Core Curriculum

Core Curriculum

Core Requirements

The Core Curriculum is a multi-disciplinary program of study required of all students attending Canisius College. The Core goals and requirements express the path by which students will demonstrate their understanding of the knowledge, values, and skills that characterize an Ignatian education.

Four Courses

Foundations: The Core Curriculum provides a foundation of four common courses, generally completed in the first year. These courses include basic instruction in writing (FYS 101, ENG 101), attention to the process of critical thinking through basic development of information literacy (FYS 101, ENG 101, PHI 101, RST 101), and basic understanding of the importance of studying religion and philosophy within the Catholic and Jesuit tradition of education (PHI 101, RST 101). Students are recommended to complete these courses in the first year, as long as the major schedule permits.

Seven Courses

Breadth of Knowledge: Collectively through the Field Courses, students are encouraged to reflect about their inner lives, to consider how attention to the life of the mind bears upon reality, and to discern the human relationship to the natural world and to social institutions. Students are required to take at least seven courses, with at least one from each of the following Fields:

Only those courses designated count as fulfillment of a Field requirement. Courses designated as satisfying Field requirement may also satisfy major requirements. Consult your major course of study.

A full list of courses designated to satisfy the Breadth of Knowledge requirement appears elsewhere on the Core Curriculum website. All Core-designated courses also appear in the Banner registration system and in GriffAudit.

One Course

Core Capstone: Students must take a Core Capstone following completion of all other core requirements that reflect upon the goals of the core curriculum.


Attributes: The Core Curriculum provides six attributes which address matters central to the Catholic, Jesuit tradition of education and necessary for preparing students for the modern world. Students are required fulfill all six attributes. Attributes are divided into two categories: Knowledge (Justice, Ethics, Diversity, Global Awareness) and Skills (Advanced Writing-Intensive, Oral Communication). All of these goals are understood to manifest themselves differently in the many types of intellectual engagement specific to disciplines.

Students are required to take courses designated for the each of following cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills attributes:

Knowledge Attributes

Skills Attributes

Courses designated for Field or courses that satisfy major or elective credit may carry these designations. Some courses may carry more than one designation. Students must take as many courses as necessary to achieve all six requirements.

Information Literacy

Information literacy is embedded in the Core Curriculum in two places: in the first year Foundations courses and in the Capstone. Through the experience of the four Foundations courses (ENG 101, FYS 101, PHI 101, and RST 101), students will develop a basic level of competency in information literacy. In the Capstone, students will demonstrate their development beyond a basic level.


Writing is a hallmark of academic course work, and the faculty of Canisius College expects students to learn to write well. The faculty shares a common assumption that strong writing demonstrates a student’s awareness of and control over the rhetorical situation of assignments. While students should expect to write in all courses, the College ensures as well that all students receive specific instruction for developing strong writing skills. Thus as part of the Core Curriculum, students are required to take writing-intensive courses at both the basic and the advanced level.