New Core Curriculum (2015)

The New Core will consist of the following courses and will take effect in Fall 2011 for the Graduating class of 2015:

  • Click here for the rationale for the Foundational Courses.
    2 Augustine and Culture Seminars: These seminars focus on the question: Who am I? The first seminar contains readings from Hebrew and Christian scriptures, Greek and Roman antiquity, Augustine, and the High Middle Ages and is dedicated to understanding the foundations of our shared intellectual tradition.  The second seminar will address the question of identity with texts from the Renaissance to the modern era.
    Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

  • 2 Theology courses: The first course introduces students to theology as a discipline by examining the Bible and Christian literature of the post-biblical centuries. The second course in Theology allows students to pick from a spectrum of courses; current courses are predominantly from the Christian tradition.*
    Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

  • 1 Philosophy Course:  The core course will explore the philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.*
    Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

  • 1 Ethics course:  The course will provide critical reflection on distinctive and viable visions of the moral life, with particular focus on Christian, especially Roman Catholic, Augustinian accounts, and explore the significance of different visions though an examination of various contemporary moral questions.*
    Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

  • 2 Languages fulfilled by: 
    • Passing a proficiency test offered by the ML Department or the Villanova Global Institute every fall, winter and spring, or attaining a 4-5 score in the high school AP test.
    • Completing at Villanova two courses above the elementary level (in one Romance Language, Latin, or German) or two courses at the elementary level (in all other critical languages) with a passing grade of at least C.

Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

  • 1 Mathematics or Statistics course. Students must take one course in either mathematics or statistics.  Any course offered by the Department of Mathematical Science fulfills the requirement although the Department offers courses every semester specifically designed for the Core Curriculum. These specifically designed courses, along with courses offered from other Departments designated by the appropriate attribute, fulfill the core math requirement.*
    Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

  • 2 Core Science courses each with a lab. The College Core Science requirement will be fulfilled by taking any two Mendel Science Experience courses — students will not be restricted to taking back-to-back courses within a single discipline.*
    Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

  • 1 Literature and Writing Sophomore Seminar
    Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

  • 1 History course. Any history course specifically designated for the Core Curriculum fulfills the core requirement. These specifically designed courses, along with courses offered from other Departments designated by the appropriate attribute, fulfill the core history requirement.*
    Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

  • 2 Social Science courses. Courses designated by the appropriate attribute, fulfill the core social science requirement.*
    Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

  • 1 Fine Arts Course.  The Fine Arts requirement is met through courses that foster and develop an understanding and appreciation of artistic creativity. While some course may focus on the creative processes that go into making a work of art, others may focus on analysis and interpretation of the products of that artistic creativity. Special designated courses in Theater, Studio Art, Art History, English, and Communication (e.g., Rhetoric/Performance and Media/Film Studies), designated with the appropriate attribute. Please note that not all Studio Art courses meet the Fine Arts requirement.*
    Please read the rationale for this requirement here.
  • Writing. While writing plays an integral part in the courses offered in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, there are eight courses where writing requirements will perform a rigorous role. In the Augustine and Culture Seminars, Literature and Writing Sophomore Seminar, and the Senior Capstone Course, students should write from 20-30 pages of polished prose with a carefully monitored composing process which includes an evaluation of rough drafts and the opportunity to revise. In the other courses where writing will play a rigorous role (Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, Ethics, and the Sophomore/Junior Research Requirement), students should write from 10-20 pages (frequently many more) of polished prose with a carefully monitored composing process, which includes an evaluation of rough drafts and the opportunity to revise.
    • Two Augustine and Culture Seminars: “Ancients” and “Moderns”
    • Philosophy: “Knowledge, Reality, Self”
    • Theology and Religious Studies: “Faith, Reason, and Culture”
    • Ethics: “The Good Life: Ethics and Contemporary Moral Questions”
    • Literature and Writing Sophomore Seminar
    • Sophomore/Junior Research Requirement
    • Senior Capstone Course

Individual departments will determine which of their courses will focus on writing.
Please read the rationale for this requirement here.

* Courses reviewed and approved by the appropriate core curriculum committee.

Total:  16 courses and 50 credit hours.

 

Diversity Requirements:

Students will take at least two courses designated as “diversity.” Learning to see through the eyes of other peoples and cultures is essential to becoming a citizen of the world. Beyond introducing students to the contextual study of diverse groups, diversity education may foster understanding of how individuals are affected within systems of power, oppression and marginalization.

Students are required to select one course in two of the three following areas:

Diversity 1: Courses that focus on non-dominant groups, minority groups, or impoverished groups in the United States; also courses focusing on the experiences of minorities in Western Europe as “marginalized” people.

Diversity 2: Courses that provide a focus on women’s experiences and/or highlight the relationship between gender and culture.

Diversity 3: Courses that provide a focus on the culture, economics, politics or ecology of societies and nations other than those of Europe and the United States.

Please read the rationale for this requirement here.


NOTES:

1. Service learning courses, internships, and other experiential courses may be applied toward this requirement, provided they include a significant reflective component, just as traditional diversity courses do, and have been pre-approved for diversity course credit.
2. Study abroad courses may also be applied toward this requirement; such courses will be assessed the same way as courses at Villanova.
3. A student may not use a single course to fulfill more than one category of the diversity requirement.
4. The diversity requirement cannot be fulfilled by independent study or a senior thesis.
5. Language courses cannot fulfill the requirement, although literature courses in a foreign language can fulfill the requirement provided they focus on appropriate material.
6. The spirit of the diversity requirement calls for students to select courses that will broaden their education. The Core Diversity Committee believes it is ultimately the student’s
responsibility to select courses to achieve this goal.

Explanation of Course Requirements

Courses, or sections of courses that are specifically designed to fulfill Core requirements, are designated as such in the Master Schedule, which is available online through MyNOVA. Retroactive approval of a course taken previously for fulfillment of a core requirement is not possible.

watercolor photo of SAC