Planning Your Core Courses

Each knowledge area provides an essential part of an integrated set of ideas, intellectual approaches, and values. As you complete these courses, you should be able to see more and more of the “big picture,” that is, the way the approaches of different intellectual disciplines can be brought together to address human problems. Through the courses in the Core, you lay the foundation of a well-rounded education that declares, “We are Marquette.” The best way to take full advantage of the Core is to start with the courses that build the foundation of basic forms of knowledge, and then move to courses in the knowledge areas.

  • Start with courses in rhetoric (6 credits) and mathematical and logical reasoning (3 credits)
  • Next, take basic theology, human nature courses (you will eventually need 6 credits of theology and 6 in ethics and human nature)
  • Then, add courses in science and nature, individual and social behavior, literature and performing arts, histories of cultures and societies, and diverse cultures (you will need one course from each of these areas)
  • Finally, complete the Core with more advanced theology and ethics courses (complete your 6 credits of theology and 6 of human nature and ethics)


You’ve completed your Core of Common Studies when you’ve taken:

  • 6 credits of Rhetoric
  • 3 credits of Mathematical Reasoning
  • 3 credits of Literature and Performing Arts
  • 3 credits of Histories of Cultures and Societies
  • 3 credits of Science and Nature
  • 3 credits of Individual and Social Behavior
  • 3 credits of Diverse Cultures
  • 6 credits of Theology
  • 6 credits of Human Nature and Ethics

36 total credits


Learning outcomes:

The Core of Common Studies has two sets of learning outcomes:

Knowledge Area Learning Outcomes

Integrated Core Learning Outcomes


Appeals process for assigning UCCS Knowledge Area Credit to Completed Transfer and Study Abroad Courses

Under normal circumstances, credit for the nine knowledge areas that constitute the University Core of Common Studies (UCCS) is determined by whether or not a course taken at another institution transfers as a Marquette course that is approved to fulfill a knowledge area. The list of approved courses can be found at the UCCS website:

Determinations of course transfers are made with great care by disciplinary experts at Marquette. However, in those rare instances when a student feels that a determination may have been erroneous, the following process was designed to provide an opportunity to appeal such decisions. An appeal may result in a course being assigned UCCS knowledge area credit or it may confirm the initial determination.


  • Students complete the form to apply for knowledge area credit for a course taken at another institution that transfers as a Marquette course but does not appear on the list of approved courses for the UCCS. Note: students must first complete the college process of determining how their courses will transfer before beginning this process.
  • A course syllabus and a copy of the initial college decision must be appended to the form.
  • As part of the application, students submit a 250-word rationale outlining why they believe the transferred course fulfills the knowledge area learning outcomes. Knowledge area learning outcomes can be found at the UCCS website: Note: the rationale should clearly indicate how specific assignments addressed all of the relevant knowledge area learning outcomes.
  • The attached form, syllabus, college decision form, and rationale are sent by email to the Director of the University Core of Common Studies ( The Director will respond by email to the student within one to two weeks of receipt of completed applications, depending on the time of year the application was submitted.
  • The decision of the Director is final.



  • This policy applies for transfer and study abroad courses ONLY. For courses taken at Marquette, knowledge area credit is given solely to courses that have been approved.
  • Knowledge area credit will be assigned ONLY to credit-bearing academic courses from regionally accredited institutions within the United States or those international institutions recognized by that country’s ministry of education.   Non-credit bearing experiences (e.g., service trips, internships that do not receive University credit, etc.) are NOT eligible to fulfill UCCS knowledge area requirements.

University Core of Common Studies (UCCS) Knowledge Area Course Transfer Appeal Form


Student studying on campus


Students in class

Snapshot is a schedule of classes for every term that offers course descriptions, dates, times, requirements and more.  Included in Snapshot under the ‘Special-Interest’ section is a link to all Core of Common Studies classes being offered in each term. Visit Snapshot for more information about class availability and schedules for current or upcoming terms.

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