Vincent Fitzgerald, Ph.D
The Common Core Requirements, Breadth Requirements, and Core Competency Requirements are collectively referred to as the Core Curriculum Requirements.
Common Core Requirements
|First Year Experience||4|
|Writing and Literature||6-8*|
|Modern Language (for BA, BFA, BM)
Culture and Language (for BS)
|Religion and Spirituality||6|
|* Transfer students may fulfill this requirement with two three-unit transfer courses.|
|Visual and Performing Arts||3|
|Philosophy and Values||3|
|Social and Behavioral Sciences||6|
Core Competency Requirements
Core Competency Requirements generally do not add units to a student's program. Rather, they are intended to be satisfied in the course of satisfying other requirements by choosing courses that meet multiple goals. The current exception to this standard is the Upper-Division Writing Proficiency Requirement, which may require additional coursework if not passed by exam. The expectation is that NDNU will broaden the options for meeting this requirement to include coursework within the major that has an embedded writing component.
|Upper-Division Writing Proficiency||0-3|
|Library Research Methods and Techniques*||1*|
|* Asterisked requirements are tracked by the advisor and will not be part of the graduation audit performed by the Registrar's Office.|
Outcomes One Can Expect from Engagement in the Core Curriculum
The Core Curriculum is designed to introduce all students to the core values of Notre Dame de Namur University and to how these values are linked to the educational pursuit. These values include development of the whole person, working in a collaborative community, and promotion of social justice.
The Common Core requirements encompass experiences shared by all students. Within this core, the First Year Experience is an interdisciplinary team-taught course that introduces students to the Mission of the University and its core values and competencies. Instruction takes place both inside the classroom and beyond the classroom in community-based projects. The Breadth Requirements provide students with a broader understanding of diverse disciplines, while further strengthening such competencies as written and oral communication, critical thinking, portfolio development, and community-based learning, first introduced in the core courses. The Core Competency Requirements enhance and integrate students’ abilities to research, write, and speak about both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary topics as they engage with the world around them.
A range of options is offered to meet many of the expected Core Curriculum outcomes. Students track their progress toward these outcomes with guidance from their academic advisors.
Common Core Requirements
First Year Experience
The First Year Experience is an interdisciplinary course that introduces traditional-aged students to the Mission of the University and its core values and competencies. Students explore their identities as members of local, national, and global multicultural communities through critical reflection and experiential learning activities. Readings are selected to challenge students' intellectual visions and interests. Reflection and written and oral communication skills are emphasized. Leadership and collaboration skills are developed, while enrichment activities correlate residence hall and other campus events with the academic program. The undergraduate academic portfolio is implemented to document students' continuing development of core competencies and values. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Through the Writing and Literature Requirement, students strengthen their skills in expository prose writing and critical thinking as they analyze fictional narratives and other types of writing, review the fundamentals of grammar and mechanics, study basic rhetorical strategies, and practice research and documentation methodologies. Concurrently, students increase their understanding and appreciation of the language, style, and themes of important authors in World literature. Ethnic and international writers provide a global and multicultural perspective. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Action in our contemporary world requires, more than ever before, a truly global perspective. World history classes introduce students to the genesis and development of our increasingly globalized world. Courses in history are designed to introduce students to the major persons, ideas, and movements that have shaped the modern western world. Students will grow in their understanding of the context and development of ideas and institutions and in their critical awareness of the sources and interpretation of historical knowledge. It is hoped that this requirement will contribute to an appreciation for the interconnectedness of peoples and cultures over time as well as of the interdependency of modern nations. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Courses in a modern language develop communication skills in a language other than English and emphasize listening, reading, speaking, and writing. The language is studied as an essential component of a distinct cultural heritage so that students become familiar with the history, customs, and artistic expressions of the areas of the world where that language is spoken. Advanced courses develop skills for specific purposes such as business and community service. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Culture and Language (for BS students only)
Courses in this requirement provide a basic knowledge and understanding of the heritage of non-English speaking cultures, including their historical evolution, institutions, peoples, customs, current sociopolitical conditions, literature, art, and music. Students become acquainted with the language of the heritage area studies, including core concepts specific to social interactions and survival level vocabulary and grammar. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Through Religion and Spirituality, students begin to comprehend the spiritual dimensions of life as integral to individual, social, and ecological realities. They have the opportunity to explore elements of Christian spirituality, ethics, traditions, scripture, and liturgy. They also learn to appreciate the variety and richness of spiritual/religious beliefs and practices throughout the world. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Students gain an appreciation for the usefulness of mathematics in their everyday lives and careers and expand their sense of the place of mathematics in society. They develop and broaden their ability to:
- translate simple questions about how the world works into mathematical language;
- reason with mathematical ideas;
- translate the mathematical conclusions back into the situation that is being studied and draw conclusions appropriate to that situation.
See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Visual and Performing Arts
In Visual and Performing Arts courses students are exposed to a range of aesthetic and critical experiences and encouraged to develop and employ their creative energies. In some courses students improve their personal skills for seeing or hearing, or for creating or performing. Other courses develop an understanding and appreciation of artistic styles, historical developments, and analytical methods. All courses introduce the vocabulary needed to read, write, and talk about the visual and performing arts with the objective of enabling students to identify the elements that constitute an aesthetic experience and to judge the merits of a work of art. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Philosophy and Values
Philosophy courses assist students in examining fundamental claims about life and the universe from an objective point of view and allow them to develop critical thinking skills. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
The study of sociology and psychology enables students to identify and to analyze how social systems influence the behavior of groups or individuals. Knowledge of the complexity of human behavior equips students to understand the integrative function of the human mind and to live intelligently in our complex society. Political science and economics courses introduce students to ideological and economic forces that shape the structure of society. Study of other societies and cultures and analysis of the complex interactions of people of diverse beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors leads to a greater understanding of and compassion for the human family. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Students of science gain an understanding of the principles, processes, and concepts that are the basic tenets of the sciences. Focusing on problem-solving and on methods of organizing ideas and testing of information, they develop an appreciation for scientific thinking. Students acquire a sense of the historical context in which the sciences developed. They begin to evaluate the impact of science and technology on the natural, political, and social environments and thus are equipped to respond to scientific issues in society. In the field and laboratory, students have experience with data collection and analysis, experimental design, and the development of observational skills. Students are encouraged to take a laboratory course. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Core Competency Requirements
Cultural Diversity [CDiv]
Courses designated as CDiv are those courses that are fundamentally concerned with exploring the contemporary or historical experiences of underrepresented or marginalized peoples. These courses give voice to world cultures whose origins lie outside the western tradition, principally Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Courses that treat the experience of ethnic minority populations in the United States, as well as topical courses on gender, sexuality, ethnicity, contemporary poverty, and minority religions may also be granted the CDiv designation. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Upper-Division Writing Proficiency
This requirement is designed to assure that students demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly in writing at a level that meets the University's standard. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Students develop their abilities to speak in front of groups comfortably and competently. They are exposed to basic presentation issues including how they present both their material and themselves to an audience. In particular, students develop their ability to speak about their academic work. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Through this requirement, students come to understand broadly the uses of information technology. Students are also exposed to and use information technology and/or other discipline-specific technology and apply it to their chosen discipline. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Library Research Methods and Techniques
Students refine their library research skills and apply them to a research project or paper. See below for details on fulfilling this requirement.
Fulfilling the Requirements
Fulfilling the Common Core Requirements:
First Year Experience (4 units)
Freshmen satisfy this requirement by taking ID010 The First Year Experience. Transfer students with 30 units or more and nontraditional age students need not satisfy this requirement.
Writing and Literature (6-8 units)
Students entering as freshmen may fulfill this requirement by taking and passing EN002 and EN021A. Transfer students with 30 units or more and nontraditional age students may substitute for EN002 an equivalent course in freshman composition from another institution. Such students may also substitute for EN021A an equivalent literature course from another institution or three units of literature courses from the following list: EN021B, EN100, EN102A, 102B, 102C, 102G, 102I, 102J, EN109A, EN109B, EN109C, EN117, EN130A, EN130B, EN133, EN140, EN141, EN142ABC, EN143, EN144, EN146A, EN146B, EN146C, EN146D, EN146E, EN146F, EN146G, or EN195I.
Note: Freshmen students who have passed a College Board Advanced Placement Examination(s) in English with a score of three or higher may earn three to six units of college credit and thereby fulfill all or part of the Writing and Literature Requirement. See Undergraduate Policies, Credit by Examination.
Note: In addition to the Writing and Literature Requirement, all students must also satisfy the Writing Proficiency Requirement.
World History (6 units)
Students entering as freshmen fulfill this requirement by taking and passing HY007A and HY007B. Incoming transfer students (30 or more transferable units), as well as freshmen who have satisfied the equivalent of Section A or B (below) through transferable work, may fulfill this requirement by satisfying the Section A and Section B requirements below.
|SECTION A: Three of the six units required must be in World History. To fulfill this section of the requirement students may take any course from the following list:|
|HY102||History of Western Culture|
|HY/PS118||History of Political and Social Thought|
|HY/PS128B||Modern Western Thought|
|HY/PS152||Sex and Myth in History|
|SECTION B: The remaining three units of the requirement may be fulfilled by any three-unit History course [prefix HY] at NDNU.|
Modern Language (6 units)
At entrance, students are tested and placed at a skill level commensurate with prior experience in the language. All BA, BFA, and BM students must take two semesters of the same Modern Language unless eligible for exemption (see below).
|Students in the first or second year of language study at Notre Dame de Namur University are required to take six units. Students may choose any courses from this list:|
|FR001 and FR002||Basic Practical French|
|FR003 and FR004||Intermediate Conversation|
|FR004 and FR135||Intermediate Conversation and Pronunciation in Cultural Context|
|SP001 and SP002||Introduction to Spanish|
|SP003 and SP004||Intermediate Spanish|
|Two semesters (with a minimum of six semester units) of the same language from another institution will satisfy the Modern Language requirement.|
Culture and Language (6 units)
BS students may choose from the following options:
1. Two semesters of the same Modern Language
2. Two Culture and Language courses (prefix CL)
3. One semester of Modern Language and one course from the following list:
|CU195||Special Topics in Cultural Heritage|
|HY/PS162||Latin American Area Studies|
|HY/PS180||African Area Studies|
|HY/PS181||Islam and the West|
|HY/PS184||Asian Area Studies|
|HY/PS190||Middle East Area Studies|
|Any Culture and Language course (prefix CL) will
fulfill this requirement. See Culture
and Language listings for course descriptions.
Note: Students who take these courses to fulfill their Culture and Language requirement may not use the same courses to fulfill their Cultural Diversity requirement.
Exemption from Modern Language or Culture and Language Requirement
Students who demonstrate oral and written language competency by meeting one of the following criteria are exempt from the Modern Language (BA, BM, BFA) or the Culture and Language (BS) requirement. To demonstrate competency a student may:
- Be a native speaker of a language other than English and provide an offical transcript showing attendance at school in the native language.
- Pass an NDNU foreign language placement examination with a proficiency score of three or pass an equivalent exam at a corresponding level. (Exam must be approved in advance by the Chair of the Modern Languages Department. For non-European languages, this usually involves passing a test sent from the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC and administered at NDNU.)
- Complete the third year level of a foreign language in high school with grades "C" or higher (high school transcript required.)
- Score 600 or higher on a College Board Achievement Test in foreign language.)
- Pass a College Board Advanced Placement Examination in a foreign language with a score of three or higher.)
- Pass a CLEP examination in a foreign language at the 50th percentile or higher. (See the Registrar's Office for information on credit for specific CLEP exams.)
Religion and Spirituality (6 units)
Any two courses in religious studies (prefix RS) will fulfill this requirement. See Religious Studies listings for course descriptions.
Fulfilling the Breadth Requirements:
Mathematics (3 units)
Any 3 or 4 units Mathematics course (prefix MA) satisfies the Core Curriculum Mathematics requirement with the exception of MA003 and MA012. All courses that fulfill the requirement assume mathematics placement at Level 1or higher (see Mathematics Placement Test).
Visual and Performing Arts (3 units)
Any course from the following list meets this requirement. Students may also take advanced courses if prerequisites have been met.
|AR001C||Drawing with Illustrator|
|AR004||Art History Survey|
|AR070/170||Scenic Design and Model Building|
|AR100B||Art History: Modern Art|
|AR100G||Art History: Art of the Americas [CDiv]|
|AR102||Techniques and Materials|
|AR103B||Projects in Painting|
|AR108A||Media Graphics: Graphic Design|
|AR108B||Media Graphics: Layout and Typography|
|AR108C||Media Graphics: Production Techniques|
|AR109||Elements of Web Design|
|AR116||Art Education Concepts|
|AR/MK122||Art History: Art in Business and Industry|
|AR130C||Printmaking: Multimedia Workshop|
|AR160||Art History: Contemporary Art Since 1945|
|AR161||Postmodern World in Art|
|AR/RS168A||Art History: Medieval|
|AR/RS168B||Art History: Art and Religion of the Far East [CDiv]|
|ID024/124||Bay Area Cultural Events [CDiv]|
|MN017/117||Class Piano - Nonmajors|
|MN016I/116I||Individual Instruction - Instrumental Nonmajors|
|MN016P/116P||Individual Instruction - Piano Nonmajors|
|MN016V/116V||Individual Instruction - Vocal Nonmajors|
|MU001A||Exploring Music at the Keyboard|
|MU006/106||Composing and Improvising|
|MU016/116*||Individual Instruction for Non-Music Majors (1 unit)|
|MU017/117*||Class Piano (1 unit)|
|MU027A/127A*||Beginning Voice Class (1 unit)|
|MU027B/127B||Beginning Voice Class|
|MU031/131*||Chamber Music Class|
|MU042/142||World Music [CDiv]|
|MU093/193**||Computer Applications in Music|
|MU120A||Survey of Music in Western Civilization|
|MU140||Music Education Concepts|
|TA001||Introduction to the Theatre|
|TA002/102||Introduction to Oral Interpretation of Literature|
|TA061/161||Theatre and Drama in the Schools|
|TA070/170||Scenic Design and Model Building|
|TA080/180/MG180/SL180||Introduction to Arts Management|
|TA130A||Development of Drama and Theatre to 1600|
|TA130B||Development of Drama and Theatre from 1600 to 1800|
|TA130C||Development of Drama and Theatre from 1800 to the Present|
|TA175/CM175||Acting for the Camera|
|* Three semesters of the same instrument or voice within a four-semester sequence. In the case of MU017/117 and MU027A/127A, one or more semesters may be replaced with MU016I/P/V or MU116I/P/V.|
|** BM students may not use this course for credit in this category.|
Philosophy and Values (3 units)
Any course in philosophy (prefix PL) will fulfill this requirement with the exception of PL012/112 Formal Logic and PL013/113 Critical Thinking and Scientific Reasoning. See Philosophy listings for course descriptions.
Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 units)
Students may choose any two courses among:
|EC/IB182||Comparative Economic Systems|
|EC/IB183||Economic Development of Less Developed Countries [CDiv]|
Any course offered by the Political Science department (prefix PS) will fulfill this requirement. See Political Science listings for course descriptions.
Any course offered by the Psychology department (prefix PY) will fulfill this requirement. See Psychology listings for course descriptions.
Any course offered by the Sociology department (prefix SO) will fulfill this requirement. See Sociology listings for course descriptions.
Natural Science (3 units)
Students may choose any course from this list:
|BY005||Introduction to Biology|
|BY109||Contemporary Environmental Issues|
|NS005/105||Introduction to Nutrition|
|PH004A/B||Physics for Scientists|
|PH009||Introduction to Physical Science|
|SM085/185||Natural Sciences Seminar|
|Under special circumstances (by consent of Department Chair):|
Fulfilling the Core Competency Requirements:
Cultural Diversity [CDiv] (6 units)
All students are required to take six units in Cultural Diversity. An appreciation of cultural diversity is an important aspect of NDNU's social justice mission and CDiv courses are concerned with exploring cultural difference in a mindful effort to advance this aspect of our mission. Cultural diversity is integral to CDiv courses and cultural diversity content is presented throughout the course. Therefore, the number of CDiv units awarded for any course will equal the total number of units of that course (for example, any three unit CDiv course will be worth three CDiv units). Cultural Diversity courses may be used also to fulfill other Core Curriculum requirements (except Culture and Language) or requirements within the major. (Students in BS programs may not use Culture and Language courses to fulfill both the Culture and Language requirement and the Cultural Diversity requirement). Courses fulfilling this requirement carry the notation [CDiv] after their title. Check the course descriptions in this Catalog and the listings in each semester's class schedule.
|This is an approved list of Cultural Diversity courses:|
|AR100G||Art History: Art of the Americas|
|AR/RS168B||Art and Religion of the Far East|
|CL/FR109A||Women in French Literature|
|CL/CU139||Cultural Heritage and Language of China|
|CL/LA161||Mexico: Politics, Culture, and Language|
|CL/LA162||Central America: Politics, Culture, and Language|
|CL/LA164||Andean Nations: Politics, Culture, and Language|
|CL/LA175||Latino/Hispanic Experience in the USA|
|CL/FR196||African Cinema, Culture, and Language|
|CL/LA/SP197||Culture and Language of Latin America through Film|
|CU195||Special Topics in Cultural Heritage|
|EC/IB183||Economic Development of Less-Developed Countries|
|EN101C||Great American Writers: Morrison|
|EN102B||American Literary Movements: Harlem Renaissance|
|EN142A||Native American Literature|
|EN148||Film and Literature|
|EN173||Modern Fiction: Comparative Approach|
|EN/PY176||Women, Shakespeare, and Psychoanalysis|
|GB002/102||Deploying Capital in the Modern World|
|HS/MG162||Managing Cultural Diversity (Intensive students only)|
|HS171||Women's Health Issues|
|HY/PS162||Latin American Area Studies|
|HY/PS174||Gender and the Law|
|HY/PS177||History and Politics of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States|
|HY/PS178||America's Ethnic History|
|HY/PS180||African Area Studies|
|HY/PS/RS181||Islam and the West|
|HY/PS184||Asian Area Studies|
|HY/PS190||Middle East Area Studies|
|HY/PS190M||Model Arab League|
|IB/MG116||Comparative International Management|
|ID024/124||Bay Area Cultural Events|
|ID025/125||Peace and Social Justice: Bay Area Events|
|LA/CL110||Literature of Latin America|
|LA/CL165||Indegenous Cultures of Latin America|
|LA/CL175||Latino/Hispanic Experience in the USA|
|LA/CL176||Mexican American Literature, Language, and Film|
|MG157||Women in Management|
|NS009/109||Nutrition and Health in Developing Countries|
|PL114||Woman and Philosophy|
|PY017/117/SO017/117||Lifestyles of the Poor and Infamous|
|PY/SO113||Society Through Film|
|PY/SO154||Building Community through Diversity|
|RS137||Developments in Gender and Sexuality in Christianity|
|RS165||Religions of the World|
|RS196||Way of the Earth (Intensive students only)|
|SM001/101||Science and Technology in Developing Countries|
|SM004/104||Revolutionary Women and Minorities in Science|
|SM/SO183||Animals, People, and the Environment|
|SO015/115/PY015/115||The Inner City: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly|
|SO016/116/PY016/116||Exploring the Inner World of the Inner City|
|SO018/118/PY018/118||The Promise of the Inner City|
|SO153/PY153||Race and Ethnicity in Cross-cultural Perspective|
|SO162||Cross-cultures and Subcultures|
|SO/SM183F||Animals, People, and the Environment - Field Work|
|SP100B||Advanced Spanish: La herencia cultural de latinoamerica|
|SP103||Spanish for a Bilingual World: Community Services and Business|
|SP115||Introduccion a la literatura latinoamericana|
Oral Communication (3)
One of these units may be satisfied by completion of ID010 First Year Experience. Guided by the advisor, the student will additionally choose either a general oral communication class course or a course within the major that has a focus on oral communication (preferred).
Information/Discipline-Specific Technology (3)
Guided by the advisor, the student will satisfy these units by choosing courses within the major that develop technology skills or through freestanding modules, as may be appropriate and available.
Library Research Methods and Techniques (1)
This unit may be satisfied by completion of the First Year Experience. Guided by the advisor, the student may additionally or alternately (transfers) choose courses within the major that embed these skills.