Loyola University Maryland

The Diversity Course Requirement

Diversity Defined: What Does Diversity Mean for the Purposes of the Requirement?

image divider

Loyola University Maryland Strives to increase students' interest in and understanding of three aspects of human diversity: diversity related to differences across nations and world cultures; diversity related to issues of justice, injustice, and oppression; and domestic diversity related to the experiences of minority groups in the United States. These three aspects of diversity are fundamental to the values articulated by the University, and it is important to ensure that all Loyola students are challenged to think about these aspects of diversity in the classroom. Accordingly, students are required to take a course focusing on at least one of the three following aspects of human diversity:

  • Global Awareness: Courses related to this aspect of human diversity seek to increase students' awareness and understanding of cultures and nations that are often excluded in a traditional liberal arts education. The current core curriculum requires students to acquire knowledge about the world views, social practices, social structures, history, spiritual practices, and arts of Western cultures past and present including cultures and nations outside of the United States. However, students are not required to take courses that include substantial exposure to cultures and nations that fall outside of this Western tradition. Global awareness courses would foster in students the globally comprehensive perspective that is described as a characteristic of excellence in the Loyola Core Values Statement. These courses will focus on cultures that fall outside of the boundaries of a liberal arts education in the Western intellectual tradition, including but not limited to those in Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, Central/Latin America, and Australia/New Zealand. Global awareness courses can also focus on the interaction between these cultures and Western cultures.
  • Justice Awareness: Courses related to this aspect of human diversity seek to increase students' awareness and understanding of justice and injustice. The Core Values Statement at Loyola states that the "pursuit of justice continues to form and shape both the educational mission and daily dealings of life in Jesuit institutions". Justice awareness courses would serve the cause of justice by fostering in students the ability to think in a sophisticated manner about the distinctive life and thought of those subject to injustice, and/or by addressing issues of injustice through examination of oppression, discrimination, prejudice, stigmatization, and privilege. These courses can explore themes of justice and injustice from any number of perspectives, including but not limited to, historical, philosophical, theological, literary, psychological, sociological, political, economic, and legal. Such courses can focus on diverse areas of inquiry, including investigation of the meaning of justice and injustice, the efforts of justice and injustice, processes through which justice and injustice are maintained, and factors related to past and present social change efforts.
  • Domestic Diversity Awareness: Courses related to this aspect of human diversity seek to increase students' cultural awareness and/or competency in relation to the experiences of minority groups in the United States. A minority group can be defined as a distinct segment of the population with all of the following characteristics: (a) occupying a non-dominant position in society; (b) having certain characteristics (identity), or culture (ethic, religious, linguistic) which distinguishes it from the rest of the population; and (c) possessing a sense of solidarity or will to safeguard these characteristics. Courses fulfilling this requirement will consider the political, cultural, economic, and social significance of class, gender, sexuality, religion, disability, age, race, or ethnicity, and will explore the process by which distinctive American cultures have been created and either are or are not sustained.