LIVE, the Core Curriculum

With its emphasis on particular skills, attributes, and values, Viterbo University’s core curriculum seeks to prepare students for life in a rapidly changing world. The core curriculum is rooted in the mission of the university and in its liberal arts tradition.

Core Curriculum Mission Statement

In the tradition of our Catholic, Franciscan heritage and our firm foundation in the Liberal Arts, Viterbo University's general education program prepares students to live and work in our global society, affirm the dignity of all people, embrace a passion for justice, revere the natural world, and nurture a spirit of inquiry and a love of truth.

Traditional Undergraduate Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes

Ethical Reasoning and Moral Development
Students respond to ethical issues, using informed value systems.

Social Justice
Students contribute to their communities through service and leadership.

Intercultural Knowledge and Action
Students understand their own and other cultural traditions and demonstrate a respect for the diversity of human experience.

Critical Thinking
Students comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.

Students speak and write to suit varied purposes, audiences, disciplines, and contexts.

Information Literacy
Students identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share information in a variety of contexts.

Integrative Learning
Students transfer learning to new, complex situations within and beyond campus.

Traditional Undergraduate Core Curriculum Policy
  • First time freshmen bachelor degree students must complete all four Mission Seminars, regardless of the number of college credits they completed while in high school through the youth options, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, post-secondary enrollment options (Youth Options), etc.
  • Depending upon the number of credits awarded at the time of matriculation, students who transfer into a traditional undergraduate program must complete two, three, or four Mission Seminars. Students must have earned 24 credits to waive one mission seminar and 46 credits to waive two mission seminars.
  • Franciscan Values and Traditions and The Ethical Life Mission Seminar courses are not repeatable for credit. A student can receive credit for only one Mission Seminar course at the 100 and 400 levels even though the courses have different numbers.
  • All traditional undergraduate students must complete The Ethical Life (VUSM 400 level) Mission Seminar.
Traditional Undergraduate Core Curriculum Summary

Please note that Foundations and Ways of Thinking requirements that are satisfied by departmental courses or Mission Seminars are subject to change. If changes are approved, the Core Curriculum designation at the time the course is taken will supersede the designation indicated in this catalog.

Foundations Requirements (to be completed by the student’s second year)

Note: Foundations requirements may also be satisfied by previous experience, placement mechanisms, and alternative credit options such as Advanced Placement (AP) or College Level Examination Program (CLEP), except where noted.

Written Communication I (one or two courses)

Approved Courses: ENGL 103 and 104 or 105 or 195

Written Communication II (one course)

Approved Courses: ARTS 350, 351; BIOL 251; EDUC 207; ENGL 213, 214, 215, 255, 273, 307; ENGR 365; MATH-365; MGMT 300; MUSC 328; NUTR 280, 340; RLST 222; SOWK 240; THTR 244, 281

Quantitative Literacy (three credits)

Approved Courses: COMM 211; MGMT 230; MATH courses numbered 111 or higher; MUSC 251; PSYC 223; SOCL 243

Other: an ACT Mathematics score of 27 or higher

Information Literacy (one course)

Approved Courses: BIOL 397; CHEM 397; EDUC 207; ENGL 103, 104, 105, 195, 212, 215, 307; MGMT 300; NURS 340; SOWK 240

Oral Communication (one course)

Approved Courses: AADM 200; ARTS 350, 351; BIOL 250; COMM 150; EDUC 215; ENGL 255; MGMT 203; MUSC 327; NURS 242; NUTR 231; PHIL 244; PSYC 270; RLST 181; SOWK 210; THTR 291

Mission Seminars

Franciscan Values and Traditions - FVT (one course)

Approved Course: VUSM 100

Living in a Diverse World - LDW (one course)

Approved Courses: EDUC 302, LASP 200, SOCL 125, SOWK 328, VUSM 200, 205, 240, 251, 252, 260, 286, 290, 293

Social Justice and Equity - SJE (one course)

Approved Courses: VUSM 386, CRMJ/SOCL 364, ECAS 305, EDUC 343, ENGL 334, 394, HIST 341, 342, 359, MGMT 374, MUSC-343, 351, PHIL-302, 315, 360, 365,  PSYC-348, RLST-343, 382, SOCL-320

The Ethical Life - TEL (one course)

Approved Courses: VUSM 400, 420, 431, 432, 435, 486

Ways of Thinking

Students may meet Ways of Thinking requirements with co-counting Mission Seminars, which are listed below.

Historical Analysis (three credits)

Approved Courses: ECAS 310; HIST 101, 102, 105, 106, 111, 112, 153, 217, 218, 220, 221, 247, 254, 304, 308, 311, 315, 330, 335, 342, 344, 346, 347, 349, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 359, 370, 373, 380, 385, 395; MUSC 328; SPML 220

Literary Analysis (three credits)

Approved Courses: EDUC 280; ENGL 208, 229, 236, 242, 244, 250, 251, 252, 253, 263, 329, 336, 342, 343, 344, 347, 350, 351, 352; SPAN 321; THTR 320, 440; VUSM 240, 252, 260

Scientific Reasoning in the Natural Sciences (four credits)

Approved Courses: BIOL 100, 160, 161, 203; CHEM 101, 106, 120; ENVS 101; ESCI 103; PHYS 102, 250, 260, 270

Scientific Reasoning in the Social Sciences (three credits)

Approved Courses: GEOG 132; POSC 121; PSYC 171, 310; SOCL 125, 310, 320, 330, 345; SOWK 210

Artistic Engagement (three credits)

Approved Courses: ARTS 103, 105, 108, 111, 121, 160, 200, 203, 207, 216, 239; COMM 105, 115; DANC 300, 105; ENGL 211; ENGR 130; MUSC 100, 101, 109, 134, 135, 137, 138, 139, 335, 337, 338, 339, 351; MUPI/MUVO 168, 171, 368, 371; THTR 100, 244, 260, 351, 355; VUSM 251

Theological Inquiry (three credits)

Approved Courses: RLST 160, 342

Integrating Faith and Practice (three credits)

Approved Courses: RLST 222, 235, 261, 311, 317, 323, 331, 343, 348, 352, 360, 380, 382, 425, 433, 450, 465; VUSM 431

Philosophical and Moral Inquiry (three credits)

Approved Courses: BUSL-402; CRMJ 470; ECAS-100, 305, 311; PHIL 100, 101, 244, 302, 310, 313, 314, 315, 317, 320, 321, 322, 342, 360, 365, 370, 375; VUSM 435

Bachelor Completion Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes

Global Citizenship 

Definition: Global citizens are informed, open-minded, and responsible people who are attentive to diversity, who seek to understand the way their actions affect both local and global communities, and who address the world’s most pressing and enduring issues collaboratively and equitably.  
Outcome: As global citizens, students will demonstrate their ability to view their own cultural group from a different perspective and demonstrate an understanding of cultural groups other than their own, including ways to interact ethically and responsibly with diverse communities.  

Critical Thinking

Definition: Critical thinking is a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.
Outcome: Students will investigate issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.


Information Literacy

Definition: Information literacy is the ability to identify, interpret, and evaluate sources of information which includes the ability to form judgements of written language for use in a variety of contexts.
Outcome: Students will identify, interpret, and evaluate sources of information which includes the ability to form judgements of written language for use in a variety of contexts.

Professional Written Communication

Definition: Written communication is the development and expression of ideas in writing. The focus of the writing is to achieve a professional purpose using appropriate writing strategies and resources.
Students will write for intended audiences and purposes in professional contexts.

Professional Oral Communication

Definition: Oral communication is purposeful communication designed to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners' attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors.
Students will speak for intended audiences and purposes in professional contexts.

Quantitative Literacy

Definition: Quantitative literacy is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing evidence that results in informed conclusions.
Outcome: Students will draw informed conclusions based on analysis of quantitative data.


Bachelor Completion Core Curriculum Policy


All bachelor completion students must complete RLST 305 in addition to the following, depending on credits transferred:

  • Three credits of Global Citizenship for those with an approved bachelor's degree.
  • Three credits of Global Citizenship for those with an approved A.A. or A.S.
  • Six credits of Global Citizenship for those with an approved A.A.S.
  • Six credits of Global Citizenship for students who have earned college credits from a regionally accredited institution without a degree prior to enrolling at Viterbo. In addition, students must complete English composition, oral communication, and math competency prior to acceptance into a bachelor degree completion program.