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Core Curriculum

Courses that fulfill Core Curriculum program requirements may also be used to fulfill requirements in the major.

Philosophy of the Core Curriculum 
The Core Curriculum is an essential component of St. Norbert College’s mission as a Catholic, Norbertine, liberal arts college. It provides students with the skills, knowledge, intellectual preparation and range of experiential learning that will enable them to flourish as citizens in a complex and rapidly changing world. Furthermore, it offers students a systematic approach to the examination of personal values, habits of leadership and integrity, and spiritual development that are central to the Catholic, Norbertine values upon which the college’s identity and purpose are grounded.

Foundation Courses

Theological Foundations (Core: TF) and Philosophical Foundations (Core: PF) courses should be taken by the end of the students' first year.

THRS 117 Theological Foundations (4 credits, Core: TF)
This course will introduce students to the principal elements of Christian theology, particularly in the Catholic tradition, including biblical studies, historical and systematic theology, and ethics. It will address foundational theological questions, including: What does it mean to study God, and why do we do it? What sources are available for the investigation of God and how do we evaluate these sources? What images and metaphors have been and continue to be used for God? And what implications does belief in God have on ethical behavior and the building of communities?

PHIL 120 Philosophical Foundations in the Study of Human Nature (4 credits, Core: PF)
This course provides a thematic and historical introduction to basic philosophical issues regarding human nature utilizing primary texts from established figures in the philosophical tradition. Topics include the moral dimension of human experience, the fundamental nature of the world, the nature of truth and knowledge, and justice. Readings include dialogues of Plato, authors from at least three of the four philosophical epochs (ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary), and at least one author from the Christian philosophical tradition. Emphasis will be placed on methods of logical inquiry including Socratic dialectic, deductive and inductive inference, and other forms of philosophical discourse with the goal of developing the student’s skills in written and oral communication.

Quantitative-Reasoning and Writing-Intensive Courses
Quantitative-Reasoning (Core: QR) and Writing-Intensive (Core: WI) courses should be taken by the end of the students' second year.

Quantitative-Reasoning Courses (Core: QR)
  • CSCI 110 Introduction to Computer Programming 
  • CSCI 150 Applications of Discrete Structures 
  • MATH 123 Applications of Contemporary Mathematics 
  • MATH 128 Introduction to Statistics for Business 
  • MATH 131 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1 
  • MATH 132 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2
  • MATH 203 Linear Algebra 
  • MATH 212 Principles of Algebra and Data (MATH 212 is for EDUC majors only)
  • MATH 220 Principles of Geometry (MATH 220 is for EDUC majors only)
  • MATH 221 Statistics in the Sciences
  • SSCI 224 Basic Statistics 
Writing-Intensive Courses (Core: WI)
This requirement is fulfilled by taking any course designated as writing intensive (Core: WI) in the course timetable and may be drawn from any of the foundations courses (above) or from any of the the general core courses at the 100 or 200 level (below). In addition, the following courses are always designated as writing intensive:

(Other core requirements that are fulfilled by writing-intensive courses are also indicated)
  • ENGL 101 English Composition (available only through College Jumpstart) (Core: WI)
  • ENGL 150 Introduction to Literary Studies (Core: EI, WI)
  • ENGL 221 The American Short Story (Core: DD, WI)
  • FREN 305 Introduction to French Literature and Literary Criticism (Adv. Core: EI, WI)
  • GERM 304 German Composition (Adv. Core: EI, WI)
  • HONR 101 Introduction to Honors (honors program students only) (Core: WI)
  • HUMA 100 Introduction to the Humanities Through the Fine Arts (Core: EI, WI)
Second Language Competency (Core: SL)
Demonstration of second language competency is to be completed by the end of the student’s third year.

This module is fulfilled by demonstrating basic competence in two languages. Proficiency in each language must be demonstrated by the end of the third year by using the following options:

  • Providing a high school or secondary school transcript indicating successful graduation. (Note: an English translation is required if the transcript is not written in English)
  • Earning a grade of ‘C’ or better in a second-semester language course at St. Norbert College or another post-secondary school.
  • Scoring at a skill level equivalent to a second-semester collegiate language course on a placement exam available at St. Norbert College.
  • Achieving the Seal of Biliteracy
  • Demonstrating language competence by test: 

Earning a score of 3 or better on an Advanced Placement language or literature exam in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish; earning a score of 5 or better on an International Baccalaureate Language A2 HL exam. Tests for languages other than those available at St. Norbert can be obtained at the Brigham Young University Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service (FLATS) or through an ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview via Language Testing International (LTI), with the student bearing responsibility for any fees. English proficiency may be demonstrated by TOEFL (min. scores: pbt 550 or ibt 79) or IELTS (min. score: 6.5 composite). 

Examples: a student who speaks Arabic as a first language could demonstrate Arabic competency with a FLATS score and demonstrate English competency with a TOEFL score; a bilingual student who speaks both Spanish and English could demonstrate Spanish competency with an SNC placement exam score and provide a high school transcript to demonstrate English competency; a student who speaks English as a first language could provide a high school transcript to demonstrate English competency and an Advanced Placement exam score of 5 to demonstrate German competency.

Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

General and Advanced Courses

Students must successfully complete one course from each of the following seven general core areas. Three of these areas must be satisfied by courses taken at the 300- or 400- level in order to fulfill the advanced core requirement.

Beyond Borders (Core: BB)
This area explores the civilizations and cultures of the world in a variety of contexts, historical or contemporary, either studied in their own right or through the interactions and relationships between them. Courses in this area may cover one or more of the following subjects: culture, geography, history, politics, religion, trade and commerce – but ideally and naturally some combination of these. This area provides learners the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the world’s cultural diversity.
  • ENGL 228 The Continental Novel
  • GEOG 140 World Regions and Issues
  • HIST 117 Survey of African History 1
  • HIST 119 Survey of African History 2 
  • HIST 120 Survey of Middle Eastern History
  • HIST 122 Modern East Asia
  • HIST 131 Colonial Latin America
  • HIST 132 Modern Latin America
  • HUMA 252 French Society and Culture
  • HUMA 280 Japanese Culture and Society
  • INTL/POLI 150 Introduction to International Studies
  • PHIL/THRS 265 Asian Philosophy and Religion
  • SSCI 129 Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism in Latin America
Beyond Borders Advanced Core Courses (Adv Core: BB) 
  • ART 310 Non-Western Art History
  • BUAD 340 Leadership Lessons WWI and WWII
  • CLAS 335 Bodies of Knowledge
  • ECON 355 International Economics & Business in the EU
  • ECON 357 Economics of Globalization
  • ECON 376 International Trade
  • ENGL 356 Postcolonial Literature
  • FREN 375 French Civilization and Identity
  • GEOG 363 Global Urbanization
  • GERM 375 Modern Germany: 1850-1950
  • JAPN 375 Japanese Civilization
  • NSCI 310 Global Viral Pandemics
  • NSCI 348 Bioterrorism
  • PHIL 331 and 332 Food Ethics: The Philippines
  • PHIL 352 Labyrinths of Time
  • POLI 349 Global Environmental Politics
  • POLI/PEAC 352 Conceptions of Human Rights
  • POLI 362 Globalization and the Developing World
  • POLI 368 Latin American Politics Through Film, Art, Poetry and Music
  • POLI 410 Global Political Extremism
  • SPAN 365 Latin American Civilization: South America and the Caribbean
  • SPAN 370 Latin American Civilization: Mexico and Central America
  • SPAN 375 Spanish Civilization
  • THRS 302 Forgotten and Found Sacred Texts
  • THRS 339 World Scriptures
  • THRS 340 World Religions in Dialogue
  • THRS 343 Prophet and Savior: Muslim and Christian Theologies
  • WMGS/INTL 300 Contemporary Latin American Literature and Culture
Catholic Imagination (Core: CI)
This area focuses on the Catholic intellectual tradition and its continuing interactions/dialogue with the world, including art, literature and science. Courses in this area explore a variety of subject matter, grounded in Catholic theology, such as contributions and manifestations of Catholic sensibility in issues of historical and contemporary significance. Such courses allow students to explore the reciprocal enrichment between the Church and the world as a result of dialogue through the ages, including ways in which the Catholic tradition engages the needs and opportunities of communities and the world.
  • ART 215 Sacred Art and Architecture
  • ENGL 240 Modern Catholic Fiction
  • THRS 201 The Bible: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
  • THRS 203 The Quest for God
Catholic Imagination Advanced Core Courses (Adv Core: CI)
  • HUMA 337 Communio and the Norbertines
  • PHIL 322 Aquinas’ Philosophy and Theology
  • THRS 310 Marriage and Family as Vocation
  • THRS 312 The Church: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • THRS 314 Origins of Biblical Monotheism
  • THRS 316 Who is Jesus?
  • THRS/WMGS 318 Feminist Theology
  • THRS 320 The Christian Tradition
  • THRS 322 Survey of the Hebrew Bible
  • THRS/WMGS 324 Women in the Bible
  • THRS 325 Providence, Suffering, and Freedom
  • THRS/CLAS 327 Ancient Wisdom and the Modern Search for Meaning
  • THRS 329 The New Testament
  • THRS 331 The Holocaust
  • THRS 333 Christian Ethics
  • THRS 337 Character and the Moral Life
  • THRS 350 Christianity and Religious Diversity
  • THRS 355 Theology of Spirituality
  • THRS 360 Exploring Catholic Theology
  • THRS 361 Catholic Intellectual Tradition
  • THRS 433 Christian Ethics
  • THRS 337 Character and the Moral Life
Difference and Diversity (Core: DD)
This area cultivates an understanding of the historical and contemporary challenges faced by various groups within the U.S., commonly identified by characteristics such as class, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, and religion. A study of these groups’ identities and the voices with which they speak illustrates their contributions to the rich and complex U.S. mosaic. Courses in this area explore how these identities are constructed and how the internal dynamics and external interactions of such groups continue to inform and shape our experience. In turn, these questions challenge students to think critically about commonly held views of equality, justice, citizenship and identity.
  • AMER 261 Introduction to American Studies
  • ENGL 221 The American Short Story
  • GEOG 225 Social Geography
  • HIST/AMER 114 History of the United States 1
  • HIST/AMER 115 History of the United States 2
  • HUMA 244 Autobiographies and Abolition
  • PHIL 200 Philosophy of Love and Sex
  • POLI 131 American Multicultural Politics
  • POLI 232 American Political Polarization
  • SSCI 103 Difference, Diversity and Power
  • SSCI 205 Disability and American Society
  • THRS/AMER 221 Religion in America
  • WMGS 110 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
  • WMGS 225 Gender in Text and Imagery
Difference and Diversity Advanced Core Courses (Adv. Core: DD)
  • ART/WMGS 375 Race, Gender and Contemporary Art
  • COME 310 Race, Ethnicity and Media
  • COME 330 Intercultural Communication
  • COME/WMGS 331 Gender and Media
  • GEOG 355 Ethnic Geographies of the US
  • HIST 324 Poverty, Charity and Welfare
  • HIST 368 Asian American Experience
  • HUMA 310 History of Minority Groups in the United States
  • MUSI/AMER 318 Evolution of Jazz
  • SOCI 320 Culture and Consumption
  • SOCI/WMGS 346 Intersections of Privilege
  • SSCI 408 Social Inequalities
Expression and Interpretation (Core: EI)
This area examines ways in which literature and the visual and performing arts resonate in human experience. Courses in this area encourage students to contemplate and theorize humanities and fine arts. Through creative engagement and critical thought, students will develop an understanding and appreciation of the creative process and cultivate the ability to make positive contributions to knowledge, society, and culture.
  • ATR 124 Mobile Digital Phototography
  • ART 125 Introduction to Adobe Photoshop
  • ART 131 Introduction to Studio Art
  • ART 134 Basic Drawing
  • ART 144 Introduction to Video Production
  • ART 145 Rotoscope Animation
  • ART 205 Art, Technology and Society
  • ART 220 Art and Community Expression
  • ART 224 Introduction to Sculpture
  • ART 230 Beginning Printmaking
  • ART 240 Introductory Painting
  • ENGL 150 Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 203 Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • ENGL 210 Introduction to Film
  • ENGL 215 Introduction to Creative Writing
  • HUMA 100 Introduction to the Humanities Through the Fine Arts
  • MUSI 150 Survey of World Musics
  • MUSI 176 Music Appreciation
  • THEA 101 Introduction to Live Performance
  • THEA 102 Creation of Sign and Symbol
  • THEA 200 American Musical Theatre History
  • THEA 237 History of Clothing and Fashion
  • WOLT 210 Soviet Dissident Literature
Expression and Interpretation Advanced Core Courses  (Adv Core: EI)
  •  ART 324 Intermediate Sculpture
  • ART 330 Intermediate Printmaking
  • ART 340 Intermediate Painting
  • ART 424 Advanced Sculpture
  • ART 430 Advanced Printmaking
  • ART 440 Advanced Painting
  • FREN 305 Introduction to French Literature and Literary Criticism
  • GERM 304 German Composition
  • GERM 305 Introduction to German Literature and Literary Criticism
  • HUMA 313 Stories of War
  • PHIL/CLAS 334 Tragedy and Philosophy
  • SPAN 301 Introduction to Spanish and Spanish American Literature 1
  • SPAN 302 Introduction to Spanish and Spanish American Literature 2
Individual and Society (Core: IS)
This area focuses attention on the nature of the individual, of society, and the relationship between the two. Courses in this module consider empirical research as well as historical and contemporary thought on the nature and development of the individual (including common attributes and individual differences, the character and evolution of society (including complex institutions such as family, economy, and government) and the relationship between the two. These courses help students identify and apply theoretical and methodological perspectives of a social science in order to understand themselves and their place in the social world.
  • ART 285 Art in a Democratic Society
  • BUAD 215 Entrepreneurship
  • ECON 101 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 102 Principles of Microeconomics
  • EDUC 130 Educational Psychology
  • LEAD 200 Introduction to Leadership Studies
  • POLI/AMER 130 U.S. Politics and Government
  • PSYC 100 General Psychology
  • SOCI 100 Introduction to Sociology
Individual and Society Advanced Core Courses (Adv Core: IS)
  • BUAD 387 Aviation Disaster Exploration: Decision Making Errors
  • COME 320 Crisis Communication
  • COME 352 Media Effects
  • CSCI 310 Computing in a Global Society
  • POLI 310 Fascism and Socialism
  • POLI 333 American Conspiracy Theories
Physical and Natural World (Core: PN)
This area introduces topics ranging from physical and chemical processes that shape the earth and universe, the historical and contemporary impact of human geography on climate and the earth’s biota, to the interplay among health, environment and technology. Courses in this area, while being grounded in the fundamentals of the natural sciences, may include disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives on the physical and natural world. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of science, methods of science, and the interdisciplinary nature of science through inquiry, critical thinking, application, and communication. This subject matter, when synthesized into a meaningful whole, allows learners to develop an informed perspective on the physical and natural world and our role as responsible stewards of the environment. These courses include a laboratory component. 
  • BIOL 105 Human Biology and Society
  • BIOL 106 Humans and the Environment
  • BIOL 108 Biodiversity
  • BIOL 121 General Biology 2
  • CHEM 100 Applications of Chemistry
  • CHEM 105 General Chemistry 1
  • EDUC/GEOL 287 Integrated STEM Methods
  • GEOG 120 Global Physical Environments
  • GEOL 105 Introductory Geology
  • GEOL 107 Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 109 Dinosaurs and their Environment
  • GEOL 115 General Oceanography
  • PHYS 100 Physics in the Arts
  • PHYS 111 Fundamentals of Physics
  • PHYS 121 General Physics 1
  • PHYS 141 Introductory Astronomy
Physical and Natural World Advanced Core Courses (Adv Core: PN)
  • ENVS 300 Environmental Science
  • NSCI 315 Climate Change
  • NSCI 358 Social Impacts of Infectious Disease
  • SSCI 301 Environment and Society
Western Tradition (Core: WT)
This area helps students understand and evaluate major concepts and values in Western culture. Students will be able to analyze how the Western tradition influences contemporary thoughts or actions. Courses in this area will expose students to the sources and development of ideas that pervade Western society and the Western cultural experience, and may cover Western ideologies, history, government, citizenship, literature and the arts.
  • ART 110 History of Western Art
  • ART 112 History of Modern Design
  • ART 115 History of Modern Art
  • BIOL 107 Human Evolution and Extinction
  • ENGL 212 Modern British Novel
  • HIST 112 History of Western Civilization 1: Bronze Age to Renaissance
  • HIST 113 History of Western Civilization 2: Early to Modern Europe
  • HUMA 211 Vietnam in Western Imagination
  • HUMA 240 Classic American Novels
  • MUSI/AMER 184 History of American Popular Music
  • PEAC 266 Human Rights and Responsibilities
  • PHIL 205 Existentialism and Film
  • PHIL 235 Skepticism, Knowledge and Faith
  • PHIL 250/THRS 255 Philosophy of Religion
  • PHIL 282 Law, Morality and Punishment
Western Tradition Advanced Core Courses (Adv Core: WT)
  • ART 337 Winter in Rome: Art in Context
  • BUAD 386 Leading Through Adversity
  • COME/POLI 329 Political Communication
  • ECON 300 History of Economic Thought
  • ENGL 321 Dante: The Divine Comedy
  • ENGL 385 Heroes and Sages
  • FREN 320 Masterpieces of French Literature
  • HIST 345 Slavery in World History
  • HIST 350 History of Modern Europe
  • HIST 370 The End of the World
  • HONR 302 Coexistence in Medieval Spain
  • HUMA 315 German Identity Through Film
  • HUMA 403 Ideal Societies
  • MUSI 315 Introduction to Opera
  • PHIL/AMER 305 American Philosophy
  • PHIL/POLI 316 Modern Political Thought
  • PHIL 330 The European Enlightenment
  • SOCI 352 Foundations of Social Theory
  • THEA 337 Contemporary Theatre
  • THEA 387 History of Architecture & Decor
  • WOLT 320 19th Century Russian Fiction
  • WOLT/CLAS 325 Classical Mythology

Core Goals

Goals of the Core Curriculum Program

Within the context of the institution’s Catholic, Norbertine and Liberal Arts traditions, St. Norbert students demonstrate the knowledge, skills and values necessary to:

Think Critically
Indicators may include employing logical analysis and inquiry; evaluating arguments and evidence; demonstrating information literacy and quantitative reasoning; applying knowledge, skills and methods of the natural sciences, the humanities, the visual and performing arts, and the social sciences – including business and economics.

Communicate Effectively
Indicators may include accurately conveying and interpreting written, spoken and symbolic forms of communication; communicating in ways appropriate to audience, purpose and context; using communication strategies and technologies effectively and ethically; demonstrating basic skills in more than one language.

Problem-Solve Creatively
Indicators may include articulating contextual factors and generating relevant questions when defining a given problem; exploring an issue or problem by creating a new approach, product or idea or by synthesizing multiple approaches; evaluating the implications of alternative solutions. 

Behave Ethically
Indicators may include identifying, reflecting upon and articulating one’s own principled values; understanding and applying ethical principles in academic, civic and personal contexts; weighing the ethical consequences of alternative courses of action; advocating for ethical outcomes. 

Interact Respectfully
Indicators may include collaborating effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds; reflecting critically on cultural biases, including one’s own; valuing the differences, commonalities and contributions of cultures and societies throughout time; engaging conscientiously in personal and civic life. 

Serve Responsibly
Indicators may include valuing the inherent dignity of all people; advocating for and building systems that promote justice and the common good; making decisions and acting in ways that reflect awareness of global interconnectedness; practicing stewardship and the responsible use of resources.

Live Purposefully 
Indicators may include articulating and acting upon goals and values that support a sense of meaning and purpose in one’s life; engaging in behaviors that promote well-being; understanding the faith commitments out of which our institution grows; esteeming the contributions of diverse faith and values perspectives; practicing reflection and contemplation; demonstrating self-awareness.

Goals of Lower-Level Core Curriculum Courses

  • Develop student skills in writing, research and oral communication
  • Develop student abilities in creative and critical thinking
  • Foster student understanding of the value of a liberal arts education

Goals of Upper-Level Core Curriculum Courses

  • Advance student skills in synthesis and integration of different methods, perspectives or ideas, and develop the ability to bring together existing knowledge and materials in order to create new connections, approaches or intellectual expressions
  • Engage students in deep critical evaluation and reflection on subject matter or sources of information, and require them to communicate what they have learned using various modes of substantive response
  • Challenge students to identify or evaluate concepts, principles and techniques learned through the course in contexts outside of the classroom; or to use concepts, principles and techniques learned through the course to predict results or propose solutions

Foundation Courses

Theological Foundations (Core: TF) and Philosophical Foundations (Core: PF) courses should be taken by the end of the students' first year.

THRS 117 Theological Foundations (4 credits, Core: TF)
This course will introduce students to the principal elements of Christian theology, particularly in the Catholic tradition, including biblical studies, historical and systematic theology, and ethics. It will address foundational theological questions, including: What does it mean to study God, and why do we do it? What sources are available for the investigation of God and how do we evaluate these sources? What images and metaphors have been and continue to be used for God? And what implications does belief in God have on ethical behavior and the building of communities?

PHIL 120 Philosophical Foundations in the Study of Human Nature (4 credits, Core: PF)
This course provides a thematic and historical introduction to basic philosophical issues regarding human nature utilizing primary texts from established figures in the philosophical tradition. Topics include the moral dimension of human experience, the fundamental nature of the world, the nature of truth and knowledge, and justice. Readings include dialogues of Plato, authors from at least three of the four philosophical epochs (ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary), and at least one author from the Christian philosophical tradition. Emphasis will be placed on methods of logical inquiry including Socratic dialectic, deductive and inductive inference, and other forms of philosophical discourse with the goal of developing the student’s skills in written and oral communication.

Quantitative-Reasoning and Writing-Intensive Courses
Quantitative-Reasoning (Core: QR) and Writing-Intensive (Core: WI) courses should be taken by the end of the students' second year.

Quantitative-Reasoning Courses (Core: QR)
  • CSCI 110 Introduction to Computer Programming 
  • CSCI 150 Applications of Discrete Structures 
  • MATH 123 Applications of Contemporary Mathematics 
  • MATH 128 Introduction to Statistics for Business 
  • MATH 131 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1 
  • MATH 132 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2
  • MATH 203 Linear Algebra 
  • MATH 212 Principles of Algebra and Data (MATH 212 is for EDUC majors only)
  • MATH 220 Principles of Geometry (MATH 220 is for EDUC majors only)
  • MATH 221 Statistics in the Sciences
  • SSCI 224 Basic Statistics 
Writing-Intensive Courses (Core: WI)
This requirement is fulfilled by taking any course designated as writing intensive (Core: WI) in the course timetable and may be drawn from any of the foundations courses (above) or from any of the the general core courses at the 100 or 200 level (below). In addition, the following courses are always designated as writing intensive:

(Other core requirements that are fulfilled by writing-intensive courses are also indicated)
  • ENGL 101 English Composition (available only through College Jumpstart) (Core: WI)
  • ENGL 150 Introduction to Literary Studies (Core: EI, WI)
  • ENGL 221 The American Short Story (Core: DD, WI)
  • FREN 305 Introduction to French Literature and Literary Criticism (Adv. Core: EI, WI)
  • GERM 304 German Composition (Adv. Core: EI, WI)
  • HONR 101 Introduction to Honors (honors program students only) (Core: WI)
  • HUMA 100 Introduction to the Humanities Through the Fine Arts (Core: EI, WI)
Second Language Competency (Core: SL)
Demonstration of second language competency is to be completed by the end of the student’s third year.

This module is fulfilled by demonstrating basic competence in two languages. Proficiency in each language must be demonstrated by the end of the third year by using the following options:

  • Providing a high school or secondary school transcript indicating successful graduation. (Note: an English translation is required if the transcript is not written in English)
  • Earning a grade of ‘C’ or better in a second-semester language course at St. Norbert College or another post-secondary school.
  • Scoring at a skill level equivalent to a second-semester collegiate language course on a placement exam available at St. Norbert College.
  • Achieving the Seal of Biliteracy
  • Demonstrating language competence by test: 

Earning a score of 3 or better on an Advanced Placement language or literature exam in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish; earning a score of 5 or better on an International Baccalaureate Language A2 HL exam. Tests for languages other than those available at St. Norbert can be obtained at the Brigham Young University Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service (FLATS) or through an ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview via Language Testing International (LTI), with the student bearing responsibility for any fees. English proficiency may be demonstrated by TOEFL (min. scores: pbt 550 or ibt 79) or IELTS (min. score: 6.5 composite). 

Examples: a student who speaks Arabic as a first language could demonstrate Arabic competency with a FLATS score and demonstrate English competency with a TOEFL score; a bilingual student who speaks both Spanish and English could demonstrate Spanish competency with an SNC placement exam score and provide a high school transcript to demonstrate English competency; a student who speaks English as a first language could provide a high school transcript to demonstrate English competency and an Advanced Placement exam score of 5 to demonstrate German competency.

Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

General and Advanced Courses

Students must successfully complete one course from each of the following seven general core areas. Three of these areas must be satisfied by courses taken at the 300- or 400- level in order to fulfill the advanced core requirement.

Beyond Borders (Core: BB)
This area explores the civilizations and cultures of the world in a variety of contexts, historical or contemporary, either studied in their own right or through the interactions and relationships between them. Courses in this area may cover one or more of the following subjects: culture, geography, history, politics, religion, trade and commerce – but ideally and naturally some combination of these. This area provides learners the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the world’s cultural diversity.
  • ENGL 228 The Continental Novel
  • GEOG 140 World Regions and Issues
  • HIST 117 Survey of African History 1
  • HIST 119 Survey of African History 2 
  • HIST 120 Survey of Middle Eastern History
  • HIST 122 Modern East Asia
  • HIST 131 Colonial Latin America
  • HIST 132 Modern Latin America
  • HUMA 252 French Society and Culture
  • HUMA 280 Japanese Culture and Society
  • INTL/POLI 150 Introduction to International Studies
  • PHIL/THRS 265 Asian Philosophy and Religion
  • SSCI 129 Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism in Latin America
Beyond Borders Advanced Core Courses (Adv Core: BB) 
  • ART 310 Non-Western Art History
  • BUAD 340 Leadership Lessons WWI and WWII
  • CLAS 335 Bodies of Knowledge
  • ECON 355 International Economics & Business in the EU
  • ECON 357 Economics of Globalization
  • ECON 376 International Trade
  • ENGL 356 Postcolonial Literature
  • FREN 375 French Civilization and Identity
  • GEOG 363 Global Urbanization
  • GERM 375 Modern Germany: 1850-1950
  • JAPN 375 Japanese Civilization
  • NSCI 310 Global Viral Pandemics
  • NSCI 348 Bioterrorism
  • PHIL 331 and 332 Food Ethics: The Philippines
  • PHIL 352 Labyrinths of Time
  • POLI 349 Global Environmental Politics
  • POLI/PEAC 352 Conceptions of Human Rights
  • POLI 362 Globalization and the Developing World
  • POLI 368 Latin American Politics Through Film, Art, Poetry and Music
  • POLI 410 Global Political Extremism
  • SPAN 365 Latin American Civilization: South America and the Caribbean
  • SPAN 370 Latin American Civilization: Mexico and Central America
  • SPAN 375 Spanish Civilization
  • THRS 302 Forgotten and Found Sacred Texts
  • THRS 339 World Scriptures
  • THRS 340 World Religions in Dialogue
  • THRS 343 Prophet and Savior: Muslim and Christian Theologies
  • WMGS/INTL 300 Contemporary Latin American Literature and Culture
Catholic Imagination (Core: CI)
This area focuses on the Catholic intellectual tradition and its continuing interactions/dialogue with the world, including art, literature and science. Courses in this area explore a variety of subject matter, grounded in Catholic theology, such as contributions and manifestations of Catholic sensibility in issues of historical and contemporary significance. Such courses allow students to explore the reciprocal enrichment between the Church and the world as a result of dialogue through the ages, including ways in which the Catholic tradition engages the needs and opportunities of communities and the world.
  • ART 215 Sacred Art and Architecture
  • ENGL 240 Modern Catholic Fiction
  • THRS 201 The Bible: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
  • THRS 203 The Quest for God
Catholic Imagination Advanced Core Courses (Adv Core: CI)
  • HUMA 337 Communio and the Norbertines
  • PHIL 322 Aquinas’ Philosophy and Theology
  • THRS 310 Marriage and Family as Vocation
  • THRS 312 The Church: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • THRS 314 Origins of Biblical Monotheism
  • THRS 316 Who is Jesus?
  • THRS/WMGS 318 Feminist Theology
  • THRS 320 The Christian Tradition
  • THRS 322 Survey of the Hebrew Bible
  • THRS/WMGS 324 Women in the Bible
  • THRS 325 Providence, Suffering, and Freedom
  • THRS/CLAS 327 Ancient Wisdom and the Modern Search for Meaning
  • THRS 329 The New Testament
  • THRS 331 The Holocaust
  • THRS 333 Christian Ethics
  • THRS 337 Character and the Moral Life
  • THRS 350 Christianity and Religious Diversity
  • THRS 355 Theology of Spirituality
  • THRS 360 Exploring Catholic Theology
  • THRS 361 Catholic Intellectual Tradition
  • THRS 433 Christian Ethics
  • THRS 337 Character and the Moral Life
Difference and Diversity (Core: DD)
This area cultivates an understanding of the historical and contemporary challenges faced by various groups within the U.S., commonly identified by characteristics such as class, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, and religion. A study of these groups’ identities and the voices with which they speak illustrates their contributions to the rich and complex U.S. mosaic. Courses in this area explore how these identities are constructed and how the internal dynamics and external interactions of such groups continue to inform and shape our experience. In turn, these questions challenge students to think critically about commonly held views of equality, justice, citizenship and identity.
  • AMER 261 Introduction to American Studies
  • ENGL 221 The American Short Story
  • GEOG 225 Social Geography
  • HIST/AMER 114 History of the United States 1
  • HIST/AMER 115 History of the United States 2
  • HUMA 244 Autobiographies and Abolition
  • PHIL 200 Philosophy of Love and Sex
  • POLI 131 American Multicultural Politics
  • POLI 232 American Political Polarization
  • SSCI 103 Difference, Diversity and Power
  • SSCI 205 Disability and American Society
  • THRS/AMER 221 Religion in America
  • WMGS 110 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
  • WMGS 225 Gender in Text and Imagery
Difference and Diversity Advanced Core Courses (Adv. Core: DD)
  • ART/WMGS 375 Race, Gender and Contemporary Art
  • COME 310 Race, Ethnicity and Media
  • COME 330 Intercultural Communication
  • COME/WMGS 331 Gender and Media
  • GEOG 355 Ethnic Geographies of the US
  • HIST 324 Poverty, Charity and Welfare
  • HIST 368 Asian American Experience
  • HUMA 310 History of Minority Groups in the United States
  • MUSI/AMER 318 Evolution of Jazz
  • SOCI 320 Culture and Consumption
  • SOCI/WMGS 346 Intersections of Privilege
  • SSCI 408 Social Inequalities
Expression and Interpretation (Core: EI)
This area examines ways in which literature and the visual and performing arts resonate in human experience. Courses in this area encourage students to contemplate and theorize humanities and fine arts. Through creative engagement and critical thought, students will develop an understanding and appreciation of the creative process and cultivate the ability to make positive contributions to knowledge, society, and culture.
  • ATR 124 Mobile Digital Phototography
  • ART 125 Introduction to Adobe Photoshop
  • ART 131 Introduction to Studio Art
  • ART 134 Basic Drawing
  • ART 144 Introduction to Video Production
  • ART 145 Rotoscope Animation
  • ART 205 Art, Technology and Society
  • ART 220 Art and Community Expression
  • ART 224 Introduction to Sculpture
  • ART 230 Beginning Printmaking
  • ART 240 Introductory Painting
  • ENGL 150 Introduction to Literary Studies
  • ENGL 203 Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • ENGL 210 Introduction to Film
  • ENGL 215 Introduction to Creative Writing
  • HUMA 100 Introduction to the Humanities Through the Fine Arts
  • MUSI 150 Survey of World Musics
  • MUSI 176 Music Appreciation
  • THEA 101 Introduction to Live Performance
  • THEA 102 Creation of Sign and Symbol
  • THEA 200 American Musical Theatre History
  • THEA 237 History of Clothing and Fashion
  • WOLT 210 Soviet Dissident Literature
Expression and Interpretation Advanced Core Courses  (Adv Core: EI)
  •  ART 324 Intermediate Sculpture
  • ART 330 Intermediate Printmaking
  • ART 340 Intermediate Painting
  • ART 424 Advanced Sculpture
  • ART 430 Advanced Printmaking
  • ART 440 Advanced Painting
  • FREN 305 Introduction to French Literature and Literary Criticism
  • GERM 304 German Composition
  • GERM 305 Introduction to German Literature and Literary Criticism
  • HUMA 313 Stories of War
  • PHIL/CLAS 334 Tragedy and Philosophy
  • SPAN 301 Introduction to Spanish and Spanish American Literature 1
  • SPAN 302 Introduction to Spanish and Spanish American Literature 2
Individual and Society (Core: IS)
This area focuses attention on the nature of the individual, of society, and the relationship between the two. Courses in this module consider empirical research as well as historical and contemporary thought on the nature and development of the individual (including common attributes and individual differences, the character and evolution of society (including complex institutions such as family, economy, and government) and the relationship between the two. These courses help students identify and apply theoretical and methodological perspectives of a social science in order to understand themselves and their place in the social world.
  • ART 285 Art in a Democratic Society
  • BUAD 215 Entrepreneurship
  • ECON 101 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 102 Principles of Microeconomics
  • EDUC 130 Educational Psychology
  • LEAD 200 Introduction to Leadership Studies
  • POLI/AMER 130 U.S. Politics and Government
  • PSYC 100 General Psychology
  • SOCI 100 Introduction to Sociology
Individual and Society Advanced Core Courses (Adv Core: IS)
  • BUAD 387 Aviation Disaster Exploration: Decision Making Errors
  • COME 320 Crisis Communication
  • COME 352 Media Effects
  • CSCI 310 Computing in a Global Society
  • POLI 310 Fascism and Socialism
  • POLI 333 American Conspiracy Theories
Physical and Natural World (Core: PN)
This area introduces topics ranging from physical and chemical processes that shape the earth and universe, the historical and contemporary impact of human geography on climate and the earth’s biota, to the interplay among health, environment and technology. Courses in this area, while being grounded in the fundamentals of the natural sciences, may include disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives on the physical and natural world. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of science, methods of science, and the interdisciplinary nature of science through inquiry, critical thinking, application, and communication. This subject matter, when synthesized into a meaningful whole, allows learners to develop an informed perspective on the physical and natural world and our role as responsible stewards of the environment. These courses include a laboratory component. 
  • BIOL 105 Human Biology and Society
  • BIOL 106 Humans and the Environment
  • BIOL 108 Biodiversity
  • BIOL 121 General Biology 2
  • CHEM 100 Applications of Chemistry
  • CHEM 105 General Chemistry 1
  • EDUC/GEOL 287 Integrated STEM Methods
  • GEOG 120 Global Physical Environments
  • GEOL 105 Introductory Geology
  • GEOL 107 Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 109 Dinosaurs and their Environment
  • GEOL 115 General Oceanography
  • PHYS 100 Physics in the Arts
  • PHYS 111 Fundamentals of Physics
  • PHYS 121 General Physics 1
  • PHYS 141 Introductory Astronomy
Physical and Natural World Advanced Core Courses (Adv Core: PN)
  • ENVS 300 Environmental Science
  • NSCI 315 Climate Change
  • NSCI 358 Social Impacts of Infectious Disease
  • SSCI 301 Environment and Society
Western Tradition (Core: WT)
This area helps students understand and evaluate major concepts and values in Western culture. Students will be able to analyze how the Western tradition influences contemporary thoughts or actions. Courses in this area will expose students to the sources and development of ideas that pervade Western society and the Western cultural experience, and may cover Western ideologies, history, government, citizenship, literature and the arts.
  • ART 110 History of Western Art
  • ART 112 History of Modern Design
  • ART 115 History of Modern Art
  • BIOL 107 Human Evolution and Extinction
  • ENGL 212 Modern British Novel
  • HIST 112 History of Western Civilization 1: Bronze Age to Renaissance
  • HIST 113 History of Western Civilization 2: Early to Modern Europe
  • HUMA 211 Vietnam in Western Imagination
  • HUMA 240 Classic American Novels
  • MUSI/AMER 184 History of American Popular Music
  • PEAC 266 Human Rights and Responsibilities
  • PHIL 205 Existentialism and Film
  • PHIL 235 Skepticism, Knowledge and Faith
  • PHIL 250/THRS 255 Philosophy of Religion
  • PHIL 282 Law, Morality and Punishment
Western Tradition Advanced Core Courses (Adv Core: WT)
  • ART 337 Winter in Rome: Art in Context
  • BUAD 386 Leading Through Adversity
  • COME/POLI 329 Political Communication
  • ECON 300 History of Economic Thought
  • ENGL 321 Dante: The Divine Comedy
  • ENGL 385 Heroes and Sages
  • FREN 320 Masterpieces of French Literature
  • HIST 345 Slavery in World History
  • HIST 350 History of Modern Europe
  • HIST 370 The End of the World
  • HONR 302 Coexistence in Medieval Spain
  • HUMA 315 German Identity Through Film
  • HUMA 403 Ideal Societies
  • MUSI 315 Introduction to Opera
  • PHIL/AMER 305 American Philosophy
  • PHIL/POLI 316 Modern Political Thought
  • PHIL 330 The European Enlightenment
  • SOCI 352 Foundations of Social Theory
  • THEA 337 Contemporary Theatre
  • THEA 387 History of Architecture & Decor
  • WOLT 320 19th Century Russian Fiction
  • WOLT/CLAS 325 Classical Mythology

Core Goals

Goals of the Core Curriculum Program

Within the context of the institution’s Catholic, Norbertine and Liberal Arts traditions, St. Norbert students demonstrate the knowledge, skills and values necessary to:

Think Critically
Indicators may include employing logical analysis and inquiry; evaluating arguments and evidence; demonstrating information literacy and quantitative reasoning; applying knowledge, skills and methods of the natural sciences, the humanities, the visual and performing arts, and the social sciences – including business and economics.

Communicate Effectively
Indicators may include accurately conveying and interpreting written, spoken and symbolic forms of communication; communicating in ways appropriate to audience, purpose and context; using communication strategies and technologies effectively and ethically; demonstrating basic skills in more than one language.

Problem-Solve Creatively
Indicators may include articulating contextual factors and generating relevant questions when defining a given problem; exploring an issue or problem by creating a new approach, product or idea or by synthesizing multiple approaches; evaluating the implications of alternative solutions. 

Behave Ethically
Indicators may include identifying, reflecting upon and articulating one’s own principled values; understanding and applying ethical principles in academic, civic and personal contexts; weighing the ethical consequences of alternative courses of action; advocating for ethical outcomes. 

Interact Respectfully
Indicators may include collaborating effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds; reflecting critically on cultural biases, including one’s own; valuing the differences, commonalities and contributions of cultures and societies throughout time; engaging conscientiously in personal and civic life. 

Serve Responsibly
Indicators may include valuing the inherent dignity of all people; advocating for and building systems that promote justice and the common good; making decisions and acting in ways that reflect awareness of global interconnectedness; practicing stewardship and the responsible use of resources.

Live Purposefully 
Indicators may include articulating and acting upon goals and values that support a sense of meaning and purpose in one’s life; engaging in behaviors that promote well-being; understanding the faith commitments out of which our institution grows; esteeming the contributions of diverse faith and values perspectives; practicing reflection and contemplation; demonstrating self-awareness.

Goals of Lower-Level Core Curriculum Courses

  • Develop student skills in writing, research and oral communication
  • Develop student abilities in creative and critical thinking
  • Foster student understanding of the value of a liberal arts education

Goals of Upper-Level Core Curriculum Courses

  • Advance student skills in synthesis and integration of different methods, perspectives or ideas, and develop the ability to bring together existing knowledge and materials in order to create new connections, approaches or intellectual expressions
  • Engage students in deep critical evaluation and reflection on subject matter or sources of information, and require them to communicate what they have learned using various modes of substantive response
  • Challenge students to identify or evaluate concepts, principles and techniques learned through the course in contexts outside of the classroom; or to use concepts, principles and techniques learned through the course to predict results or propose solutions
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