In 2009, Saint Joseph's College began its 40th year of the Core Program. This Curriculum is unique among colleges and universities. At other colleges, students are required to take a number of courses in different areas to fulfill their general education requirements. This often takes place during the first year or two of the student's college experience. However, at SJC, these required general education courses are evenly spread out through a student's four years at the College...this means that you get the benefit of beginning study of your major in your first year of college.

For our students (who have declared a major) this gives the benefit of four years of study in the major as well as four years of general education. Students learn from students of other majors. Writing and other communication skills are developed throughout the four years of the college experience. Our alumni continue to tell us of the advantages of this form of general education. They tell us that their Core education helps in the promotion process as they bring knowledge of a number of skills that can be used in different jobs.

Throughout Core our students examine value oriented questions and ethical issues so that they may apply these principles to dilemmas they will encounter in the workplace. We all have seen the need for ethics in recent years, and our students are prepared to deal with these issues.

Additionally all our students study cultures other than their own. Through the study of eastern cultures, and Latin America or Africa, students are better prepared to engage in our multi-cultural society and our global economy.

Lecture Schedule

To discover what is going on in Core this semester, see the lecture schedule.

How the Core Program works

The Core Program is an interdisciplinary course. This means that you will study a number of different subjects in an integrated manner. Rather than taking a separate course in English, History, Religion, Philosophy, Science, etc., our Core Program combines the study of these subjects in a meaningful whole. How does this work?

Common Presentations

The faculty teaching in Core come from a number of different academic disciplines (majors, if you will) and together they plan the curriculum for the semester. Each segment of Core combines a common presentation for the whole class, and the faculty teaching in that Core. Most often this is a lecture given by a faculty expert. It might also be a film or video, or perhaps a panel discussion or one act play. There are a number of occasions when a guest lecturer from another college or university will make a presentation. On a number of occasions, we have also had a guest lecture from an individual who brings life experience to our students.

Core lecture presentations are held twice a week (for most Cores). Junior year Core students meet three times a week for lectures. These lecture presentations are held in our state of the art auditorium, complete with some of the latest in multi-media presentation software and hardware.

Discussion Sections

Following the Core presentations, students then meet in their registered discussion section. These discussion sections are composed of 16-18 students who meet with a professor to talk about the readings and lecture. The emphasis in this part of Core is discussion--learning how to interact with different people and ideas.

It is also in the discussion section, that writing assignments, tests and quizzes are given. In several of the Core discussion sections, students may also lead their class discussion or give presentations to their discussion group.

Content of Core Program

To find out more about the content of each Core, please check out the lecture schedule.

Background on the Core Curriculum

Read about the history and development of the unique Saint Joseph's College Core Curriculum. 

Events Calendar

Explore the Core
  • SJC Education Students in the field

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Like Elementary Education major Brittany Cooper ’12, you start your major as soon as you walk in the door, so you will have four years of knowledge and experience in your field.You can even change your mind about your major and still graduate on time with lots of experience.

    Core and the major work in harmony to develop the cognitive skills requisite for success in a competitive, global society. Students better understand the forces that shape the future by exploring the past. They discuss contemporary events; analyze the impact of science on our understanding of humanity and the universe; and investigate diverse cultures and world civilizations. 

  • Professor Fred and Sally Berger at Graduation


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors, such as Communication Professors Fred and Sally Berger, do more for you—they serve as mentors. Studies show that having a mentor leads to success in your field. Alumni often tell us how their professors not only played a major role in their success, but also became lifelong friends.  If you are undecided about what to major in, we help you decide.

  • High Quality Academics

    In the Core Program, you will be inspired to debate, analyze, and solve problems. Discussion of culture and society, the modern world, and Christian Humanism are just a few highlights of the Program. New perspectives will be gained, your worldview will expand, and you will graduate from SJC as a well rounded, highly marketable person.

  • Visiting Chinese Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life. LaMichelle Sanders ’14, for example, has spent two summers helping Chinese study abroad students adapt to life in the U.S. and at SJC. If you want to start a club or activity that doesn’t exist, we encourage you to start one. At SJC, prepare yourself for what you want to do in life.

  • Hoop House student workers

    Real-life Skills

    Because of the skills you develop by having the Core Program interact with your major for four years in addition to internships, job shadowing, and service learning, you get hands-on experience in preparation for your career or graduate school. Students Hanna Kane ’14, Emily Baird ’15, and Alyssa Guarnaccia ’14 collect food in the SJC hoophouse to be distributed on campus. You will also get four years of analytical, writing, and speaking skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

  • Images of Students

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.  

  • Images of Students


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.

  • Images of Students

    High Quality Academics

    The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.


  • Images of Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.

  • Images of Students

    Real-life Skills

    Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.