Jan 24, 2022  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Core Curriculum

The Avila Core Curriculum manifests Avila’s commitment to higher education grounded in the Liberal Arts. Focused on gaining understanding of human culture and the physical world, the core requires students to study arts, humanities, mathematics, and sciences. To complete the core, students take a clear series of courses taught by disciplinary specialists, working toward intellectual integration of diverse ways to examine culture and the world. Alongside disciplinary-specific courses, Avila’s Core Curriculum emphasizes crossing boundaries and reaching beyond one’s self to see the value of collaboration, community, and global perspectives. Altogether the Core Curriculum is divided into three levels of requirements that students complete while meeting the requirements for their baccalaureate degrees.

  • Skills Level requirements develop fundamental skills key for both academic and professional success.
  • Liberal Arts Level requirements provide diverse disciplinary lenses through which to examine the world. Concepts learned and viewpoints experienced at this level promote critical thinking and ethical decision-making with reference to real-life situations across the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and arts.
  • Core Component Designations requirements focus on seeing beyond the self, immediate community, or chosen discipline. Designations include Interdisciplinary Studies, Global Studies, and Community Engagement, all of which call for application of learning across boundaries.

Missouri CORE 42

Avila University is a voluntary participant in Missouri’s CORE 42 initiative. This common curriculum is accepted at all public and participating independent institutions in the state of Missouri. For additional information regarding the initiative and Avila’s participation, please see the CORE 42  page in this catalog.

University-Wide Intended Learning Outcomes

Through the Avila University curriculum, which integrates the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) values, global and interdisciplinary studies, and community engagement, the Avila University graduate will demonstrate:

  • Personal, spiritual, ethical, professional, and social responsibility aligned with the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) including support for diverse cultures, human rights, and right relationships with self, others, and the earth, instilled in this context through familiarity with a diverse array of disciplines and perspectives.
  • Effective use and communication of qualitative and quantitative information.
  • Critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and innovation by accessing, synthesizing, and applying information from and for various mediums and across technologies, incorporating global perspectives.

Skills Level: 7 credit hours

Courses in the Skills Level develop fundamental skills in composition and communication to underpin student learning in other areas of the Avila Core Curriculum and major course of study. These courses are to be completed in the first year of a student’s attendance at Avila; Composition and Communication area courses must be passed with a “C” grade or higher. 

Communication: 3 Credit Hours

First-Year Seminar: 1 Credit Hour


Liberal Arts Level: 25 credit hours

Courses in the Liberal Arts Level address the breadth of perspectives expected of a liberal arts education. Concepts learned and viewpoints experienced at this level promote critical thinking and ethical decision-making with reference to real-life situations across the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and arts. Students must obtain a passing grade for the course to count toward the requirement. Students can choose any of the course options within the area to fulfill the area requirement. These can be taken in any order throughout a student’s undergraduate career. 


Core Component Designations: 6-12 credit hours

Certain courses are designated with core components of Interdisciplinary Studies (IS), Global Studies (GS), and/or Community Engagement (CE).

Students entering Avila as First Year students must complete:

  • 6 credit hours of IS courses
  • 6 credit hours of GS or CE courses

Some courses designated as IS courses will also count as GS/CE courses.

Students entering Avila as Transfer students must complete credit hours in core component areas based on the number of transfer credits completed at the time of admission to Avila University.

  • 29 credits or fewer: Same requirements as first-year students
  • 30 credits or more: Must complete 3 credits of IS courses and 3 credits of GS/CE courses

Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) Core Curriculum Designation

The following two outcomes provide the framework for the Interdisciplinary (IS) criteria.

  1. The knowledge of the strengths and limits of disciplinary knowledge in understanding a topic, question, or problem.
  2. The ability to integrate, synthesize, and communicate knowledge from two or more disciplines.

Interdisciplinary courses are courses that cross disciplines from multiple areas of the university. They reflect the unique talents and interests of the faculty; clearly specifies why a topic, question, or problem warrants interdisciplinary examination and how each discipline contributes to the examination. These courses are taught by faculty from two or more disciplines.

Global Studies (GS) Core Curriculum Designation

The following three Global Studies Outcomes (1, 2, 3) provide a broad framework for the (GS) Core Component criteria (e.g. as the Core ILOs frame the Core objectives). The lists after each clarify intent and/or further illustrate possibilities for those outcomes, but are not intended as requirements or as limiting scope:

  1. Globalize perspective: (a) Gain knowledge of different perspectives in terms of religion, natural science, health science, social science, humanities, and the arts. (b) Understand how location and culture help determine our world view. (c) Understand the impact of geography, history, and economics on the current structures of power and privilege.
  2. Communication using existing resources and evolving technologies to facilitate collaboration within and between our global communities. (a) Gain knowledge of an additional language. (b) Interact with people from diverse cultures and gain insight from their point of view. (c) Understand the meaning, implications, and consequences of social justice from a local to global scale.
  3. Advocate for a socially just global society: (a) Acknowledge and assume responsibility for the ethical consequences of individual and collective action. (b) Integrate learning into action and promotion for peaceful resolution to conflict. (c) Shape policies that promote global economic development. (d) Advocate against prejudice, poverty, systemic privilege and oppression.

Community Engagement (CE) Core Curriculum Designation

Community Engagement Defined: (a) A synthesis of academic learning and service to the dear neighbor without distinction that provides students the experience to enhance their education, foster community responsibility, and grow in self-understanding while contributing to the needs of our local, national, or global communities. (b) The intent of community engagement at Avila is double: to apply our mission and values to encourage student awareness of their ability to help solve social problems and to intend that students continue this form of engagement past the conclusion of the course. 

Core Component Designations Courses

Interdisciplinary Studies (IS)

Global Studies (GS)


Transfer Students

Admissions criteria and additional Core guidelines can be found under the Transfer Students  page within this catalog. 

Major Curriculum

Each student chooses an academic area to study in-depth and must complete the requirements for that program in order to graduate. The curriculum for each of Avila’s major programs provides a well-developed set of courses to meet the identified outcomes of each program as well as opportunities for independent work, practicum, internships, and senior projects.

As part of the completion of major requirements, each student will complete an identified technology requirement within the major.

Assessment Program

Avila University is committed to evaluating the performance of the university as well as the academic achievement of the students. Assessment at Avila is a multidimensional, ongoing process of gathering, interpreting, and sharing information about the learning and development of Avila’s students. This information is used to determine student achievement; to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum; to guide the revision of programs, courses, and instruction; and to serve as a catalyst to aid students in self-evaluation and goal setting. Assessment at the undergraduate level addresses the learning outcomes for the Core Curriculum as well as the major. Graduate assessment focuses on the educational outcomes associated with each of the graduate programs. Students participate in assessment activities throughout their time at the university and after graduation as alumni. These activities include surveys, standardized examinations, in-class assessments, portfolios, and final projects or theses.