Areas of Study/Explorations
Fine Arts (FA)
Several departments address the arts at Dominican, including apparel, art, communications, and theatre arts and music. Courses meeting the fine arts requirement help students understand and respond to works of fine and performing arts. This includes an awareness of relationships and interactions between artists and their cultural contexts, and an appreciation of ways in which the fine arts express feelings and ideas. This understanding may be gained through personal experience of the creative processes or through the study of works of art; thus, some studio courses and appreciation courses meet this requirement.
Courses that meet the history requirement are designed to help students develop a sense of historical perspective as the term is understood by historians. Historical inquiry is the active and iterative process of questioning, analyzing, interpreting, explaining and communicating an understanding of past human experiences. It is conducted in conversation with established interpretations and perspectives and centered on the use of primary and secondary sources including texts, images and other artifacts as evidence.
The Departments of English, French and Italian Studies, Spanish Language and Transcultural Studies, and Theatre Arts and Music—address literature at Dominican. Courses from these four departments that meet the literature requirement help students understand and respond to works of literature. Such an understanding includes awareness of relationships between authors and their cultural and historical contexts, as well as critical appreciation of ways found by writers to express feelings and ideas through language.
Natural Sciences (NS)
Relevant disciplines include biology, chemistry, nutrition and physics. Courses that meet the natural sciences requirement acquaint the student with scientific thought and inquiry. In the process, such courses help students gain an understanding of fundamental concepts and methodologies of the sciences.
Courses that meet the philosophy requirement are designed to have students consider philosophy as part of a reasoned pursuit of wisdom in one's life. Such courses focus on some of the "big questions" philosophers typically deal with, such as:
- What makes something "true" or "good?"
- Do human beings have free will?
- Is there more to us than our bodies?
- What's real?
- Does life have meaning?
Students will gain acquaintance with some of the philosophical positions regarding these questions and have numerous opportunities to discuss these questions openly and reasonably within the context of one's personal and professional life, and as a member of one's community.
Social Sciences (SS)
A number of disciplines comprise the social sciences, including economics, political science, psychology and sociology. Courses that meet the social sciences requirement provide students with the conceptual tools necessary to think independently about social, economic, psychological or political phenomena. They also become acquainted with various methodologies used to analyze such ideas.
Theology courses invite students to recognize the methods and sources proper to theological reflection, to explore ways that religious traditions, especially Catholic Christianity, raise and attempt to answer questions of ultimate meaning and value, and to articulate a theologically informed position on key questions regarding the transcendent meaning and value of human existence and experience.
Study in disciplines particularly concerned with analysis of the behavior of individuals, groups, or institutions and their interactions helps students form a sophisticated—informed, complex, and thoughtful—response to contemporary problems.