Liberal Studies Program > About > Common Core

Common Core

Chicago Quarter

Chicago Quarter

See the First-Year Program section here.​​​​

Focal Point   

Focal Point Seminar

See the First-Year Program section here.​​​​​

Quantitative Reasoning and Technological Literacy   

Quantitative Reasoning & Technological Literacy

The Quantitative Reasoning & Technological Literacy (QRTL) requirement consists of two courses, LSP 120 and LSP 121, that are designed to help students become confident and critical users of quantitative information, developing facility in the use of spreadsheets (Excel), word processors (Word), email, presentation software (PowerPoint), and the Internet. They will develop quantitative skills in estimation, percentage change, proportional reasoning, scaling, descriptive statistics, and simple mathematical models (linear and exponential).

Students whose program of study requires calculus or discrete mathematics are exempt from the QRTL requirement.

Students may elect to take a proficiency exam to place out of one or both courses in the QRTL sequence.​

See the QRTL​ website for more information.​​

First Year Writing

First Year Writing

All first-year students, except those in the university's Honors Program, take at least two first-year writing courses offered by the Depart​ment of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse (WRD)​. Some students begin with WRD 102, which prepares students for college writing. All students take WRD 103, a course about the forms, methods, expectations, and conventions of writing at the university level, and WRD 104, a course about conducting academic research and writing papers that make defensible arguments and incorporate material from a variety of sources.

Students in the Honors Program take HON 100 Rhetoric and Critical Inquiry.

See the First-Year Writing Program​ w​ebsite for more informaton. ​

Seminar on Mulitculturalism in the U.S.   

Seminar on Multiculturalism in the U.S. (LSP 200)

Students are required to take an approved Liberal Studies course that addresses some dimension of multiculturalism in the context of the United States. Multiculturalism encompasses various dimensions of identity, including but not limited to issues of race and ethnicity, class, gender, language, religion, sexual orientation, disability as well as nationality. These issues and their interrelationships regarding the experiences of individuals and groups are the foci of the seminars. In addition, courses generally include the examination of the history of multiculturalism. Students are asked to develop a critical perspective about the meaning of multiculturalism and provide an understanding of the historical and/or contemporary manifestations of inequality. The seminars examine the contributions of at least three cultural/and or ethnic groups to the ongoing development of the American experience and American society and culture. Examples of course titles include: Multicultural Literacy and the American Autobiography; Multiculturalism in the U.S.: Latino Perspectives; History of U.S. Women to 1860; Diversity in the Workplace; and The American Religious Experience.​​​

Experiential Learning   

Experiential Learning

The experiential learning requirement engages students in the first-hand discovery of knowledge through observation and participation in activities in an unpredictable setting, usually (but not exclusively) off-campus. Students are asked to reflect on what they have learned about themselves, others, and a larger social context given the connection between course content and their experience. To do this, they may have contact with a community, an international setting, a workforce environment, or take on a role in the classroom or laboratory that is substantively different than that of student, such as model the professional behavior of a researcher or teacher.

Courses may be offered in a student's major, and can meet both major field and liberal studies requirements. Students who complete one course to fulfill both major field credit and liberal studies credit, will complete an additional domain elective (from outside the major). The third language course of the modern language option can fulfill this domain elective.

The following types of courses will fulfill the experiential learning requirement:

  1. Internship
    Courses taken in conjunction with internships offer students the opportunity to apply concepts learned in the classroom to work site experiences: workplace ethics and activities, diversity, values-based leadership, hiring processes, communication networks, organizational culture, etc. In addition to intellectual growth, students gain career awareness and develop work-related skills.

  2. Study Abroad 
    Study abroad and domestic travel programs emphasize social, political, historical and cultural understanding through intensive or extensive immersion in the lives and histories of people outside the socio-cultural context of Chicago. Although the majority of programs are completed in one quarter, some study abroad programs range in duration from two weeks to a complete academic year. Programs for less than one quarter are taught by DePaul faculty who help students link the experience of travel (either abroad or domestic) with particular topics or content. Longer programs abroad provide students with an extensive immersion experience that reinforces and compliments classroom learning with teachers and students at foreign institutions.

  3. Community-based Service-Learning (CbSL) 
    CbSL courses engage students in responsible and challenging experiences in community organizations that relate directly to the topic of the course in which they are enrolled. CbSL courses offer students the opportunity to explore issues of social inequality and injustice, as well as the powerful work conducted by community-based organizations. CbSL courses are found throughout the undergraduate curriculum. Students have the opportunity to reflect upon what they have learned through their community service during class discussions. Information on service learning opportunities is available through DePaul's Steans Center for Community-Based Service Learning.

  4. Academic Practicum
    This category includes courses such as scientific laboratory research which involves extensive field or laboratory work or student teaching where students apply pedagogical theories in the role of educator in a classroom environment under their charge. All academic practicums must be closely supervised, evaluated and graded by a faculty member.​

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Senior Capstone




Senior Capstone

Students are required to take a Liberal Studies capstone course in their major field during their senior year. Some Liberal Studies capstone courses may be offered jointly for students in related majors and fields of study. These courses provide students with an opportunity to integrate their major area of study with broader issues raised in their general education program. The Liberal Studies capstone experience allows students to see the relationship between the ideas, perspectives, and substantive areas of scholarship and creative work within their major field and those learned through significant aspects of their course work in the learning domain courses and other courses and experiences of the Liberal Studies Program.

Because the course is offered through the major field department, students must receive a grade of C- or better in this course.​​​