Requirements for the Genreal Education curriculum previous to Fall 2018.

Students beginning their undergraduate degree in Fall 2018, or those students who have officially changed their General Education curriculum plan with their advisor should consult the renewed General Education curriculum.

Cultural Foundations Courses (CULF)

As a Catholic liberal arts institution founded by Father Edward Sorin of the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1885, St Edward’s University has a long history of commitment to diversity and social justice, in accord with Catholic social teachings emphasizing respect for human dignity, social equality, protection for the vulnerable, stewardship, and the search for truth, wherever that search might lead. These commitments, articulated in the St. Edward’s Mission Statement, are most directly addressed in the Cultural Foundations sequence of classes, dedicated to helping students develop a balanced understanding of and appreciation for their own and other cultures.

The 18-hour requirement in Cultural Foundations includes classes drawing on multiple disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, such as sociology and social work, history, economics, political science, and cultural studies. CULF 1320, The American Experience, begins the sequence by introducing students to the experiences of marginalized groups in US history, and their struggles for full inclusion in US society from before the American Revolution to the present day. This history provides context for the next class in the sequence, CULF 2321, American Dilemmas, in which students investigate social problems and inequalities involving these same groups in US society today. This class also prepares students for The Capstone Course by having students perform independent research on a contemporary social problem, and consider controversial policy approaches to solving it from the standpoint of both arguments and values.


CULF 1318 - Literature and the Human Experience
Students read, discuss, and write about an ethnically and/or culturally diverse selection of fiction, poetry, drama, and belles letters. They learn the characteristics of these major literary genres and become familiar with some of the cultural conventions that both shape and are shaped by works of literature. Students are expected to participate in class discussions, as well as write several short papers.
Course Coordinator: Dr. Barbara Filippidis -- barbaraf [at]

CULF 1319 – Understanding and Appreciating the Arts
This course introduces students to a wide range of artistic expression, including the visual, performing, and cinematic arts. Through experiencing a variety of readings, lectures, and discussions, and by attending plays, exhibits, and films, students are exposed to the breadth and depth of the arts, from aesthetic principles and arts vocabulary to the role of criticism. This course explores the relationship of various art forms to each other, placing them in an historical and cultural context. Students also study one art form in depth, focusing on the immediate creative experience, while developing critical criteria for viewing and appreciating all art.
Course Coordinator: Jimmy Van Luu – jimmyl [at]

CULF 1320 – The American Experience
The American Experience has varied with the gender, race, ethnicity and social class of the person. The purpose of this course is to examine this diversity in experience throughout the country's history, examining the struggles, achievements, and perspectives of marginalized groups in US history. Individual and group experiences will be placed within the social, economic, and political context of various eras. The course will also examine the role in these histories of the ideals and values of traditional US civic culture, such as liberty, equality, and human rights. The overall goal of this course is to develop historical understanding of the problems and strengths inherent in our pluralistic society.
Course Coordinator: Dr. Laura Hernandez-Ehrisman laurae [at] 

CULF 2321 – American Dilemmas
This course presents the principles and methods of economics, sociology, and political science to analyze current social problems. It is complementary to “The American Experience” in that it continues the theme of social pluralism and consideration of social and political ideals as it explores the problems and issues our society faces in the present. Class discussions and assignments are structured to encourage students to address the meaning of individual and public responsibility as well as to define the common good. The importance of conflicting values in defining social problems and their solutions is included.
Course Coordinator: Dr. Laura Hernandez-Ehrisman laurae [at] 

CULF 3330 – History and Evolution of Global Processes
This course focuses on the history of global economics, global politics and cultural processes from the 16th to the 21st centuries. It explores the evolution of their interrelationships in an increasingly interdependent world. Students must demonstrate an understanding of these issues in order to successfully complete the course. Students will have on- and/or off-campus curricular and co-curricular experiences that contribute to global understanding. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
Course Coordinator: Dr. Christie Wilson -- christiw [at]

CULF 3331 – Contemporary World Issues
The course includes an overview of crucial global issues. Each section will focus on critical issues affecting at least one non-western region (the Near East, the Far East, Africa or Latin America). Students analyze issues in cultural context and use the disciplines of history, political science, sociology and economics for an in-depth analysis.
Course Coordinator: Dr. Mity Myhr -- mitylenm [at]

Capstone Course

Capstone is an upper-division course in which students demonstrate and hone all the skills that they have learned throughout their St. Edward's University careers, including library and field research, writing, oral presentation, critical thinking, and moral reasoning. The Capstone Course is grounded in the university's mission statement and seeks to prepare students to handle the challenges that they will face in the complex world of the 21st century.  The Capstone project requires students to choose a current social controversy; thoroughly research all aspects of it; analyze their research and propose a solution; communicate that solution both orally and in writing; and finally perform a civic engagement activity that supports their position.  Faculty give students instruction in how to complete the semester-long Capstone project, as well as giving each student individual guidance throughout the semester.

Prerequisites: Completion of the ethics requirement; completion of WRIT 2302 or equivalent; and at least 75 hours. Fall, Spring and Summer (12-Week session only).

Director: Dr. Laura Hernandez-Ehrisman laurae [at] 


Outstanding Capstone Instructors 

Starting in 2003, one Capstone instructor has been honored every year for his or her outstanding teaching in this challenging course. Recent Capstone Instructor of the Year honorees include:
2016--Professor Brittney Johnson
2015--Professor Charles Porter
2014--Professor Peter Austin
2013--Professor Susan Loughran

Global Understanding Workshops

Fall 2018: Unraveling Global Terrorism

Every semester General Educaion coordinates a three-hour experiential workshop for the students in the CULF 3330 and CULF 3331 courses.

Global Understanding workshops have become a centerpiece of the experience of students enrolled in both CULF 3330:  History and Evolution of Global Processes and CULF 3331:  Contemporary World Issues. The workshops explore significant global issues with a direct focus on the social justice and local implications of the issue considered, including ways in which students can respond with meaningful, concrete actions.  The workshops attempt to organize a high impact activity (small group discussion, activities, and reflective writing) that integrates smoothly into the curricular goals as we seek to help students understand the complexities of global issues and how course materials will give them knowledge and skills to understand and better respond to the challenges of our increasingly interconnected world.  The experience of the workshop and solutions considered at each table serve as the basis for a class assignment on the Social Justice implications of the problem and proposed solution/s, which is a learning outcome for each of the courses.

We were fortunate to be able to work closely with the Kozmetsky Center to align some programming that complemented the workshops.  These opportunities have been beneficial for our students and have allowed them to engage intellectually with a broader variety of issues that could be covered in the workshops themselves, and to hear a broader variety of perspectives.  Additionally, we identified films to show that served the same purpose, and had appropriate faculty moderate discussions afterward.  We invite experts from off campus, either to work with the workshops themselves as speakers or in the development, or to give public presentations or offer opportunities for faculty development related to their area of expertise. 

The workshops have also provided meaningful internship opportunities for students who are interested in global issues and social justice.  In the preparation and delivery of the workshops, we have been very fortunate to have the expertise of faculty from across the campus to work with student interns as we work to master complex materials and to ensure meaningful workshop experiences. 

Workshop for Fall 2018: Unraveling Global Terrorism

Student Learning Outcomes for Workshop:

Students will learn about specific examples of violent contemporary civil conflicts and the theory and tools of peace-building in the wake of these conflicts.  Students should be able to identify the groups that are party to the conflict and their goals, as well as identify the tools used to resolve civil conflicts.
Students will demonstrate the ability analyze the effectiveness of efforts to resolve civil conflict and identify the strengths and weaknesses of those efforts in the specific examples examined.
Students will analyze the ethical implications and complications of peace-building efforts.  Are justice and reconciliation always compatible goals?  Students will be able to identify the compromises made by each group involved as part of the conflicts studied and articulate the social justice issues resolved or left unresolved as part of those conflicts.
Students will be able analyze the long-term issues that surround the resolutions to the conflicts examined and make an informed prediction about the stability of peace-building efforts and the challenges that face those efforts in the future.

Fall 2018 Global Understanding Workshop Dates:

Mon, October 1    5-8pm

Tues, October 9     5-8pm

Sat, October 20    10-1pm

Fri, October 26   2-5pm

Mon, November 5   5-8pm

Tues, November 13  5-8pm

To reschedule your workshop, please email Jennifer Ansier: jennj [at] stedwards.ed

Common Threads

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. 

Learning Outcomes

Choose a Learning Outcome

Learning outcomes are statements focusing on what students will know and be able to do in their college education. They can address specific kinds of knowledge, skills and long-term attitudes and values.

 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.