Loyola University Chicago

College of Arts & Sciences

Degree Requirements

Students must fulfill the following requirements in order to graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences with a bachelor's degree:

Please note: Per regulations in the Undergraduate Studies Catalog, all students are held to the degree and curriculum requirements in force at the time of admission/re-admission to the College of Arts and Sciences or, for major- or minor-specific requirements, at the time of declaring the major or minor field of study.

Core Requirements

The university Core Curriculum seeks to play a key educational role in every Loyola student's undergraduate experience. Designed to provide both breadth and depth to a student’s program of study, the Core Curriculum introduces students to key concepts and modes of thought in a variety of areas of human intellectual endeavors. In particular, the Core introduces students to ten central Knowledge Areas of university learning, with a consistent focus on learning outcomes for those Areas. Core coursework develops students' understanding through knowledge and experience in the Knowledge Areas of artistic, historical, literary, quantitative, scientific, societal and cultural, philosophical, theological and religious studies, and ethical learning, plus written communication. In addition, the Core reinforces the development of six Skills crucial to facing the challenges of contemporary society. Each core course promotes at least one of the following skills: communication, critical thinking, ethical awareness and decision-making, information literacy, quantitative and qualitative analysis and research methods, and technological literacy. Finally, the Core integrates the understanding and promoting of four Values essential to a Loyola education: understanding diversity in the US or the world; understanding and promoting justice; understanding spirituality or faith in action in the world; and promoting engaged learning.

To complete the Core Curriculum, students will take 16 courses across ten Knowledge Areas. Two courses are required in six of these areas (Historical Knowledge, Literary Knowledge and Experience, Scientific Literacy, Societal and Cultural Knowledge, Philosophical Knowledge, and Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge). Students will begin their studies in these six areas with a Foundational (or Tier I) course that will introduce them to critical ideas and methods of analyses in that area. After completing the Foundational course, students will have an array of options to further their studies by taking one of a variety of Tier II classes to pursue their particular interests in more depth. The other four Knowledge Areas (College Writing, Artistic Knowledge and Experience, Quantitative Analysis, and Ethics) require one course each.

Additionally, students will have the opportunity to apply their Loyola education to real world experiences through the Engaged Learning requirement. This requirement may be satisfied by a course within the Core Curriculum, or in a student’s major or minor, or through an elective course.

Note: As of Fall 2005, students must earn a 2.00 overall cumulative GPA in Core Knowledge Areas and Engaged Learning courses. To calculate your cumulative Core GPA, use the GPA calculator available at http://www.luc.edu/advising/gpa_calculator.html.

Click on the links below to view the guides and worksheets about Loyola's Core Curriculum and Values Across the Curriculum requirements.


Major and Minor Requirements

Major Field of Study

Each student must select a department of instruction in which he/she will take extensive and specialized study. The student should make this selection no later than the fourth semester of attendance or at the end of the sophomore year. In selecting a major, the student is encouraged to consult the appropriate chairperson or departmental advisor. The dean, in consultation with the chairperson of a department, may refuse the application of a student for or the continuation of a student in a given major if the student has not shown sufficient progress in that particular subject.

The major field of study is ordinarily a group of 10 or more courses in a single department of instruction. The total number of courses and credit hours required for the major, the specifically prescribed courses, and the order in which they are to be taken may vary among departments. The specific information and requirements for the major are provided separately by each department.

A student who receives a "D+" or lower grade in a course in his/her major must seek the advice of the department and/or academic dean, regarding a decision either to repeat the course or replace it with another course. In either event, the original grade remains on the record. Earned hours for a repeated course will not count toward the graduation requirements. In some departments, students may be dropped from the major if they receive more than one grade below a "C."

A student in CAS must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 in his/her major or minor in order to be certified at graduation. No course in which a student earned credit points of 1.33 or below may count toward fulfillment of the major or minor. A course in which a student earned 1.33, 1.00, or 0.00 credit points does not count toward the major or minor, and therefore may be retaken to count toward the major/minor.

All students are assigned a faculty advisor to guide them through the major. Declared students are encouraged to consult their faculty advisor for major-specific course selection and schedule planning. Generally, all students should pace their major and plan to enroll in some major electives during senior year. This strategy allows greater flexibility in scheduling required major and minor classes and avoids conflict with the pursuit of other courses. Undeclared students should research majors and minors they are interested in prior to visiting a department faculty advisor for advice. Academic advisors can assist in this process.

If you have already declared your major(s) and/or minor(s), or are simply exploring a possible course of study, you may view each department's academic program brochure for additional information about the majors/minors in CAS.

Transfer Credit in the Major

At the discretion of the department chairperson, courses in the student's major field that are transferred into Loyola may or may not fulfill the major requirements. Departments limit the transfer credit given for the major and/or have specified a minimum number of Loyola hours required in the major. At minimum, students must complete at least half of the credit hours required for a department's major (excluding ancillary requirements) with Loyola course work. For interdisciplinary majors, students must complete at least half of the credit hours required for the major, inclusive of all requirements. Students should consult the department chairperson or program director or seek guidance from their academic advisor. [11/14/2016]

Minor Field of Study

A minor field of study option ordinarily consists of six courses selected from a department or interdisciplinary program. Consult individual departments for specific information and requirements. Grades of "D+" or lower are not counted toward fulfillment of minor requirements. Most departments and programs limit the number of hours allowed in transfer. Students should consult with the department chairperson or program director, or seek guidance from their academic advisor. In those departments within the College of Arts and Sciences that offer more than one major field of study (i.e., classical studies, mathematics, computer science, modern languages and literatures), students may choose to major and minor within the same department with approval of the department chairperson. Note: With the exception of journalism majors, students do not need to complete a minor in order to graduate.

Transfer Credit in the Minor

At the discretion of the department chairperson, courses in a minor field that are transferred into Loyola may or may not fulfill the minor requirements. Departments limit the transfer credit given for a minor and/or have specified a minimum number of Loyola hours required in a minor. At minimum, students must complete at least half of the credit hours required for a department's minor (excluding ancillary requirements) with Loyola course work. For interdisciplinary minors, students must complete at least half of the credit hours required for the minor, inclusive of all requirements. Students should consult the department chairperson or program director or seek guidance from their academic advisor. [11/14/2016]

For a complete list of available majors and minors in CAS, see degree programs.

College Requirements

All CAS students are required to complete a language competency requirement and two writing-intensive sections of courses. These courses must be completed with a C- or better.

Writing Intensive Sections

Students should expect that virtually all of their courses will include a writing component. In addition, the college requirement for writing intensive sections is a means of strengthening the writing of all students throughout their years at Loyola.

In order to graduate with a degree from the College of Arts and Sciences, students ordinarily must complete three writing-related requirements. These include:

  • UCWR 110 (3 credit hours) (Core Curriculum requirement)
  • Two writing-intensive sections (in different academic terms)

Writing-intensive sections are designated sections of courses that are taught with a special emphasis on writing. They are identified by a "W" in the section number. Students in these course sections will have a variety of writing assignments that will be integrated closely with the learning objectives of the course. Often, students will be able to complete a writing-intensive course within their chosen major(s) and minor(s). The purpose of the program is to assure that students continue to give attention to writing as an essential component of education throughout their years at Loyola. Note: UCWR 110 must be taken in the freshman year and must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better before any writing-intensive section may be taken.

In order to ensure that training in writing is spread throughout the undergraduate years, the program specifies that no more than one writing-intensive course per semester may be applied to this requirement. Students must earn a C- or better in each writing intensive course in order for the requirement to be satisfied.

Transfer students who have taken and passed (with a C- or higher) both semesters of a two-semester requirement in college composition at their previous institutions or who have taken a composition course that is equivalent to UCWR 110 are not required to take UCWR 110 at Loyola. Transfer students with 59 or fewer transfer credit hours (completed prior to matriculation) must take two writing-intensive sections during their undergraduate career at Loyola; transfer students with 60-89 transfer credit hours must take one writing-intensive section during their undergraduate career at Loyola; transfer students with 90 or more transfer credit hours are exempt from taking writing-intensive courses, although some required courses in some majors and minors may have a writing-intensive requirement built into the courses. For further information, transfer students should consult their primary academic advisor.


Competency in reading, writing, and speaking at the 102-level or higher in a language other than English is required for all CAS students. Students may complete this requirement in one of two ways:

  • Earn college credit with a C- or better at the 102-level or above in a language (other than English) at Loyola (or the equivalent in transfer credit from another college, or by an appropriate score on an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate examination) (At Loyola, students may study any language offered through the Modern Languages department or study Latin (LATN) or Ancient Greek (GREK) offered through the Classical Studies department.); or
  • Demonstrate competency by passing a CAS 102-level language competency examination.

Note: Students are permitted to take only one language competency exam, and the exam may only be taken once. Multi-lingual students who wish to take a competency exam should request to take a language competency exam in the language they know best in reading, writing, and speaking.

Beginning-Level Language Competency Exams (to satisfy 102-level language requirement)

The College of Arts and Sciences currently offers the following beginning-level language competency exams (please note that this list is subject to changes/availability):

Chinese (Cantonese)
Chinese (Mandarin-Simplified)
Chinese (Mandarin-Traditional)

Greek (Ancient)
Greek (Modern)
Isizulu (Zulu)


Intermediate-Level Language Competency Exams for International Studies Majors/Minors (to satisfy 103- or 104-level language requirement)

Students who major in International Studies are required to complete and pass a 104-level language course or test for proficiency at the 104-level or higher. Students who minor in International Studies are required to complete and pass a 103-level language course or test for proficiency at the 103-level or higher. For International Studies majors/minors, the intermediate-level language competency exams currently available through the CAS Dean's Office are:

Chinese (Mandarin-Simplified)
Chinese (Mandarin-Traditional)

Scheduling a Competency Exam through the CAS Dean's Office

The first step to scheduling a language competency exam is to send an email (from your Loyola account) to CASLanguageTesting@luc.edu. Please include your Name, Student ID number, Current CAS majors/minors, and the language in which you would like to be tested. We will reply with the instructions on how to schedule your exam, depending on the language you choose. Please keep in mind that the computer-based exams and also Latin and Ancient Greek are available to be taken at our WTC location (Lewis Towers 930) or at our LSC location (Sullivan Center 235). Language competency exams are scheduled by appointment based on the availability of the faculty member. Language competency exams that are conducted in the CAS Dean's Office may not be scheduled during the first week of each semester or during registration week in each semester. Please plan in advance if you wish to take a Language Competency Exam as results may take up to six weeks or more to return.

Note: Competency test results may take up to six weeks to return. In order for students to plan their course work accordingly, students who wish to take a language competency exam (that is offered at Loyola) are strongly encouraged to schedule the exam as soon as possible upon entry to the College of Arts and Sciences and no later than the end of their junior year.

Requesting a Competency Exam in a Language Not Offered at Loyola

Students who believe that they are competent in reading, writing, and speaking a language that is not offered at Loyola (and is not listed in the table above) may submit a request to the CAS Dean’s Office for a competency exam in that language. Requests should be filed during a student’s first semester in the College of Arts and Sciences. The student must complete the Request for Competency Exam in a Language Not Offered at Loyola and, if a language competency exam is made available, pass the exam administered in that language in order to meet the 102-level language requirement (or 103- or 104-level requirement for a specific minor/major, e.g., International Studies or Latin American & Latino Studies). For the purpose of competency testing in languages not offered at Loyola, the CAS Dean’s Office will recognize only those languages which can be tested for competency in reading, writing, and speaking.

Students must submit a completed request to the CAS Dean’s Office during their first semester in CAS. Once a request is submitted, the CAS Dean’s Office will make a reasonable effort to locate an academically qualified tester at Loyola or at another college or university.

If a qualified tester is located, the student will be notified and directed to schedule an appointment for the language competency examination which, in most cases, will be conducted in the CAS Dean’s Office and/or the Language Learning Resource Center. After the competency exam has been administered, the exam will be submitted to the language tester for review, and the language tester will submit a report to the CAS Dean’s Office.

If no qualified tester can be found within one academic semester, the student’s request will be denied, and the student will be required to satisfy the CAS language requirement via language course work at the 102-level or higher (or at the 103- or 104-level for a specific minor/major, e.g., International Studies or Latin American & Latino Studies).

Elective Courses

Students must complete at least 120 credit hours (as of Fall 2011) to graduate from Loyola. By definition, electives are courses not used toward completing the major, minor, or Core requirements, and which students take to complete the graduation requirement of 120 credits. We encourage students, when choosing electives, to think of the knowledge, values, and skills you hope to gain in exploring a particular academic interest or in anticipation of a career after graduation. For undeclared students, elective courses present an excellent opportunity to develop academic interests leading toward a major or minor. General electives also present an opportunity to broaden your liberal arts education, add to your skill set, or simply try a new subject for the joy of it.

Residency Requirement (Required Hours in Residence)

In-residence hours refers to the course credit hours taken at Loyola University, the Rome Center, the Beijing Center, the Vietnam Center, or taken from any of the Loyola-sponsored study abroad programs through the Office for International Programs.

Students must take their final, uninterrupted 45 hours of instruction or a minimum of 60 hours in residence at Loyola University Chicago.