2023-2024 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    Jul 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

University Explorations

University Explorations is the university's general education program. General education is a vital part of a student's course of study at Saint Leo University, as it informs, deepens, and extends learning beyond the major.

Through a topical focus, University Explorations courses demonstrate the relevance of the liberal arts and sciences to today's world, cultivating in students essential skills in critical thinking and decision making, effective communication, problem solving, analysis, and creativity.

The curriculum consists of 42 credit hours comprised of 18 credits of foundational learning in English composition, mathematics, and theology and philosophy, and 24 credits hours spread over four learning clusters representing the liberal arts and sciences:

The Human Adventure (6 credits)
Exploring our past, living in the present, and shaping our future

The Human Mosaic (6 credits)
Building our identify, expressing our diversity

Science in a Changing World (6 credits)
Discovering our place in the natural world

The Creative Life (6 credits)
Expressing our human experience through the arts


Goals and Objectives of University Explorations

Here are the types of skills and knowledge that University Explorations seeks to develop in our students and that they should be able to understand and demonstrate upon their completion of the program:

1. Demonstrate critical thinking skills

2. Demonstrate quantitative skills

3. Understand how living things and physical systems operate and the relationships among them

4. Demonstrate knowledge of diverse populations and differing belief systems, values, and norms

5. Understand issues and events in terms of historical, political, and economic context

6. Demonstrate appreciation for various forms of creative human expression

7. Communicate clearly and effectively using multiple types of media: listen attentively/ speak articulately, read critically, and write clearly

8. Understand Catholic and Benedictine-inspired values and traditions

The University Explorations curriculum provides undergraduate students with an understanding of Saint Leo University's Benedictine-inspired values and Catholic traditions while focusing on the liberal arts and sciences and introducing undergraduate students to an understanding of the knowledge needed to succeed in college and in lifelong learning. Based on the educational experiences that students have while in the Program, Saint Leo University seeks to graduate students:

 • Who exhibit skills in learning, writing, reading, critical thinking, information and technology literacy, and numerical applications

•  Who exhibit skills in dealing with fundamental human questions regarding the nature of human reality and the ways in which human    beings come to know the world and issues of human morality

• Who have learned to love learning, who understand the importance of the liberal arts as a basis for all learning, who find the curriculum relevant, and who are prepared to become lifelong learners



Foundation Courses

Foundation courses in writing, mathematics and computer science prepare students to deal effectively with the rest of their coursework at Saint Leo University. These essential courses lay the groundwork for undergraduate students to succeed by providing them with the basic skills and tools that are required in upper-level courses.


For most undergraduate students, college-level writing is a difficult skill to master and one that requires constant practice. Therefore, many University Explorations courses are writing intensive because the ability to write well is central to learning and effective communication. Our Foundation writing courses are designed to prepare undergraduate students to:

  • Express themselves intelligently and clearly
  • Synthesize and integrate information from various disciplines
  • Write academic papers that are sound and compelling
  • Write academic papers based on accepted standardized formats
  • Create original material as well as properly use and cite source material from a wide variety of venues in academic papers

As an institution supporting Writing Across the Curriculum, we expect students both in the University Explorations Program and in the majors to produce academic writing at a level suitable for a variety of writing tasks from lab reports and case studies to literature reviews and research papers.  Therefore, it is imperative that all students take ENG-121 and ENG-122 in their first two to three terms/semesters in order to build the essential skills needed for future classes.

A minimum grade of C is needed to fulfill the degree requirement.


The ability to use quantitative reasoning is another educational skill that is essential to success in college and lifelong learning. The formulas and procedures learned in MAT-131 College Mathematics (Business Majors will take MAT-141 Finite Mathematics) enable students to advance to and succeed in higher-level mathematics and related courses that use mathematics, as well as to develop quantitative skills used in everyday life.

Success in MAT-131 also helps undergraduate students to:

  • Develop increased proficiency in logical progression
  • Gain increased understanding of scientific structure and applications
  • Increase their ability to deal effectively with mathematics-related formulas found in other disciplines

A minimum grade of C is needed to fulfill the degree requirement. 



Theology and Philosophy in Dialogue

Theology and Philosophy foundation courses invite you to engage in dialogue about the relationship between faith and life of the mind. These courses introduce students to the Catholic intellectual tradition; a profound conversation that unfolds across many cultures and centuries, and that encourages a free search for the whole truth about nature, the human person, and God. The courses enable students to acquire an organic vision of reality and to develop a continuing desire for intellectual progress. It is this broad and ever-expanding exploration of all forms of knowledge that animates the mission of a Catholic university.

The Human Adventure

 Exploring the past, living in the present, and shaping the future.

The Human Adventure captures the nature of the human experience from social, political, psychological, economic, and historical perspectives. These courses require students to examine their lives within the context of a broader society and explore the ways in which humans understand themselves and interact with one another across space and time. Integrating the Core Values of Respect, Community, and Responsible Stewardship, these courses will provide students with the tools necessary to understand the past, live in the present and affect the future.

 Complete two courses from the following choices:

The Human Mosaic

Building our identify, expressing our diversity

Focusing on the Core Values of Respect and Community, the courses within the Human Mosaic are designed to prepare students to live and work in our diverse and global society. While exploring issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, and gender, students will come to understand that they cannot understand the totality of the human experience without taking into account its diversity. These courses will provide students with the tools of tolerance, respect, and cultural awareness that will be essential to their success as they encounter new ideas and interact with a wide array of people in their daily lives and in their careers.

Complete two courses from the following choices:

Science in a Changing World

Discovering our place in the natural world

Progress in contemporary sciences continues to have a significant, ongoing impact on human life. Science in a Changing World examines the contemporary topics that impact the way humans live. Students will apply the fundamental principles of the natural world to provide possible solutions of today's real-world problems. As a result, Saint Leo students will be better prepared to be informed members of the 21st century global community.

Complete two courses from the following choices:

The Creative Life

Expressing our human experience through the arts

The Creative Life not only introduces students to the producers, products and processes of imagination; it activates their own imaginations.  Through these courses, students will investigate the spectrum of human creativity and artistic endeavor, as well as the world's outstanding artists, gaining an understanding of the contributions of the arts to the world.  Just as important, they will be given the aesthetic tools to both appreciate the artists' work and art in general, and to live a creative life.

Complete two courses from the following choices:

Total Credit Hours - 42