Cardinal Core Program

Through the Cardinal Core program students will explore multiple areas of knowledge in new and exciting ways and develop core skills that will enable them to succeed in any degree program and prepare them to live and work in a dynamic, global society.

Current Cardinal Core Listing: Cardinal Core Course Listing 2023-24 (PDF)

In order for a course to be designated as a Cardinal Core course, it must go through the Cardinal Core Curriculum Committee's (CCCC) course proposal process. Cardinal Core courses may be at the 100, 200, or 300 level and must be open to registration by students in any undergraduate unit of the university. Courses should have no prerequisites other than placement scores or other Cardinal Core courses (e.g., Math or English Composition). Special Topics courses will not be considered for Cardinal Core. 

For information on the course proposal process, please visit the Course Proposal page for instructions and important resources. 

Content and Competency Areas

Cardinal Core course designations are provided below. To fulfill a designation, the course must demonstrate the corresponding student learning outcomes.

Content Areas:

Written Communication (WC)
Oral Communication (OC)
Quantitative Reasoning

Disciplinary Perspectives
Arts & Humanities (AH)
Social & Behavioral Sciences (SB)
Historical Perspective (SBH)
Natural Sciences (S, SL, B)


U.S. Diversity (D1)
Global Diversity (D2)

  • Courses designated as D1 or D2, must also fulfill a content area. There are no Diversity standalone courses.
  • Departments may propose 4-hour interdisciplinary content courses that fulfill a skill (WC, OC, or QR) and a disciplinary perspective (AH, SB, SBH, S, SL, or B). These courses will be held to a higher level of scrutiny in the review process and require collaboration between experts in the disciplines. (Students are restricted to taking one dual-content courses to fulfill their Cardinal Core requirements.)

Frequency of Offerings

Cardinal Core (CC) courses should be offered on a consistent basis (recommended at least once every academic year) to ensure an accurate listing of courses for student registration and advising purposes. In accordance with Cardinal Core Curriculum Committee (CCCC) practice, courses that are not offered within a three-year cycle will have the CC designation removed and be removed from the official CC course listing. To restore CC status, the requesting department must submit an updated syllabus through the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system for an expedited review by the CCCC. (Courses that were previously designated as CC courses will not be required to adhere to the November 15th deadline for new course proposals.)

For questions related to the Cardinal Core program, please contact the Cardinal Core Office (gecc@louisville.edu).


Cardinal Core Program Proposal - Approved February 2017 (PDF)
Cardinal Core Course Codes and Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)

Cardinal Core Syllabus Guidelines (PDF)
Cardinal Core Program Assessment

Sample Syllabi:

Arts & Humanities (AH) Sample Syllabus (PDF)
History (SBH) and Global Diversity (D2) Sample Syllabus (PDF)
Oral Communication (OC) Sample Syllabus (PDF)
Science (S) Sample Syllabus (PDF)
Science Lab (SL) Sample Syllabus (PDF)
Social & Behavioral Sciences (SB) Sample Syllabus (PDF)
Social & Behavioral Sciences (SB) and US Diversity (D1) Sample Syllabus (PDF)
Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Sample Syllabus (PDF)
Written Communication (WC) Sample Syllabus (PDF)