Degrees and Curriculum Requirements

The Traditional Undergraduate Program offers the following degrees: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Fine Arts. For each of these degrees there are core and general education requirements, specific major requirements and other requirements, as detailed below:

The College’s General Education Program

Albertus Magnus College is committed to providing a liberal arts education that promotes the pursuit of truth in all its dimensions. We seek to provide an education that helps students develop the skills and knowledge necessary for ongoing insight into the self and the world, and that prepares them for leading a life that is personally and professionally fulfilling and socially responsible. The College recognizes the import of cultivating core competencies and knowledge if students are to meet the challenges and opportunities that they will encounter in the contemporary world—including the challenges of being of service to self and others, and for living a well-lived life.

Because it is an institution of higher learning in the Dominican tradition, dedicated to nurturing the life of the mind and promoting the pursuit of truth, Albertus embraces as a fundamental goal partnership with students in pursuit of this developmental project.

The Insight Program seeks to realize potential for human flourishing through an intentional and interactive course of study rooted in the concept of the “arts that liberate”. It explores human beings’ relation to the world and affords a context in which students may discover how to make meaningful contributions in public life and in a chosen career. Offering the foundation for a life marked by ongoing insight into the human condition, the program promotes the liberation of mind and heart. Through successful completion of the program, students will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to meet College benchmarks in core skills, including:
    1. written and oral communication
    2. reading comprehension
    3. information literacy
  2. Demonstrate the ability to meet College benchmarks in critical thinking, including:
    1. interpretation
    2. analysis
    3. evaluation
  3. Demonstrate the capacity for creative thinking
  4. Demonstrate the ability to apply effectively the methods and insights of the following disciplines to an understanding of the world:
    1. fine arts
    2. literature
    3. mathematics
    4. natural science
    5. philosophy
    6. religious studies
    7. history
    8. social science
  5. Demonstrate an ability to formulate ethical questions and engage in moral decision making at the individual and societal level.

Through participation in the Program, students can build a thinking framework that will support them throughout their lives as they discover goals they want to pursue and set a course for realizing them.

The foundation for the Program is the first year, the heart of which is a two semesterlong, interdisciplinary Seminar that explores the question, “How does the human being fit into the universe?” This Seminar invites the student’s engagement with the story science and scholarship reveal about the evolution of the cosmos, of life, of the human species, of human society, and of human consciousness. In learning “everybody’s story,” the students will discover the fundamental oneness of humanity with all of life and with the stuff of the cosmos itself, and will gain the perspective of “Big History” on the trajectory of human society from the earliest tiny bands to an immense interconnected planetary population. The seminar will ask the student to address the major benefits and challenges that will confront college graduates in a globalized world. In general, the students will be given the opportunity to demonstrate skill at the craft of organizing a large, complex body of information into a variety of formats as they are introduced to the ways various disciplines seek to understand the world and define and solve problems. The atmosphere of the Seminar encourages close collaboration and good-spirited debate that stimulates critical engagement with multiple perspectives. The seminar both encourages and stimulates a sense of wonder at the interlinked stories of the cosmos and the human being.

In addition to the First Year Seminar, designated courses (A Courses) are designed to build the competencies necessary to succeed in the Insight Program and in the student’s major, and, ultimately, to flourish in personal and professional life.

During the sophomore and junior years, students work closely with a faculty advisor to build an individualized course of study, choosing from a variety of designated courses that fall into two broad categories:

  1. (1) B Courses: Courses that introduce and model how different academic disciplines offer distinctive approaches for gaining insight into the world and which examine the role that culture plays in informing one’s understanding of self, society, and the world. (This category consists of courses in Literature, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and the Social Sciences);
  2. (2) C Courses: Courses that undertake an interdisciplinary or cross-cultural study for deepening students’ capacities for responsive and responsible dialogue in a pluralistic society. (This category consists of selected courses that draw upon a variety of different disciplines and perspectives.)

The Insight Program culminates in the senior year with the Senior Humanities Seminar, an interdisciplinary capstone Seminar in which students engage in critical reflection and informed dialogue on the question of what it means to flourish as a human being in the contemporary world. It builds upon questions addressed in the first-year Seminar and provides a forum in which to employ the intellectual and cultural competencies developed in the program

The Insight Program thus consists of a set of selected courses and a range of designated electives. This combination assures that students will meet the objectives of the core while enabling them to pursue individual interests in various fields. The Program is structured as follows:

The First Year Program: Laying the Foundations for Insight

  • The First Year Humanities Seminar Invitation to Insight (6 credits)
  • Written Expression (6 credits)

A Courses: Designated Courses in Each of the Following:

  • Art, Communications, or Music (3 credits)
  • Mathematics (3 credits)
  • Natural Sciences (3 credits)

Sophomore and Junior Years: Assembling Disciplinary Expertise and Amassing Cultural Insight

B Courses: Designated Courses in Each of the Following:

  • Literature (3 credits)
  • History (3 credits)
  • Philosophy (3 credits)
  • Religious Studies (3 credits)
  • Social Sciences (3 credits)

Junior and Senior Years: Making Room for Others and Acquiring Insight through Dialogue

C Courses: Three 3-credit designated courses in three different disciplines

Senior Year: What It Means to Inhabit the World Today, to Flourish as a Human Being in Service to Self and Others

  • Senior Humanities Seminar

Other College Requirements

In addition to completing general education requirements in the Insight Program and major requirements, all students seeking a bachelor degree in the Undergraduate Program in the semester format at Albertus Magnus College must complete the following College Requirements:

First Year Requirement (1 credit)

  • Introduction to College Life

Transfer Requirement (1 credit)

  • ePortfolio Lab

Second Year Requirement (1 credit)

  • Sophomore ePortfolio Lab

College Foreign Language Requirement (6 credits)

Because the College recognizes that an understanding of languages and culture enriches the student’s life and enhances career opportunities in an increasingly international world, the College has a foreign language requirement that may be satisfied in one of five ways:

  • Successfully completing three years of the same foreign language at the high school level;
  • Passing an examination demonstrating intermediate proficiency administered by the Foreign Language Department;
  • Taking two semesters of a new foreign language at the college level;
  • Completing two courses offering various international cultural studies opportunities;
  • Continuing with two college semesters of a foreign language taken in high school for two years in Spanish, French, or Italian, and concentrating on the practical, conversational aspects of that language.

“W” Course Requirements

The comprehensive Writing Program at Albertus Magnus College embraces the philosophy that writing facilitates learning and that writing is a craft demanding practice in disciplines above and beyond English 106 and 107. Consequently, the significance of effective writing is emphasized across the curriculum, and students are required to complete a minimum of four writing intensives (“W”) classes during the course of their tenure at the College. Beginning with two semesters of Invitation to Insight (“W”), students subsequently select one General Education course (“W”) in the sophomore or junior year, followed by one “W” course in their major field. While writing intensive courses may vary in the number of writing/research projects assigned, all require that “W” students complete fifteen pages of polished writing and visit the Writing Center to consult with a Writing Associate about a drafted written assignment. Writing Associates are student peers who are thoroughly trained to offer individual consultations on prewriting, editing, and rewriting techniques across disciplines. They work closely with student writers, providing supplemental writing instruction throughout the writing and revision process.

Courses included in the Elective Core are selected by the relevant academic departments.

Requirements for the Associate of Arts Degree

The A.A. degree in Liberal Studies requires the successful completion of at least 60 credits of course work, a minimum of 21 of which must be taken as a matriculating student at Albertus Magnus College. These 21 credits must be the last credits toward the degree. A matriculating student may earn the A.A. degree by completing 60 college credits as follows: 30 by fulfilling basic college requirements, 15 in a given discipline, and 15 in electives in other liberal arts courses. A general average of C (2.0) must be achieved in all work attempted at Albertus Magnus College.

I. Basic College Requirements (30 credits)

  • Written Expression I (3 credits)
  • Literature (3 credits)
  • Philosophy (3 credits)
  • Religious Studies (3 credits)
  • Social Sciences (3 credits)
  • Mathematics or Science (3 credits)
  • Three courses chosen from Business Administration and Management, Communications, English, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, History, Literature, Mathematics, Science, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology (9 credits)

II. 15 credits in a given discipline

III. 15 credits in electives in other liberal arts courses

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science Degree

The B.A. or B.S. degree requires the successful completion of at least 120 credits, including at least 60 credits in courses outside the major and its required correlatives. These 120 credits include general education requirements, college requirements and requirements for the major.

Candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science at Albertus Magnus College must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Pass the required core curriculum and general education courses as outlined above.
  • Complete the field of concentration with its major subject and correlatives.
  • Maintain a general average of C (2.0) in all work attempted at Albertus Magnus College as well as a C average in the major and minor.
  • Complete a minimum of 30 credits as a matriculating student at Albertus Magnus College. These 30 credits must be the last 30 credits toward the degree.
  • Complete at least 120 credits in course work, including 60 credits in courses outside the major and its required correlatives.

Major Department Requirement

No more than 45 credits are required for any major field offering a B.A. degree and no more than 60 credits for any major field offering a B.S. degree, including courses in the major department and required correlatives. A student must earn at least 12 credits toward the major in upper level courses (300 level) at Albertus Magnus College.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Art Major)

The B.F.A. degree offers a combination of liberal studies and professional art training. Although requirements for individual fields such as Graphic Design, Fine Arts, and Photography vary, a matriculating student may earn the B.F.A. degree by completing 127 credits. In addition to the General Education and General College Requirements outlined above, the student must take 12 credits in Art History and 60 credits in Studio Art.

Majors, Concentrations and Specializations

Albertus Magnus College reserves the right not to offer a particular major and/or concentration for which there is insufficient demand.

Albertus Magnus College offers the following majors, concentrations and specializations. A detailed description of each may be found below:

Programs of Study

Correlatives for one major can be used as part of a minor or a second major. For a double major, the student must satisfy one set of College requirements and the requirements for each of the majors.

The Honors Program

Students may apply to follow a program in honors which involves work in special courses designated each semester as honors courses and the development of individual projects designed in consultation with faculty mentors. Entering qualified students are assigned to special honors sections; other students interested in such a program should consult, by the spring of their sophomore year or earlier, with their advisor and the Director of the Honors Program.

The Aquinas Scholars Program

Created to promote the habits of mind and foster the skills necessary to pursue the truth in all of its dimensions, the Aquinas Scholars Program enables highly motivated, selfdirected students in all disciplines to pursue self-designed projects as part of their college curriculum. The Program provides a unique opportunity for students to pursue their intellectual passions and exercise initiative in the context of a vibrant, supportive learning community. Students who successfully complete the Program will be uniquely qualified to undertake advanced study in their chosen fields.

Overview

The Aquinas Scholars Program is designed to enable students to work independently or in self-selected groups to achieve their academic goals.

Students may apply to enter the Program beginning in the spring semester of freshman year. Selected students meet with a designated faculty mentor to select a theme for the following semester, and register for three credits in the Program.

Early in the Fall term, students must submit individual or small group project proposals pertaining to the selected theme. Proposals must include the following elements:

  • Statement of proposed learning outcomes;
  • Detailed description of the proposed project, including a discussion of the relevance of the project to the selected theme;
  • Statement of the college requirement(s) for which the proposed credits are to be awarded (i.e., general education, major, and/or elective; specification of specific placement).

By the end of the second full week of the Fall term, students must secure project approval by the designated faculty mentor and by a faculty member who could offer a course which could fulfill the requirement(s) for which credit is being requested.

During the Fall term, students meet regularly as a cohort (at least once every two weeks) with their Program mentor to discuss progress on their projects and to gain input from members of the group and their mentor.

Projects must be completed by the end of the term and are assessed by the mentor. For each project, a second qualified faculty member selected by the project mentor will review the project and provide feedback to the project mentor, which will be considered when the mentor assigns a grade.

Program Participation Criteria

To enter the program, students must:

  • Be nominated by a faculty member (students who wish to participate are encouraged to seek nomination);
  • Provide two faculty references;
  • Submit a letter addressed to the Aquinas Scholars Program Faculty Committee outlining reasons for wanting to participate in the program, academic goals, and discussion of why the candidate believes that he or she is suited for the program.

To continue in the program, students must:

  • Successfully complete their projects in the preceding term;
  • Maintain an Aquinas Scholars Program ePortfolio, and meet with a Program mentor, selected by the student, at least once each semester to discuss student progress and goals;
  • Maintain a 3.2 G.P.A.

To complete the program successfully, students must:

  • Successfully earn at least 18 Aquinas Scholars Program credits;
  • Present a completed Program ePortfolio to the Program Director;
  • Present at least one Program project at a student/faculty collaborative research symposium.

Learning Outside the Classroom

Practica and Internships

Practica and internships within the academic programs are offered to well-prepared and highly motivated students. Credit is given for work done outside the classroom in an environment suited to the student’s major interest. See the “Academic Support Services” section for more information or request a copy of our Practica and Internship Guidebook.

Independent Study

Independent study affords a highly motivated and sufficiently prepared honors student the opportunity to undertake research or to do a research project in an area not covered by course work. It is not a way of making up credits. The project should make a positive contribution to the student’s program, scholarly development and intellectual maturity. To be eligible, the student must be in good academic standing (not “Academic Review” status) and must have sufficient background to undertake the work. The independent study should not take the form of a tutorial. Refer to the Student Handbook for details.

Study Abroad and the Rome Campus Experience

In affiliation with Assumption College, Albertus Magnus College is pleased to offer the Rome Campus Experience. This study abroad opportunity is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors of Albertus, but is particularly designed with the sophomore year in mind. In this program, Italy becomes a living classroom with visits to culturally and historically significant locations in Rome, and across the country. The curriculum offers five strong liberal arts courses each semester.

To learn about the Rome experience, students should contact the Office of Career Services. The Office of Career Services also will provide assistance to students who wish to spend a semester or a full academic year studying abroad in any one of a number of approved American-college-sponsored programs. Credits received in these programs are transferable to Albertus. All students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for foreign study and travel. Language majors find residence in the country of the major particularly rewarding.

Planning for the program should begin at least one semester in advance of the student’s departure for foreign study. The Office of the Registrar must be notified.