Catholic Studies

The Program in Catholic Studies offers two 3-credit courses at the 100-level (see course descriptions at the bottom of this page):

CATH 101 – The Catholic Story 
CATH 102 – The Catholic Imagination

These are required courses for a major or joint major in Catholic Studies, and are recommended courses for a minor, subsidiary, or pair.  They can also be used as electives in any program, except the Diploma in Engineering.

CATH 101 is not a prerequisite for 102, so students looking for a 3-credit course in second semester may take CATH 102 without having taken 101 in first term.

This program offers an academic study of Catholicism and its contributions to culture, the arts, and society. Courses are open to all students, and do not presuppose any background in religion.

Catholic Studies is an interdisciplinary program, meaning that it incorporates relevant courses from other academic subjects. Students intending a major or joint major in Catholic Studies may want to consider also taking introductory courses in one or more of the interdisciplinary subjects. This will provide necessary prerequisites to take the allowable designated courses in future years.

The Catholic Studies section of the Academic Calendar specifies these allowable courses. It would be useful for interested students to look at the courses in the Calendar to determine courses that are of most interest to them, which in turn would dictate the introductory-level courses that would be good choices for first year.

For all designated courses, students should note the following departmental prerequisites:
ART: ART 142, 371 or 373 is a prerequisite for ART 435. There is no prerequisite for the other art history courses, other than upper-year status.
CELT: There is no prerequisite for CELT 230, other than second-year status.
ENGL: ENGL 100, or 111 and 112, is a minimum prerequisite for the English courses.
FREN: 6 credits of 200-level FREN is a minimum prerequisite for the French courses. Many students will need to take FREN 111 and 112 prior to 200-level courses, depending upon results in the department’s online placement test.
HIST: Any 6 credits of 100-level HIST can serve as the prerequisite for HIST 363.  This prerequisite is waived if a student wishes to take this course in third or fourth year.
MUSI: There is no prerequisite for MUSI 315. Students in all years of study are permitted to register in this course, though the majority of students in the class will be in third year.
PHIL: PHIL 100 is a minimum prerequisite for the philosophy courses.
RELS: There are no prerequisites for the RELS courses, other than upper-year status.
SOCI: SOCI 101 and 102, or DEVS 201 and 202 (available to students in second year), is a minimum prerequisite for SOCI 322.

Course Descriptions from the Current Academic Calendar:

101   The Catholic Story 
An introduction to Catholic studies, the course focuses on a survey of major developments in the history of the Catholic Church: Early Christianity, the Papacy, Ecumenical Councils, Mission, Internal Reforms, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the Enlightenment, World Wars, and the Catholic Church today. Intertwined in this chronology are several themes: Freedom, Faith and Reason, Concepts of History, Sacraments, Spirituality, and Faith. Credit will be granted for only one of CATH 101 or CATH 100. Three credits.

102   The Catholic Imagination
Through a study of key texts of the Catholic intellectual tradition, students will investigate and examine themes such as: persecution, martyrdom, sin, moral life, death, faith, and divine love. Texts used will draw from different historical periods, a range of genres (autobiography, drama, poetry, fiction and non-fiction prose), and various types of authors (male, female, saints, mystics, religious, and secular). Credit will be granted for only one of CATH 102 or CATH 100. Three credits.


Please refer to Section 9.7 Catholic Studies in the Academic Calendar.

Click here to go to the Catholic Studies program webpage.