As emerging technologies offer untold possibilities for intellectual understanding, and tempt students toward superficial engagement of ideas, Xavier's Core promotes depth of thought through broad exposure to ways of knowing, or Perspectives, of traditional liberal arts disciplines. In the words of Adolfo Nicolás, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, Xavier's undergraduate core curriculum cultivates "a sensitivity to, an openness to, the dimensions of transcendence, of depth, of gratuity, of beauty that underlie our human experience" and that undergirds every academic discipline. Xavier's undergraduate core curriculum engages all areas of the Liberal Arts Catholic Jesuit tradition to encourage Xavier women and men to become people of learning and reflection, integrity and achievement, in solidarity for and with others, an overall perspective that can be summed up with the phrase: "One for All."
Each discipline of the liberal arts uses different methods to understand oneself and the world. In these courses, students will be introduced to each discipline's ways of thinking while studying a particular area of knowledge. Each Perspectives requirement can be satisfied by a variety of electives that each showcase a disciplinary perspective through the careful examination of a topic selected by the instructor.
In Creative Perspectives courses students will come to understand the world in unique and meaningful ways. Historical studies in the arts will include acquisition of critical knowledge about the discipline through observation, appreciation, analysis and related research. Performance-based studies in the arts will include the creation and performance of meaningful art through the acquisition of aesthetic and technical skills. The integration of study and experience in the arts within the constructs of critical analysis will stimulate intellectual and imaginative engagement with society-often resulting in direct communication of students' research and art to an audience. Electives primarily offered in the Art and Music and Theatre Departments; some also in Communication Arts.
History helps us to identify the ways in which societies differ and change, as well as how the past still affects the present. Here, students will develop historical skills through analytical reading and writing, and they will interpret a variety of texts, images, and/or artifacts within their historical context. By analyzing the complicated process of change over time and grappling with historical questions and arguments, they will be better able to navigate the diverse, complex and interdependent modern world. Electives primarily offered in the History Department; some also in Classics.
Mathematics is the study of patterns. It provides a unique way of investigating and understanding the world around us, using as its primary tools exploration, conjecture, and logical argumentation. In this course, by exploring rich mathematical problems, students will further develop their abilities to reason critically; to defend the correctness and validity of your conclusions; to present their results clearly in both written and oral forms; and to experience fresh perspectives on the nature of mathematics. Electives primarily offered in the Mathematics and Computer Sciences Department.
In this course, students will further pursue fundamental human questions about topics such as knowledge, morals, and politics by investigating how great philosophers have addressed these questions. They will have the chance to read, discuss, and critique classic works of philosophy. In this way, they will be invited into a long tradition of reflection on the meaning of our shared humanity, of the world, and of our relation to it. Electives primarily offered in the Philosophy Department.
The scientific method has resulted in historically unprecedented changes in our world. In this course students will learn how science proceeds, and practice the scientific method yourself in a weekly laboratory experience. They will learn the qualities of a good hypothesis or model, how to assess its validity, the significance of a scientific theory, and the elusiveness of "proof." On completing the course, they will be better able to understand and evaluate scientific or pseudoscientific claims that have direct impacts on their personal and professional life. Non-science majors' electives primarily offered in the Biology, Physics, Psychology and Sociology Departments. Natural and social science majors from many more departments will usually satisfy this as part of their major.
Here students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of theological reasoning as applied to a topic they found interesting in THEO 111 or other courses. A wide variety of courses allows them to choose from investigating a focused topic in Bible, Historical Theology, Christian Systematic Theology (which organizes Christian beliefs into systems, examining the nature of God, the basis of the Church, and other topics), Ethics (answering the question of what ought we to do), Environmental Theology, Pastoral Theology, or Religions and Culture (including courses in major world religions). Students will emerge with a heightened ability to engage with theological resources and a deeper understanding of theological reflection. Electives primarily offered in the Theology Department.
 Adolfo Nicolás at Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, March 2014, reported in National Catholic Reporter, March 18, 2014.