The general education component consists of 57 credit hours, spanning all four years. Courses within this curriculum build on each other, integrating knowledge and skills that students gain as they progress through their college career. Students are introduced to the liberal arts their freshman year through Freshmen Studies. The courses included in their freshman year also include Foundational Skills in Written and Oral Communication, Mathematics, Computational Skills and Modern Languages. These are followed by a series of interdisciplinary courses called Cultural Foundations, where students learn about American and world cultures through literature, the arts, history and other social sciences. Students simultaneously take courses focusing on Foundations for Values and Decisions, including courses in Ethics, religious studies, and science. The general education curriculum culminates in a Capstone course, where students demonstrate and hone the skills that they have learned throughout previous coursework as they research a contemporary social issue.
St. Edward’s emphasizes nine general kinds of learning outcomes in our general education curriculum: Critical Thinking, Global Learning, Moral Reasoning, Information Literacy, Social Justice, Written Communication, Oral Communication, Scientific Literacy and Quantitative Literacy. These learning outcomes are heavily influenced by the university’s mission statement, which stresses the analytical abilities and social responsibilities that will enable students to make long-lasting contributions to a rapidly changing world.