Fulfilling Core Curriculum Course Requirements

Foundation Courses

Augustine and Culture Seminar (ACS) Sequence (2 courses)
ACS focuses on the question: Who am I? The first seminar (ACS 1000 Ancients) contains readings from Hebrew and Christian scriptures, Greek and Roman antiquity, Augustine, and the High Middle Ages, and is dedicated to understanding the foundations of our shared intellectual tradition. ACS 1001 Moderns continues to address the question of identity with texts from the Renaissance to the modern era.

The two-semester ACS course sequence must be taken by all students during the first year of study. Because it is important that students take the Augustine and Culture seminars early in their college careers, students are permitted to drop or withdraw from the courses without academic penalty only under special circumstances. Requests to drop or withdraw must be made to the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Students. If a student receives permission to drop or withdraw, he or she must take the course at the next possible opportunity.

Theology and Religious Studies (1 course)
Faith, Reason, and Culture (THL 1000) studies Christianity with a particular focus on Roman Catholicism. Animated by Augustine’s concern to relate Christian faith, reason, and human culture, this foundation course in the Core Curriculum is organized around the fundamental question, What do I believe? Students embark on a journey that engages them in the quest of faith seeking understanding in the context of contemporary global religious, theological, and cultural pluralism. Students explore the faith-reason-culture relations through the academic lenses of theological and religious studies disciplines.

Philosophy (1 course)
Knowledge, Reality, Self (PHL 1000 ) explores the philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.

Ethics (1 course)
The Good Life: Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems (ETH 2050) provides critical reflection on distinctive and viable visions of the moral life, with particular focus on Christian, especially Roman Catholic, Augustinian accounts, and explores the significance of different visions through an examination of various contemporary moral questions. ETH 2050 is the capstone of the foundation courses. Normally students should take ETH 2050 by the end of their junior year, after taking the other four foundation courses.
 

Foreign Language Requirement (Proficiency through intermediate) 

Language proficiency is required at Villanova 1) through the intermediate level in French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish; or 2) through the introductory level in ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Irish, Japanese, and Russian. Students who are already proficient in other foreign languages may petition for an exemption from the Core Curriculum Foreign Language Requirement subject to the conditions under F below.

Students may satisfy the Core Curriculum Foreign Language requirement in one of the following ways:

Option A: Advanced Placement Examination
Students may satisfy the requirement by attaining a score of 4 or 5 on the applicable Advanced Placement exam. Exams that fulfill the requirement and the course equivalency are listed on the Advanced Placement table in Part III of this handbook.

For any language not offered at Villanova (such as German), students will not receive course credit for the AP exam in that language. As with other languages, however, students who attain a score of 4 or 5 will satisfy the language requirement. Students who satisfy the requirement without receiving course credit may need to take additional free elective courses to meet the required number of credits for degree completion. Any questions regarding Advanced Placement credit should be directed to the Office for Undergraduate Students in SAC 107.

Option B: Comprehensive Examination (Proficiency exam)
Students may satisfy the requirement through satisfactory performance on a proficiency exam administered by the appropriate department. Proficiency exams are administered on specific dates and students must register in advance at the website address below. The deadline to register for a proficiency exam is noon the day before the exam. Students deemed proficient by achieving a grade of C or better on the proficiency examination may need to take additional free elective courses to meet the required number of credits for degree completion.

Option C: Credit by Exam
Students who would like to pursue credit for language fluency may do so through the Credit by Exam program for any foreign language taught at Villanova other than their native language. Students must meet all conditions in place through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to be eligible for the Credit by Exam program. There is a fee of $130.00 per credit. Arrangements for Credit by Exam should be made in the Office for Undergraduate Students in SAC 107. Information about Credit by Exam is available under the policies section of this handbook.

Option D: Latin Alphabet Languages – Latin and Romance Languages (French, Italian, Spanish)
Students selecting this option must take courses through the intermediate II level in the language they have chosen. Students who studied French, Italian, Latin, or Spanish in high school must complete an online language placement exam (French, Italian, Spanish) or questionnaire (Latin) to be placed into the appropriate level. Students who place into intermediate II or above must complete the course into which they have placed to demonstrate proficiency and fulfill the requirement. Because placement tests provide only a rough indicator of a student’s level, students who are placed into courses higher than intermediate II must complete the course to fulfill the requirement. Students who are placed directly into an intermediate II course or higher may need to take an additional course to meet the required number of credits for degree completion. 

Option E: Non-Latin Alphabet Languages - Irish And Critical Languages (Ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian)
Students selecting this option must take courses through the introductory II level for the language they have chosen. These courses are typically four to six credits and meet four to five days per week, depending on the language. Students should contact individual departments with any questions regarding placement in these languages. Because placement tests provide only a rough indicator of a student’s level, students who are placed into courses higher than introductory II must complete the course to fulfill the requirement. Students who are placed directly into an introductory II course or higher may need to take an additional course to meet the required number of credits for degree completion. 

Option F: Petition for Exemption Due to Documented Language Proficiency
Students who are fluent in languages for which no comprehensive exam is offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may petition for an exemption from the Core Curriculum Foreign Language requirement by submitting the Petition for Core Language Requirement Exemption in MyNOVA along with documentation of proficiency from an accredited institution located. International students may submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores as documentation of proficiency for the purposes of the petition process. Students deemed proficient through the petition process may need to take additional courses to meet the required number of credits for degree completion.

NOTES: 

  • Placement tests are used to place students only and are not to be confused with a proficiency exam. 
  • Students seeking accommodations for documented learning disabilities should contact the Office of Learning Support Services in Falvey 212. 
  • Additional questions regarding the Core Curriculum Foreign Language requirement should be addressed to a student’s faculty advisor or to the Office for Undergraduate Students in SAC 107. 
     

Mathematics or Statistics (1 course) 

Students must take one course in either mathematics or statistics. Any course offered by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics fulfills the requirement, although the department offers courses every semester specifically designed for the Core Curriculum. These specifically designed courses, along with courses offered from other departments designated by the Mathematics A & S Core attribute, fulfill the Core Curriculum requirement. 

 

Natural Science (2 semesters with laboratory) 

Non-science majors meet the Core Curriculum Natural Science requirement by taking two semesters of Mendel Science Experience (MSE), thematically-based lecture/laboratory courses designed for non-science majors or two semesters of science courses with a laboratory component designed for science majors.

Science (AST, BIO, BIOC, CHM, CBN, CSC, ENV, MAT, PHY - B.S. only) majors meet the science requirement through the regular program of study in their major. 

 

Literature and Writing Seminar (1 course) 

All students take a thematic literature and writing seminar course. Courses designated with the Core Lit & Writing Sem attribute fulfill the requirement. 

 

History (1 course) 

This requirement is met by taking a specifically designated course designated by the Core History attribute. 

 

Social Sciences (2 courses) 

Students satisfy the requirement by taking two courses designated by the Core Social Sciences attribute.

Students majoring in Economics, Geography and the Environment, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology fulfill the Core Social Science requirement through the regular program of study in their major. 

 

Fine Arts (1 course) 

The requirement is met through courses that focus on the creative processes that go into making a work of art or on analysis and interpretation of the products of that artistic creativity. Courses designated with the Fine Arts Requirement attribute, fulfill the Core Curriculum requirement.

 

Theology and Religious Studies (1 course) 

The upper division Theology and Religious Studies Core Curriculum requirement develops the theme of faith seeking understanding, engaging culture from a specific disciplinary perspective. Students must take THL 1000 before taking this upper division course designated by the Core Theology attribute. 

 

Diversity Requirement (2 courses) 

Consistent with the University’s Mission Statement and its implementation of the new Core Curriculum in the College of Arts and Sciences, students will take at least two courses designated as “diversity.” Learning to see through the eyes of other peoples and cultures is essential to becoming a citizen of the world. Beyond introducing students to the contextual study of diverse groups, diversity education must foster understanding of how individuals are affected within systems of power, oppression, deprivation, marginalization, and privilege.

 

Students are required to select two courses, covering two out of the three areas below:

Diversity 1: Courses that focus on populations (often named as non-dominant, minority, or impoverished groups) in the U.S. or Western Europe, and the systems or mechanisms that give rise to the experiences of power, privilege, and marginalization.

Diversity 2: Courses that focus on women’s experiences and/or highlight the relationship between gender, culture, and power.

Diversity 3: Courses focus on the culture, economics, politics or ecology of societies and nations other than those of Western Europe and the United States and that emphasize power, privilege, and marginalization or a critical analysis of how these cultures define and express themselves. 

 

NOTES: 

  • Service-learning courses, internships, and other experiential or community-based learning courses may be applied toward this requirement, provided they include a significant reflective component, just as traditional diversity courses do, and have been pre-approved for diversity course credit. 
  • Study abroad courses may be applied toward this requirement; such courses will be assessed the same way as courses at Villanova. 
  • A student may not use a single course to fulfill more than one category of the diversity requirement. 
  • The diversity requirement cannot be fulfilled by independent study or a senior thesis. 
  • Language courses cannot fulfill the requirement, although literature courses in a foreign language may fulfill the requirement if they are designated with a diversity attribute.  

A student may take three 1-credit IGR workshops, which then fulfills one course towards the Core Diversity requirement (Diversity 1).