Aerial photograph of the Immaculate Conception Chapel

Guide to General Education

Within the context of the University's Catholic and Marianist educational philosophy, the general education requirements are central to the full intellectual, social, moral, and spiritual development of every student who has entered the University of Dayton prior to Fall 2013.

The purpose of these requirements is to make students aware of the diversity of intellectual thought and theory represented by the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences. The general education component of the undergraduate curriculum offers students an opportunity to connect, integrate, and evaluate information from various disciplines and thus enhance the study of a specific profession, field, or major. These requirements are integral to the University’s goal of preparing students for a life of leadership and service, of helping students to grow not only in knowledge, skills, and professional competence, but also as morally responsible decision makers who are aware of the needs of the global community.

The general education program is composed of eleven courses that introduce students to arts study, historical study, philosophy, religious studies, social science, and physical and life sciences.

Courses from English, history, philosophy, and religious studies connect to form the Humanities Base. These courses challenge students to ask the question: "What does it mean to be human?" The courses use common themes and texts to help students address this question within the context of a community of learners.

Thematic Clusters build on the knowledge and skills developed in the Humanities Base. A Thematic Cluster is a group of courses that focus on a theme central to the human condition. Current thematic clusters include: The Arts and Human Experience, The Business Professional in a Global Society, The Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Cross-Cultural Issues, Perspectives on Global Environmental Issues, Social Justice Issues, Values, Technology, and Society, and Women and Culture.

Having fulfilled the Humanities Base and Thematic Cluster requirements, students can satisfy the remaining general education requirements by selecting additional courses in their chosen thematic cluster, selecting courses in other clusters, and/or selecting other general education courses.