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Graduation Requirements

Requirements for Graduation

Read this page to make sure you’ve done everything you need to do to walk across the stage at commencement and get that diploma!

The following are requirements to graduate from Loyola University of Chicago:

Degree Requirements

Students must fulfill the following requirements in order to graduate from the School of Communication with a bachelor's degree:

  • Core Requirements
  • University Requirements: Writing Intensive Course Sections, Engaged Learning and the Language Requirement
  • General Electives
  • Residency Requirement

Core Requirements

The university Core Curriculum seeks to play a key educational role in every Loyola student's undergraduate experience.

Designed to provide both breadth and depth to a student’s program of study, the Core Curriculum introduces students to key concepts and modes of thought in a variety of areas of human intellectual endeavors. In particular, the Core introduces students to ten central Knowledge Areas of university learning, with a consistent focus on learning outcomes for those areas. Core coursework develops students' understanding through knowledge and experience in the Knowledge Areas of the following:

  • artistic
  • historical
  • literary
  • quantitative
  • scientific
  • societal and cultural
  • philosophical
  • theological and religious studies
  • ethical learning
  • written communication

In addition, the Core reinforces the development of six skills crucial to facing the challenges of contemporary society:

  • communication
  • critical thinking
  • ethical awareness and decision-making
  • information literacy
  • quantitative and qualitative analysis and research methods
  • and technological literacy

Finally, the Core integrates the understanding and promoting of four Values essential to a Loyola education:

  • understanding diversity in the US or the world
  • understanding and promoting justice
  • understanding spirituality or faith in action in the world;
  • promoting engaged learning

To complete the Core Curriculum, students will take 16 courses across ten Knowledge Areas. Two courses are required in six of these areas (Historical Knowledge, Literary Knowledge and Experience, Scientific Literacy, Societal and Cultural Knowledge, Philosophical Knowledge, and Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge). Students will begin their studies in these six areas with a Foundational (or Tier I) course that will introduce them to critical ideas and methods of analyses in that area. After completing the Foundational course, students will have an array of options to further their studies by taking one of a variety of Tier II classes to pursue their particular interests in more depth. The other four Knowledge Areas (College Writing, Artistic Knowledge and Experience, Quantitative Analysis, and Ethics) require one course each.

Transfer students who have taken and passed (with a C- or higher) both semesters of a two-semester requirement in college composition at their previous institutions, or students who have taken a composition course that is equivalent to UCWR 110 are not required to take UCWR 110 at Loyola.

Engaged Learning

Additionally, students will have the opportunity to apply their Loyola education to real world experiences through the Engaged Learning requirement. This requirement may be satisfied by a course within the Core Curriculum, or in a student’s major or minor, or through an elective course.

Students must earn a 2.00 overall cumulative GPA in Core Knowledge Areas and Engaged Learning courses. To calculate your cumulative Core GPA, use the GPA calculator available at LUC.edu/advising/gpa_calculator.html.

Click on the links below to view the guides and worksheets about Loyola's Core Curriculum and Values Across the Curriculum requirements.

School Requirements

All SOC students are required to complete a language competency requirement and two writing-intensive sections of courses. These courses must be completed with a C- or better.

Writing Intensive Sections

Students should expect that virtually all of their courses will include some writing. In addition, the University has a requirement that all students must complete two writing intensive courses. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 73.4% of employers want a candidate with strong written communication skills.

In order to graduate with a degree from the School of Communication, students ordinarily must complete three writing-intensive courses. These include two writing-intensive sections.

Writing-intensive sections are designated sections of courses that are taught with a special emphasis on writing. They are identified by a "W" in the section number on Locus. Students in these course sections will have a variety of writing assignments that will be integrated closely with the learning objectives of the course. Often, students will be able to complete a writing-intensive course within their chosen major(s) and minor(s). The purpose of the program is to assure that students continue to give attention to writing as an essential component of education throughout their years at Loyola. Note: UCWR 110 must be taken in the freshman year and must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better before any writing-intensive course may be taken.

In order to ensure that training in writing is spread throughout the undergraduate years, students can only take one writing-intensive course per semester. Students must earn a C- or better in each writing intensive course in order for the requirement to be satisfied.


Competency in reading, writing, and speaking a language other than English at the 102-level or higher is required for graduation. Students may complete this requirement in one of the following ways:

  • In a language other than English, complete Loyola language coursework, earning a C- or better at the 102-level or above. (If a student wishes to study a language for which they have no background, this equates to taking two semesters of the same language, i.e. 101 and 102.). If coursework in a language is not offered at Loyola, a student may review eligibility and seek permission to take coursework at another college or university during the summer in accordance with the Policy on Prior Permission to Take Coursework at Other Universities. Students must first consult an academic advisor about this policy.
  • Earn the 102-level or above equivalent in transfer credit from another college/university, prior to Loyola matriculation.
  • If a student wishes to continue studying a language that is offered at Loyola, they may complete an online placement test that helps place them into the most appropriate language course. Scores are recorded for future reference and are valid for 15 months. (Past 15 months, students should retake the test.) Students who take this test must adhere to the Loyola policy on Academic Integrity—they should not receive help. This placement test does not fulfill the language requirement. Rather, it determines at what level of a language a student should begin taking coursework.
  • Earn a score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement examination (a score of 3 on an AP exam will satisfy the Language Requirement, but will not award academic credit). or
  • Demonstrate competency by passing a Language Competency examination. Students are permitted to take only one competency exam. Multilingual students who wish to take this exam should test in the language they know best. If a student does not pass their one competency exam, they must take language coursework, adhering to the above rules. Note: Language Competency exam results may take up to six weeks to return. Students who wish to take an exam are strongly encouraged to schedule the exam as soon as possible upon matriculation, and no later than the end of their junior year.

For a list of Language Competency exams offered, please consult the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures website.

To schedule an appointment to take a Language Competency exam, send an email (from your Loyola account) to LanguageTesting@luc.edu. Include your Name, Student ID number, current SOC major, and the language in which you would like to be tested. The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will reply with instructions on how to schedule your specific exam.

Note: Students are responsible for the $100.00 cost of the exam. Language Competency exams that are conducted in the Language Learning Resource Center (LLRC) may not be scheduled during the first week of each semester or during registration week in each semester.

Requesting a Language Competency Exam in a Language Not Offered at Loyola

Students who would like to test in a language that is not offered at Loyola may submit a request to the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures by completing the Language Exam Request (PDF) for a competency exam in that language. The request form must be submitted to LanguageTesting@luc.edu. Once a request is submitted, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will make a reasonable effort to locate an academically qualified tester at Loyola or at another college or university. If a Language Competency exam is made available and the student passes the exam, they will meet the 102-level language requirement.

If no qualified tester can be found within one academic semester, the student’s request will be denied, and the student will be required to satisfy the SoC language requirement via language coursework at the 102-level or higher.

Elective Courses

Students must complete at least 120 credit hours to graduate from Loyola University Chicago. By definition, electives are courses that do not count towards completing one’s major or minor, or courses that satsify the Core.

We encourage students, when choosing electives, to think of the knowledge, values, and skills you hope to gain in exploring a particular academic interest or in anticipation of a career after graduation. For undeclared students, elective courses present an excellent opportunity to develop academic interests leading toward a major or minor. General electives also present an opportunity to broaden your liberal arts education, add to your skill set, or simply try a new subject for the joy of it.

Residency Requirement

Residency means course credit hours taken at Loyola University Chicago, the Rome Center, or through any of the Loyola sponsored study abroad programs through the Office for International Programs.

Students must take their final, uninterrupted 45 hours of core curiculim, or a minimum of 60 hours in residence at Loyola University Chicago.

Requirements for Graduation

Read this page to make sure you’ve done everything you need to do to walk across the stage at commencement and get that diploma!

The following are requirements to graduate from Loyola University of Chicago: