution.

The six common core courses include:

  • ENG 101 The Craft of Language
  • ENG 102 Texts and Contexts
  • PHL 101 The Human Person
  • PHL 154 Moral Philosophy (Pre-Req is PHL 101)
  • HIS 101-102 Historical Introduction to Western Civilization

The GER University Distribution requirement includes 14 courses, exclusive of free electives and divisional requirements, distributed as follows:

Foreign Language (Two courses)

Two courses in sequence in a modern or classical foreign language at the second-year level or higher are required.For additional information, see the GER Registration Help page.
  • Students are placed into a language course based on the level of completed coursework in high school and their performance on a language placement test taken prior to entering SJU. Please Note:  A student must complete the level of language in which s/he was placed.  If a student believes that s/he has been placed in an inappropriate level, the student must talk with both his/her professor and the Chair of the Foreign Language Department about his/er concerns.  Only in extraordinary circumstances will a student be permitted to drop down to a lower level of language.
  • Students who have insufficient preparation for language study at the second year level must meet with the Chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages to discuss options for satifying the foreign language reuqirement. 
  • Students whose primary language is not English may request permission to satisfy the language requirement by completing comparable courses in English.
  • Students with a documented learning difference may also request permission to satisfy the language requirement in an alternate manner.

Fine & Performing Arts or Literature (One course)

This requirement may be satisfied by choosing one course from the Departments of Art, English, Music, Theater & Film, or Modern & Classical Languages. Please note that some of these courses may have pre-requisites.
  • In the Art Department, this requirement may be satisfied by any course offering 3 credits or more. 
  • In Music, Theater & Film Department, this requirement may be satisfied by any course offering 3 or more credits.
  • In the English Department, this requirement may be satisfied by any English literature course.  Theory and writing courses do not fulfill the GER Art/Lit requirement unless noted.
  • In the Department of Modern & Classical Languages, this requirement may be satisfied by a set of specifically designated literature courses.  
  • Students may also fulfill this requirement by earning a 4 or a 5 on one of the following AP exams: 
    • History of Art (credit for ART 101 or 102)
    • Music Theory (credit for MTF 151)
 For additional information and a list of specific courses offered this semester, please see the the GER Registration Help page.


Mathematics (Two courses)

Unless particular courses are specified by the major department, students may fulfill the mathematics requirement by completing any two mathematics courses (normally both semesters of a two-course sequence) for which they qualify.  For additional information and a list of GER math courses offered, please see the GER Registration Help page.


Natural Sciences (Two courses)

Two courses are required.  Some major concentrations specify particular natural science GER courses that their students should take to satisfy the natural science requirement.  For those majors that do not specify a particular natural science, students may consider the following courses designed for non-science majors. Some of these are offered every semester, some in a fall and spring sequence. For a list of GER natural science courses offered next semester, please see the GER Registration Help page.  Below are examples of courses that will fulfill the natural science GE requirement for non-science CAS majors: 

160 Heredity & Evolution
161 The Human Organism
165/165L Exploring the Living World (lab-based science designed for non-science majors)

100 Chem for the Consumer

Environmental Science
103 Intro to Planet Earth
104 Planet Earth in Depth
105 The Environment
106/106L Exploring the Earth (lab-based science designed for non-science majors)

110 Understanding the Natural World
111 Astronomical Universe

112 Energy: Problems & Promises
113/113L Exploring the Physical World (lab-based science designed for non-science majors)
114 Technological Breakthroughs of the 20th Century

Students can also fulfill the GER natural science requirement by taking two semesters of any of the lab-based, introductory courses designed for science majors. These include:

BIO 101/101L Biology I: Cells
BIO 102/102L Biology II: Genetics and Evolutionary Biology

CHM 120/120L General Chemistry I with lab
CHM 125/125L General Chemistry II with lab
CHM 121/120L Honors General Chemistry I with lab
CHM 126/125L Honors General Chemistry II with lab

PHY 101/101L General Physics I with lab
PHY 102/102L General Physics II with lab
PHY 105/105L University Physics I with lab
PHY 106/106L University Physics II with lab


Philosophy (one course in addition to the Human Person and Moral Foundations)

In addition to the two philosophy courses specified under the GER common courses, all students are required to complete a third course of their choosing.  PHL 101 is a pre-requisite to all other courses offered in the department. Choices for a third level course include PHL 201 Knowledge & Existence  and other select courses  numbered PHL 250 – 470.  Please note that PHL 318 Legal Theory and PHL 320 Business, Society & Ethics do NOT fulfill the 3rd level Philosophy.  See the GER Registration Help Page for a complete list of 3rd level courses.

Some majors require a specific third philosophy course  (e.g., Fine Arts Majors are required to complete the Philosophy of Art; IHS majors are required to complete Philosophy of Science or Philosophy of Death).


Social/Behavioral Sciences (Three courses)

The social/behavioral sciences requirement requires three courses from economics, education, political science, psychology, or sociology, with no more than two courses from one area.  Review your major requirements to determine if your major requires specific courses.  Please check the SJU catalog to confirm if a class in one of these areas will fulfill this GER requirement.  Below are examples of courses in each of these areas (please note that this is not an exhaustive list):

ECN 101 Microeconomics and ECN 102 Macroeconomics. ECN 101 is not a pre-requisite to ECN 102.  These are the two introductory courses for economics.  Other courses may fulfill this GER, assuming you have completed any required pre-requisite courses.

SOC 101 and SOC 102 may be taken independently, and either course serves as prerequisite for upper division courses in sociology which also satisfy the GER.

PSY 100 – 124 are courses specifically designed to satisfy the social/behavioral sciences requirement. Courses at the 200 level or above may be taken to satisfy the requirement if the student has completed the required pre-requisite courses.

Political Science
Any introductory or upper division course will meet this GER requirement.  Some introductory level courses include: 

POL 111 Introduction to American Government and Politics
POL 113 Introduction to Comparative Politics
POL 115 Introduction to International Politics
POL 117 Introduction to Political Thought

EDU 160/160F Schools in Society and EDU 151/151F Development, Cognition, & Learning will satisfy the GER social science requirement.  Please note that both of these courses require 3 hours of fieldwork per week in addition to class time.  Please check the SJU Catalog for additional education courses that may meet this requirement.


Theology (Three courses)

The Theology Department is now known as the “Theology and Religious Studies Department,” identifying its courses as either “THE” (Theology) or “REL” (Religious Studies). A few courses will be cross-listed as both “THE/REL."  When searching for classes, it is important to search classes under both Theology and Religious Studies.  You also may use the "attribute type" field to narrow your search to Theology Level I, Theology Level II, or Theology Level III.  Students complete one course at each level. The three courses must be taken in sequence.


Level 1: One of the following THE courses:
THE 154 Faith, Justice, & Catholic Tradition
THE 221 Intro to New Testament (formerly THE 1101)
THE 241 Intro to Systematic Theology (formerly THE 1211)
THE 261 Intro to Christian Social Ethics (formerly THE 1301 )

Level 2: One non-Christian Theology or Religious studies course
Approved courses include:
THE/REL 211 Hebrew Bible (formerly THE 1501 )
REL 101 Comparative Religion (formerly THE 1811 )
REL 231 Judaism (formerly THE 1941)
REL 241 Islam (formerly THE 1961)
REL 251 Religions of ancient India (formerly THE 1901)
REL 261 Hinduism (formerly THE 1911)
REL 271 African and Caribbean Religions (formerly THE 1971 )

Please Note:  Courses that are 300 level or above require competion of at least one previous course in THE or REL and a minimum of sophomore status

REL 351 Indian Buddhism (formerly THE 1911)
REL 352 Mahayana Buddhism (formerly THE 1931)

Level 3: One advanced course, in either Theology or Religous Studies (usually at 300 level)

Please Note:  You must complete level 1 and 2 prior to taking a 3rd level theology course

Examples of approved Level 3 courses include:

THE 321 Synoptic Gospels (formerly THE 2111)
THE 322 Letters of Paul (formerly THE 2101)
THE 323 Psalms (formerly THE 2051)
THE 331 Early Christian Thought
THE 332 The New Testament and Christian Attitudes towards Jews and Judaism (formerly THE 2121)
THE 333 Knowledge and Love of God in the Middle Ages (formerly THE 2251)
THE 334 16th Century Protestant and Catholic Debates (formerly THE 2271)
THE 335 Gender and Christian Spirituality (formerly THE 2261)
THE 336 The Jewish and Christian Encounter (formerly THE 2193)
THE 341 Jesus through the Centuries (formerly THE 2201)
THE 342 The Uses and Abuses of Jesus in Modernity (formely THE 2211)
THE 343 Theology of Word and Sacrament (Formerly THE 2331)
THE 344 Theology of the Church (formerly THE 2311)
THE 345 Evil as a Theological Problem (Formerly THE 2231)
THE 346 Theology of Salvation (Formerly THE 2321)
THE 347 Death and Rebirth (formerly THE 2361)
THE 348 Theology and Science (formerly THE 2621)
THE 349 The Authentic Self - Augustine, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger
THE 350 Rediscovering Mary (formerly THE 2291)
THE 351 Ignatian Spirituality in the Jesuit Tradition (Formerly THE 2281)
THE 352 Recent Trends in Roman Catholicism (formerly THE 2351)
THE 353 American Catholicism (formerly THE 2391)
THE 354 Contemporary Religious Thought (formerly THE 2371)
THE 355 American Religious Thought (formerly THE 2381)
THE 356 Liberation and Political Theologies (formerly THE 2301)
THE 357 Feminist Theologies (formerly THE 2241)
THE 358 Faith, Justice and Jesuit Mission in Bolivia (formerly THE 2491)
THE 359 Religion, Violence and Terrorism (formerly THE 2541)
THE 361 Catholic Social Teaching (formerly THE 2401)
THE 362 Faith and Justice: Scripture and Social Values (formerly THE 2411)
THE 363 Ignatius and the City: Jesuit Urban Missiology (formerly THE 2471)
THE 364 Sexuality and Catholic Morality    (formerly THE 2421)
THE 365 Christian Marriage Today: Sacred Reality or ‘Piece of Paper’? (formerly THE 2431)
THE 366 Christian Medical Ethics (formerly THE 2441)
THE 367 Suffering and Death:  Biblical, Systematic and Ethical Perspectives (formerly THE 2451)
THE 368 Just Health Care in Developing Nations (formerly THE 2461)
THE 368 Just Health Care in Developing Nations (formerly THE 2461)
THE 370 Special Topics in Theology: The Eucharist: A project in solidarity (formerly THE 2813)
THE 371 Christianity and Media (formerly THE 2561)
THE 372 Technology Ethics (formerly THE 2481)
THE 373 Economic Ethics (formerly THE 2501)
THE 374 War and Peace (formerly THE 2511)
THE 378 Violence, Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland (formerly THE 2531)
THE 379 Economics, Politics and the Ethics of Solidarity in Poland (formerly THE 2551)
THE 380 Interreligious Dialogue (new)
THE 384 Jews/Christians:  Estranged Relatives or Total Strangers
THE 385 New Ways of Thinking About the Jewish Jesus as Savior (formerly THE 2571)
THE 392 Directed Readings in Theology (formerly THE 2931-41)
THE 493-494 Independent Research in Theology (formerly THE 2953-63)
THE 495 Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion

REL 212 Israelite Religion (formerly THE 2001)
REL 312 Spiritual Disciplines in Comparative Perspective (formerly THE 2631)
REL 321 Religion and Law in the Ancient Near East (formerly THE 2011)
REL 322 Myth and History in the Hebrew Bible (formerly THE 2031)
REL 323 Psalms (formerly THE 2051)
REL 331 Topics in Ancient Judaism (formrly THE 2081)
REL 332 Past and Present in Israel/Palestine:  Digging at Tel Dor (formerly THE 2041)
REL 335 Christian Origins (formerly THE 2221)
REL 338 Jewish & Christian Responses to the Holocaust (formerly THE 1951)
REL 341 The Qur’an and Its Interpreters (formerly THE 2131)
REL 342 Women in Muslim Tradition (formerly THE 2061)
REL 370 Special Topics in Religious Studies (formerly THE 2811-21)
REL 381 Apocalypticism in the Ancient World (formerly THE 2091)
REL 382 Women and Religion in the Ancient World (formerly THE 2071)
REL 383 Ancient Greek Religions
REL 392 Directed Readings in Religion (formerly THE 2931-41)
REL 493-494 Independent Research in Religion (formerly THE 2911-21)
REL 495 Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion (formerly THE 2971)