The name “Ratio Studiorum” emanates from a Jesuit “plan of studies” bearing the name “Ratio atque Institutio Studiorum Societatis Jesu” and adopted in 1599 as a formal program for study at the university level. In an analogous manner, Creighton’s Ratio Studiorum Program is designed to help students understand how the Academy works, how the curriculum functions to form them as young women and men, and how they can expect to grow and develop in the university setting. The Program focuses on the need for students to plan their curriculum, their career, and a way of life that concentrates on ethical living, service to others, a search for truth and justice in public and personal life, and a search for the relationship with the Almighty. Informed choice is the goal, freedom and knowledge are the tools in this discernment, and faculty and professional staff are the guides.

First-year students begin the program through a Ratio Studiorum 100-level class. This is a one credit, graded course designed to facilitate a smooth transition from high school by examining key elements of collegiate life, such as the meaning and value of a liberal arts education; the Jesuit, Catholic history and values; and the vocational aspirations and challenges common to all freshmen. The class meets weekly during the first semester in groups of about 15-20 students and is taught by an RSP Advisor (formerly known as RSP Faculty Preceptor)who serves as the academic advisor throughout the student's first two academic years or until student is accepted into a major or a program. A Decurion or peer academic leader (a junior or senior invited by the RSP Advisor) joins him/her in this venture.

The 100-level courses are as follows:

RSP 101 An Introduction to the Culture of Collegiate Life – College of Arts and Sciences
RSP 102 An Introduction to the Culture of College Life - College of Nursing
RSP 103 An Introduction to the Culture of Collegiate Life – Heider College of Business
RSP 104 Introduction to the Culture of Collegiate Life – Honors Students in College of Arts and Sciences
RSP 105 Introduction to the Culture of Collegiate Life – Transfer Students (Arts and Sciences/Business) with less than 38 credit hours