Core Curriculum Requirements

The Misericordia University Core Curriculum is a comprehensive program in the Arts, Humanities, and Social, Behavioral and Natural Sciences that prepares students to think critically and creatively, to communicate effectively, and to embody the spirit of service. The Core Curriculum is intentional in exposing students to diversity, raising cultural awareness, and shaping them as global citizens. Catholic values as expressed in the charisms of the Sisters of Mercy create the foundation for students to reflect, act ethically and live in relationship with God, humanity and creation. The courses that form the Core Curriculum provide the knowledge and skills that lay the foundation for undergraduate education at Misericordia University.

Core Curriculum Goals

  1. Students will communicate effectively using oral, written and/or artistic presentations.
  2. Students will demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  3. Students will demonstrate integrating information and technological literacy.
  4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the central concepts and ideas of the arts, humanities, and the social, behavioral, and natural sciences.
  5. Students will demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues across disciplines.
  6. Students will demonstrate an awareness of and appreciation of global interdependence and diversity.

    All undergraduate students, regardless of major, are required to complete a minimum of 49 credit hours of core courses, as listed below:

Written Communication Requirement

All students must complete:

  1. The University Writing Seminar (3 credits). See the core requirements listed below for where specific departments offer University Writing Seminar (UWS) courses within their curriculum. Successful completion of the UWS course is required prior to beginning the writing intensive courses. These courses also satisfy core requirements in the department in which they are offered. A second UWS course cannot be taken by a student who has already successfully completed another UWS course in a different department. A UWS course from one department cannot be used to grade replace a UWS course taken in another department.
  2. At least two courses identified as writing intensive. Sections that are writing intensive will be indicated with a “W” following the course number on the course schedule. These courses may be offered and taken as part of the core requirements listed below and/or within individual majors/minors.

Behavioral Science: Select any two (6 course credits required)

PSY 123 Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)

SOC 101 Comparative Sociology (3 credits)

BUS 205* Macroeconomics (3 credits)

BUS 206* Microeconomics (3 credits)

BUS 207* Contemporary Economics (3 credits)

(*Only one Economics course may count towards core)

English: Select any two (6 course credits required)

ENG 150 Introduction to Literature (3 credits)

ENG 151 University Writing Seminar (3 credits)

ENG 185 Special Topics-Core (3 credits)

ENG 208 African American Literature (3 credits)

ENG 216 Italy in Literature & Film (3 credits)

ENG 219 Modern World Literature (3 credits)

ENG 223 Ethnic American Literature (3 credits)

ENG 224 Women Writers (3 credits)

ENG 225 Disability in Literature (3 credits)

ENG 245 British Literature I (3 credits)

ENG 246 British Literature II (3 credits)

ENG 247 American Literature I (3 credits)

ENG 248 American Literature II (3 credits)

ENG 249 European Fiction (3 credits)

Fine Arts: Select any two (6 course credits required)

FA 203 Subjects and Symbols (3 credits)

FA 204 Beauty and Ugliness (3 credits)

FA 207 World Music (3 credits)

FA 208 Pop Music: Diversity and Identity (3 credits)

FA 209 Themes in Art (3 credits)

FA 211 Global Contemporary Art (3 credits)

History/Political Science: Select one course from Group A and one course from Group B (6 course credits required) OR select a survey sequence (both HIS 101 and 102; or, both HIS 103 and 104)

History Group A:

HIS 103 US History I (3 credits)

HIS 104 US History II (3 credits)

HIS 105 Turning Points in American History (3 credits)

HIS 110 Spies, Traitors, and Saboteurs (3 credits)

HIS 115 Introduction to U.S. Environmental History (3 credits)

HIS 120 The U.S. in a World at War (3 credits)

HIS 125 Modern U.S. History through Popular Culture (3 credits)

HIS 151A University Writing Seminar (3 credits)

HIS 185A Special Topics-Core (3 credits)

POL 100 American National Government (3 credits)

History Group B:

HIS 101 Western Civilizations I (3 credits)

HIS 102 Western Civilizations II (3 credits)

HIS 151B University Writing Seminar (3 credits)

HIS 155 Nineteenth Century Europe (3 credits)

HIS 160 Contemporary Europe (3 credits)

HIS 165 The History of Human Rights (3 credits)

HIS 170 The Holocaust: History, Memory, and Legacy (3 credits)

HIS 175 Introduction to Middle Eastern History (3 credits)

HIS 180 Introduction to World History (3 credits)

HIS 185B Core-Special Topics

POL 103 Global Politics (3 credits)

Mathematics: All students are required to take two mathematics courses: one from Group A and one from Group B (minimum of 6 course credits required).

Placement into Mathematics Group A courses is determined by a student’s score in the mathematics section of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT):

MTH 120: SAT Math scores of 440 and below

MTH 160: SAT Math scores of 450-490

MTH 165: SAT Math scores of 500 and above

MTH 171: Required Mathematics Bank A course for Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Mathematics majors.

Mathematics Group A

MTH 120 Mathematical Reasoning (3 credits)

MTH 160 Discrete Mathematics (3 credits)

MTH 165 Survey of Calculus (3 credits) *

MTH 171 Calculus I (4 credits)

Mathematics Group B (May be specified by program)

MTH 115 Statistics (3 credits)

MTH 160 Discrete Mathematics (3 credits)

MTH 165 Survey of Calculus (3 credits) *

MTH 171 Calculus I (4 credits)

MTH 172 Calculus II (4 credits)

*NOTE: This course may NOT be taken for credit by students who have previously received credit for MTH 151 or MTH 171.

Philosophy: Select one course from Group A, and one course from Group B. NOTE: Either PHL 100 or PHL 151 is a prerequisite for every Group B course.

Group A

PHL 100 Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)

PHL 151 University Writing Seminar (3 credits)

Group B

PHL 200 Ethical Theory (3 credits)

PHL 201 Law, Justice and Society (3 credits)

PHL 202 Environmental Philosophy (3 credits)

PHL 203 Philosophy, Art and Film (3 credits)

PHL 210 Philosophy of Person (3 credits)

PHL 215 Wisdom Traditions (3 credits)

PHL 220 Philosophy and Literature (3 credits)

PHL 223 Social Ethics (3 credits)

PHL 257 Philosophy of Religion (3 credits)

PHL 261 Philosophy of Women (3 credits)

PHL 270 Social and Political Philosophy (3 credits)

PHL 285 Special Topics-Core (3 credits)

Religious Studies: Select one course from Group A and one course from Group B (6 course credits required).

Group A

RLS 104 World Religions (3 credits)

RLS 151 University Writing Seminar (3 credits)

Group B

RLS 100 Biblical Studies (3 credits)

RLS 106 Theology and Human Experience (3 credits)

RLS 107 Women and Spirituality (3 credits)

RLS 113 Theology of the Church (3 credits)

RLS 114 Introduction to Christian Thought (3 credits)

RLS 115 Religion in America (3 credits)

RLS 116 American Catholicism (3 credits)

RLS 117 Christian Health Care Ethics (3 credits)

RLS 118 Catholic Social Teaching and Mercy Spirituality for the 21st Century (3 credits)

RLS 160 Marriage, Sexuality and Family (3 credits)

RLS 185 Special Topics-Core (3 credits)

RLS 215 Death and Dying (3 credits)

RLS 285 Special Topics-Core (3 credits)

Natural Sciences - Select one lab science course and one non-lab science course, or two lab science courses (minimum of 7 course credits required).

Courses are listed in sequence when the first course is a prerequisite for the second course.

Lab courses:

BIO 105/105L Essential Biology with Laboratory (4 credits)

BIO 111: Evolution, Genetics and Ecology-BIO 112: Cell and Molecular Biology (4 credits each)

BIO 121 Human Structure and Function I (4 credits)

BIO 211 Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits)

CHM 101-102 Chemistry in Context I & II (4 credits each)

CHM 104-105 General Chemistry and Introduction to Organic Chemistry (4 credits each)

CHM 133-134 Chemical Principles (4 credits each)

PHY 117-118 Physics Introduction I & II (4 credits each)

PHY 135 Introduction to Physical Science (4 credits)

PHY 145 Observational Astronomy (4 credits)

PHY 221-222 General Physics (4 credits each)

Non-lab courses:

BIO 105 Essential Biology (3 credits)

BIO 106 Introduction to Environmental Science (3 credits)

BIO 210 Biology of Aging (3 credits)

PHY 121 Energy in Our World (3 credits)

PHY 141 Introduction to Astronomy (3 credits)

PHY 142 Earth Science (3 credits)

Free Elective Credits: 9 credits.

Any courses can be taken to fulfill the nine credit free elective requirement. It is strongly recommended that students take the free elective courses outside the major.

Technical Competency Requirement

The technical competency requirement consists of a test designed to provide all incoming students with core technology competence for application throughout the academic experience and beyond. Students will automatically be registered for this non-credit course (TC 000). Successful completion is a graduation requirement for all undergraduate students at Misericordia University (for students in distance learning and hybrid progams, the competency is satisfied through their program orientation).

The technical competency requirement uses a grading system of “S” or “U.” If a student does not pass the test in the first semester, s/he will receive an “U” and will be automatically re-enrolled the following semester in the technical competency course.

Students who complete (or have completed) either Basic Computer Technology (BUS 105) or Educational Technology (TED 121) with a "C" or higher automatically meet the technology competency requirement.

The Misericordia University Guidelines for Appropriate Computing Behavior will be applicable.

Information Literacy

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.

Information literacy also is increasingly important in the contemporary environment of rapid technological change and proliferating information resources. The uncertain quality and expanding quantity of information pose large challenges for society. The sheer abundance of information will not in itself create a more informed citizenry without a complementary cluster of abilities necessary to use information effectively.

Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. An information literate individual is able to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally