Rivier University’s undergraduate general education (Core) Curriculum invites students to initiate several “Journeys of Transformation” and thus explore how to think about things in a new way by taking on a whole new perspective of self, world, and others. This Core Curriculum is guided by these questions: Who am I and What Is the World? Who is My Neighbor? How Shall We Live? What, then, Shall We Do? Together these initiate a journey of self-awareness and inquiry, perspective taking and creativity, and service.
The Core Curriculum consists of a common core and a core complement. In the common core, students take courses that are linked sequentially by both academic skills and by their focus on the questions. In the core complement, students choose from different courses in three areas: humanities and social sciences, math and natural sciences, and languages in order to broaden their knowledge of the worlds they inhabit. Finally, students engage in two service experiences, in the first year and the second year, both of which introduce students to the greater Nashua, NH area and the service needs and opportunities available there.
General Education Courses: The Common Core
1. Who am I and What is the World?
Students explore these questions in their first year common core courses.
- ENG 115 Expositions and Arguments Credits:3
- REL 115 The Dignity of Creation: God and the Created Order Credits: 3
- LNS 108 Student Success: Campus to Community I Credits: 1
- LNS 109 Student Success: Campus to Community II Credits: 1
- BIO 112 Stewards of the Living World Credits: 3
2. Who is My Neighbor?
Students explore this question in their second and third years.
- HUM200+ Humanities: Literature, Art, and the Human
Students take one -200 level interdisciplinary course that addresses a basic human question from the perspectives of the literary, visual, and musical arts. Credits: 3
- HIS203 Interactions: The West in the World I Credits: 3 or
- HIS204 Interactions: The West in the World II Credits: 3
- SL100 Serving the World: Credit 1
3. How Shall We Live?
Students explore this question in their junior and senior years.
- Religion: Faith, Religion, and Social Justice Credits: 3
Students take one Religion course developed with this theme at its center.
- Philosophy: Ethics, Values, and Moral Choices Credits: 3
Students take one Philosophy course developed with this theme at its center.
4. What, then, Shall We Do?
Students explore this question in their junior or senior year.
- Capstone: Justice and Global Responsibility Credits: 3
Students take one of a number of offerings under Justice and Global Responsibility. This seminar serves as the culmination of the Common Core. Informed by problem-solving pedagogy, this seminar enhances the student’s connection with the Catholic vision of the University by focusing on justice and global responsibility.
Area Distribution Courses: The core complement
Humanities and Social Sciences
At Rivier University, the humanities involves the interdisciplinary exploration of philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language as a way to question, explain and explore the human experience and our understanding of the world.
Throughout the centuries, philosophers, historians, literary authors, artists and others have attempted to document and to capture for others their own human experiences and understanding of the world. Knowledge of these records of human experience gives us the opportunity to feel a sense of connection to those who have come before us, as well as to our contemporaries.
- One course from: English, History, Modern Language, Philosophy, Religious Studies Credits: 3
- One course from: Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology Credits: 3
Mathematics and Natural Sciences
- One course in Mathematics: MA112 College Algebra or above Credits: 3
- One course from: Computer Science, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, or Physical Science Credits: 3-4
Culture through Language
Students must demonstrate university-level introductory competency in a language other than English. Students may demonstrate proficiency by
- Having successfully completed, with a “B” average or better, high school study in the same language at the fifth level (e.g. Spanish V).
- Successfully completing six credits of introductory (or higher) study in the same language at the university level. Nursing students may complete this requirement with a three-credit course in a profession-oriented language course (e.g. SPA 105 Spanish for Health-Care Professionals)
At Rivier University, a major is a concentration of courses in a given discipline or disciplines. Normally, a bachelor’s degree major consists of at least 30 credit hours.
Electives comprise one or more courses of the student’s choice, dependent on the number of courses required for the major. Electives provide students with the opportunity to develop a minor, or to take courses in other areas for personal and professional growth.
Undergraduate Degree requirements (minimum 120 credits)
An Overview of the Professional Studies Curriculum
In keeping with the liberal arts tradition and mission of Rivier University the undergraduate Professional Studies program is intended to provide adult learners with an exposure to the arts and sciences as well as to prepare them for graduate study or for a professional position that both enriches the student and benefits society. Recognizing that each person is unique in ability, inquisitiveness, interest and aspiration, the program provides the non-traditional student with the opportunity to select electives in addition to courses required for general education and major concentrations.
The academic program, consisting of a minimum of forty courses, embraces the following three areas:
a) General Education (Foundation and Area Distribution courses)
b) Concentration (major courses)
Foundation Courses: (12 credits)
||MA 112 or above
||Dignity, Work, Vocation
Area Distribution Courses
Select 2 courses from each area:
- Humanities: Communications, English, History, Modern Language, Philosophy, Religion
- Natural/Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Technology: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics
- Social Sciences: Economics, Geography, Human Development, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work
General Education Liberal Arts (open) Electives (12 credits)
These electives are open to student preferences and may be selected from any of the three distribution areas above.
- Students must fulfill the requirements for a major which is a concentration of courses within a department.
- Normally a bachelor degree major consists of at least 30 credit hours. More details about the requirements of individual majors are found in later sections of this catalog under the corresponding departmental descriptions.
In addition to the general education requirements and a major, students pursue free electives. The number of electives is dependent on the number of courses required for the major. Electives provide students with the opportunity to minor, or take courses in other areas for personal and professional growth.
Professional Studies Degree requirements (minimum 120 credits)