Magis Core Curriculum

Humanistic education rooted in Jesuit ethos, guides Fairfield's commitment to "preparing young women and men for others" through a distinctive academic experience. Crucial to student success in academia and as future professionals in the workplace, the Magis Core Curriculum engages students to establish their own values and understanding of the world while emphasizing excellence in writing, critical reasoning, synthesis of solutions, communication, and an understanding of the "why" and "how" of associated human behaviors.

The Magis Core Curriculum is a discipline-based, tiered learning experience (Tier I: Orientation; Tier II: Exploration). Further, it requires students to experience interdisciplinary learning, be engaged with social justice issues, and undertake intensive writing both within the discipline and across the curriculum. The Magis Core provides a common experience for all undergraduates, one that is grounded in the humanistic tradition and is thus a hallmark of a Fairfield education.

Tier I: Orientation

The Orientation Tier requires seven courses (ideally completed in the first two years of undergraduate study).

ENGL 1001Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition3
Select one HIST 1000-level course3
Select one MATH 1000- or 2000-level course, based on placement 13
Modern or Classical Language
Select one language course based on placement 23
PHIL 1101Introduction to Philosophy3
Religious Studies
Select one RLST 1000-level course3
Modern/Classical Language or Mathematics
Select one additional course in Modern/Classical Languages or Mathematics 33
Total Credits21

Tier II: Exploration

The Exploration Tier requires eight courses, to be completed throughout four years of undergraduate study. Each department listed below determines which of its courses fulfill the Tier II Exploration requirements.

Behavioral and Social Sciences
Select two courses from the following fields:6
Psychology (except PSYC 1610)
Sociology and Anthropology (except ANTH 1200 and ANTH 1210)
History, Philosophy, Religious Studies
Select two 2000- or 3000-level courses from two different disciplines6
Select one course from the following fields:3
Modern Languages and Literatures
Natural Sciences
Select two courses from the following fields:6
Biological Anthropology
Biomedical Anthropology
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Behavioral Neuroscience 1
Visual and Performing Arts
Select one 1000-level course from the following fields in Visual and Performing Arts:3
Art History and Visual Culture
Film, Television, and Media Arts
Studio Art
Total Credits24

Signature Elements

The Signature Elements requirements include seven courses, which may be covered by Orientation, Exploration, and major courses. Courses approved for these Signature Elements will be appropriately noted in the online registration system.


Select either one designated team-taught course, one cluster course, or one individually taught course (any option must have at least one instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences). All courses fall within the Orientation and Exploration areas. (Attribute: MSID)

Social Justice

Select one course providing an introduction to social justice (Attribute: MSJ1), and two additional social justice courses (Attribute: MSJ2), at least one of which accomplishes the learning outcomes through a focus on race, broadly construed, studied intersectionally with gender and class (Attribute: MSJR). MSJ1 and one MSJ2 course must be fulfilled within the Orientation and Exploration tiers. One MSJ2 course may be fulfilled within either the Orientation and Exploration tiers or within a major.

Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing in the Discipline

Select two courses within the Orientation and Exploration areas, plus one additional course fulfilled within either the Orientation and Exploration tiers (Writing Across the Curriculum, Attribute: MWAC) or within a Major (Writing In the Discipline, Attribute: MWID).