University Core

The Core Curriculum is an essential part of the educational experience at the University of Portland. In the Catholic educational 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. The Core Curriculum encourages students to use multiple lenses in investigating the pressing questions of existence and to acquire the Core Skills, such as writing and analytical and logical reasoning, they will need to contribute to and flourish in an increasingly complex world.

For students seeking to transfer to the University of Portland, consult our transfer equivalencies website, which outline the types of courses that fulfill our requirements. Questions about specific courses taken at a community college or another university should be sent to Linda Cannard, the Admissions Counselor for Transfer Students, at

Current students wishing to take courses off-campus to fulfill core requirements should consult the transfer credit equivalency website. Prior approval of the student's academic dean should be obtained before taking a course elsewhere to satisfy a core requirement.

Below is a summary of the courses that can be used by students to complete the core requirements on campus.

Fine Arts: 3 Hours The University Core fine arts requirement must be fulfilled by FA 207.

History: 3 Hours The University Core history requirement is fulfilled by any 200 or 300-level history course.

Literature: 3 Hours The University Core literature requirement must be fulfilled by ENG 112.

Mathematics: 3 Hours The University Core math requirement may be fulfilled by any mathematics course above MTH 120. Normally students take MTH 161, but MTH 121, 141, and 201 fulfill the requirement. Consult with your major advisor.

Philosophy: 6 Hours The University Core philosophy requirements are fulfilled only by PHL 150 and PHL 220.

Science: 6 Hours The University Core science requirements are fulfilled by taking two courses. The two courses can be any 100 level biology, environmental science, chemistry, and physics offering or courses in a science major. Consult your advisor for options.

Social Science: 6 Hours The University Core social science requirement must be fulfilled by courses in two separate disciplines from SOC 101, PSY 101, CST 225, POL 200, POL 201, POL 202, POL 203, and ECN 120.

Theology: 9 Hours The lower division University Core theology requirements must be fulfilled by THE 105 and THE 205. The upper division requirement may be fulfilled by any 400 level theology course or a Theological Perspectives (THEP) class.
A Theological Perspectives (THEP) course can be used to satisfy the distribution requirements of both theology and a companion subject.