Journeys of Transformation

Core Curriculum

JourneysRivier University’s undergraduate Core Curriculum invites students to initiate several “Journeys of Transformation" and explore how to think about things in new ways by taking on new perspectives of self, the world, and others. The Core Curriculum is guided by these questions:
Who am I and What Is the World? Who is My Neighbor? How Shall We Live? What, then, Shall We Do? Together these initiate a journey of self-awareness and inquiry, perspective formation and creativity, and service.

The Core Curriculum consists of a common core and a core complement. In the common core, students take courses that are linked sequentially by both academic skills and by their focus on the questions. In the core complement, students choose from different courses in three areas: humanities and social sciences, math and natural sciences, and languages. These complementary courses broaden students' knowledge of the worlds they inhabit. Finally, students engage in two service experiences, in the first year and the second year, which introduce students to the greater Nashua, NH community and the service needs and opportunities available there.

COMMON CORE - 27 credits 

Students explore these questions in their first-year common core courses.

Who Am I and What Is the World?
FYS ENG 115 Expositions and Arguments   Credits: 3
FYS REL 115 God and the Created Order   Credits: 3
LNS 108 Student Success: Campus to Community I   Credits: 1
LNS 109 Student Success: Campus to Community II   Credits: 1
BIO 112 Stewards of the Living World   Credits 3

Who is My Neighbor? 
HUM 200 Literature, Art, and the Human   Credits: 3
HIS 203 Interactions: The West in the World I  OR
HIS 204 Interactions: The West in the World II   Credits: 3
SL 100 Serving the World   Credits: 1

How Shall We Live?
Faith, Religion, and Social Justice
Students take one Religion course developed with this theme at its center.

Ethics, Values, and Moral Choices
Students take one Philosophy course developed with this theme at its center.

What, then, Shall We Do?
Justice and Global Responsibility      

Students take ONE of a number of offerings under Justice and Global Responsibility. This seminar serves as the culmination of the common core. Informed by problem-solving pedagogy, this seminar enhances the student’s connection with the Catholic vision of the University by focusing on justice and global responsibility. The Justice and Global Responsibility courses build on writing, reading, speaking, and critical thinking learned in the first and second years.


CORE COMPLEMENT - 15-18 Credits

Humanities and Social Sciences
One course from: Communications, English, History, Modern Language, Philosophy, or Religious Studies
One course from: Economics, Geography, Human Development, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Social Work

Natural/Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology
One course in Mathematics (MA 112 or above)
One course from: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, or Physical Science

Culture through Language
Students must demonstrate college-level introductory competency in a language other than English.

More detailed information is available in the University's Undergraduate Academic Catalog.


First-year undergraduate students discover themselves through a distinctive, interconnected weave of programs and seminar courses:

Summer Reading:
The first year begins with a book to be read in anticipation of the Academic Convocation, held the day before classes open for the fall term. The summer reading is highlighted at the Academic convocation, studied in Student Success: Campus to Community, and addressed in various co-curricular events. 

The Academic Convocation: This formal event opens the academic year, introducing first-year students to the university community. The President welcomes the students, delivering an address about the nature of the Rivier experience by drawing on the summer reading.

Learning Communities: Students join a cohesive, smaller group, taking FYS English, FYS Religion, and Student Success: Campus to Community with the same students, allowing them to develop bonds of scholarship and friendship during the year.