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Core Curriculum


Students near the LabyrinthThe core curriculum develops undergraduates’ critical thinking, critical reading, effective writing and oral communication skills. As the foundation for further study and intellectual pursuits, the core curriculum endows UST graduates with the fundamentals necessary to be educated members of society.

The core was updated in 2011 to include a synthesis course in Theology, Philosophy or Catholic Studies.

Ex Corde Ecclesiae

The core’s strong emphasis on integration brings the curriculum into greater conformity with Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution for Catholic Universities, Ex Corde Ecclesiae, published in 1990.

In the Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II described the identity and mission of Catholic colleges and universities and provided general norms to help fulfill his vision. As we aspire to become a great Catholic university, St. Thomas looks to Ex Corde for guidelines, direction and inspiration to continue our journey of providing excellence in higher education.

Aspirations of Ex Corde include the natural desire to know the truth and dialogues between faith and reason, faith with cultures of our time and faith with modern sciences and technology. Ex Corde strives to achieve an integrated worldview including the social teachings of the Church and professional ethics.

Core Curriculum

All students must meet the core requirements. Transfer students’ requirements vary depending on the number of hours transferred to UST.

The core curriculum includes the following courses:

  • Theology
  • Philosophy
  • Synthesis Course
  • English
  • History
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Natural Sciences and/or Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Fine Arts
  • Freshman Symposium

View UST's Current Core Curriculum

Explore the core curriculum classes in the undergraduate course catalog.

Previous Core Curriculum

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University of St. Thomas - Houston, TX - Educating Leaders of Faith and Character
University of St. Thomas
The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston’s only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947.


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