image of clocktower on Saint Leo University's campus

Core Curriculum

Welcome to University Explorations

University Explorations (UE) "Because You're More Than Your Major."

University Explorations (UE) is Saint Leo University’s general education program. We say that the UE experience is important “Because You’re More than Your Major.” Although we offer a variety of excellent academic programs at Saint Leo, a university education is broadened by the experience of an effective and rich general education program.

While some general education programs offer a cafeteria menu of courses from which to choose, we took UE in a different direction. Our students will not find a large list of courses that have no connection to each other. They also will not find sweeping survey courses or introductory courses. Instead, our UE Advisory Council and our faculty course developers created a program that demonstrates the relevance of the liberal arts to our students’ lives based on a topical model, and with that, cultivating in students essential skills in critical thinking and decision making, effective communication, problem solving, analysis, and creativity.

In the UE program, students will find Foundational Courses in mathematics, English, and computer skills and five clusters of courses from which to choose that represent the liberal arts and sciences: The Human Adventure (Social sciences), Science in a Changing World (physical and life sciences), The Creative Life (the humanities and fine arts), The Human Mosaic (diversity), and The Reflective and Spiritual Life (religion and philosophy).

We believe this vital learning experience will deepen every student’s education and will prepare them to be culturally competent members of the global workplace.

Dr. Mary Spoto, Vice President of Academic Affairs

What is University Explorations?

University Explorations is the university’s general education program. General education is a vital part of a student’s course of study at Saint Leo University, as it informs, deepens, and extends learning beyond the major.

Through a topical focus, University Explorations courses demonstrate the relevance of the liberal arts and sciences to today’s world, cultivating in students essential skills in critical thinking and decision making, effective communication, problem solving, analysis, and creativity.

The curriculum consists of 42 credit hours comprised of the following:

  • 12 credits from Foundation Courses
  • 30 credits hours spread over five learning clusters representing the liberal arts and sciences

Foundation Courses

Foundation Courses in writing, mathematics and computer science prepare students to deal effectively with the rest of their coursework at Saint Leo University. These essential courses lay the groundwork for undergraduate students to succeed by providing them with the basic skills and tools that are required in upper-level courses. They consist of:

  • ENG 121 - Academic Writing I (3 credits)
  • ENG 122 - Academic Writing II (3 credits)
  • MAT 131 - College Mathematics (3 credits) or MAT 141 – Finite Mathematics
  • Note the prerequisite for MAT 141: Complete MAT 131 or higher. Business majors must complete MAT 141.
  • COM 140 - Basic Computer Skills (3 credits)

Campus students only, also complete:

  • SLU 101- Introduction to the University Experience (1 credit)
  • SLU 125- Choosing Wellness (3 credits)

Learning Clusters

Exploring the past, living in the present, and shaping the future

The Human Adventure captures the nature of the human experience from social, political, psychological, economic, and historical perspectives. These courses require students to examine their lives within the context of a broader society and explore the ways in which humans understand themselves and interact with one another across space and time. Integrating the Core Values of Respect, Community, and Responsible Stewardship, these courses will provide students with the tools necessary to understand the past, live in the present and affect the future.

  • ECO 110HA - Economics for Life (3 credits) (Note prerequisite.)
  • HTY 110HA - Immigration: The Changing Face of America (3 credits)
  • POL 110HA - Revolution Now! Democracy in Troubled Times (3 credits)
  • PSY 110HA - Psychological Well Being: How to be Sane in an Insane World (3 credits)
  • SOC 110HA - The McDonaldization of Society (3 credits)

Learning to live in a global society

Focusing on the Core Values of Respect and Community, the courses within the Human Mosaic are designed to prepare students to live and work in our diverse and global society. While exploring issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, and gender, students will come to understand that they cannot understand the totality of the human experience without taking into account its diversity. These courses will provide students with the tools of tolerance, respect, and cultural awareness that will be essential to their success as they encounter new ideas and interact with a wide array of people in their daily lives and in their careers.

  • ART 110HM - Curves Ahead: Women Artists and the Female Form (3 credits)
  • HTY 110HM - Native American History & Life: More Than Tipis & Tomahawks (3 credits)
  • SOC 110HM - Building a Multiracial Society (3 credits)
  • IDS 210HM - Once Upon a Time: Readings in Folklore and Culture (3 credits)
  • IDS 115HM - The Imagined West: The Western Myth in Literature, Art & Philosophy (3 credits)
  • LBS 120HM - Stories of Resistance: Power & Identity in the U.S. (3 credits)
  • GLO 210HM - Feeding the Planet: Challenges and Opportunities for the 21st Century (3 credits) (Note prerequisite.)
  • HUM 215HM - Breaking the Code: Language & Culture (3 credits) (Note prerequisite.)

Expanding the possible

Progress in contemporary sciences continues to have a significant, ongoing impact on human life. Science in a Changing World examines the contemporary topics that impact the way humans live. Students will apply the fundamental principles of the natural world to provide possible solutions of today’s real-world problems. As a result, Saint Leo students will be better prepared to be informed members of the 21st century global community.

  • SCI 110SC - Evaluating the Predictions of Global Warming (3 credits) (Note prerequisite.)
  • SCI 115SC - Is Evolution True? Your Inner Fish (3 credits)
  • SCI 120SC - Human Ecology (3 credits)
  • SCI 125SC - The Science of Cooking (3 credits)
  • SCI 215SC - Science in Science Fiction (3 credits) (Note prerequisite.)

Expressing the human experience through the arts

The Creative Life not only introduces students to the producers, products and processes of imagination; it activates their own imaginations. Through these courses, students will investigate the spectrum of human creativity and artistic endeavor, as well as the world’s outstanding artists, gaining an understanding of the contributions of the arts to the world. Just as important, they will be given the aesthetic tools to both appreciate the artists’ work and art in general, and to live a creative life.

  • FAS 110CL - Living the Theatre: Dramatic Skills for all Disciplines (3 credits)
  • HUM 110CL - Giants of the Arts (3 credits)
  • HUM 115CL - Film: Art of Choice (3 credits)
  • MUS 110CL - Spirituals to Rock and Roll: The Story of How American Popular Music Conquered the World (3 credits)
  • ENG 210CL - Love and Desire in Literature (3 credits) (Note prerequisite.)
  • ENG 215CL - Monsters and the Monstrous in Literature (3 credits) (Note prerequisite.)
  • ENG 225CL - Writing Wild: Exploring the Four Genres (3 credits) (Note prerequisite.)
  • MUS 210CL - Making Sense of the Sound: The Art of Listening Well to Great Music (3 credits)

Examining human and divine life

Reflection and spirituality lie at the center of what it means to be human. The study of philosophy, theology, and religion at Saint Leo University is an integral part of who we are as a Catholic university. The exploration courses in the reflective and spiritual life invite students to critically examine beliefs, understand a diversity of worldviews, and responsibly challenge the ideas and values that instruct our lives.


Complete one course from the following choices:

  • PHI 110RS - Encountering the Real: Faith and Philosophical Enquiry (3 credits)
  • PHI 210RS - Thinking and Doing Ethics (3 credits)


Complete two courses from the following choices:

  • REL 110RS - The Emergence of Christianity: Examination of Foundational Christian Texts (3 credits)
  • REL 123 - Christian Spiritual Vision (3 credits)
  • REL 210RS - Many are Called, but Who is Chosen? Christian Understandings of Salvation (3 credits)
  • REL 223 - World Religions: East and West (3 credits)
  • ST: HUM 100 - Popular Culture: The Bible in Everyday Life (3 credits)
  • ST: REL 200 - Who Would Jesus Kill? Religious Ethics of War and Peace (3 credits)

Program Goals and Objectives

Here are the types of skills and knowledge that University Explorations seeks to develop in our students and that they should be able to understand and demonstrate upon their completion of the program:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking skills
  2. Demonstrate quantitative skills
  3. Understand how living things and physical systems operate and the relationships among them
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of diverse populations and differing belief systems, values, and norms
  5. Understand issues and events in terms of historical, political, and economic context
  6. Demonstrate appreciation for various forms of creative human expression
  7. Communicate clearly and effectively using multiple types of media: listen attentively/ speak articulately, read critically/write clearly
  8. Understand Catholic and Benedictine-inspired values and traditions

The University Explorations curriculum provides undergraduate students with an understanding of Saint Leo University’s Benedictine-inspired values and Catholic traditions while focusing on the liberal arts and sciences and introducing undergraduate students to an understanding of the knowledge needed to succeed in college and in lifelong learning. Based on the educational experiences that students have while in the Program, Saint Leo University seeks to graduate students:

  • Who exhibit skills in learning, writing, reading, critical thinking, information and technology literacy, and numerical applications
  • Who exhibit skills in dealing with fundamental human questions regarding the nature of human reality and the ways in which human beings come to know the world and issues of human morality
  • Who have learned to love learning, who understand the importance of the liberal arts as a basis for all learning, who find the curriculum relevant, and who are prepared to become lifelong learners

UE objectives by course

Students are expected to gain a set of skills and knowledge from the UE courses they select. Critical thinking, communication, and quantitative skills are acquired across the program, while knowledge is specific to each learning cluster.

Each course developer selected a set of course objectives that combine skills and knowledge the students are expected to master in the course. Click on the buttons below to access the list of course objectives by skill category and knowledge cluster.

UE Advisory Council

The UE Council is the primary advisory body of the Saint Leo University General Education curriculum. The UE Council was charged by the Saint Leo University Administration and advises the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. The UE Council works in consultation with the Faculty as well as the Saint Leo University Senate’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.


The mission of the UE Council is to improve the Saint Leo University General Education program. In order to do so, the Board of Directors will:

  1. Communicate with the entire Saint Leo University community, including prospective students and parents about the mission, goals and objectives and the value of the UE curriculum,
  2. Assist in improving and maintaining the quality of the UE curriculum and the quality of the teaching and learning experience in all locations and delivery methods,
  3. Review the Saint Leo University Undergraduate Catalog to ensure accurate description of the UE requirements,
  4. Evaluate the extent to which UE courses are helping students meet the UE goals and objectives
  5. Collaborate with Assessment & Institutional Research, Assessment, Research, and Planning Committee and the appropriate academic departments in the ongoing assessment of UE courses, and
  6. Develop and maintain student advising guidelines based on the UE curriculum.


Voting Members (end of service term)
Dr. Chris Wolfe (2021; Chair)
Dr. Timothy Jussaume (2021)
Renee Gould (2021, secretary 2018-2021)
Dr. Matthew Tapie (2022)
Dr. Brian Camp (2022)
Charlotte Braziel (2023)
Dr. Nataliya Glover (2023)
Dr. Tasia Hilton-Betton (2023)

Non-Voting Members
Dr. Heather Parker (Dean of College of Arts and Sciences)
Karen Hatfield (Registrar)
Liz Vestal (Registrar)
Dr. Ellen Boylan (Assessment and Institutional Research)

Jump to