The Core Curriculum

UDM is a Catholic institution whose mission flows from the educational traditions of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and the Society of Jesus. It seeks to produce graduates who:

• Reflect on the meaning of their lives
• Think and communicate clearly, imaginatively and effectively
• Possess the skills and competencies of a college education
• Understand diverse cultural heritages
• Have a sense of social responsibility and a desire to serve society

In brief, the UDM mission statement describes an education that integrates "the intellectual, spiritual, moral and social development" of its students.

The University Core Curriculum consists of a set of requirements based on objectives that express, in fuller detail, this academic purpose. Each objective, and the requirements designed to fulfill that objective, is essential to achieve the University mission.

Proficiency in writing, speaking, mathematics, and computer skills is essential for success in higher education and in the pursuit of a career. Scientific literacy demands familiarity with scientific methods and findings of the natural and social sciences. Courses in philosophy and religious studies expose students to the ultimate questions about the meaning of life and emphasize UDM’s distinctive Catholic nature. Through studies in historical, literary, aesthetic and comparative experiences, students should also learn to understand and appreciate cultural heritage. These studies, and those of the arts in particular, aim at developing an aesthetic sensitivity which complements the skills stressed in other areas of the curriculum. The final objective dealing with "social responsibility" expresses the University’s concern for the moral and social development of its students and for its goal to imbue graduates with a desire to serve society.

Some colleges/schools have particular courses required from among those established as satisfying University requirements. Some colleges have received approval to modify the core for students in particular programs or curriculums. These modifications, as well as a current list of approved core courses, are published in the Schedule of Classes issued for each term.


Objective 1     (6 hours)
Communication Skills           

Writing: The student must demonstrate proficiency in writing and facility with the writing process by developing coherent and logical essays.

Speech: The student must prepare and deliver a public presentation that is carefully reasoned, properly organized, and effectively delivered.


Objective 2     (6 hours )
Mathematical and Computer Skills

Mathematics: The student must address mathematical problems at the level called for by college or program requirements.

Computer: The student must be able to employ computer technology as demanded by college or program requirements.


Objective 3     (9 hours)
Scientific Literacy

The student must learn about scientific methods and the various forms they assume in the natural and social sciences. The student must also understand the role of the sciences and technology in shaping contemporary society.

A. Social Science (3 hours)
B. Natural Science (3 hours)
C. Social Science or Natural Science (3 hours)


Objective 4     (9 hours)
Meaning and Value  

The student must gain an understanding of the ultimate questions of meaning and value addressed in philosophy and religious studies.

A. Philosophy (3 hours)
B. Religious Studies (3 hours)
C. Philosophy or Religious Studies (3 hours - any PHL or RS course)


Objective 5     (12 hours)
Diverse Human Experience 

The student must develop a knowledge and appreciation of the humanities and fine arts and their contributions to Western and other cultures.

A.     Historical Experiences: a knowledge of movements that formed civilizations.
(3 hours)
B. Literary Experiences: a knowledge and appreciation of important literary works.
(3 hours)
C. Aesthetic Experiences: an understanding and appreciation of significant works of art, architecture, drama or music. (3 hours)
D. Comparative Experiences: a knowledge and appreciation of cultures different from one’s own, or study of a foreign language. (3 hours)


Objective 6     (6 hours)
Social Responsibility

The student must develop a moral awareness of problems confronting individuals and society, reason about them ethically, and analyze and propose solutions.

A. Ethics: knowledge of the foundations of moral judgments, understanding of the nature of ethical reasoning, and ability to apply this knowledge in addressing contemporary moral issues. (3 hours)
B. Contemporary Socio-Political Problems: an ability to gather data, analyze causes, and propose solutions to problems confronting contemporary society. (3 hours)