At the heart of a Mount education is the liberal arts and sciences core curriculum, grounded in the Mount’s Mission. The core curriculum provides a strong and practical foundation that enables students to lead meaningful personal, professional, and civic lives. It empowers students to become critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, effective communicators, and ethical decision-makers. It cultivates intellectual curiosity and concern for the common good as habits of mind and promotes broader perspectives and lifelong learning.
All students take 46 to 49 credit hours in courses in the core curriculum. The Common Good Thread requires students to complete 12 to 15 credits in the following areas: CORE 115 Common Ground (3 credits), Justice and the Common Good (3 credits), ethics (3 credits), one of several experiential learning offerings (0-3 credits), and a liberal arts and sciences capstone course (3 credits).
In CORE 115 Common Ground, which is taken the first semester at the Mount, students examine their own role as citizens, and explore historical and current ideas about the common good. Emphasis is placed on the importance of self-knowledge, understanding others and their cultures, and discernment of one’s voice in promoting the common good.*
Thirty-four credits of the core curriculum are distributed among courses in the sciences and the humanities. Students fulfill these credits by choosing 13 credits from courses in the sciences--sociology (3 credits), psychology or microeconomics (3 credits), a natural science with a lab (4 credits), mathematics (3 credits), and 21 credits in the humanities—Written Word (3 credits), Spoken Word (3 credits), literature (3 credits), art or music (3 credits), history (3 credits), religious studies (3 credits) and philosophy (3 credits).
In the liberal arts and sciences capstone course, taken toward the end of a Mount education, students have the opportunity to integrate learning from the liberal arts and sciences core curriculum and from their experiential education to address open-ended real world questions. Students bring together their acquired communication and critical thinking skills and the curricular focus on the common good to address ethical, social and cultural dimensions of a problem.
*If a student fails to complete CORE 115 Common Ground in the first semester, the student must register for it again in the next semester. Transfer and non-traditional students follow similar but varied guidelines for meeting the Core Curriculum requirements.