General Education Requirements

The USJ General Education, Core Curriculum consists of a wide range of courses specifically designed by faculty to sharpen your skills in critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and investigation.

For students arriving to USJ directly from high school, the following are ordinarily required.

Understanding Mercy

Rooted in the institution’s Core Values, these courses help students understand diverse belief systems, as well as the importance of serving others, both professionally and in civic life.

First-Year Seminar (FYS)
Immerse yourself in the USJ culture – both in and out of the classroom – while gaining an awareness of the distinct learning strategies you will utilize throughout your four years at USJ. Critical Concerns Themed course fall semester (3 credits) and Critical Concerns Practicum spring semester (1 credit).
– Two courses (4 credits total)

Philosophy (PHIL)
Dive into the fundamental questions of life: What is the nature of reality? Where do we fit in to the big picture? How are value and meaning assigned? Grappling with these topics will sharpen your skills in critical and independent thinking.
– One course (3 credits total)

Religious Studies (RELS)
Explore religious traditions and beliefs, while focusing on how faith intersects with issues of women, race and ethnicity, social justice, and religious pluralism.
– Two courses (each course is 3 credits)

Mercy Integrative Seminar (INTD)
Pull together your Core and Major learning with your values to investigate and respond to a real-life problem.
– One course (3 credits)

Making Sense of Our World

Through courses within your major and professional program, gain the skills integral to success not only in your career, but also in your life.

English Composition (ENGL)
The Art of Effective Writing or Honors Thematic Approaches to Literature
– One course (3 credits)

Fine, Visual or Performing Arts
An approved course from one of the following disciplines: Dance, Drama, Fine Arts, or Music
– One course (3 credits)

History (HIST)
An approved course with the HIST designation.
– One course (3 credits)

Literature 
An approved course with the ENGL or SPAN designation.
– One course (3 credits)

Mathematics (MATH)
An approved course with the MATH designation.
– One course (3 credits)

Natural Sciences with Lab
An approved lab course from one of the following disciplines: BIOL, CHEM, PHYSICS, NUTR.
– One course (3 credits)

Social Sciences
An approved course from one of the following disciplines: ECON, INTS, POLITICAL SCIENCE, PSYCH, SOCIOLOGY.
– One course (3 credits)

Engaging Complexity
(Each student must complete one course with each of the following designations for a total of three courses. These could in some instances come from the major or other course requirements so do not necessarily add additional credits.)
Global Issues (GI) – one course (0 credits)
Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies (MWGS) – one course (0 credits)
Values and Ethics – one course (0 credits)

University Competencies

Through courses within your major and professional program, become an empowered citizen by demonstrating three core competencies.

Information Technology (one 3 credit course or pass a competency test)
Complete a computer competency course (e.g. computer programming, web design, health informatics, etc.) or pass an IT Proficiency Exam, have a score of 3 or higher on an AP Computer Science exam, or pass the CLEP Information Systems exam.

Other Language (0-6 credits or demonstrate competency)
Complete three years of language study of the same language in high school with a C or better grade in the third year; complete two years of language study in high school and take one 3 credit 2nd semester course in college; complete two semesters college-level study of a language; or demonstrate ‘high novice’ competency on test administered by USJ.

Critical Writing and Reasoning (0 credits)
Pass the Critical Writing and Reasoning Portfolio.

With numerous choices, your advisor will provide more details and help you plan the perfect path for you.

For Transfer Students

The courses you transfer prior to official matriculation determine which general education requirements you need to fulfill. Learn more about the transfer credit policies.

  • If you transfer in with 23 or fewer credits, you are waived from:
    • First-Year Seminar/Experience (fall semester)
    • First-Year Service/Experience (spring semester)
  • If you transfer in with 24 or more credits, you are waived from:
    • First-Year Seminar/Experience and First-Year Service
    • One Religious Studies course
    • Either the Philosophy course or the Values/Ethics perspective
  • If you transfer in with 60 or more credits, or an Associate Degree from a community college:
    • USJ accepts 30-31 credits of General Education and all USJ Core Curriculum requirements are satisfied except:
      • Religious 200-level or above course with Values/Ethics focus
      • Gen Ed 3xx mercy Integrative Seminar
      • Liberal Arts & Sciences Electives (200-level or above, Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies and Global/International Studies if needed)
      • Waive Language and IT Competencies

Questions?
Contact:
Dr. Agnes Curry
860.231.5224
[email protected]

Essential For…

…success in your academic and career path
…personal development, responsible citizenship, and spiritual growth
…your life

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