Core Curriculum Overview

The Foundational Core | 30 credits

FY 125 First-year Seminar
This seminar is an introduction to academic writing and discourse. It focuses on writing as both process and product, linked to critical thinking and problem-solving. The small-class setting gives students the opportunity to begin developing their skills in writing, seminar-style communication, and information literacy. Seminars are offered in a wide range of specialty topics, which vary from semester to semester. Recent examples include: It’s the End of the World as We Know It: Apocalyptic Literature, Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating, The Fighting Irish, Talking about Fight Club, and Justice League.

CTL 125 Critical Thinking
The goal of this course is to make students better and more careful thinkers by having them think about their own thinking in ways that will help them throughout their academic careers and professional and personal lives. Topics include the structure of arguments and fallacies, evaluation of information and media, basic statistical reasoning, and problem-solving.

HI 100/102 Western Civilization I or II

This first course provides students with an introduction to the historical development of Western Civilization from its roots in the ancient world to 1500. The focus will be on the development of the common good resulting in ideas of citizenship and democracy and in the growth of culture. The themes and topics in the second course will lead to a greater understanding of how historical development occurred since 1500. The focus will be on the development of economics, the sciences, and social and political ideas.

For the remaining courses, students take an appropriate course in Math and select a course from each of the following: English; Philosophy; Theology and Religious Studies; Art, Design, or Communications; and the social and natural sciences.

The Human Journey Seminars

Great Books in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition     6 CR
These two seminars are the University’s academic signature common core and they are a direct reflection of the University’s Mission. These two courses provide students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the roots and development of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition as an ongoing 2000 year conversation between the Catholic community of its thinkers, writer, artists and the cultures in which they have lived, asking fundamental questions about God, humanity, society, and nature. The first seminar includes readings from The Bible, Plato, and Aquinas. In the second seminar, students read selections from Thomas Merton, John Henry Newman, and Dorothy Day, among others.

Liberal Arts Explorations | 9 credits

This part of the Core will more fully immerse students in different facets of the liberal arts, such that they will come away with deeper knowledge and a greater ability to be critical and independent thinkers. Students to select a non-introductory course in each of the following:

Humanistic Inquiry. In these courses, students will examine and explore human nature and human experience in different eras and cultures. Students will critically examine and reflect upon fundamental concerns, issues, and topics related to the human condition, as represented by influential thinkers, writers, artists, and scientists. 

Social and Global Awareness. This area asks that students become more informed about and engaged with the world around them. It aims to provide students with the tools and the insight that will make them responsible citizens. Students will be asked to bring critical reflection, empathy, and a respect for cultural diversity to bear on social problems and real-world issues. 

Scientific Literacy. Scientific literacy is the ability to describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena and the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making and living in and making contributions to the human community. These courses allow students to develop the ability to assess the quality of scientific information, to pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence, and to apply the principles of scientific inquiry to make and communicate reasoned and ethical judgments about the role of science in individuals’ lives, communities, and the world. 

A course might fit with more than one designation but would only fulfill one requirement for a student. Students would also have to select courses from at least two different disciplines.