Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum is premised on the idea that no discipline by itself is sufficient to discover the truth. Reasoned inquiry must cross scholarly disciplines to engage and inform each of them. In the Catholic tradition, there is an emphasis on strong and diverse core requirements in order to prompt students to engage with fundamental questions of existence in a cross-disciplinary way, rather than holding that one particular discipline has all the answers, the unitary way to the Truth. At University of Portland we want to cultivate the Socratic virtue of being aware of our own ignorance while provoking students to engage in the search for truth.

Our Core Curriculum encourages students to use multiple lenses in investigating the pressing questions of existence, and to see that each of these lenses gives a true, yet partial understanding of the universe and all its experience. The Core is grounded in fundamental questions. Each course in the Core Curriculum offers a perspective on answering these questions and prompts the student to engage more deeply with them. In the diverse study that comprises the Core Curriculum, students learn the necessity of integrating fields of study as they grapple with these fundamental questions. In doing this, students also learn to solve complex problems, make effective decisions, and serve the common good.

In 2019 the Academic Senate at the University of Portland approved a revitalized University Core Curriculum that will begin a phased implementation with new entering students in the Fall of 2021.

Information about the Core Curriculum applicable to students admitted through the 2020-2021 academic year is available in the University Bulletin.

Information about the revitalized Core Curriculum to begin implementation in the Fall of 2021 is available to UP community members on the Core Curriculum page of PilotsUP. There are also periodic updates on the Core Curriculum and its phased implementation on the Teaching and Learning Collaborative blog in the section on Core Matters.