Jun 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate 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 Learning Goals

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.

University-wide learning goals are met in part through the attainment of Core Curriculum Intended Learning Outcomes.

Core Curriculum: 38 - 51 credit hours total

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 - 28 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: 6-16 credit hours

Certain courses are designated with core components of Interdisciplinary Studies (IS), Global Studies (GS), and/or Community Engagement (CE). A passing grade is required for core designation credit. A grade of “C’ or better is required for designation courses to count for major or minor credit.

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

Interdisciplinary courses cross disciplinary boundaries from multiple areas of the university. They are team taught and reflect the unique talents and disciplinary expertise of both faculty members while clearly specifying why a topic, question, or problem warrants interdisciplinary examination and how each discipline contributes to the examination. Interdisciplinary studies courses are available to all baccalaureate degree-seeking undergraduate students.

Global Studies (GS) Core Curriculum Designation

Global Studies courses apply course material across the borders of multiple nations and encompass diverse worldviews. They enable students to develop a globalized perspective on course content, examine responsibility of individual and social choices with reference to the global community, and imagine future right relations with a diverse community of others across the globe. Global Studies courses are available to all baccalaureate degree-seeking undergraduate students.

Community Engagement (CE) Core Curriculum Designation

Community Engagement courses blend academic learning and service to the dear neighbor exterior to the classroom. They direct students to apply course subject material to lived experience; participate outside the classroom in reciprocal service that meets a local, national, or global community’s needs; and consider how an individual has a responsibly to a community and capacity to create change. Community Engagement courses are available to all baccalaureate degree-seeking undergraduate students. 

Core Component Designations Courses


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.