2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jun 12, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College Core Requirements - Traditional Programs

Baccalaureate Degrees

Overall Structure

Each degree program consists of the following elements:

  1. The College core is a series of courses required of all undergraduates, except students in the Honors Program.
  2. Degree programs in business (BBA) and science (BS) have a specific set of courses required of all students in the degree program: business core or science core. The degree core for BS programs is adjusted to suit particular majors.
  3. Each major program has a set of courses required of all students in the particular curriculum. The balance of each program is a number of electives chosen by students to complement their major course of study and to complete the minimum credit requirement. These electives may be used to pursue a minor and, in some instances, a second major.
  4. Specific requirements for a degree and for each major are listed in the section of this catalog devoted to the school offering the degree. Unless otherwise specified, a minor in either school requires a minimum of 12 upper level credits in a given discipline beyond those mandated by the College or degree cores.
  5. The Bachelor of Arts degree requires a total of 30 liberal arts credits; the Bachelor of Science degree, 60 liberal arts credits; the Bachelor of Business Administration degree, 30 liberal arts credits.

The College Core Curriculum

(As of fall 2016)

The College Core Curriculum is the program of studies designated by the faculty as essential for providing students with the necessary resources for initiating a lifelong engagement in the study of the liberal arts.  All courses are designed to help Iona students achieve those goals which derive from Iona’s educational philosophy.  In particular, these courses provide students with skills and knowledge that help them to understand and live in the modern world.

Mission of the Core Curriculum

The Iona College Core Curriculum commits to the ideals of liberal education through the provision of a common learning experience that prepares students for ethical, engaged citizenship and lifelong learning through the lenses of diversity, sustainability, and a global perspective.  Framed by the values of peace, justice, and service, the content-rich, interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum is cohesively structured and characterized by an emphasis on the skills of critical thinking and literacy in its many forms.  Aspiring to the ideal of full intellectual engagement, the Core Curriculum seeks to facilitate students’ ability to question and challenge accepted wisdom.  Iona College’s dynamic Core Curriculum promotes the use of high impact educational practices designed to foster deep learning experiences that support students in pursuit of the knowledge and skills needed to thrive as citizens and prospective leaders in an ever-changing world.


Through engagement with “big questions” grounded in the liberal arts, students will demonstrate knowledge of the meaning and complexities of the human experience and its relationship to the natural world.  

Through immersion in a nurturing community dedicated to intellectual engagement, students will demonstrate the skills needed to thrive as citizens and prospective leaders in an ever changing world. Such skills include:

        Critical inquiry and analysis (2.1/2.3)

        Critical reading (2.2)

        Critical thinking (2.4a)

        Problem-solving (2.4b)

        Written communication (2.5)

        Oral communication (2.6)

        Quantitative literacy (2.7)

        Informational and technological literacy (2.8)

        Teamwork and collaboration (2.9)

Through a comprehensive curricular experience that emphasizes the values of peace, justice, and service, as well as appreciation for human diversity, sustainability, and civic engagement, students will demonstrate the ability to apply a global perspective and the principles of ethical reasoning.

        Human Diversity (3.1)

        Civic Engagement (3.2)

        Ethical Reasoning (3.3)

        Global Perspective(3.4)

Through participation in a cohesive and interdisciplinary core, students will demonstrate the capacity to synthesize and adapt knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings, questions, and specialized studies.

The College Core consists of 15 courses in 6 areas and an Integrated Core Theme

  1. Columba Cornerstone - one course
  2. English Composition - one course
  3. Humanities - five courses (Fine and Performing Arts, History, Literature*, Religious Studies, and Philosophy) *Literature course may be taught in English or in a Foreign Language, in a course studying literature.
  4. Social Science and Business - two courses: Students take two three-credit courses in this area, with at least one course taken from Economics, Political Science, Psychology or Sociology. (Business, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology)
  5. Science/Technology/Math - 3 courses (Computer Science, Mathematics, and lab-based Science)
  6. Diversity, Cross-Cultural, and Global Perspectives - 2 courses (Foreign Language, Business Economics, Business Law, Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Film, Fine and Performing Arts, Geography, History, Management, Media & Strategic Communication, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Work, Speech Communication Studies, Women’s Studies)
  7. Integrated Core Theme - every student is required to complete one integrated core theme.  An Integrated Core Theme (ICT) is a set of four courses based on an interdisciplinary topic (e.g. Violence or Identity).  The ICT consists of a Humanities Centerpiece course and three integrated courses. The intentional connection of courses to a Humanities Centerpiece course is a unique feature of Iona’s Core Curriculum. The Humanities Centerpiece course is developed and taught by the departments of English, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Foreign Languages.  The Centerpiece Course will introduce students to the “big questions” of the Integrated Core Theme. The centerpiece course should be instrumental in establishing an intellectual framework for the ICT.

Specific Requirements

The requirements of the College core are ordinarily met by taking the prescribed courses.  In exceptional cases, students may, according to the discipline involved, either substitute a higher level course or satisfy the requirement by demonstrating accomplishment of the goal of the requirement.  The procedure for applying for an exception is explained in, “Adjustments to the College Core .”

I. The Columba Cornerstone

A Freshman Seminar Experience

The Core Curriculum provides a common learning experience steeped in the rich tradition of the liberal arts and its foundation is the Columba Cornerstone, Iona College’s freshman seminar. Saint Columba (521-597 CE), an early medieval monk, founded a center of learning, culture and spirituality on the Isle of Iona off the west coast of Scotland. The historic name of the learned Columba invokes the approach to the whole person and the integration of learning in which Iona College seeks to educate its students. Students will develop an appreciation for the interrelatedness among and connections across areas of inquiry early in their Iona experience. These seminars will be a thematically-based gateway to inquiry and engagement.

The Columba Cornerstone course, COL 150  , serves as the foundation for a student’s intellectual engagement as a member of the Iona community. Taken in the first semester, the four-credit, theme-based Cornerstone is linked and integrated with another course to form a learning community where students will examine the designated theme through an interdisciplinary lens. Structured to promote students’ critical thinking, the Cornerstone course emphasizes reading, writing, speaking and collaboration, and explores the many facets of human diversity. All sections within the particular Cornerstone theme share a common text and an overview of critical thinking. To augment classroom-based learning, each Cornerstone integrates experiential and instructional co-curricular modules that serve as unifying elements across all sections of Cornerstone courses. Students are required to engage in a minimum of two co-curricular activities.

The Columba Cornerstone introduces students to time-honored questions in the liberal arts through the themes of Truth, Justice and Earth. Using these particular themes, students will explore questions about the nature of knowing, dive deeply into analyses of identities and probe the many dimensions of human interrelatedness. Grounded firmly in the mission statement of the Core Curriculum, the Columba Cornerstone will introduce students to critical concerns of our time such as diversity and sustainability in a digitally and globally connected world. Motivated by the values and goals of peace, justice and service, the Cornerstone will utilize classic and contemporary texts, co-curricular engagements and a variety of pedagogies to consider new approaches to traditional problems and cutting-edge insights for the 21st century.

All sections of the Columba Cornerstone, COL 150  , regardless of theme (i.e., Truth, Justice, Earth) incorporate instruction on six topics which have been designed to ground students in essential learning that supports the entirety of their Iona experience. These topics include: The Iona Story; Diversity; Information and Digital Literacy; The Learning e-Portfolio; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and basic Financial Literacy.

II. English Composition

One course in written communication - ENG 120 , ENG 122  , or its approved equivalent

III. Humanities

All Iona College students are required to take one course in each of the following areas:  Fine and Performing Arts, History, Literature, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.


Fine and Performing Arts Core Course Choices

Choose 1

Literature Core Course Choices

Choose 1

History Core Course Choices

IV. Social Sciences and Business

All Iona College students take two three-credit courses in this area, with at least one course taken from Economics, Political Science, Psychology or Sociology.

V. Science, Technology and Mathematics

All Iona College students are required to take one course in each area of computer science, mathematics, and lab science.

VI. Diversity, Cross-Cultural and Global Perspectives

All Iona College students are required to take two courses in this area.  One course must be in a foreign language and one course must be in a course that does not focus on the acquisition of a foreign language.  To qualify for the Diversity, Cross-Cultural, and Global Perspectives core requirement, each course’s inclusive content and student learning outcomes should embody and assess one or more of these three elements (diversity, cross-cultural, and global perspectives). Foundational to each course is the integration of intercultural perspectives, potentially transcending traditional teachings in that discipline’s history and development. In doing so, an expanded consciousness and understanding relative to that respective field or discipline is sought for the students, of and for, complex social contexts, identities, communities, and cultural groups.

Diversity, Cross-Cultural and Global Perspectives Core Course Choices

VII. Integrated Core Theme

The available ICT’s are:

  1. Violence
  2. Identity: Persons, Societies, and Cultures
  3. Innovation and the Creative Mind
  4. Feminist Interventions
  5. Stewardship of the Earth
  6. Scientific Reasoning
  7. Thomas Paine

Please find complete information on these ICTs below.

The construct of the theme is framed in the following way:

The first course noted under each theme will act as the Humanities Centerpiece to the theme.

Of the three integrated courses used for the theme, only one may be in the same discipline as the Centerpiece.

No more than two courses from the same discipline/department (as defined by the three letter subject designation; e.g.: MTH) may be taken in the entire set of four courses within the ICT.

Integrated courses may be core, major, minor, or elective courses. Integrated courses are not counted in the 46 credits of the Core Curriculum and thus can count toward major, minor, or elective credit.  This structure allows for continued growth in integrating knowledge across disciplines.  Similarly, if an integrated course is also a core course, then it counts toward the appropriate core credit even as it fulfills the requirements of an ICT.

Identity: Persons, Societies, and Cultures

Centerpiece: ENG 352  or HST 337  or PHL 304  or  RST 328  

Innovation and the Creative Mind

The purpose of the Integrated Core Theme (ICT) “Innovation and the Creative Mind” is to introduce students to the interdisciplinary nature of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial thinking. This ICT has been developed by the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Curriculum Committee and input from interdisciplinary faculty across the School of Arts and Science and the LaPenta School of Business. Students who wish to take this ICT select one of the four Humanities Centerpiece courses, and add three more courses from the list of integrated courses. The selection of courses should be based on students’ interpretation and exploration of the general ICT theme, and its relevance to their disciplinary focus.

Centerpiece: ENG 354   or  PHL 320  or  RST 370  or HST 304  

Scientific Reasoning

Centerpiece: PHL 365  or RST 406  

VIII. Written and Oral Intensive Course Requirements

All Iona College students are required to complete 2 WI and 2 OI courses as part of their degree requirements (the Columba Cornerstone does not fulfill this requirement).

Written Intensive

Oral Intensive

Honors Degree Core Curriculum

The Honors core is required of all students in the honors program and consists of 56-57 credits grouped in 7 areas.

  1. Humanities - Four courses (Honors sequence HON 101 , HON 102 , HON 201 , and HON 202 )
  2. Social Science - Two courses* chosen from the following: ECO 201 , ECO 202 , POL 201 , POL 203 , PSY 201 , PSY 202 , SOC 101 , or SOC 102  .
    * Business students must take ECO 201  and ECO 202 .
  3. Interdisciplinary - Three 300-400 level courses from the following disciplines: English, history, philosophy, religious studies, economics, psychology, political science, or sociology.  The courses must be from different disciplines.
  4. Mathematics, Science, Technology - Three courses (one mathematics - MTH 231  , one lab science - BIO 101 BIO 125 , CHM 109   or PHY 101 , and one computer science - CS 201 ).
  5. Fine and Performing Arts - One course at the 200-level or above.
  6. Honors Core - Three courses: HON 112 , HON 401 , and HON 402  
  7. Modern Languages** - Two courses in one language (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Spanish)
    ** Students seeking to take their high school language must be placed according to skill level and may NOT take intro level of the high school language and receive credit. AP exams in French, German, Spanish and Latin (not Virgil), with a score of 3 or better, may be used to fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language Substitution Courses

Students with appropriate documentation may fulfill the foreign language requirement through the completion of a sequence of substitution courses. A list of these courses is available from academic advisors and from the Office of the Dean of the School of Arts and Science.

Adjustments to the College Core

As noted above, College core requirements may, in certain instances, be waived or adjusted on the basis of testing or evaluation.

College core requirements may be satisfied through Advanced Placement Program (AP) credits or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits in accord with policies set forth in the “Registration and Academic Procedures ” section of this bulletin. Credits from high school bridge programs are accepted on a course-by-course basis. Normally a maximum of 12 credits from high school bridge courses will be accepted.

In addition, students have the option of pursuing departmental testing or evaluation in order to satisfy the requirement, or by obtaining permission to take more advanced courses in accord with policies established by the department.

All students pursuing adjustments to the College core must file an authorization form with the Office of the Dean of the School of Arts and Science. Transcripts for students will be annotated to reflect adjustments. Students who satisfy requirements through AP, CLEP, or high school bridge credits will have the course equivalent and credits earned entered. For students who qualify for advanced placement in Areas I, II and IV, eligibility for advanced study will be indicated.

Designing a Program of Study

In designing a program of study with their academic advisors, students should use the following guidelines:

  • The minimum full-time semester course load is 12 credits. Ordinarily, students carry 15 credits a semester to complete their degrees in four years.
  • Students must complete prerequisite courses before enrolling for advanced courses.
  • Student schedules should not include a set of five consecutive class meetings.
  • Elective credits should be used to add breadth to the program, rather than an excessive number of credits in the major.
  • In addition to the required major field of study, students may, if their degree program permits, elect to complete a second major or a minor field of concentration. “Double majors” must be approved by the academic dean.
  • Ordinarily, a single course may be used to satisfy no more than one requirement. Introductory level courses may be used to satisfy the College core.

Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for graduation, students must:

  1. Earn a minimum of 120 credits for a BA or BBA. Some BS degrees require more than 120 credits (check the major description for details);
  2. Satisfactorily complete all requirements of the degree program in which they are registered, including the capstone experience which may be set by departments and schools; and
  3. Maintain a minimum average of “C” (i.e., 2.0 cumulative index) computed according to the method indicated in this catalog both in their major and in their overall index. 

To participate in the Spring Commencement ceremony the following requirements must be met:

Baccalaureate Degree Students:

Must have no more than 6 outstanding credits or 2 classes at the end of the spring semester. These final credits must be completed over the summer either at Iona or, with permission from The Center for Advising, in consultation with the Major department, at another college. Proof of enrollment for the outstanding credits MUST be presented and verified.