Each of the following GEP variable requirements is explained in more detail below:

  • Art, Music/Theatre/Film, or Literature (one course)
  • Mathematics Beauty (one course)
  • Natural Science (one 4-credit lab course or two 3-credit non-lab courses)
  • Non-Native Language (one to two courses, depending on placement)
  • Social/Behavioral Science (one course)
  • Philosophical Anthropology (one course)
  • Religious Difference (one course)
  • Writing (one course)

For information about AP credit, please refer to the following CAS Advising.

Art, Music/Theatre/Film, or Literature (one course)
GEP Art/Literature courses teach students to appreciate the beauty and artistic or literary expression. The requirement may be satisfied by choosing one course from a designated list of courses offered by the following four departments: Art; English; Music, Theater, and Film; Modern and Classical Languages. Please note that some of these courses may have pre-requisites.

  • In the Art Department, the Art/Literature requirement may be satisfied by any course offering three or more credits.
  • In the Music, Theater and Film Department, the Art/Literature requirement may be satisfied by any course offering three or more credits.
  • In the English Department, the Art/Literature requirement may be satisfied by any English literature course. Theory and writing courses do not fulfill this requirement unless noted.
  • In the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, the Art/Literature requirement may be satisfied by a set of specifically designated literature courses.

Mathematics Beauty (one course)
Mathematics (Beauty) courses provide an in-depth introduction to theoretical mathematics as a branch of pure science. This requirement may be satisfied by a Calculus I or higher level course (i.e., MAT 155 or higher) as well as by any course specified by the Mathematics Department as a Math Beauty course, including (but not limited to):

MAT 130 Whole Truth about Whole Numbers
MAT 131 Linear Methods
MAT 132 Math of Games and Politics
MAT 134 The Mathematics of Uncertainty: Counting Rules and Probability
MAT 135 Sounding Number: Music and Math
MAT 136 Mathematics and the Visual Arts
MAT 137 Ethnomathematics
MAT 138 Symmetry
MAT 139 Math, Culture, and Society

Natural Science (one 4-credit lab course or two 3-credit non-lab courses)
Natural Science courses promote scientific literacy through the study of fundamental scientific principles and concepts, the method of scientific inquiry, and the role/application of science in everyday life. The Natural Science requirement is satisfied by one lab science course designed for science majors. Students also fulfill this requirement by taking a lab course designed for non-science majors, including:

BIO 165/165L Exploring the Living World
CHM 115/115L Chemistry in Daily Life
ENV 106/106L Exploring the Earth
PHY 113/113L Exploring the Physical World
PHY 115/115L Investigations in Astronomy

More information about GEP lab science courses.

Students in the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016 may take two, non-lab (three-credit) courses in order to fulfill the GEP Natural Science requirement for non-science majors.    Examples of non-lab science options for non-science majors include:

BIO 160 Heredity and Evolution
BIO 161 The Human Organism
CHM 100 Chemistry for the Consumer
ENV 103 Intro to Planet Earth
ENV 104 Planet Earth in Depth
ENV 105 The Environment
PHY110 Understanding the Natural World
PHY 111 Astronomical Universe
PHY 112 Energy: Problems and Promises
PHY 114 Technological Breakthroughs of the 20th Century

Non-native Language (one to two courses, depending on placement)
Placements in language courses are based on the student’s high school record and score on the SJU placement test.  A student must take the course(s) in which s/he was placed in order for those courses to satisfy the GEP language requirement.  Level changes for foreign language classes will be considered only in extraordinary situations.  If a student believes that s/he cannot successfully complete the course in which s/he was placed, the student in most instances will not be permitted to change to a lower level.   The only alternative is for the student to begin a new language.  Under the GEP, students may be placed in any of the following course combinations that fulfill the GEP non-native language Requirement:

101 – 102 Beginning I-II
102 Beginning II – 201 Intermediate I
201 – 202 Intermediate I- II
202 Intermediate II – 301 Conversation
301 Conversation (only one course required)
303 Conversation (only one course required – for Heritage Speakers, Spanish only)

Additional information about placement:

  • Students who place in the 301/303 level of language (based on the placement test score) are required to take only one language course to fulfill the non-native language requirement.

Social/Behavioral Science (one course)
Social/Behavioral Science courses allow students to understand and appreciate behavior at the individual, institutional, and/or societal levels. This requirement is satisfied by one GEP approved course from any of the following departments: Economics, Education, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology. Please note that a number of majors require a specific course to fulfill the GEP social/behavioral science requirement. Students are advised to consult with their major department and/or review the SJU Undergraduate Catalog.

In the Fall 2012, beginning with the Class of 2016, the only Psychology courses that will satisfy the GEP Social/Behavioral Science requirement are PSY 100 and PSY 101. For lists of GEP approved courses from other contributing departments, students may search the Class Schedule or consult the Registration Help Related Link on the right.

Philosophical Anthropology (one course)
Philosophical Anthropology courses examine selected issues concerning the nature of personhood and the human condition. Moral Foundations (PHL 154) serves as the prerequisite to all Philosophical Anthropology courses. Examples of Philosophical Anthropology courses include (but are not limited to):

PHL 250 Philosophy of Death
PHL 252  Philosophy of Karl Marx
PHL 253  Hume, Darwin, Marx, and Freud
PHL 254 Philosophy and the Democratic Body
PHL 256 Freedom and Determinism
PHL 257 Philosophy and Liberation
PHL 258 The Authentic Self
PHL 260 Philosophy of Human Nature
PHL 262 Freedom, Citizenship, Culture
PHL 264 Topics in Moral Psychology
PHL 266  Religion and Philosophy In American Identity
PHL 280 Life and Death
PHL 288 Minds & Souls
PHL 302  Philosophy of Race
PHL 308 Asian Philosophies
PHL 310 Philosophy of Art
PHL 311 Philosophy of Law
PHL 328 Philosophy and Evolution
PHL 330 Social and Political Philosophy
PHL 342 Dimensions of Freedom
PHL 404 Love and Friendship in the Ancient World
PHL 408 Augustine, Politics, and the Self
PHL 412 Philosophy of Aquinas
PHL 428 The Enlightenment and its Critics
PHL 434 German Existentialism
PHL 436 French Existentialism
PHL 442 Nietzsche, Wagner, and the Cult of Genius

An updated and complete list of philosophical anthropology courses is available at the Registration Help guide.

For some majors, a specific Philosophical Anthropology course may need to be taken to fulfill this requirement. Students are advised to consult with their major department and/or review the SJU Undergraduate Catalog.

Theology – Religious Difference (one course)
Religious Difference courses require students to gain a critical understanding of one or more religious worldviews that differ from the Roman Catholic perspective studied in their Signature Core theology course. Students will either engage in in-depth study of a non-Christian religious tradition or take a comparative religions course that in some measure addresses the issue of religious diversity. Examples include (but are not limited to):

THE 211/REL 211 Hebrew Bible
THE 380 Interreligious Dialogue
REL 101 Comparative Religion  
REL 212 Israelite Religion
REL 231 Judaism
REL 241 Islam
REL 251 Religions of Ancient India
REL 261 Hinduism
REL 270 Japanese Religions
REL 271 African and Caribbean Religions
REL 311 Comparative Religious Ethics
REL 312 Spiritual Practices in Comparative Perspective
REL 321 Religion and Law in the Ancient World
REL 338 Christian and Jewish Responses to the Holocaust
REL 341 The Qur’an and its Interpreters
REL 342 Women in the Muslim Tradition
REL 351 Indian Buddhism
REL 352 Mahayana Buddhism
REL 354 China and the Creation of East Asian Buddhism
REL 355 Immortals, Ancestors, Ghosts and Gods
REL 356 Death and the Afterlife in Chinese Religions
REL 357 Food Practices and Chinese Religions
REL 382 Women and Religion in the Ancient World
REL 383 Ancient Greek Religions

Please note that a course taken to fulfill the Religious Difference Variable requirement cannot also satisfy Diversity/Globalization/Non-Western Area Studies overlay requirement or Faith and Reason Signature Core requirement. However, a student may take a second Religious Difference course to fulfill the Diversity/Globalization/Non-Western Area Studies overlay or Faith and Reason Signature Core requirement, provided that the course has been certified in one of the relevant overlay areas or has been certified as a Faith and Reason course.

Writing (one course)
ENG 101 The Craft of Language is a study of the power and use of words and of how words are put together in essay writing. This course fulfills the GEP Variable writing requirement. The Craft of Language is also a pre-requisite to the Signature Core course ENG 102 (Texts and Contexts) and to any writing-intensive course taken to satisfy the writing-intensive overlay requirement.