Undergraduate Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum of University of the Incarnate Word is, as the name implies, the heart or center of the undergraduate educational experience. The Core Curriculum is an integrated and sequenced course of study dictated by the traditional concept of liberal arts education. It includes a carefully devised study of rhetoric (intelligent reading and correct writing), philosophy, theology, literature and the arts, mathematics and the natural sciences, history, the behavioral and social sciences, language, and wellness.

Unique to the University’s approach to the liberal arts, however, is a conscious emphasis on integrating their content elements. This emphasis is rooted in the experience of the academic community that knowledge is not acquired in isolated elements and that wisdom derives from an exploration of truth in all its aspects. A whole person is an organism of body, mind, emotions, and spirit and comes to know truth by way of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and aesthetic exploration of reality.

In addition to the content of the liberal arts and their integration, the Core Curriculum addresses itself to the major processes identified as requisites for success as an effective participant in the contemporary world, namely, critical thinking and learning, social interaction, wellness development, values formation, and ethical decision making. Because its mission, founded in the Catholic tradition, is based on the premise of a sound faith relationship between the creature and the Creator, the University of the Incarnate Word includes in its Core a study of religion.

The core is a common experience for all UIW students and represents a major vehicle for transmitting the mission values of the University. The Core and Major (specialized curriculum in a particular field of study) are intended to assure that every student accomplishes ten broad educational goals. Objectives under each goal specify learning outcomes to be developed by all undergraduates who complete a degree at UIW. Students are expected to develop knowledge, attitudes, skills, and values in each of the following goal areas:

  1. Critical and Creative Thinking: to analyze information logically and to utilize and transform knowledge in fair-minded, purposeful, and imaginative ways.

  2. Effective Communication: to write and speak clearly and persuasively and to convey meaning effectively in non-verbal contexts.
  3. Media/Technology: to understand the benefits and limitation of technology and media and how to use them in socially positive ways.
  4. Research: to synthesize the gathering, evaluating, and interpreting of data in a study or creative work that can be shared with a community of scholars.
  5. Global and Historical Consciousness: to analyze the historical forces that shape the diversity of the human experience as influenced by geographical location, ethnicity, cultural and religious traditions, gender, and class.
  6. Aesthetic Engagement: to perceive, analyze, evaluate, and respond creatively to aesthetic qualities and values in the myriad contexts where they are experienced.
  7. Quantitative/Scientific Analysis: to use mathematical reasoning and the scientific method to address issues in an increasingly complex, technological world.
  8. Social Justice: to evaluate the nature and consequences of past, present, and potential social injustices, as well as to develop strategies to overcome and prevent them.
  9. Professionalism: to develop leadership qualities that help achieve personal goals and contribute to the good of society through work.
  10. Integration/Spirituality: to understand the importance of developing as a whole person who is spiritually mature and dedicated to being a productive and responsible citizen.

Appropriate assessment strategies will determine student success in achieving the outcomes under these goals and demonstrate that UIW is accomplishing its educational mission. By this means, UIW offers its students the opportunity to grow as self-fulfilled human beings and competent professionals dedicated to service.

The Core Curriculum comprises specific courses from designated disciplines, a Community Service component, and demonstrated computer competence. The requirements for each are described below.

Composition and Rhetoric

Composition and Rhetoric


ENGL 1311Composition I

3

or

ENGL 1311LComposition I

3

and

ENGL 1312Composition II

3

Total Credit Hours:6

History and Social Science

History and Social Science

3 credit hours of History is required, selected from the four HIST courses. HIST 3310H is available only to Honors Program students.

Choose from Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology to satisfy the remaining 3 credit hours.

HIST 1311World History I

3

HIST 1312World History II

3

HIST 1321The United States to 1865

3

HIST 1322The United States Since 1865

3

HIST 3310HInquiries into the Modern World

3

ANTH 1311Cultural Anthropology

3

ECON 2301Principles of Macroeconomics

3

POLS 1315American Politics

POLS 1316State & Local Politics

PSYC 1301Introduction to Psychology

3

SOCI 1311Introduction to Sociology

3

Total Credit Hours:6

Literature and Art

Literature and Art

 
ENGL 2310World Literature Studies

3

Fine Arts. Three hours of a performance or history course in Visual Art, Dance, Music, Theatre, or three hours of Creative Writing from ENGL 2375, ENGL 3375, or ENGL 4375. Computer Graphics Arts courses do not satisfy this requirement.

Total Credit Hours:6

Modern Languages

Modern Languages

6 hours from Modern Languages are required.

Select one language from Modern Languages core selection

6

Total Credit Hours:6

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Philosophy and Religious Studies

6 credit hours from Philosophy and Religious Studies are required.

PHIL 1381Introduction to Philosophy

3

RELS Religious Studies course from RELS core selections

Total Credit Hours:6

Science and Mathematics

Science and Mathematics

Science w Lab from BIOL, CHEM, PHYS

GEOL core selections

MATH 1304College Algebra

3

Total Credit Hours:7

Wellness and Physical Education

Wellness and Physical Education

DWHP 1200Dimensions of Wellness

2

or

DWHP 1200HHonors Dimensions of Wellness

2

or

DWHP 3300Dimensions of Wellness Bridge

3

and

PEHP from Physical Education Selections

1

Total Credit Hours:3

Community Service Requirement

A total of 45 clock hours (non-credit) are required for all baccalaureate degrees. Associate degrees require 22 clock hours (non-credit) of Community Service. Students may satisfy this graduation requirement by: (1) selecting volunteer opportunities posted by Campus Ministry, or (2) taking courses designated in the University schedule as service-learning courses, or (3) a combination of volunteer opportunities and service-learning courses. Students are encouraged to discuss with their advisors, early in their university experience, the options for fulfilling the community service requirement and the method of documenting their service.

Students should complete their Community Service hours by the end of the junior year. Community Service hours must be completed and documented by the first week of the final semester. Students may contact the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability for help or to document their service.