Mar 07, 2021  
Undergraduate Bulletin 2016-2017 
Undergraduate Bulletin 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Core Curriculum and Honors Program

The core curriculum plays a key role in an undergraduate education that is steeped in the Dominican ethos, promotes liberal learning through foundations, breadth, depth, and integration, and prepares students for responsible global citizenship. In distinctive ways, the core curriculum helps students meet the learning goals outlined in the Vision for Undergraduate Education (see Academic Information ).

The core curriculum consists of:

  • Foundations: courses that equip students with basic skills fundamental to all other facets of the undergraduate course of study;
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences Seminars: courses that apply multiple perspectives to the “big” questions and help students integrate what they are learning elsewhere
  • Area Studies: courses that introduce students to area studies or “disciplines” practiced by scholars as they explore materials and apply methods of inquiry particular to their academic field; and
  • Multicultural Course: engagement of diverse cultures in the United States or beyond its borders.


Before graduation each student must demonstrate:

  • The ability to read with understanding and to communicate in writing. This requirement may be met by placement examination or by completing with a C- or better Dominican’s ENGL 102  (students with transfer credit will be required to take a writing placement exam and may be required to complete ENGL 190  at Dominican);
  • The ability to understand and use mathematics. This requirement may be met by placement examination or by completing with a passing grade college-level course work equivalent to MATH 130 , MATH 150 , MATH 160 , or MATH 170 ;
  • The ability to understand the connections between human languages and specific cultures and the ability to interact appropriately with people of diverse cultures. This requirement may be met by placement examination or by completing with a passing grade a foreign or heritage language course at the level of 102 or 192 or by completing SEDU 466 . Foreign nationals educated abroad at the high school level are exempt from the requirement;
  • The ability to find, evaluate, and use information effectively; that is, to acquire information literacy. Introduction to these skills will take place in ENGL 102 , where students will learn the basics of library research, including the ability to locate both print and electronic resources by searching library databases for articles and books. They will also learn how to use the internet for academic purposes, how to evaluate information critically, and how to use information ethically and legally. Students who do not take ENGL 102  at Dominican University will be required to complete an Information Literacy Workshop during their first semester at Dominican; and
  • The ability to understand and use computers and their applications. This requirement may be met by a proficiency examination or by completing with a passing grade CIS 120  or its equivalent.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Seminars

Each year, students must enroll in and complete with a passing grade an integrative seminar. According to their class standing, they may choose from a wide variety of seminars that have some elements in common but that are offered by instructors representing alternative approaches to the general topics listed below. Seminars invite students to integrate multiple perspectives on personal, social, and philosophical issues by reading, discussing, and writing about the seminar topic.

  • Freshman Seminar: The Examined Life
  • Sophomore Seminar: Life in Community
  • Junior Seminar: A Life’s Work
  • Senior Seminar: The Good Life

All entering freshmen enroll in the freshman seminar during their first semester; the seminar instructor is their academic advisor for the first year. Transfer students begin the seminar sequence at the point at which they enter the university (i.e., students who transfer as sophomores must complete a sophomore, a junior, and a senior seminar; junior transfer students must complete a junior and a senior seminar). A student is classified as a sophomore if 28 semester hours have been completed, as a junior if 60 semester hours have been completed, and as a senior if 90 semester hours have been completed. For purposes of determining the point of entry to the seminar sequence, however, transfer students who enter with total semester hours within seven of a higher classification begin the seminar sequence at that higher classification (i.e., students entering the university with 21 hours begin the sequence with the sophomore seminar; students entering with 53 hours begin the sequence with the junior seminar; students entering with 83 hours are required to complete only the senior seminar). However, transfer students must have reached the necessary classification level in order to enroll in that first seminar (e.g. a transfer student with 53 transfer hours may begin the seminar sequence with a junior seminar, but the student is not eligible to enroll in the junior seminar until the student has earned 60 or more total hours).

Students studying abroad for a full academic year are exempt from that year’s seminar requirement.

A description of individual seminars can be found under Liberal Arts and Sciences Seminars  .

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. 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 this bulletin and in each year’s schedule of classes.

Fine Arts

apparel, art, art history, communications, digital cinema, modern foreign language, music, and theatre

Students will:

  1. Recognize representative works, styles, techniques, or performances from an artistic genre.
  2. Explain elements of a work, style, technique, or performance from an artistic genre.
  3. Create and/or analyze an artistic work with attention to aesthetic, historical, and cultural influences and context.


Students will:

  1. Use relevant primary and secondary sources in their own accounts of the past.
  2. Analyze the significance of a given historical change.
  3. Formulate an argument about historical causality.


English, French, Italian, Spanish, and theatre

Students will:

  1. Describe how a work’s historical or cultural context and genre shape its purpose.
  2. Interpret works through specific knowledge of literary traditions and devices, appropriate terminology, and critical approaches.
  3. Analyze texts through close readings that engage basic formal and aesthetic features of the works.

Natural Sciences

biology, chemistry, natural sciences, nutrition, physics, and psychology

Students will:

  1. Define the scientific terms, practices, and concepts essential to the scientific method.
  2. Apply scientific methods to investigate the natural world.
  3. Assess observations of the natural world using analytical reasoning.


Students will:

  1. Demonstrate a philosophical disposition by showing intellectual flexibility, humility, comfort with ambiguity, and an appreciation of the complexity of core theoretical problems. 
  2. Explain key philosophical concepts, texts, and thinkers as they relate to central questions in metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology from a global and/or diverse perspective. 
  3. Apply philosophical methods, such as critical thinking and logical analysis (for example: deductive, inductive, and analogical reasoning), in order to situate oneself within one’s communities and the world. 

Social Sciences

communications, criminology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology

Students will:

  1. Identify basic terminology, core concepts, and theories in a field of the social sciences.
  2. Explain individual behavior, social institutions, governance forms, or social policy from a social science discipline perspective.
  3. Analyze an issue or policy at the individual, community, or societal level with an acceptable social science methodology (quantitative or qualitative).


Students will:

  1. Recognize the methods and sources proper to theological and religious reflection.
  2. Describe specific ways that religious traditions, especially Catholic Christianity, raise and attempt to answer questions of ultimate meaning and value.
  3. Articulate a theologically-informed position on key questions regarding the transcendent meaning and value of human existence and experience.

Multicultural Studies

Cultural diversity, both within the United States and beyond its borders, provides an important context for the educational mission of pursuing truth, giving service, and contributing to a more just and humane world. Thus in meeting the requirements of the core curriculum, each student must elect one course of at least 3 semester hours that:

  • focuses on the culture or analysis of society or civilization in Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, and/or Asia; or
  • focuses on the experience, traditions, beliefs, arts, or thought of African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, or Native American cultures.

Dominican Honors Program: Mazzuchelli Scholars and Distinction Programs

Bachelor of Arts With Honors or Bachelor of Science With Honors

Socrates challenges us with the claim that the unexamined life is not worth living. The Mazzuchelli Scholars honors program contributes to the mission of the university by providing talented and self-motivated students with the opportunities and skills they will need to become lifelong learners.

Students who accept this challenge are awarded with the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors or Bachelor of Science with Honors on the recommendation of the Honors Committee and upon completion of five hours of community engagement per year and the requirements for one of the two paths described below: Honors through Project or Honors through Course Work.

Entering the Program

The honors degree program is open to full-time students who have been invited into the program. The Honors Committee sets the standards for admission to the program, reviews the progress of the students in the program, and recommends the awarding of the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors or Bachelor of Science with Honors. Interested students should consult the directors of the honors program for current-year policies and guidelines.

In addition to the bachelor degree requirements  outlined in this bulletin, all students intending to pursue an honors degree must complete the following requirements:

  1. Five hours of community engagement.

To support our honors community and the integration of curricular and co-curricular goals of the greater Dominican community, each Mazzuchelli Scholar will be expected to complete five hours of Dominican-community engagement a year. Each student is expected to attend the Caritas and Veritas symposium, the Founder’s Day dinner, and the Lund-Gill lecture, but can select from other Dominican co-curricular events (such as URSCI presentations, theatre productions, art gallery openings, sports events, events sponsored by other honor students, etc). This requirement is in place to help build a stronger sense of the honors community here on campus. Questions about appropriate events can be sent to the directors for approval. Students will be required to keep track of their own hours on Canvas and submit them before May 1st each year.

  1. Complete four honors seminars.

Honors students will complete four honors seminars to fulfill the liberal arts and sciences core curriculum seminar requirement. While the form and substance of the honors seminars are subject to approval and change by the Honors Committee, current seminar topics are:

  • Freshman Honors Seminar: Thoughts and Passions
  • Sophomore Honors Seminar: Human Being and Citizen
  • Junior Honors Seminar: Human Being and Natural Being
  • Senior Honors Seminar: Wisdom and Power

For more detailed information, students should consult the current list of honors seminars .

Exemption from the honors freshman seminar for students admitted to the honors program in their sophomore year or acceptance of honors course work at another institution in place of the freshman and/or sophomore honors seminars is possible with the written approval of the honors directors. Honors students who follow a full-year study abroad or other academic off-campus program may petition the directors to waive the requirement.

  1. Maintain a designated GPA

A cumulative grade point average of 3.30 is required.

  1. Complete additional requirements, choosing one of the following paths:
    1. Honors through course work requires good standing in the honors program. This path also requires:

      Four courses designated as honors
      Three courses designated as honors and either one study abroad course, one foreign language course at the 200 level or above, or one pre-approved honors contract course (see below for procedures to intensify a traditional course to comply with expectations for an honors contract.
      Two courses designated as honors and at least two courses in a foreign language at the 200-level or above.
    2. Honors through project: The requirements for this path are good standing in the honors program and the completion of an honors project, which is a substantial, independent distinction project approved by the Honors Committee. Distinction projects are detailed below under Bachelor of Arts with Distinction and Bachelor of Science with Distinction.
      Students on this path are required to complete the honors seminars but are not required to take other honors courses.

It is possible to complete both options, and students who do both the coursework and project paths successfully will receive “University Honors with Distinction in…”

Bachelor of Arts With Distinction and Bachelor of Science With Distinction

Students not in the honors program may elect to pursue a degree of Bachelor of Arts with Distinction or Bachelor of Science with Distinction by completing a distinction project. This project is designed to give such students in their junior and senior years the opportunity to complete a distinctive and substantial scholarly or creative work in their major field.

Students who accept this challenge are awarded the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Distinction or Bachelor of Science with Distinction on the recommendation of the Honors Committee and upon completion of the distinction project.

All students intending to pursue an honors or a distinction project will need to complete the following requirements:

Declaring Intent and Finding Readers. Generally, students attempting degrees with distinction begin working on their distinction projects in the first semester of their junior years. The faculty readers in the discipline approve the project, and then the student’s first and second readers recommend the project to the Honors Committee. A project in an interdisciplinary major or one which is interdisciplinary in emphasis is submitted with prior approval from faculty from the most relevant disciplines. A student majoring in a discipline in which Dominican has only one full-time faculty member should seek approval of both project and proposal from a second faculty member who is a member of the major department or from a related discipline in another department, whichever is more appropriate for the project.

GPA. Students must meet the following requirements to be eligible: junior status, a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher in the field of the distinction project, an overall grade point average of 3.30 or higher.

Course Work. If the student’s proposal is accepted, the student must take ENGL 345 - Advanced Academic Writing  as a part of the project. Exemption from this requirement is possible at the discretion of the course instructor.

Public Presentation. After the final draft is approved, the student will be required to give a public oral presentation on his or her project at the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Investigation Exposition (URSCI). 

Other Information

Deadlines and guides for writing a distinction proposal and project guides for both students and faculty mentors are available from the honors directors or the Departmental Honors Project site.

Students who decide not to complete their projects must send a statement of their reasons to the Honors Committee via the directors. Students who do not make satisfactory progress may be required by the Honors Committee to withdraw their projects.

Additional information regarding both the honors and distinction programs is available from the honors website, the honors directors, or from the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences Office of Academic Advising.

Honors degrees are awarded on the basis of the cumulative grade point average of all baccalaureate course work taken at Dominican.

To graduate with an Honors degree or Degree with Distinction, students are responsible for submitting their “Intent to Graduate” forms to the directors of the Mazzuchelli Scholars Program before graduation. These forms can be located on Honors web site. If a student elects to complete an honors contract for a non-honors course, he or she much agree to the terms of the intensification with the professor and an honors director, ideally before the course is undertaken. The contract must be submitted for approval to the professor of the course and an honors director before the university deadline for Intensifications in the semester the course is being undertaken. Forms for honors contracts are located on the Honors Canvas site and available from the honors directors.