Core Curriculum

Guided by a journey of self-awareness and discovery, our Journeys of Transformation Core Curriculum lays the foundation for success as you embark on your academic journey at Rivier.

The Four Big Questions

The Core Curriculum, Journeys of Transformation, allows students to explore new ways of thinking as they answer four ‘Big Questions’:

  • Who am I, and what is the world?
  • Who is my neighbor?
  • How shall we live?
  • What, then, must we do?

These questions are central to the faith heritage, intellectual tradition, and social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The Core Curriculum consists of a common core focusing on these four ‘Big Questions’ and a core complement.

In the core complement, students choose from courses in three areas:

  • Humanities and social sciences
  • Mathematics and natural sciences
  • Languages

Opportunities for Service

Opportunities for service learning, servant leadership, civic engagement, and community service are incorporated throughout the core to support your intellectual growth and enhance your leadership capabilities. In the first and second year, you can participate in two service experiences. These experiences introduce you to the service needs and opportunities available in the Greater Nashua, New Hampshire area.

First Year at Rivier

Through an interconnected arc of programs and seminars, you will lay the foundation for your academic career and future success.

The Core Curriculum invites you to explore the following principles:

  • Who am I and What is the World?
  • Who is My Neighbor?
  • How Shall We Live?
  • What, then, Shall We Do?

The Core Curriculum consists of a common core and a core complement. In the common core, you will take courses that are linked sequentially by both academic skills and by your focus on the questions.

In the core complement, you will choose from different courses in three areas:

  • Humanities and social sciences
  • Math and natural sciences
  • Languages

These complementary courses will broaden your knowledge of the world you inhabit. You will also engage in two service experiences—in the first year and the second year—in the local Nashua community.

Summer Reading

The first year begins with a book to be read in anticipation of the Academic Convocation, held the day before classes open for the fall semester. The summer reading is highlighted at the Convocation ceremony, studied in Student Success: Campus to Community, and addressed in various co-curricular events.

Learning Communities

This cohort is an opportunity to meet and get to know your fellow classmates as you take FYS English, FYS Religion, and Student Success: Campus to Community as a group.

Coursework in the Common Core will total 27 credits. You will select from the following course options that fall into these principles:

Who Am I and What Is the World?

  • FYS ENG 115 Expositions and Arguments Credits: 3
  • FYS REL 115 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

Who is My Neighbor?

  • HUM 200 Literature, Art, and the Human Credits: 3
  • HIS 203 Interactions: The West in the World I OR
  • HIS 204 Interactions: The West in the World II Credits: 3
  • SL 100 Serving the World Credits: 1

How Shall We Live?

  • Faith, Religion, and Social Justice
  • One religion course developed with this theme at its center.
  • Ethics, Values, and Moral Choices
  • One Philosophy course developed with this theme at its center.

What, then, Shall We Do?

Justice and Global Responsibility

Select one course listed under Justice and Global Responsibility. This seminar serves as the culmination of the common core. Informed by problem-solving pedagogy, this seminar will focus on justice and global responsibility. The Justice and Global Responsibility courses build on writing, reading, speaking, and critical thinking learned in the first and second years.

Core Complement

15-18 Credits

Humanities and Social Sciences

  • One course from Communications, English, History, Modern Language, Philosophy, or Religious Studies;
  • One course from Economics, Geography, Human Development, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Social Work

Natural/Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology

  • One course in Mathematics (MA 112 or above)
  • One course from Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, or Physical Science

Culture Through Language

One course in a language other than English.

Explore our Undergraduate Programs

Our objectives are simple: provide you with the tools you need for success both in academics and in life.

Dr. Brad Stull, Professor of English, guides students in the Journeys of Transformation core curriculum, which includes a service component. Through service, students gain a sense of other parts of the world and people’s experience of it, whether they live in the local community or across the world. “Service provides them with a broader understanding of what it is to be human and enables them to become better leaders," says Dr. Stull.