Skip to main content
Steeped in Dominican Ethos, Liberal Learning through Foundations, Breadth, Depth and Integration for Responsible Global Citizenship

We educate one student at a time in the company of others, each unique yet all distinctly Dominican. In dialogue with a Dominican ethos, our students grow as liberal learners through creative and rigorous study marked by solid foundations, disciplinary breadth and depth, and ongoing integration as they aspire to become ethically responsible global citizens. Each student develops an emerging sense of personal and professional vocation through a variety of means, including thoughtful interaction with courses, professors and other students, and intensive advising and mentoring. We encourage students to participate in internships, study away (international and domestic), community-based learning, and undergraduate research, scholarship and creative investigations. Diverse insights coalesce in each student’s distinctive educational trajectory, purpose and plan, as we inspire students to discern the big picture and name their place within it—to stand somewhere and to stand for something, conscientiously positioned in relationship to the world.

Dominican ethos describes the distinctive character of our university’s culture. It includes an environment of Caritas et Veritas, in which we contemplate the meaning of existence and strive collaboratively for a more just and humane world. It understands that study is at once contemplative and communal. It unites reflection and dialogue as we collaborate in the search for truth. It enables students to develop a sense of care and responsibility for oneself, one’s community, and the wider creation. It fosters trust, tolerance, mutual accountability, and belonging. Students enter into conversation with a Catholic intellectual tradition that affirms the compatibility of faith and reason, a universe marked by both intelligibility and mystery, the sacredness of all creation, the dignity of every living being, and concern for the common good. They acquire basic knowledge about Christianity in its various dimensions, and how it interacts with secular and other religious beliefs, practices and worldviews.

Upon graduation, students educated at Dominican University possess character, knowledge and skills to take informed, ethical action in the world and to influence others for the good.

View our Vision Graphic (pdf)

Our vision rests upon the following undergraduate learning goals and outcomes, which are mapped to the core and built upon through other curricular and co-curricular experiences.

Dominican University Undergraduate Learning Goals and Outcomes


At Dominican University, we approach teaching and learning with an emphasis on reflective, integrative, and applied learning to enable students to synthesize concepts and methods across domains. We ask students to apply knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems and to assume responsibility for their own learning.

Upon graduation, students educated at Dominican University possess character, knowledge, and skills to take informed, ethical action in the world and to influence others for the good. As stated in our undergraduate bulletin, “In distinctive ways, the core curriculum helps students meet the learning goals outlined in the Vision for Undergraduate Education.”

Steeped in the Dominican ethos, with an expectation that students will strive collaboratively for a more just and humane world, we expect students to foster trust, tolerance, mutual accountability, global citizenship, and belonging.  We invite them into conversation with a Catholic intellectual and liberal arts tradition that explores the compatibility of faith and reason, a universe marked by both intelligibility and mystery, the sacredness of all creation, the dignity of every living being, and concern for the common good. 

Goals—What we want our students to know, do, and value:

Knowledge: Students will gain knowledge that increases their understanding of themselves and the world around them, enhances their ability to see connections across domains, and diversifies their frames of reference.

Intellectual and Practical Skills: Students will draw on this knowledge as they develop their abilities to access, understand, analyze, synthesize, create, and effectively communicate ideas and information in order to address real-world issues, both individually and collaboratively.

Personal and Social Responsibility: Students will use their knowledge and skills as they acquire a disposition of living mindfully and ethically in our diverse world, effectively engaging in civic life at Dominican and beyond.

Outcomes—Dominican University students completing an undergraduate degree (core curriculum, majors, and co-curricular experiences) will:

Of human cultures and experiences

  • Demonstrate knowledge of human experiences, languages, systems, art, artifacts, ideologies, narratives, music, conflicts, behaviors, interactions, events, beliefs, values, and/or discoveries

Of the natural world

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the natural world, including its history, phenomena, systems, laws, behaviors, interconnectedness, interactions, problems, conflicts, concords, dangers, pleasures, and/or beauties

Of the intersections between them

And of the diverse ways of inquiring into them

Intellectual and Practical Skills


  • Comprehend complex texts
  • Analyze parts of texts in relation to the whole and to other texts
  • Interpret a text’s meaning using multiple interpretive strategies

Critical thinking

  • Examine one’s own and others’ assumptions
  • Evaluate claims, arguments, methods and/or potential solutions based on given criteria
  • Establish a defensible position, conclusion or solution through logical reasoning

Creative thinking

  • Identify connections among ideas, questions, forms and/or solutions
  • Experiment with ideas to create new and useful knowledge, questions, forms, and/or solutions

Written and oral communication

  • Incorporate relevant and appropriate examples, sources, and evidence in support of one’s own ideas
  • Deliver ideas effectively in ways that are appropriate to disciplinary conventions

Quantitative Literacy

  • Effectively present information in mathematical forms
  • Draw reasonable conclusions based on appropriate mathematical concepts and quantitative analysis of data
  • Use quantitative evidence in support of an argument

Information Literacy

  • Access needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information critically
  • Responsibly incorporate relevant sources


  • Effectively contribute one's own ideas and perspectives in a group
  • Facilitate contributions towards a goal, by listening, acknowledging, or responding to others
  • Constructively manage conflict as it arises
Personal and Social Responsibility

Vocational exploration

  • Identify ways in one's passions, skills, and aspirations align with career pathways and the world's needs
  • Evaluate how one's curricular and co-curricular experiences prepare one for work that is in service to the creation of a more just and humane world

Intercultural competence

  • Articulate insights into one's own cultural rules and biases
  • Communicate effectively and respectfully across cultures
  • Identify specific causes and forms of institutional oppression and injustice and their intersections in the U.S. or in a global context
  • Analyze the historical and/or cultural contexts that give rise to the experiences and/or cultural expressions of  non-dominant groups of people in the U.S. or in a global context.

Civic engagement

  • Connect and extend knowledge from one's own academic study to participation in our communities
  • Articulate what is learned about oneself and one's civic identity from one's involvement in the community

Ethical reasoning and action

  • Explain the complexities and ambiguities of ethical problems and concepts
  • Apply key ethical perspectives or concepts to situations that arise on personal, professional, and social levels
  • Use relevant ethical perspectives to develop a justifiable stance on an ethical question in service to the creation of a more just and humane world
  • Reflect on personal beliefs, decisions, actions, and consequences in terms of what it means to be an ethically responsible person within the context of community