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Veritas Course Descriptions

Sample 4-Year Veritas Sequence

Semester 1

Semester 2

   Freshman Year

Foreign Language & Culture I (3)
Veritas Symposium (3)
Domain Social Science (3)
Mathematical Thought/Problem Solving (3)*
Major/ Domain Course (3)

Foreign Language & Culture II (3)
Origins of the West (3)
Classical Philosophy (3)
Writing Intensive Course (3)*
Major/ Domain Course (3)

3 Cultural Enrichment Events

    Sophomore Year

Philosophy in the Modern Age (3)
The Western Imagination (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)

Jesus Christ & the Church (3)
American Experience (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)

3 Cultural Enrichment Events

    Junior Year

America in Global Context (3)
Ethics & the Human Good (3)*
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)

Global Encounters (3)
Modernity in Literature/Arts (3)*
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)

3 Cultural Enrichment Events

    Senior Year

Second Theology (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)

Veritas Leadership Portfolio (1)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)
Major/ Domain Course (3)

3 Cultural Enrichment Events

* These courses are available in both the fall and spring semesters.

This sequence is a sample and may not be an exact layout of a what your actual schedule will be. Courses and semester availability changes so students are encouraged to meet with their advisors to create a personalized sequence that balances Veritas coursework with the intended major and minor of choice. To access up-to-the-minute course schedules and semester availability, log-in to the University Portal and click on the "Course Schedule."

Note that the average full-time student course load per semester is 12-16 credit hours. The Veritas Program is the required liberal arts component of the Mount education. Students will choose additional courses each semester that complement the Veritas Program and help the student to reach full-time status. These courses are typically within a student's major, or minor, area of study.

The Veritas Program: The Common Educational Experience

The Veritas Program is a rigorous, common, and integrated program that welcomes students into a community of academic excellence centered in the liberal arts,  informed by the Christian faith, and ordered toward the ideal of a life well-lived.

Rooted in the Catholic understanding of God, creation, and the human person, the curriculum treats knowledge as an end in itself and aspires to integrate natural and revealed truth in a comprehensive vision of the whole. Students encounter this vision and are encouraged to embrace it reflectively, mindful of other viewpoints within and outside their own cultures. To this end, they explore the relationships among the Christian, Western, and American heritages and a range of global cultures, to see how these traditions shape the contemporary world. The purpose of a liberal arts education is to free individuals from passive conformity to the various social forces operating upon them. Such an education prepares students to challenge those forces when appropriate and embrace the truth, goodness, and beauty in creation. In pursuit of this aim, we work to nurture the minds and spirits of all Mount undergraduates, inviting them to grow in virtue and live in loving solidarity with all humanity, guided by the spirit of Christ.

Veritas 101 (VERIT 101) The Catholic Liberal Arts Symposium: Being Human —3 credits
The goal of the Veritas Symposium is to initiate students into membership in a Catholic liberal arts community dedicated to the pursuit of truth. This course helps students explore a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human? This expansive and general question is explored through readings that raise more particular questions about the human condition: How does technology form human life? What makes us happy? What is our relationship to our bodies? What is the role of beauty in a meaningful life? What is true friendship? How should we order our lives?

The course consists of small meetings with individual professors (Seminars), and larger group sessions (Freshman Forum). It seeks to enable students to think critically through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Assignments designed to help initiate students into college level writing are a key part of the way students engage the course readings and explore answers to fundamental questions about the human condition.

By preparing students to appreciate and succeed in a mode of learning that is not the prerogative of any single discipline, the Veritas Symposium is intended to serve as a cornerstone to the rest of the Veritas Program, the Mount’s common, integrated four-year liberal arts curriculum.

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Communicating in a Global World: Foreign language —6 credits
Students must take two 3-credit courses of foreign language, either beginning a new language or broadening mastery of a language already studied in high school. If continuing a language, students will be placed at the appropriate level based on a language placement exam and number of years of language study. Language study disciplines the mind, provides appreciation of pluralism and intercultural communication, and is useful for functioning in a global age.

Veritas 111 (VTMA 111) Mathematical Thought and Problem-Solving —3 credits
This course provides students with a mathematical approach to solving problems as well as an introduction to the nature of mathematics. The course seeks to improve facility with computations, mathematical notation, logical reasoning, and verbal expression of mathematical concepts. Content is selected from classical and modern areas of mathematics such as geometry, number theory, algebra, graph theory, fractals, and probability. The delivery of the content takes on a variety of forms, including in-class activities, projects, discovery learning, and lecture.

Veritas 102 (VTCV 102) Origins of the West —3 credits
This course is a multidisciplinary introduction to the classical and Judeo-Christian roots of the Western tradition. Students will encounter primary texts, both written and non-written, in a variety of genres.

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Veritas/Philosophy 103 (VTPH 103) Classical Philosophy —3 credits
This course explores the early history of Western Philosophy, from its birth in the Greek polis to its role in the development of early Christian thought and of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic thinking in the Middle Ages. Students will learn how to pose and evaluate answers to questions concerning the nature of truth, the value of knowledge, the relationship between faith and reason, and the nature of the human good.

Veritas 201 (VTCV 201) The Western Imagination: the Renaissance to the Great War —3 credits
This course explores key creative moments in the Western Tradition from circa 1400 to the First World War. Instructors will approach the course primarily from the viewpoint of their own disciplines, while incorporating themes and texts from the fine arts, literature and history. The course will focus on great innovators, their creations, and the societies in which they lived and worked.

Veritas 202 (VTAMC 202) American Experience —3 credits
VTAMC 202 explores American events, themes, and literature from the pre-Columbian era through 1898. It will focus on Native American culture, the founding of the United States, slavery, the Civil War, reconstruction, industrialization, urbanization and immigration.

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Veritas/Theology 203 (VTTH 203) Jesus Christ and the Church: An Introduction to Catholic Theology —3 credits
An introduction to the sources and methods of Christian theology, considering the nature and activity of God and the history of human relationships with God, from the perspective of revelation. The main themes of the course are Scripture, Jesus, Church, Sacraments, and the Moral Life.

Veritas 301 (VTAGC 301) America in the Global Context—3 credits
Through the lens of history, VTGC 301 examines significant developments in America’s role in the modern world from 1898 to contemporary times. Students will examine themes such as how and why America moved toward internationalism, how the images of the nation and its peoples changed, and how the spread of American values, both positive and negative, have impacted the modern world. Through selective comparisons with other modern societies, the course will critically examine traditional claims to American exceptionalism.

Veritas/PHIL or THEOL 300 (VTPH or VTTH 300) Ethics and the Human Good– 3 credits
An integrative course for juniors in which they reflect on the communal contexts, goods, and ends of the moral life as well as the critical moral questions they will face in the practices of their personal and professional lives. Taught from either a philosophical or theological perspective, the course emphasizes character and virtue especially as articulated by Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.

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Domains of Guided Exploration

Through the Veritas Program or the major, students complete courses in each of the four domains as a way of enhancing the coursework in the common educational experience (described above) and providing a means to integrate the core curriculum with coursework in the academic majors. Courses in the domains are the responsibility of the appropriate academic departments, but courses developed for the domains presume broader dialogue among departments to address student needs. Courses included in domains may include currently offered courses and/or specially designed courses. In some cases, courses in the common educational experience will be prerequisites for domain-based courses.

First Principles: Faith and Reason —6 credits
Students must take one course in philosophy (PHIL 203) and one course in theology. Please note that domain Philosophy 203 should be taken in the fall semester of the sophomore year, and domain Theology 400 should be taken in the fall semester of the senior year.

(PHIL 203) Philosophy in the Modern Age—3 credits
The course is structured around the question, “Where are we and how did we get here?” The claims (1) that truth exists and that it can be known by human beings, (2) that there is a good that can and should be affirmed and realized by all human beings, and (3) that there is a purpose to human life were all defended by Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas, but have in the modern age come under sometimes withering critiques by contemporary philosophers, scientists, and artists, among others. Our aim in this course is to explore the questions raised by philosophers and scientists about these claims, asking ourselves what we can take away from such questioning, and to what extent some of the ideals defended by the philosophers of the ancient and medieval periods can be incorporated in and made meaningful to contemporary life. The authors we will read in this course will range from sixteenth-century scientists to twenty-first- century philosophers and sociologists, and the readings will explore fundamental questions in philosophy, such as: 1) Is truth relative? 2) Is morality merely a matter of opinion? 3) Is the structure of the cosmos intelligible to the human mind? 4) Is a certain way of life best for the human being? 5) Is religious faith rational? 6) Does politics aim merely at self-interest?

► The Natural World —7 or 8 credits
Students must take two courses from among science, mathematics, or computer science courses, at least one of which must be a lab science course.

History, Arts, Letters (__MO 300) —6 credits
—Students must take two courses from among History, Literature, or Fine Arts courses. One of the courses in this domain must be a modernity course in literature or the arts.

► Human and Behavioral Sciences —6 credits
Students must take 2 courses from among Economics, Education, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. (Please note that social science majors must take courses in this domain from two different disciplines)

► Integrative Requirements
In addition to the common educational experience and domain courses, all students will satisfy requirements for an additional Writing Intensive course and a Global Encounters course (both may be double-counted in the major and the domain).

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► Writing Intensive course —3 credits
The writing intensive course serves to introduce students to some of the fundamental issues of writing in the discipline, broadly conceived. The WI course will count as academic credit for a major in that discipline or as elective credit for students majoring in another field of study. In either case, successful completion of the course will fulfill the writing intensive course requirement for graduation. Ideally, students will complete a WI course by the end of their first year, but no later than the end of their sophomore year.

► Global Encounters —3 credits
Global Encounters courses introduce students to other ways of understanding the world by studying cultures outside the dominant traditions of the West, thereby strengthening their sense of membership in the global community. Such courses encourage students to enter into critical engagement with these cultures, leading them to a greater understanding of their own society within the complexities of the contemporary world. These courses are offered at the 300- or 400-level and are normally taken in the junior or senior year.

Culture/Enrichment Event requirements
This non-credit component of the core allows students to build on their coursework and understanding of the liberal arts through exploration of select cultural events (e.g., plays, concerts, readings, museum visits, faith expression) as well as lectures and development opportunities (spiritual retreats, leadership training, financial literacy seminars, etc.) offered on campus and in the community. All students must attend and reflect on at least 3 culture/ enrichment events every year.

The Veritas Student Leadership Portfolio
Consistent with the mission of the University, the Institute for Leadership seeks to develop leadership knowledge and skills in each student. To this end, all undergraduate students are to complete a Leadership Portfolio as a requirement for graduation. The portfolio is a four credit leadership formation program, combining curricular and co-curricular dimensions. These include an approved course, an experiential program, and a resume workshop offered by Career Services. It will conclude with a final presentation of a completed portfolio. This comprehensive and integrated blend of experiences will assist students to prepare for interviews, jobs, fellowships, and graduate or professional school. It will also help each student to better understand leadership, and the particular role each might play in his or her own professional career, and in a larger sense, in seeking to help resolve the problems facing humanity.

Veritas 498 (VTLP 498): The Veritas Leadership Portfolio—1 credit
All undergraduate students in the Veritas program will create an electronic leadership portfolio (or eFolio) as a requirement for graduation. The leadership portfolio seeks to assist students discover how to lead a good life, by helping them develop and showcase their individual gifts and talents. Students will work on their eFolio throughout their time at the Mount, and assemble and present their eFolio during the senior year. The eFolio combines curricular and co-curricular dimensions. A completed eFolio may include: a resume and professional cover letter; personal reflections based on an experiential program with a leadership dimension; a term paper from a leadership portfolio (LP) course; and, other examples of the student’s work at the Mount.
VTLP 498 is a pass/fail course, offered by the Institute for Leadership.

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Proficiency in Writing
Because the ability to communicate effectively in writing is such an important academic and professional competency, students have multiple opportunities in the Veritas program and in the major to develop and practice their skills in writing. Developing college-level skills in writing is one of the key components of Veritas Symposium and the writing intensive course. Students should have met these college writing proficiency standards by the end of sophomore year. Any student who does not pass VERIT 101 will be required to take an additional writing intensive course.

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