When new students think about their future college experience, chances are they focus on their major field of study. But, looking back, many Dominican alumnae/i remember classes from the core curriculum as being the ones that shaped their academic experience.


Foundations courses equip students with basic skills fundamental to all other facets of the undergraduate course of study. Accordingly, students are urged to meet the foundation requirements within their first two semesters if at all possible.

Each student must demonstrate before graduation:

Critical Reading and Writing

This requirement may be met by placement examination or by completing with a passing grade college-level coursework in writing equivalent to English 102.

Understanding and Use of Mathematics

This requirement may be met by placement examination or by completing with a passing grade college-level coursework equivalent to Mathematics 130, 150, 160 or 170.

Foreign Language

This requirement may be met by placement examination or by completing with a passing grade a foreign language course at the level of 102 or a heritage language course at the level of 192. Foreign nationals educated abroad at the high school level are exempt from the requirement.

Information Literacy

Introduction to these skills will take place in English 102, where students will learn the basics of library research. This includes the ability to locate both print and electronic sources by searching library databases for articles and books; effectively using the Internet for academic purposes; evaluating information critically; and using the information ethically and legally. Students who place out of English 102 at Dominican University will be required to complete an Information Access Workshop during their first semester.

Computer Applications

This requirement may be met by placement examination or by completing with a passing grade in CIS 120 or its equivalent.

Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) Seminars

All students enroll each year in LAS Seminars, the heart of Dominican’s Core Curriculum. LAS Seminars are small, intimate courses in which students consider multiple perspectives on universal and urgent questions by reading, discussing, and writing about the seminar topic. These courses encourage students to:

  • Get excited about learning for learning's sake
  • Think critically
  • Hone their writing skills
  • Explore new ideas and ways of thinking
  • Ponder life's big questions
  • Make connections between classes and experience

Students choose from a variety of seminars according to their class standing that explore a common theme: 

These are critical aspects of a liberal education that prepare students not only for career opportunities but also for life-long learning.

Note: Students may take two of the Liberal Arts and Sciences Seminars, excluding the Freshman Seminar, to fulfill two of the seven areas

Area Studies

Through area studies, Dominican University enables each of its students to engage in informed conversations of genuine breadth, both within and beyond the university. All students will engage in seven distinct areas of study needed for such conversations: fine arts, history, literature, natural science, philosophy, social science and theology. In each of these areas, students will: 

  • Become familiar with the relevant language and concepts of that area of study; 
  • Acquire a familiarity with modes of inquiry and methods used in that area; and 
  • Draw upon and apply that knowledge to begin addressing significant questions or issues within that area and beyond its borders. 

Courses that fulfill these area studies requirements are indicated both in the departmental course offerings listed in the bulletin and in each year’s schedule of classes.

Multicultural Studies

Courses that meet the multicultural studies requirement encourage multiple ways of knowing, being, and acting in the world and focus on a culture substantially different from those of the dominant groups in the United States, Canada and Western Europe. These courses address manifestations of institutional injustice, such as racism, systems of privilege, and imbalances of power and foster an understanding of efforts to promote agency, equity and justice.

Cultural diversity provides an important context for the educational mission of pursuing truth, giving service, and creating a more just and humane world. Thus, in meeting the requirements of the core curriculum, each student must select one course in multicultural studies of at least three semester hours in which the student will:

  • Identify specific causes and forms of institutional oppression and injustice and their intersections in the US or in a global context;
  • Recognize biases and social position;
  • Describe efforts to promote agency, equity and justice; and
  • Analyze the historical and/or cultural contexts that give rise to the experiences and/or expressions of underrepresented groups of people in the US or in a global context.