2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Oct 02, 2023  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum at Northern Vermont University prepares all students to respond responsibly, productively, and creatively to a complex and changing world that is characterized by rapidly evolving careers and communities. Statistics show that college graduates today are likely to face at least four significant career changes before retirement, regardless of major. Northern Vermont University’s Core Curriculum responds to this challenge in two ways. First, the Core provides focused practice in the foundational skills required for all career paths: critical thinking, writing, reading, communication, information literacy, and quantitative reasoning. Second, it provides a framework of content, thought, and inquiry designed to help every student succeed personally and professionally in today’s global society.

Core Mission Statement: 

The Core Curriculum will enable students to make a positive impact in the world by developing the intellectual, social, and career skills necessary for life-long learning and success.   

Guiding Question for Students:   

“How can I make a positive impact in the world?”  

 Goals and Learning Outcomes consist of four overarching goals and specific learning outcomes. 


Students will be able to 

  • Demonstrate information literacy and research skills. 
  • Demonstrate quantitative reasoning. 
  • Communicate effectively in oral, written, and visual forms to diverse audiences. 

Students will be able to 

  • Demonstrate and apply critical thinking in a variety of situations. 
  • Demonstrate and apply creative thinking in a variety of situations. 
  • Adapt learning to new situations across disciplines and to the real world. 

Students will be able to 

  • Demonstrate ethical reasoning by evaluating personal values, alternative viewpoints, and their potential consequences for individuals and communities. 
  • Understand and evaluate the civic dimensions of individual and public issues. 
  • Demonstrate teamwork skills. 
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills. 

Students will be able to 

  • Understand and examine social and cultural diversity. 
  • Understand and apply concepts of sustainability in relation to ecological, human, and economic well-being. 


Creative Audience (1 cr.) 
All entering students must complete two semesters of Creative Audience programming at 0.5 credits each, for a total of 1 credit. Students attend four events each semester from a wide variety of offerings to complete this requirement. (This applies only to students whose home campus is Johnson.)
First-Year Seminar (3 cr.) 
Students entering with 15 or fewer credits take the First-Year Seminar. 
Communicating in the World: Written Expression (6 cr.) 
This two-course sequence focuses on clear and correct written expression, deepening one’s comprehension of texts, developing critical thinking and research skills, and the rhetorical method of argument. This area includes ENG 1071 & 1072 (Johnson); and ENG 1081 & 1082 (Lyndon). 
Mathematics and Computing in the World (6 cr.) 
Courses in this area focus on quantitative reasoning and other mathematical ideas and techniques. This area includes courses in MAT and CIS.  
Natural and Physical Worlds (4 cr., lab-based science course) 
Courses in this area address natural phenomena, empirical reasoning, and/or the place of scientific and mathematical knowledge, in contemporary societies. This area may include courses from AHS, ATM, BIO, CHE, ENV, GEY, PHY, SCI, and XSC, among others. 
Being in the World: Society and Behavior (6 cr.) 
Courses in this area focus on individual well-being and development; social life and institutions; and/or individual and social behavior and change. This area may include courses from BUS, AHS, CRJ, ECO, EDU, PSY, SOC, POS, and WAM, among others. 
Creativity in the World: Art and Aesthetics (6 cr.) 
Courses in this area focus on creative processes and techniques used in the creation of original works of art as a medium for human expression. They may also address the human experience of artistic and natural forms, the role of artistic expression in society, and aesthetic attitudes. This area may include courses from ART, ARH, DAN, ENG, MUS, and THA, among others. 
Diversity in the World: History and Culture (6 cr.) 
Courses in this area focus on how human and cultural diversity have shaped and continue to shape societies and the world across regions, within particular contexts, and throughout time. This area may include courses from ANT, ARH, ENG, HIS, HUM, INT, PHI, and WAM, among others. 
Enriched Course in Climate Change; Sustainability; or Social Justice (3-4 cr.) 
This course is specifically designated as a Climate Change Enriched, Sustainability Enriched, or Social Justice Enriched course. 


  • Students may repeat a designator up to three times, but note the following: 
    • Students take two ENG courses for Written Expression; they may take up to three additional ENG courses to fulfill other General Core requirements.  
    • Students take two courses for Mathematics and Computing (MAT or CIS; at least one of these must have an MAT designator); they may take up to three additional MAT courses to fulfill other General Core requirements. 
  • Any course may be counted towards the major program as appropriate. 


Find more specific Core Curriculum offerings in the General Education Core Curriculum  section of this catalog.