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The Loyola Core

Loyola University New Orleans equips undergraduate students to understand the world as it is and how we can work to make it better, to focus on the values that shape our lives, to free ourselves from prejudice and unexamined views, and to acquire knowledge and skills that inspire us to act and reflect critically on our actions as we seek the creation of a more just world.

The cornerstone of the nearly 500-year-old distinctive Jesuit tradition is connecting educational excellence with social justice. The mission of both the Common Curriculum and the Loyola Core is to educate the whole person, a central tenet of the Ignatian vision of education. The main difference between the two is when a student began their undergraduate program. 

The Loyola Core

The Loyola Core serves as the foundation of Loyola’s holistic curriculum, which is deeply grounded in Jesuit values and the liberal arts and sciences, is designed to form “students as scholars” who upon graduation have understanding of epistemological theories as well as disciplinary content knowledge, critical thinking, self awareness, and a commitment to lifelong learning and lifelong service. The curricular emphasis on ethics, interdisciplinary connections, inclusive excellence, international education and global preparedness, and commitment to faculty/student collaborative scholarship and community engaged learning and service are clear hallmarks of Loyola’s distinctive, transformational educational experience.

In the tradition of Jesuit education, Loyola encourages students to be “contemplatives in action” who reflect on their knowledge and experience to become selfless in the service of others. This includes more than simply a collection of courses. It is an integration of critical components which, taken together, empower students to think critically, creatively, and reflectively in order to act justly.

Loyola’s holistic curriculum, which is deeply grounded in Jesuit values and the liberal arts and sciences, is designed to form students of competence, conscience, and compassion who will graduate with a full understanding of disciplinary knowledge, the ability to think critically, a sense of self- awareness, and a commitment to a life of learning and service.

Loyola Core Competencies

The goal of the Loyola Core is to foster students’ competency in five key areas:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Effective Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Information Literacy
  • Ethical Reasoning

To help students develop these competencies, the Loyola Core embraces an interdisciplinary approach to learning with an emphasis on the spiritual and intellectual, the moral and ethical, the natural and social scientific, the humanistic, and the artistic. These elements are central to the education of the whole person and integral to sustaining a learning community whose goal is understanding and serving the greater New Orleans community and the world. These core competencies will be familiar to existing students, as they are the same for the Common Curriculum program. 

The Common Curriculum 

For students who began their undergraduate academic program at Loyola between Fall 2013 and Spring 2016, the Common Curriculum serves as the foundation of a Loyola education. While the mission and purpose remain, the structure of the Common Curriculum is more dependent on each student's major program. Students who are still taking Common Curriculum requirements should consult their advisors if they have any questions about the different requirements between the Loyola Core and the Common curriculum.