A Flexible
Liberal Arts Curriculum

General Education is that portion of the Catholic, liberal arts curriculum at Loras College that addresses the dispositions, skills, and knowledge possessed by educated persons. Aligned with our Mission and Institutional Learning Outcomes the Foundations, Explorations, & Vocations General Education Curriculum provides students with the foundation necessary to make thoughtful choices to learn, to act, and to contribute to society throughout their lives.


Students will take general education courses throughout their four years, allowing students to develop interdisciplinary problem-solving skills as they continue to deepen their knowledge in their major field of study. This curricular approach strengthens students’ critical thinking skills.



The General Education Program at Loras College
General Education is that portion of the Catholic, liberal arts curriculum at Loras College that addresses the dispositions, skills, and knowledge possessed by educated persons. The goal of general education is to provide students with the ability to make thoughtful choices to learn, to act, and to contribute to society throughout their lives. To succeed in achieving these goals students must responsibly contribute their own intelligence and best efforts.

Dispositions of a Loras-Education Student

The Loras experience, including the Foundations, Explorations, & Vocations General Education Curriculum fosters the development of

  1. Active Learners
  2. Reflective Thinkers
  3. Ethical Decision-Makers
  4. Responsible Contributors

Skills for Life-Long Learning

In conjunction with a student’s major, the Foundations, Explorations, & Vocations General Education Curriculum will develop intellectual skills in these areas:

  1. Written and Oral Communication
    Students will learn to use informal writing and oral communication as a tool to develop knowledge and to
    1. Express creative or inventive thinking
    2. Learn course content
    3. Encourage self-reflection
    4. Express a first understanding of research topics
    5. Integrate knowledge

Students will learn to use formal written and oral communication to:

    1. Support ideas with evidence
    2. Display creativity, voice, and a sense of audience
    3. Organize writing and speeches in ways consistent with the purpose of the paper or speech
    4. Demonstrate critical thinking
    5. Use standard English and an effective prose or verbal style
  1. Critical Thinking and Reading
    Students will learn to formulate questions and to set goals for an inquiry to:
    1. Gather factual information and apply it to a given problem in a manner that is relevant, clear, comprehensive, and conscious of possible bias in the information selected whether the information is print or electronic, qualitative or quantitative
    2. Imagine and seek out a variety of possible goals, assumptions, interpretations, or perspectives which can give alternate meanings or solutions to given situations or problems; to analyze the problem from more than one disciplinary perspective; to integrate knowledge into a larger context
    3. Analyze the logical connections among facts, goals, and implicit assumptions relevant to a problem or a claim and to generate and evaluate the implications which follow from them
    4. Recognize and articulate the value assumptions which underlie and affect decisions, interpretations, analyses, and evaluations made by themselves and others; to use the analysis of values to make ethical decisions
  1. Information Literacy
    Students will have the ability to:
    1. Identify a core of major information resources and construct a research strategy
    2. Locate various sources of appropriate information for a research topic, evaluate the credibility of sources, and correctly cite them
    3. Use appropriate library resources, print and or/electronic, to collect information
    4. Recognize when to use information technology, and how to use it to collect, analyze, and present data in a meaningful way
    5. Adapt to changes in information technology and to differences in technological resources between separate occupational environments
    6. Demonstrate ability with major information technology resources used for word processing, spreadsheet analysis, information presentation, electronic communication, web authoring, and electronic search

Foundations, Explorations, and Vocations General Education Requirements



May Term

May Term courses are designed to be an intense in-depth three week learning experience. All courses have an emphasis on experiential learning,  which is an approach that connects classroom study with learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. These may include participation in simulations, on-site or field studies, research with a faculty member, trips away from campus, performance or studio art and many other hands-on learning assignments. Students will successfully complete at least two May Term courses as part of the graduation requirements. May Term courses may be electives, major courses or general education courses.

Explore May Term Options


Experiential Learning
The Center for Experiential Learning dramatically expands the dimensions of a Loras education by working with students to integrate their knowledge, experience, skills and capacities. Through structured learning experiences in other countries, cities, communities and working environments, students are encouraged to design and pursue their learning objectives outside the traditional classroom. The CEL works with students to reflect critically on their experiences and to communicate what they have learned from their experiences through portfolio.

  • Academic Internships
  • Education Abroad
  • Community-based Learning
  • Student Employment
  • Career Exploration and Planning

For more information see the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Explore Experiential Learning