Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability


University Core Curriculum

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). 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.

Note: 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.

To view the guides and worksheets about Loyola's Core Curriculum and Values Across the Curriculum requirements, click here: Core Curriculum.

IES Foundation Curriculum

The Institute of Environmental Sustainability offers six undergraduate degree programs, all of which include a broad foundation of 13 courses (32–33 credit hours), with a total of 50–55 credit hours to complete a major. Options for earning a 5-year B.S. or B.A./M.B.A. dual degree are also available. For specific information and requirements for each major follow the links below.

General Electives

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.

Writing Intensive Requirement

Students should expect that virtually all courses within the IES curricula will include some writing component. Beyond this, the University requires students complete sections of two courses specifically designated as ‘Writing Intensive’.  Prior to enrolling in a ‘Writing Intensive’ course section, students must pass (with a grade of C- or higher) UCWR 110 [College Writing Seminar: Writing Responsibly].  UCWR is typically taken in a student’s freshman year.

Sections of courses that are designated ‘Writing Intensive’ are taught with a special emphasis on developing student writing skills.  Writing-Intensive sections are identified with a ‘W’ as the last character in the section number.  Students within Writing-Intensive sections will be given a variety of writing assignments throughout the semester that will be integrated closely with the learning objectives in the course.   Writing Intensive course sections are offered by most academic Departments and Schools… the requirement need not be filled by courses offered within one’s major.

This requirement is intended to ensure that students continue to develop their writing skills throughout their undergraduate years.  As such, the program specified that no more than one writing-intensive course per year can be applied to fulfilling the requirement.  Writing-Intensive courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better to count towards graduation.

Transfer students who have completed a two semesters of college composition with a C- or better at their previous institution, or have taken a composition course deemed equivalent to UCWR 110 are not required to taken UCWR 110 at Loyola.  Students who transfer in with 59 or fewer transfer credits (completed prior to matriculation) must take two writing-intensive course during their undergraduate career at Loyola; students transferring 60 – 89 credit hours must take one writing-intensive course during their undergraduate career at Loyola; students transferring 90 or more credit hours are considered to have fulfilled their writing-intensive requirement.

Language Competency Requirement

Competency at the 102-level or higher in reading, writing and speaking a language other than English is required of all IES students.  This requirement can be met in one of three ways:

  • Earn college credit by passing (≥ C-) a 102-level or higher course in a language other than English at Loyola or transferred another institution.  Students may meet this requirement through coursework in any language offered through the Modern Languages Department, or by studying Latin (LATN) or Ancient Greek (GREK) offered through the Department of Classical Studies.
  • Obtaining a waiver through Advanced Placement examination.
  • Demonstrate the required level of competency by passing a 102-level language competency exam.

Students are permitted to take a competency exam in only one language, and are not permitted to re-take the exam in the event they do not pass the first.  Multi-lingual students who opt to take a competency exam request to take the exam for the language they know best.  Please contact Chris Wolff at cwolff1@luc.edu for help with scheduling an exam.  Information about the competency exams can be found at Beginning-Level Language Competency Exams.

Transferable Credits

Transfer students seeking a degree in IES must complete at least half of the credit hours required for a department's major (excluding ancillary requirements) with Loyola course work.

Academic Probation

As per University policy, a student whose cumulative GPA drops below 2.0 will be placed on academic probation.  If the student raises their GPA back to 2.0 or above after the semester following probation, they will be returned to academic good standing.  If the student earns a GPA in classes taken the semester following probation of at least 2.33, but whose cumulative GPA is still below 2.0, they will be placed on continued probation.  If, during the semester following probation, the student’s cumulative GPA remain below 2.0 and they did not attain a GPA of 2.33 or above in classes taken that semester, they will be dismissed from the University for Poor Academic Performance.

Courses within the curriculum for an IES major for which a student earn a grade of “D+” or lower will not count toward completion of the degree, but will contribute to a student’s GPA.  Students who receive a “D+” or lower grade must consult with the IES Academic Program Director to decide whether to repeat the course or replace it with another. Earned hours for a repeated course will not count toward graduation requirements, but will be used in calculation of GPA.  A student receiving a grade of D+ or lower in two courses within their major may be dropped from the program, if deemed appropriate by the IES Director.

Residency Requirement

In-residence hours refers to the course credit hours taken at Loyola University, the Rome 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 64 hours in residence at Loyola University Chicago.