Core Curriculum FAQs
Why does Dominican have a Core Curriculum?
The answer lies in Dominican’s mission statement: The university “prepares students to pursue truth, give compassionate service, and participate in the creation of a more just and humane world."
The Core Curriculum fosters the foundational skills, breadth of knowledge, and habits of integrating knowledge and experience needed to meet the challenges of this mission.
Is the Core Curriculum the same as “GenEd requirements”?
In many ways, the Core is similar to the general education programs at other schools in that a key purpose is to ensure that all students receive a broad education. But Dominican’s Core contains distinctive elements, especially the collaborative and integrative LAS Seminars each student takes every year. Additionally, the ongoing dialogue between each student’s major and the Core is especially emphasized at Dominican.
Isn’t the Core just a bunch of requirements “to get out of the way” as quickly as possible?
How you view the Core depends to a great extent on your outlook, your commitment to personal growth, and on the academic choices you make.
We want Dominican students to have unprecedented intellectual freedom and growth opportunities, so we designed the Core with a careful balance of structure and flexibility. This encourages you to take ownership of your own education as you strive for that intellectual maturity that comes with acquiring the necessary knowledge, skills and habits of mind and heart to enable lifelong learning and growth.
In the Foundations, there is a good deal of choice. For example, most sections of English 102 have distinctive subtitles and descriptions posted on myDU. This allows you to select the particular version of “ Composition II” that most interests you. You also choose which foreign language to study.
In the Area Studies and Multicultural courses, we offer an impressive range of courses that satisfy the requirement for each category. So, study the Bulletin and plan to take courses that help you get the most out of your Dominican education. These courses may:
- Test a potential major,
- Complement a major, or
- Lead into new realms of learning for the sheer joy of discovery.
The broad range of LAS Seminars means that finding a compelling topic to explore in-depth has probably never been easier.
In any case, students should plan ahead, talk with their advisors and choose wisely.
Is the Core the same for all students, regardless of school or major?
Yes, all undergraduates complete the same Core Curriculum, whether they are enrolled in the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, in the Brennan School of Business, or in the School of Education.
Do Honors students complete the same Core Curriculum?
Honors students take a seminar each year with themes and common text developed for the Honors program. Thus, Honors Seminars are the equivalent of the LAS Seminars. Also, certain Area Studies courses are specially designed for Honors students.
I’m a transfer student—how many Core requirements will I have to meet?
Many transfer students will have already met certain Foundations or Area Studies requirements, as well as the Multicultural Requirement. The Registrar’s Office provides transfer guides that include lists of courses from many area schools that fulfill particular Foundations or Area Studies requirements.
Given the distinctive nature of the LAS and Honors Seminars, these requirements cannot be met through transfer credit. Transfer students begin the seminar sequence at the point at which they enter Dominican (i.e., students who transfer as sophomores must complete a sophomore, a junior and a senior seminar).
Is there a simplified list of Core requirements to help me plan my course of studies?
Yes, the Advising Office offers a Core Curriculum Checklist. The advising worksheets for each academic major program are provided on their respective major pages and also include a list of Core requirements.
Where can I find descriptions and schedules of Core courses?
Consult the current bulletin for listings and descriptions of all Core courses, including LAS and Honors seminars. A schedule of courses for any given semester may be found on Course Search in myDU.
When should I complete the Core Curriculum?
Students are strongly urged to complete the Foundations component of the Core as soon as possible—ordinarily within the first year. Particular Area Studies courses and the Multicultural course may be, and often are, appropriately taken later in one’s course of studies. Since integrative learning occurs throughout students’ Dominican education, LAS and Honors Seminars are deliberately scheduled over four years.
Who teaches in the Core Curriculum?
Faculty members from virtually every department teach in various parts of the Core. For instance, Dominican mathematics professors instruct students in Core mathematics courses, and students will meet a history or biology professor in a course meeting the Core area history requirement or the core natural science requirement. Professors from a wide range of disciplines lead LAS Seminars and Honors Seminars, contributing to their rich diversity and integrative character. LAS seminar instructor bios are included in the LAS Seminar descriptions. To learn more about other Core instructors, see the appropriate department website.
Will LAS or Honors Seminars help me in my major?
In many ways, Core courses can strengthen one’s work in a major field. But just as importantly, the Core provides an appreciation of both the limits of particular majors and the relationship of those majors to the range of skills and knowledge necessary to understand today’s world and to carry out Dominican’s educational mission after graduation.
Can I meet Core requirements through placement examinations or AP credit?
Yes. Students may test out of the following Foundations requirements:
- Reading and writing
- Foreign language
- Computer applications
Placement tests are given during freshman and transfer Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR) programs or by arrangement. Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credit may also allow students to meet one or more of the Area Studies requirements. For more information, see Dominican’s online application, or the AP Credit Chart.
How can I get more information about the Core?
Contact William George, Director of the Core Curriculum, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Academic Advising, RCAS@dom.edu, for more information about the Core Curriculum.