The Core Curriculum consists of 41 credit hours of coursework distributed across three general areas:
- 15 credit hours of Foundation Skills in English Composition, Foundations of Inquiry, Speech Communication, and Mathematics designed to strengthen students' writing, oral, and mathematical skills.
- 23 credit hours of Disciplinary Studies in Fine Arts, Human Health, Humanities, Science, and Social Science designed to introduce students to the universe of human knowledge.
- 3 credit hours of Integrative Studies designed to increase students' respect for and appreciation of human diversity.
No Core course or Advanced Core course may satisfy more than one requirement, nor may any Advanced Core course in combination with the Core course for which it substitutes be used to satisfy a Core requirement. A maximum or 12 semester hours of Advanced Core Curriculum coursework may be accepted for University Core Curriculum credit.
In Fall 2012, the SIU Faculty Senate adopted the Essential Learning Outcomes of the Association of American Colleges and Universities LEAP initiative as the learning objectives of the SIU Core Curriculum.