Catholic Studies, BA

The B.A. in Catholic Studies offers a unifying vision of the array of academic disciplines central to a full and flourishing human life as understood for over 2,000 years through the lens of the Catholic Intellectual Heritage. 

Program Highlights

From philosophy and theology, to art and music, to economics and medicine, this undergraduate major offers an integrated Catholic worldview that empowers students to see the world clearly, and to understand otherwise disparate sectors of reality in relation to one another and to the implications of Christ’s Incarnation. Here, material culture, creedal beliefs, philosophical commitments, and spiritual practices coalesce in the truly Catholic understanding of the structuring of governments, civic engagement, economic choices, medical practices, the arrangement of family life, educational systems, and the role of beauty in the public square.


Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.


All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 


Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at

  1. Graduates will be able to articulate the central concerns of the Catholic intellectual tradition and describe key contributions made to it in both the first and second millennium of its development.
  2. Graduates will be able to draw upon the Catholic intellectual tradition to describe, analyze, and evaluate developments in two or more disciplines or fields of activity, including philosophy, theology, literature, music, art, architecture, history, politics, and the natural and social sciences.
  3. Graduates will be able to articulate how characteristic elements of Jesuit spirituality, such as “finding God in all things” and “discernment of spirits,” contribute to reflection on the good life and help orient Catholic engagement of culture.  
  4. Graduates will be able to employ methods and materials from the Catholic intellectual tradition to analyze in depth a question of contemporary cultural significance.

Catholic studies students must complete a minimum total of 30 credits for the major. Overall requirements are as follows:

Core Requirements
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Major Courses
CATH 2000Catholic Imagination: Introduction to Catholic Studies3
CATH 3001Catholic Intellectual Heritage I3
CATH 3002Catholic Intellectual Heritage II3
CATH 4000Catholic Intellectual Heritage and the Good Life3
Major Electives
Select fifteen credits of courses with the "Catholic Studies" attribute15
CATH 4960Catholic Studies Capstone3
General Electives24-33
Total Credits120

Sacred Texts (ST) Courses

Examples of courses with the Theology-Sacred Texts attribute:

Old Testament
New Testament
Old Testament: Prophets
One Jesus, Four Portraits: The Gospels
How to Interpret Scripture: Methods and Perspectives
Seminar in New Testament

Religious Traditions (RT) Courses

Examples of courses with the Theology-Religious Traditions attribute:

Jerusalem: Three Faiths, One City
Race and Religion in America: The Search for Identity
Islam: Religion, Culture, and Society
The Invisible Institution: African American Religion and the Rise of Black Theology
Arts of Hinduism and Buddhism
Intuition, Spontaneity, and Flow: Daoism in Comparative Context
Jewish Life: Bible to Middle Ages
Islam and the Christian Theologian: Comparing Theological Themes

Continuation Standards

A student must maintain a 2.00 grade point average (GPA) in Catholic Studies major coursework.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here:
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Natural Science6
Social Science6
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
THEO 1000 Theological Foundations 3
A&S Core/Elective Courses 12
CATH 2000 Catholic Imagination: Introduction to Catholic Studies 3
A&S Core/Elective Courses 12
Year Two
CATH 3001 Catholic Intellectual Heritage I 3
A&S Core/Elective Courses 12
CATH 3002 Catholic Intellectual Heritage II 3
Catholic Studies Attributed Course 3
A&S Core/Elective Courses 9
Year Three
CATH 4000 Catholic Intellectual Heritage and the Good Life 3
Catholic Studies Attributed Course 3
A&S Core/Elective Courses 9
Catholic Studies Attributed Course 3
A&S Core/Elective Courses 12
Year Four
Catholic Studies Attributed Course 3
A&S Core/Elective Courses 12
Catholic Studies Attributed Course 3
CATH 4960 Catholic Studies Capstone 3
A&S Core/Elective Courses 9
 Total Credits120