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ODU's Curriculum, taken by all undergraduates, is a series of courses that provide a unifying academic experience throughout each student's academic journey. 

The liberal arts Curriculum, unique to Ohio Dominican, includes four CORE seminar courses and the liberal arts degree requirements. In the Core seminars, students draw from all of their courses to engage in thought-provoking interdisciplinary discussions, readings and experiences. 

Undergraduates take one seminar each year in a four-year academic career.
  • First-year Seminar: What Does it Mean to be Human?
  • Second-year Seminar: What is the Common Good?
  • Third-year Seminar: What is Justice?
  • Fourth-year Seminar: What Truths have we Learned?

By emphasizing lifelong learning, critical thinking, effective writing and ethical judgements, the Core Curriculum provides students with a solid foundation for careers and life experiences. It is this foundation that will make students valuable and competitive in today's changing job market. 

See CORE Curriculum Summary below for more details.

Download the ODU CORE Overview (PDF) here.

  • CORE Conversations Events 2018-2019

    As we continue our CORE Conversations, the theme for this year is “Justice.” The third-year seminar of the Core addresses the question What is Justice? and invites students and faculty alike to examine the role of individuals belonging to multiple and increasingly diverse communities.

    This year we have chosen to ponder and explore this question What is Justice? as a university community. The following list represents the planning committee’s effort at providing comprehensive opportunities for the university community to engage in the conversation:

    • Aug. 23, 2018 – Convocation, Presenter: Father Joshua Wagner, Diocese of Columbus; 10:45 a.m. in the Alumni Hall gymnasium
    • Sept. 13, 2018 – “Justice and Global Poverty: Hearing the Cries of the Poor”; Presenter: Ronald Carstens, Ph.D., ODU professor of Political Science; 3:30 p.m. in the Colonial Room, Sansbury Hall
    • Sept. 27, 2018 – “Justice for Immigrants: I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me”; Presenters: Julie Hart, Ph.D., ODU associate professor of Sociology; Rev. Joe Mas, immigration attorney; Austin Kocher, immigration activist; and Edith Espinal, undocumented immigrant; 3:30 p.m. in the Colonial Room, Sansbury Hall
    • Oct. 11, 2018 – “Women, The Heartbeat of Society”; Presenters: Imali Abala, Ph.D., ODU professor of English; Virginia McCormack, Ed.D., ODU professor of Education; Kelsey Squire, Ph.D., ODU associate professor of English; and Anjel Stough-Hunter, Ph.D., ODU assistant professor of Sociology; 3:30 p.m. in the Colonial Room, Sansbury Hall
    • Oct. 25, 2018 – “The Racial Divide”; Presenters: John Grant, Ph.D., ODU associate professor of Business and Dominican Sisters of Peace Associate; and Helen McKinley, Dominican Sisters of Peace Associate; 3:30 p.m. in the Colonial Room, Sansbury Hall
    • Nov. 14, 2018 – St. Albert the Great Lecture, “New Strategies for Targeting Cancer: Shining Light on Transition Metal Complexes”; Presenter: Claudio Turro, Ph.D., Dow Professor at The Ohio State University; 11 a.m. in the Matesich Theatre, Erskine Hall
    • Jan. 24, 2019 – St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture, “Light out of Darkness: Dominican Stories of Justice”; Presenters: Sr. Kathleen McManus, OP, Ph.D., associate professor of Theology at the University of Portland; 11 a.m. in the Matesich Theatre, Erskine Hall
    • April 25, 2019 – St. Catherine of Siena Lecture, “Justice – Seeing Catherine through Contemporary Eyes”; Presenter: Sr. Megan McElroy, OP, D.Min., Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, Michigan; 3:30 p.m. in the Colonial Room, Sansbury Hall

     

  • CORE Curriculum Summary

    The CORE Curriculum at ODU includes a series of four seminars, each thematically based on the Dominican intellectual and religious tradition: 

    • First Year: What does it mean to be human?
    • Second Year: What is the Common Good?
    • Third Year: What is Justice?
    • Fourth Year: What Truths have we learned?  

    These seminars ensure that both students and faculty continuously reflect on aspects of ODU’s mission statement and Dominican values throughout the undergraduate curriculum. The first-year seminar, functions as an introduction to student life at Ohio Dominican University (ODU) and serves as an interdisciplinary seminar devoted to the university’s mission. The second- and third- year seminars are more discipline focused, while the fourth-year seminar serves as a senior capstone experience to both the CORE curriculum and the student’s major.  

    Students in all sections of each seminar study one or more common texts. The first three seminars approach the questions from the point of view of different content areas and are taught by faculty from different disciplines. The fourth seminar is a capstone course taught by faculty in the student’s own major area. The seminars collectively provide students with a distinctively Dominican education. They exemplify the university’s rich history and mission and are inspired by the four pillars of Dominican life: prayer, community, ministry, and study.   

    In the first-year seminar students study humans as embodied, social, spiritual, emotional, rational beings. The Gospel of Matthew is used in the first-year seminar, specifically due to the fact that St. Dominic himself carried it with him on his journeys, providing students the opportunity to connect with and follow in the footsteps of the founder of the Dominican order. 

    In the second-year seminar students study community and the common good as they examine the role of individuals belonging to multiple and diverse communities. Students have the opportunity to translate knowledge into action through a community service project.  The common good is defined as the sum conditions of social life which allow social groups (or communities) and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to fulfillment of their basic human needs and rights.   

    In the third-year seminar students study the role of justice in providing each person what he or she is due. Courses may include the following forms of justice among others: divine, distributive or social justice, retributive or corrective justice, compensatory, utilitarian and restorative justice.  

    In the final year the seminars extend the discussion of human nature, the common good, and justice to raise the question of what truths we have learned. The common texts include the New Testament Book of Matthew and The Idea of the University by Cardinal Newman. 

    Each year, the university chooses the theme of one of the seminars as the focus point for the year. An all-campus reading is chosen and a speaker series is planned around the annual theme.  

    The university-wide Core Conversations program, supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, extends the exploration of the Core Seminar concepts to the entire campus community and the public by developing programming for one theme per year. Previous speakers/books include: 

    Wil Haygood, The Butler: A Witness to History (September 2013)
    John Dear, Practicing Nonviolence in a World of War (April 2014)
    Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (September 2014)
    Conor Grennan, Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal (February 2015)
    Timothy Shriver, Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most (September 2015)
    Wil Haygood, Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court (February 2016)
    Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (November 2016)
    Father Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion (February 2018)   

    In addition, the core seminars foster student development as ethical, global citizens. This is supplemented by the completion of courses which focus on diversity. ODU’s foundation as a Catholic Dominican institution plays out in the requirement of undergraduate philosophy and theology courses as well. All students complete a strong liberal arts core in addition to a major course of study. 

  • CORE Seminars

    Students generally take one seminar a year in numeric order. The first three years incorporate and are relevant to all academic disciplines. In the fourth year, students take a capstone course in their major.

    CORE 179 asks the question: what does it mean to be Human. Here’s a sample of some of the CORE 179 topics:

    • Gods, Beasts or In-Between
    • Virtue &  Vices
    • Know Thyself
    • Borders and Transitions

    CORE 279 asks the question: what is the Common Good? Here’s a sample of some of the 279 courses from multiple disciplines:

    • Nonviolent Social Change
    • Leadership and the Common Good
    • Ethical Issues of Sex and Marriage
    • Interpersonal Negotiation and Mediation

    CORE 379 asks the question: what is Justice? Here’s a sample of some of the 379 courses from multiple disciplines:

    • Causes of Collective Violence: Genocide, Terrorism & War
    • Global Ethnic Relations
    • Slavery & Freedom
    • Justice, Art & Politics

    CORE 479 asks the question, what is Truth? Here is a sample of some of the 479 courses taken in the major discipline for each student:

    • Strategic Management
    • History Matters
    • Current Issues in Psychology
    • Literature Theory and Practice
    The Core seminars make learning interactive, integrative and relevant.With the problem-solving and strong communication skills developed in the Core, students will be prepared for careers, professional training, graduate school and life.
  • CORE Curriculum Requirements
    CORE Curriculum Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.) are listed on page 97 of the 2018-2019 ODU Catalog. Click below to link directly to that page.


    CORE CURRICULUM FUNDAMENTALS

    Course and Disciplines Credits
    ENG 110  College Writing I | 3 credits
    ENG 111  College Writing II | 3 credits
    MTH 121  Math for the Liberal Arts or
    Higher level mathematics course (except MTH 185)
    The mathematics course and/or level may be determined by a student’s major program. | 3 credits


    CORE SEMINARS

    Freshman Seminar—CORE: What Does it Mean to be Human? | 3 credits
    Sophomore Seminar—CORE: What is the Common Good? | (3) credits
    Junior Seminar—CORE: What is Justice? | (3) credits
    Senior Capstone Seminar—CORE: What Truths have we Learned? | (3) credits

    Either or both of the Sophomore and the Junior Seminars may satisfy area studies and/or major requirements. The Sophomore and Junior Seminars must be selected from different academic disciplines. The Senior Seminar is the capstone course for the major.

    Transfer students, readmitted students, and students changing major programs will enter the series of seminars at the appropriate tier based on the number of credits transferred and/or completed:

    Number Of Transfer Credits Seminar Entry Point
    17 or less Freshman
    18–49 Sophomore
    50 or more Junior


    DISCIPLINARY STUDIES REQUIREMENTS

    Philosophy and Theology | 12 credits
    Six semester credits in philosophy and six semester credits in theology with at least one course in each area at the 200-level or higher. PHL 101 does not fulfill any part of the philosophy requirement in the core curriculum.

    Arts | 12 credits
    Language Studies—Foreign Language 111 level or above | 3 credits
    Arts and Ideas—Three semester credits chosen from each area listed below. 
    Art (ART)/Music (MUS)/Theatre (THR) | 3 credits
    History (HST) | 3 credits
    Literature (ENG) | 3 credits

    Natural Sciences | 3 credits
    Choose from the following disciplines: Biology (BIO), Chemistry (CHM), Environmental Studies and Science (ENV), Physics (PHY), or Science (SCI). 

    Social and Behavioral Science | 6 credits
    For students majoring in disciplines outside the social and behavioral sciences, courses must be selected from two different disciplines. Courses that fulfill this requirement are those courses offered in criminal justice (CRJ), economics (ECN), geography (GEO), political science (POL), psychology (PSY), social work (SWK) and sociology (SOC). For students majoring in the social and behavioral sciences, as well as economics, courses must be selected from two different disciplines, which are not the discipline of the major. 

    Within the core curriculum, three semester hours must address diversity, global, or multicultural issues. See the course listings for the courses meeting this requirement. | 3 credits

    Major specific requirements
    See your program of interest for specific requirements.

  • Course Descriptions
    Freshman Core Seminar: Core 179 - What Does it Mean to be Human?

    View Course Descriptions


    Sophomore Course Seminar: Core 279 - What is the Common Good?

    View Course Descriptions


    Junior Core Seminar: Core 379 - What is Justice?

    View Course Descriptions

     
    Senior Core Seminar: Core 479 - What Truths Have We Learned?

    View Course Descriptions