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.
All students at the University of Portland, regardless of major take 13 courses in science, social science, the arts, and humanities.
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.
Each of our core courses embeds certain Core Skills, such as writing and analytical and logical reasoning. In developing these skills students acquire the tools they will need to contribute to and flourish in an increasingly complex world.