Our distinctive core curriculum lies at the heart of undergraduate education at Belmont Abbey College. The core subjects you study will help you succeed in college, prepare you for your career, and enable you to become a more knowledgeable, thoughtful person.
All traditional students must complete the requirements of the core curriculum, which constitutes 50-53 of the 120 credit hours required for graduation. In addition to the core curriculum, each student selects an academic major, to which may be added a second major or a minor.
As its name suggests, the core curriculum lies at the heart of undergraduate education at Belmont Abbey College. Our core curriculum, along with our Catholic, Benedictine heritage and our historic campus, distinguishes the College from all other schools in our region. The knowledge, skills, and virtues that we seek to instill through core courses are a tangible manifestation of the spirit of the Benedictine founders of the College—as are the basilica, monastery, and original school buildings. They all testify that the mission of Belmont Abbey College is to cultivate both the mind and the spirit.
The focus of our core curriculum is the Platonic triad of the good, the true, and the beautiful. The goal of this curriculum—and of all study at the Abbey—is to enable students to grow in knowledge and virtue so that they can live full lives that will benefit themselves and others. We believe that studying the liberal arts in the light of Judeo-Christian values, reflecting on them, and cultivating the habits of mind they encourage will help students to think critically, to write and speak well, to master quantitative skills, and to understand how different disciplines, periods, cultures, and peoples have dealt with the great questions of life. Contemplating these questions ideally leads to wisdom and prepares students to live lives of integrity, constantly striving to improve themselves and the world in which they live. The Abbey’s core courses, beginning with the First-Year Symposium (FS 101), introduce students to the knowledge, values, traditions, and academic culture characteristic of a Catholic, Benedictine liberal arts education.
Students can demonstrate computer literacy through a competency test. Information literacy is integrated into a number of courses, from the First-Year Symposium and the Rhetoric 101-102 sequence to advanced major courses. A Global Perspectives course ensures that each student has at least one significant academic experience with a foreign culture, either through course work or through study abroad. Finally, all students must take at least one writing-intensive course so that they have extensive opportunities to write and to work with specially trained faculty on multi-draft projects.
Core Curriculum for Traditional Students
I. FS 101 First-Year Symposium, 3 credits
N.B.: Students transferring more than 13 credit hours to Belmont Abbey College are not required to take the First-Year Symposium
II. Foundational Skills in the Liberal Arts
A. Writing, 6 credits
a. Rhetoric 101 Rhetoric, Logic, Grammar, and Writing I
b. Rhetoric 102 Rhetoric, Logic, Grammar, and Writing II (RH 101 is a prerequisite for RH 102)
B. Quantitative Thinking, 3 credits
One of the following, appropriate to the student’s major:
Mathematics 135 Mathematics for Liberal Arts
Mathematics 151 College Algebra
Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus
Any 200-level Mathematics course
Any Statistics course
Any Calculus course
III. Further Explorations in the Liberal Arts
C. Theology, 6 credits
a. Theology 105 Introduction to Scripture
b. Theology 205 Introduction to Theology
D. Philosophy, 6 credits
a. Political Philosophy 211 Classic Texts I
b. Political Philosophy 212 Classic Texts II
E. History, 6 credits
a. History 101 Western Civilization I
b. History 102 Western Civilization II
F. Literature, 6 credits
a. English 211 Literary Classics of the Western Tradition I
b. English 212 Literary Classics of the Western Tradition II
G. Fine Arts, 3 credits
One (or more) of the following:
Art 101 Introduction to Art in Western Civilization I
Art 102 Introduction to Art in Western Civilization II
English 104 Creative Writing
English 216 Introduction to Film Criticism
Theater (TA) 108 Introduction to Theatre Arts
Theater (TA) 110 Introduction to Stage Craft
Theater (TA) 150 Acting I
Theater (TA) 112 Theatre Appreciation
Music 101 Music Appreciation
Three credit hours in any one of the following:
Chorus (1 credit)
Voice (1 credit)
Piano (1 credit)
Organ (1 credit)
H. Natural Sciences, 8 credits
a. One of the following:
Biology 101 General Biology
Biology 201 Cell Biology (Instructor’s permission required)
Biology 231 Organismal Diversity (Instructor’s permission required)
b. One of the following:
Science 110 Physical World
Chemistry 105 General Chemistry
Physics 101 General Physics 1
I. Social Sciences, 6 credits
a. Political Science 201 The U.S. Constitution
b. One of the following:
Criminal Justice 201 Introduction to Criminal Justice
Economics 201 Introduction to Economics I
Psychology 201 Introduction to Psychology
Sociology 201 Principles of Sociology or another psychology or sociology course (Instructor’s permission required)
IV. Other Graduation Requirements
J. Writing-Intensive Requirement, one flagged 3 credit course
Each student must complete at least one course designated as “Writing Intensive,” marked with the designation (W) in the course schedule. Students are strongly encouraged to choose one within their major or minor field of study.
K. Global Perspectives Requirement
Students meet the Global Perspective requirement through successful completion of one of the following:
a. Any course among History 102, Theater Arts 108, or Theology 365.
c. Any course approved as meeting the “Global Perspectives” criteria and so designated by the Office of the Registrar.
d. The intermediate level of a modern language (fourth semester of college-level language).
e. Significant study abroad (five weeks or longer).
L. Competency in Technology
ALL Belmont Abbey College students must demonstrate basic computer competency in one of the following ways:
a. Passing the competency exam administered during the first semester and/or periodically upon demand.
b. Successful completion of CS (Computer Studies) 100 or another CS course relevant to the student’s major.
c. Successful completion of a technology-intensive class in the major.