The Core Curriculum consists of 39 credit hours of coursework distributed across three general areas:
- 13 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 may satisfy more than one requirement. In Fall 2012, the SIU Faculty Senate adopted the Liberal Education and America's Promise of the Association of American Colleges and Universities LEAP initiative as the learning objectives of the SIU Core Curriculum.