Thematic Clusters

For students who have entered the University of Dayton prior to Fall 2013, the general education program helps you discover how to connect and integrate all of the courses from your undergraduate career. You will explore cross-discipline connections through thematic clusters, as described below.

Why are thematic clusters required at UD?

To provide the opportunity for students to discover connections across academic disciplines.

  • To enable students to further explore the question of the Humanities Base, "What does it mean to be human?" by focusing on a particular theme.
  • To help students engage in a richer and broader learning experience by exploring this theme in a multidisciplinary way.
What is a thematic cluster?

A cluster is composed of courses that focus on a common theme. Each cluster includes at least three courses from three different domains of knowledge. The six domains of knowledge are:

  • Arts Study
  • Historical Study
  • Philosophy
  • Physical and Life Sciences
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Sciences

Clusters are part of general education. They are not an additional requirement, but a way of organizing some of the general education requirements.

What are important considerations when choosing a cluster?
  1. Interest in the theme
    Individual interest motivates students to raise important questions and helps connect general education requirements to issues raised in major areas of study.
  2. Timing
    Select a cluster after completing the Humanities Base. This should be by the beginning of the sophomore year. Cluster courses should be planned in conjunction with requirements in the major.
  3. Compatibility with a major
    A student may select any cluster.  However, some clusters are more compatible with specific majors.  Consider how a cluster complements a major area of study and how it is compatible with major requirements. Consult with advisors and departmental chairpersons.

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