Saint Xavier University Chicago Campus Residence Halls

University General Education Requirements

The undergraduate curriculum at the University primarily consists of the courses a student takes in an academic major and the general education curriculum required of all students, regardless of major. General education comprises those courses and areas of study that the University believes are important for all undergraduates to study. Such courses help students develop the skills of reading, writing, discussion, quantitative reasoning and inquiry that enable them to do well in all their studies; they provide background information and context for a student's major studies; they address those questions and issues as well as develop those methods and habits of mind, which students will need not only as practitioners in a profession, but as citizens and human beings in today's world.

University General Education Requirements

The general education curriculum is structured in terms of three developmental levels:

  • Level I courses establish the foundations for success at the University and should be completed in the first year.
  • Level II courses introduce the different fields of academic inquiry and knowledge in fine arts, history, religious studies, philosophy and the natural and social sciences.
  • Level III includes course requirements in diversity studies and in global studies.

Total hours in General Education

46 hours



Level I: Introduction to University Learning

16 hours

Transitions (TRANS 100)

1 hour

First-Year Seminar (FYS 175)

3 hours

The Examined Life (PHIL 140) or (PHIL 150) for transfer students

3 hours

Rhetoric and Writing (ENGL 120)

3 hours

Speech Fundamentals (COMM 101)

3 hours

College Level Mathematics (3 hours)

3 hours

Level II: Requirements in Arts and Sciences

Note: First Year Seminar also meets 1 Level II course requirement-subtract 3 hours

30 hours

Natural Science: (2 courses/2 disciplines) (1) Biological and (1) Physical Science 6 hours
Social Sciences: (2 courses/2 disciplines) 6 hours
History: (2 courses) (1) US and (1) Non-US 6 hours
Art, Humanities, Music, Literature: (2 courses/2 disciplines) 6 hours
Philosophy and Religious Studies: (2 courses/2 disciplines at the 200/300 level course) 6 hours


Level III: Diversity and Global Studies(one course each area)

Note: Students complete the requirement in diversity studies and the requirement in global studies while completing either program requirements in their major or general education requirements in Level II.

General Education Transfer Policy

All transfer students must take ACSU 101: Transfer Student Orientation. It meets once, for no cost, and carries zero credit hours. This is a graduation requirement for transfer students.

Transfer students with fewer than 30 hours

All requirements of the general education curriculum.

Transfer students with 30 or more hours

Students who have completed the Illinois Articulation Initiative General Education Core Curriculum (IAI/GECC) requirements (37-41 hours) must take the following additional mission-based courses at SXU in order to fulfill their general education requirements:

  • Philosophy 150: The Examined Life
  • One religious studies course (200/300 level)

Students who have IAI/GECC courses outstanding may petition to complete the general education core curriculum at SXU.

All other students will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Additional Notes on General Education Requirements

  1. All first-year students must complete a placement exam in mathematics and a placement exam in English writing before they can receive their first-semester Fall Schedule and their year-long Academic Plan (distributed at Via). Students are strongly encouraged to complete an online MATH tutorial before taking the math placement exam.
  2. General education courses may also fulfill program requirements in a major or a minor. Students should check with their advisors.

To fulfill B.A. degree requirements:

The B.A. requires six additional credit hours of humanities outside the major area. Courses that meet the General Education requirements in Art and Design, Foreign Languages, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, and Religious Studies will fulfill this requirement.

To fulfill B.S. degree requirements:

The B.S. degree requires six additional credit hours of mathematics-science courses required by the major or professional program.

To fulfill BBA requirements:

The BBA requires six additional credit hours of math/science or six additional credit hours of foreign language/culture or three credit hours of math/science and three credit hours of foreign language/culture.