About the Core

Jesuit Tradition

The Jesuit educational tradition has always emphasized the importance of a broad liberal arts education in a variety of subjects as a foundation upon which a student can develop their intellectual potential before they chose a particular area of inquiry for more advanced study.

At Fairfield, you'll begin with a choice of classes from within a core curriculum of courses in the arts and sciences, religion and philosophy. You'll learn to appreciate the distinctive perspectives of the various disciplines that you study, how they differ and how they interrelate, and how each of them contributes to a rich and nuanced view of human reality. You'll learn the discipline of rational analysis, and the spirit of aesthetic appreciation, how history relates to theology, and where social analysis leaves off and moral reflection begins.

At Fairfield University, our core curriculum is continually being expanded and interconnected to ensure that it remains relevant and engaged with our fast-paced, increasingly complex, and technologically evolving global environment.

Mission Statement

The Core Curriculum of Fairfield University is the foundation upon which rests the education of our undergraduate students. Through the selection of liberal arts courses from across the curriculum that constitute the Core, the student is presented to a body of knowledge, trained in a series of specific skills, and introduced to the values that guide the conduct of the search for wisdom.

The mission of the Core Curriculum is twofold:

  • To nurture the formation of the undergraduate student as a thinking and caring citizen of the world of today
  • To provide the general educational background against which the student can put into relief the more advanced intellectual or technical attainment of a "major" field of study

This twofold Mission dictates the shape of the Core Curriculum. Given the Mission of the Core, the knowledge that it highlights enables students to:

  • Know and assess the world in which they live
  • Appreciate the many forces that have played a part in its shaping
  • Be sensitive to the different critical perspectives that are brought to bear upon it

The skills taught through the Core are those which facilitate the task of living constructively in the world:

  • Objectivity
  • Critical acumen
  • Oral and written communication
  • Dexterity with symbols and symbol-systems
  • Aesthetic appreciation and sensitivity to difference
  • Familiarity with new and developing methodologies and technologies

The values are those which distinguish the life of someone who dwells constructively within the world:

  • Moral and intellectual integrity
  • Compassion
  • Commitment
  • A thirst for justice

While these values are given particular shape and texture in the Christian story that indelibly marks the history and identity of Fairfield University, they are universal ideals which, as the University Mission Statement suggests, are "the obligation of all educated, mature human beings."

History of "The Core" at Fairfield

Check out an at-a-glance history of "The Core" in Jesuit education and at Fairfield.


How does the Core impact the Fairfield experience for our students and alumni?

Related Information

Core Pathways | About the Core | Planning Your Core | Requirements

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