Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Curriculum-Associate Programs

Associate Degree Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Requirements


Students enrolled in one of St. Catherine University's associate degree programs are required to complete a minimum of 30 credits in the liberal arts and sciences. The required core liberal arts and science courses are listed under the Standard Core tab on this page.

Individual programs may require additional liberal arts and science courses to support the professional sequence of courses and/or meet accreditation requirements. See individual programs for details.

Core Competencies

In addition to liberal arts and science coursework, all students (except those in the OTA Online program) must successfully complete the following work-ready liberal arts and sciences core competencies:

  • Critical reading, thinking and writing
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Mathematics
  • Problem solving
  • Sentence fluency
  • Statistical thinking
  • Teamwork

The competencies must be completed by the deadline imposed by the student's program. If no deadline is imposed by the program, the student must complete all of the competencies by the end of their penultimate semester. Competency examinations are offered on a regular basis and may be repeated. Students are advised to contact their program director or advisor for details. Students earn three certifications for these eight competencies.

Minimum Grade Requirement

A student who fails to meet minimal grade requirements in a program-required liberal arts and sciences course will not graduate until she or he has done one of the following:

  • Re-registered for and satisfactorily repeated the entire course (if the course is not offered for variable credit) or the necessary segments of the course (if the course is offered for variable credit), or
  • Satisfactorily completed a course elsewhere and transferred the credits to St. Catherine University. NOTE: Students should have such courses approved prior to registration to be sure that these credits will transfer and fulfill the requirements for graduation.


The liberal arts and sciences core curriculum consists of a minimum of 30 Credits

  • Core Course CORE 1000W The Reflective Woman: The Reflective Practitioner (RTW)
  • Behavioral SciencePSYC 1000 General Psychology
  • Literature – One course
  • Natural ScienceBIOL 2400 General Anatomy and Physiology with Lab or other natural science course with lab
  • PhilosophyPHIL 2030W Healthcare Ethics (RTW)
  • Social ScienceSSCS 2040W Power, Inequality and Social Change (RTW)
  • TheologyTHEO 2040W The Sacramental Life (RTW)
  • Electives – At least six additional credits of liberal arts and sciences course work
  • Reading, Thinking and Writing (RTW) – Two RTW-WI courses. NOTE: The courses must be taken at St. Catherine University to meet the RTW requirement.

Previous Associate, Baccalaureate or Master's Degree from Another Institution

Associate degree students who earned a prior degree (associate or higher) from a regionally accredited, degree-granting higher education institution other than St. Catherine University prior to entering an associate degree program at St. Catherine University must complete two courses:

  • CORE 1000W The Reflective Woman
  • Theology - one course (This course must be a course that offers students an intellectual account of some of the key elements of Christian theological tradition. See the Theology section of this catalog for more information.)

The following general education core requirements apply to students who enroll at St. Catherine University in fall 2022 or later.

Students seeking an A.A.S. degree who have not completed a previous baccalaureate or A.A. degree or the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum are required to complete 20 credits in the LIFE core curriculum.

This curriculum includes one signature course:

The additional 16 credits are fulfilled by taking courses from each of the following categories*:

  • Behavioral and Social Sciences – choose one from, communication studies, economics, political science, psychology, or sociology, except ECON 1080 or ECON 1090, or PSYC 1090
  • Natural Sciences – choose one from any course with a laboratory and/or field component in biology, chemistry, or physics
  • Arts and Humanities – choose one course in this category from philosophy (except PHIL 2150), literature, history, foreign language, studio art, art history, creative writing, or classics.
  • Theology – choose one: THEO 1000 or any 2000-level theology course (except THEO 2994 Topics)

*Credits for courses in similar disciplines may be transferred at the discretion of the University.

Students seeking an A.A.S. degree who have completed a previous bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to enrollment at St. Catherine University are exempt from the LIFE core curriculum requirement.

Students seeking an A.A.S. degree who have completed an A.A. degree from a regionally accredited institution or Minnesota Transfer Curriculum are exempt from the A.A.S. LIFE core curriculum.