Jun 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Academic Catalog-UNDER REVIEW 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Academic Catalog-UNDER REVIEW

Core Curriculum

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Core Curriculum

As a Christian university whose mission is to prepare students for empowered engagement with human need, we believe that God has a desire and design for every individual. Graduates realize God’s purpose and plan best when prepared with a broad foundation of personal skills and intellectual content. More than mere acquisition of knowledge – knowing must be combined with informed reasoning and appropriate attitudes. The Core Curriculum at Northwest ensures that graduates possess certain knowledge, attitudes, and skills identified as critical to be effective servant-leaders in today’s dynamic world community.

“Distinctively Northwest”

Northwest University’s Core Curriculum provides a broad exposure to the foundational disciplines commonly expected of students who have earned a university degree. However, at Northwest students explore these essential elements, which form a foundation for every major and each discipline, within a context of faith. We believe students benefit most when the entire curriculum, not just those courses in a student’s major, is taught from a Christian perspective with a focus on the integration of faith and learning.

Within this context of Christian faith and learning, Northwest’s Core Curriculum offers three additional advantages:

  • Focus on faith: In addition to its strong Bible and Theology components, the Core Curriculum offers two distinctive courses—Identity and Vocation, and Gospel and Culture—which situate a student’s calling within a spiritual, ethical, and global framework.
  • Flexibility: The Core Curriculum for Bachelor of Arts degrees creates a foundation of learning within a structure specifically designed to allow students to follow their curiosity and interests.
  • Writing excellence: Because writing skills are so important for future success, almost all Northwest University courses contain a significant element of writing practice intended to strengthen writing across all disciplines.

Transfer Students

The flexibility built into the Core Curriculum helps transfer students utilize as many of their credits as possible. Additionally, transfer students benefit from the following provisions:

  • When transfer students bring in courses that fulfill the Humanities and Social Science requirements, the Writing Practice standards do not apply.
  • Transfer students can fulfill the Humanities requirement by transferring in nine credits from any two of the specified disciplines.
  • Transfer students who turn 20 years of age or older during their first calendar year at Northwest University may replace UCOR 1053 Life Calling with an elective course.

Core Curriculum Outcomes

To be prepared for service and leadership, Northwest University students must be able to think critically, to integrate their faith and learning, and to apply theory and knowledge in addressing life’s complex issues. Therefore, the goal of Northwest University is for its students to demonstrate the following knowledge, attitudes, and skills.

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to interpret, the Christian Scriptures.
  2. Articulate biblically- and theologically-informed beliefs and values and their implications for living out one’s faith in contemporary contexts.
  3. Create effective verbal presentations and written arguments.
  4. Draw appropriate conclusions from numerical information.
  5. Demonstrate reasoning using the scientific method.
  6. Interpret primary sources using methods appropriate to the humanities.
  7. Demonstrate foundational knowledge within the social sciences.

Core Curriculum Requirements (57 Credits)

The Core Curriculum requirements below are for most Bachelor of Arts degrees. Bachelors of Science, Music, and Fine Arts degrees and Associate in Arts degrees satisfy the outcomes on the previous page through a slightly different set of courses. Refer to the appropriate degree sections in this catalog for specific degree requirements. Some majors may qualify or restrict the Core Curriculum Requirements.

Spiritual Vitality – Academic Excellence – Empowered Engagement

Humanities: 9

6 credits in this area must be from Writing Practice courses* (see Course Descriptions  for applicability)

  • ENGL xxx3 - Any Literature course 3 credits
  • HIST xxx3 - Any Course in History 3 credits
  • 3 additional credits selected from the following 3 credits
    Art (ARTE), Bible (BIBL), Drama (DRAM), English (ENGL), History (HIST), Language (LANG), Music (MUSI), or Theology (THEO)

Social Sciences: 9

  • 6 credits in this area must be from Writing Practice courses* (see Course Descriptions  for applicability)
  • Business Administration (BUSM), Communication (except COMM 1213), Economics, Education (EDUC), Exercise Science (EXSC), Geography (GEOG), Information Technology (INTC), Management (BMGT), Marketing (BMKT), Philosophy (PHIL), Political Science (PSCI), Psychology (PSYC), Sociology/Anthropology (SOCI), or User Experience Design (UXDE)

Science and Mathematics: 7

  • MATH xxxx - College-level Mathematics 3 credits
  • SCIE xxxx - Science course with Lab 4 credits

Formation and Calling: 3

Professional Readiness: 2

Two Core Curriculum elective credits are required to be Career Readiness credits. These credits can be earned by taking a combination of Career Readiness Courses and introductory internship and/or job shadowing experiences. 

  • This two-credit requirement is waived for students who transfer 57 or more credits to NU
  • Students with 45-56 transfer credits are required to take one Career Readiness credit

Core Electives: 6

  • Any college-level courses


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