Core Degree Requirements

Carroll Classroom

Mission and Goals

The Core Curriculum is the foundation of the Catholic, liberal arts education students receive at Carroll College. The Core engages students in a broad spectrum of quantitative, scientific, aesthetic, and humanities disciplines. By drawing connections between these disciplines, it prepares students to analyze topics from multiple perspectives and make sound, critical, creative judgments. The Core progressively equips students with the skills, knowledge, experiences, and habits of mind needed to lead intellectually and spiritually fulfilling lives. The Core thus complements the major fields of study in ensuring that Carroll provides “for the expansion of the intellectual, imaginative, and social awareness of its students” that they may achieve the “dual goal of vocation and enlightenment.” (Carroll College Mission Statement).

Drawing on its identity as a Catholic, liberal arts College and mindful of the needs of students in the 21st Century, Carroll College through its Core Curriculum seeks to educate students proficient in:

  • Critical and Integrative Thinking 
  • Quantitative and Scientific Analysis 
  • Oral and Written Communication 
  • Theological Literacy 
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Intercultural and Global Understanding

To earn the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science* degree from Carroll College, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Completion of the Carroll College Core Curriculum (the Core) for the bachelor’s degree*;
  2. Completion of all program requirements in the major and minor (if one is taken);
  3. Completion of 122 semester credits*, only 2 of which may be physical education activity courses (LAS 102); and
  4. Achievement of a minimum cumulative 2.0 grade point average in
    1. All courses taken,
    2. The requirements in the major, taken as a unit,
    3. The requirements in the minor, taken as a unit, and
    4. The Core, taken as a unit.
  • The only Bachelor of Science degrees offered at Carroll College are in Nursing and Civil Engineering.
  • Postbaccalaureate students who have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to enrolling at Carroll College have special Core Curriculum requirements. Because they have already earned a baccalaureate degree, postbaccalaureate students are not required to have 122 completed credits posted to their record in order to earn a bachelor’s degree from Carroll College. At a minimum, 60 elective credits will be considered waived for all postbaccalaureate students, meaning that these students will enter Carroll with junior level class standing or higher.
  • Transfer students who have earned an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to enrolling at Carroll College have special Core Curriculum requirements; this special policy does not apply to students with an AA or AS degree who matriculate to Carroll as first-year students (who earned their degree via dual-enrollment) or re-admit students.

Residence Requirements

Of the final 45 credit hours earned toward the degree a minimum of 30 credit hours must be earned at Carroll College with at least one-half of the credits required in the major and minor taken at Carroll. For postbaccalaureate students, of the credit hours earned toward the second degree a minimum of 30 credit hours must be earned at Carroll College with at least one-half of the credits required in the major and minor to be taken at Carroll.

Expected Time to Completion

All Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs at Carroll College are designed to be completed in four years (eight full-time semesters) or equivalent, depending on incoming transfer credits. Sample four-year plans are available through the Academic Advising office, and students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor(s) regularly about course planning, progress, and degree completion.

All students must elect a standard major or develop a self-designed major. Ordinarily, students decide on a major by the end of the sophomore year.

At least half of the credits required in the major field for the bachelor’s degree must be taken at Carroll College. Exceptions require the approval of the major department chairperson and the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Students are not automatically accepted into all major programs of the College. A number of departments require that certain standards be met and that a formal application be filed. See specific requirements as listed in the academic programs of this catalog. To qualify for acceptance into the major department, the student must meet college standards as outlined in this catalog.

A specific minor is not required for graduation except in those cases where a student wishes to graduate under certain teacher education options. Any student may obtain a minor by fulfilling the departmental requirements for the minor as set forth in this catalog. At least one-half of the credits required for a minor must be taken at Carroll College.

Mission and Goals

The purpose of the Self-Designed Major (SDM) is to permit students in good academic standing to fulfill their personal academic objectives and complete their degree at Carroll College through an integrated program of study that is not possible through an existing major. The program should draw on the curricula of two or more disciplines and create a coherent academic focus. The student who wishes to pursue an SDM will choose a principal advisor and two additional faculty who will work with the student to plan coursework that will provide breadth and depth in the chosen disciplines.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Self-Designed Major will define outcomes in consultation with their faculty advisory committee.

Carroll College’s Honors Scholars Program is a cohort and seminar-style Great Books academic program that presents a wonderful opportunity for intellectually curious students across a wide array of academic majors and interests to engage in an interdisciplinary exploration of the great ideas and images of the Western tradition. Beginning in the fall semester of their first year, Honors Scholars take five seminars, one each semester, in which they study works from authors such as Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Erasmus, Martin Luther,  Mary Wollstonecraft, John Locke, Frederick Nietzsche, and Hannah Arendt. By critically engaging the most illuminating, provocative, and imaginative texts of the last three millennia, our students explore the claims and limits of knowledge, what duties humans have to their communities, and what truly constitutes a human education.

Each seminar fulfills one of Carroll's Core curriculum requirements. Learn more and apply