Augustana's Core Curriculum

Augustana's Core Curriculum is higher education designed for tomorrow’s innovators and entrepreneurs.

A Core Curriculum Designed for Tomorrow’s Innovators and Entrepreneurs.

In today’s world — and certainly in tomorrow’s — we’re increasingly challenged to think like innovators and entrepreneurs. Whether we work in health care, business, education, research, public service, the arts, or any other industry, as members of the fastest-moving society in the history of time, we need to be entrepreneurial.

We need to be nimble and ready for change. We need to be innovative critical thinkers — able to develop complex solutions for complex challenges. And, most importantly, we need to be able to communicate those solutions effectively.

As our world becomes smaller, we need to be able to think bigger and broader. And we need to do so with a global perspective.

And, as access to information becomes more prevalent and more sophisticated, we need to know how to interpret data in strategic, analytical and ethical ways.

To do this, we need a tool kit designed to help us navigate uncharted waters and explore new terrain.

We need a foundation that will help us prepare for jobs that don’t even exist today — jobs that are the solutions to problems we haven’t yet even identified.

For many of us, that foundation is what will empower us to chart our own pathways — to build and create businesses, brands, codes, scores, apps, cures, theories, solutions, designs, works, programs, networks and more — on our own, as entrepreneurs.

Traditionally called the Liberal Arts, our curriculum teaches 21st-century skills. Our Core Curriculum is higher education designed for tomorrow’s innovators and entrepreneurs and prepares students for a lifetime of success.

Augustana’s 45-credit Core Curriculum is summarized in the acronym SOPHIA, the Greek word for “wisdom,” and represents the categories of Science, Orientation, Perspectives, Humanities, Intersections and the Arts. It also honors the primacy of the word in the Lutheran tradition, logos, and recognizes the sacred wisdom of God. 

Your Augustana Educational Experience

As a student, you’ll begin your academic journey at Augustana with a two-semester, integrative First-Year Seminar.

From there, you’ll build your foundational knowledge in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Along the way, you’ll be challenged to examine thoroughly life’s foundational questions through conversation and academic inquiry as you explore faith, engage in service, and achieve an education of enduring worth.

As you move through the Core Curriculum, you’ll discover your passions and explore your vocation — the career to which you are specially drawn. If you haven’t already, you’ll declare your major(s) and minor(s). You’ll work through your Core and Major requirements concurrently to achieve the minimum 124 credit hours needed to graduate.

Nine SOPHIA courses are required. The remaining courses are "selective." Selective courses are a group of eight courses from which students will select a minimum of six courses.

Sciences: Social and Natural 

  • Science of the Natural World (4 credits, required)
  • Social Science (6 credits, required)


  • First-Year Seminar (5 credits, required)
  • Mathematics and Quantitative Analysis (3 credits, required)
  • Well-Being (3 credits, selective)


  • Languages (6 credits, required)
  • Non-Western Societies, Cultures, and Traditions (3 credits, selective)
  • The U.S. Experience (3 credits, selective)


  • Christian Tradition (3 credits, required)
  • Literature (3 credits, selective)
  • Western Tradition (3 credits, required)


  • Religious Traditions and Theological Conversations (3 credits, selective)
  • Scientific Intersections and Impacts (3 credits, selective)


  • Theatre, Music, Visual Arts (3 credits, selective)

Total Credits: 45