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Learning in Common

In addition to their majors, all Moravian students (except those in the Add-Venture program) are required to complete a program in general education to acquire a well-rounded liberal arts education. The Learning in Common curriculum (LinC) is designed to provide Moravian students with a broad-based, academically challenging, and intellectually rigorous education in the liberal arts and sciences.

To fulfill the LinC general education requirements, students will choose courses from a variety of LinC categories. These categories are designed to provide students with a broad spectrum of learning in the liberal arts and sciences and to help them develop an appreciation of and capacity for scholarship and a lifelong love of learning. LinC courses will help students develop the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, numeracy, and information literacy, as well as the more complex abilities of critical thinking, problem- solving, and creativity, and an understanding of the creative experience. 

Through multidisciplinary courses, students will learn to compare and integrate differing perspectives on a given subject. Courses in foreign language and cultural values and global issues will bring to students an awareness of a wide variety of global cultures. Several categories in LinC have been designed to help students develop a basic comprehension of moral and ethical issues and the responsibilities of citizenship, as well as to develop personal habits that sustain physical and emotional well-being. Courses designed for first-year students will help specifically with this latter goal.

As part of LinC, students must complete at least one WI course per each chosen major as is described in their respective curricula (some majors have/require multiple WI-conferring courses). In WI courses, students will produce writing that reflects an awareness of context, purpose, audience, and genre conventions, particularly within the written genres of their major disciplines and/or career fields. Students with an interdepartmental or individually designed major must include and complete a writing-intensive course as part of the program. 

LinC is organized into Foundational (F), Multidisciplinary (M), and Upper-Division (U) categories. Students should complete their courses in the F categories in the first two years. Except for students in the Bachelor of Music degree programs, students choose to complete 6 of 8 M and U categories, of which at least one must be a U course. U courses must be taken at Moravian. Students must take their two U-category courses at Moravian. Students enrolled in programs that require only one U-category course must take at least one U and one M course at Moravian. Students in the Bachelor of Music degree programs should see the Learning in Common requirements described under the major in music.

Each student is responsible for completing the LinC requirements, and each one's program of LinC courses should be planned in consultation with the academic advisor. 

Summary of Requirements for Learning in Common

Academic Requirements

Foundational Categories

  • F1 First-Year Seminar or Writing 100 (transfer students only), 1 course
  • F2 Quantitative Reasoning, 1 course
  • F3 Language Study, 0-2 courses
  • F4 Science (laboratory requirement), 1 course

Multidisciplinary Categories (4 or 5 courses)

  • M1 Historical Studies, 1 course
  • M2 Literature, 1 course
  • M3 Ultimate Questions, 1 course
  • M4 Economic, Social, and Political Systems, 1 course
  • M5 Cultural Values and Global Issues, 1 course
  • M6 Aesthetic Expression, 1 course

Upper-Division Categories (1 or 2 courses)
(Open to juniors and seniors only, or with permission of the instructor.)

  • U1 The Social Impact of Science, 1 course
  • U2 Moral Life, 1 course

Other Requirements

  • Writing across the curriculum

A description of each course category follows. Those courses that have been approved at the time of publication are marked (F2, M3, etc.) to indicate the requirement they can fulfill.

Foundational Categories: Detailed Description

F1: First-Year Writing 

All Moravian first-year undergraduates take one or two First-Year Writing courses. First-Year Writing helps students transition to college life by outlining academic expectations and helping students to develop the skills of critical reading, research, argumentation, revision, and reflection. In these courses, students will generate research questions, find and evaluate sources, and make informed decisions about how best to achieve their purposes in various writing situations. Students work collaboratively with classmates, the professor, and the course writing fellow to improve writing, build community, and explore available campus resources to achieve academic and personal success during their time at Moravian. 

To meet the F1 requirement, a student may do one of the following: 

  • Complete LinC 101: First-Year Writing Seminar (F1), which is for first-year first-semester students only; or
  • Complete the two semester course sequence of Writing 101: College Reading and Writing, which is for first-year first-semester students only, and LinC 102: Writing Seminar (F1), which is open to all students; or
  • Complete the two semester course sequence of Writing 105: College Reading and Writing for Multilingual Learners I and Writing 106: College Reading and Writing for Multilingual Learners II (F1). 

Writing at Moravian will suggest an appropriate First-Year Writing placement in consultation with the student and advisor.

F2 Quantitative Reasoning

Each course in this category will develop the student's facility in quantitative reasoning through a wide variety of applications chosen from many fields and will involve converting conceptual information into problems that can be solved quantitatively; using appropriate techniques for analyzing and solving such problems; creating and reading pictorial and graphic representations of data and data analysis, including those showing relationships among or between multiple variables; using appropriate technology as a tool for quantitative analysis; and writing and interpreting results and solutions of problems.

F3  Language Study

All students should achieve proficiency in a language other than English, equivalent to the intermediate-low level as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. To meet this requirement a student may do one of the following:

  • Complete Language 100-105, Language 105-110, Language 105-111 (the lower level must be completed first); or Language 110, 111, 120, or 125 in any one language offered at Moravian College; or
  • Complete an analogous sequence of courses at another institution; or
  • Complete a semester of approved study focused on any subject in a country whose primary language is not English; or
  • Attain a score of 4 or better on the Advanced Placement Examination in any modern language before entering the College (for which the student will receive one unit of course credit); or
  • Attain a score of  14 or higher on the NYU language exams.  Credit awards are based on minimum scores.   NYU offer exams in over 60 languages.  Credit for NYU language tests will be given as follows:  1 unit (4 credits) for the 12 point exam and 2 units (8 credits) for a 14 point exam.

To be exempted from the requirement, a student may do one of the following:

  • Attain a score of 600 or higher on the Modern Language Achievement Test of the CEEB (no course credit given); or

For students not exempted from study of a language, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will suggest an appropriate level of placement based on performance in and number of high school language courses. After consultation with the department, students may decide to drop back a maximum of one level from the department’s recommended placement.

Students whose primary language is not English may be exempt from the Language requirement. These students must meet with the chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures  to arrange for the waiver of this requirement. Such a waiver does not carry course credit.

F4 Science (lab requirement)

Theoretical and experimental aspects of science have had a major impact on all areas of human intellectual and cultural development. LinC courses in natural science will emphasize the fabric and substance of the science, study the quantitative and qualitative aspects of that science, demonstrate change and creativity in science, and address some of the broad implications of science. Through laboratory participation, a student will have an opportunity to understand the scientific method.

Multidisciplinary Categories: Detailed Description

Courses in these six categories will involve multidisciplinary teaching and learning and include perspectives and approaches from different disciplines. 

M1 Historical Studies

Learning in Common courses in Historical Studies should deal with a significantly large period in the history of Europe and/or the Americas that is dominated by European or European-derived values. In addition, students should be able to evaluate various approaches to the study of history and learn to scrutinize a range of primary sources.

Although the M1 category focuses on Europe and the Americas, history as a discipline evaluates all human experience and change over time. It seeks to provide a contemporary understanding of the past by assessing a historical period on its own terms. Historical methods are interdisciplinary in nature. Students will learn how to integrate political, economic, social, and cultural perspectives in order to build up a holistic picture of the past.

M2 Literature 

Literature is humankind's written record of what it is to be alive. It gives voice to the imagination as it chronicles the human condition. Courses in this category should provide perspectives from which students can understand themselves, their own society, and societies and cultures other than their own. This will be gained through examination of an appropriately large time or place and a variety of authors. 

M3 Ultimate Questions

Ultimate Questions courses consider questions and answers fundamental to religious and philosophical traditions. They emphasize the relevance of these questions to contemporary experience and self-understanding and include the reading and analysis of original texts. Examples of ultimate questions that orient such courses are: What is really real? Who are we? How should we live? What is of value? What are our origins and destiny? How is knowledge possible? Such courses provide students with the ability to think and write about ultimate questions in ways that demonstrate an understanding of the questions' importance to individuals and to society and the ability to evaluate critically their own and others' answers.

M4 Economic, Social, and Political Systems

Each course in this category will deal with a variety of approaches to social systems. This may be accomplished by a course that incorporates significant material from more than one social science or a course that includes a unit devoted to a single topic taught from the perspective of several disciplines. As an outcome, students should understand some of the social systems in which they live, as well as the complexity of those systems. They should be aware of the social and behavioral forces that act on them and of their own effect on these forces. They should be aware of the various systems or methodologies that can be used to address and understand complex social issues and that will help them formulate their own role as citizens in society.

M5 Cultural Values and Global Issues

The student will come to an understanding of the interplay between global cultural traditions and trans-cultural issues or of the worldview of a contemporary culture or cultural region not dominated by European or European-derived cultural values. 
Courses may (1) concentrate on the history, traditions, and values of a contemporary cultural region (e.g., "African Civilizations," "Arabic-Islamic Civilization"); or (2) select one or two global issues and show how various cultural differences shape the global community's discussion of and response to these issues (e.g., "Introduction to Comparative Politics," "World Geography and Global Issues"); or (3) begin with the study of history and traditions of a contemporary culture or cultural region and then demonstrate how the culture's values shape its interpretation of and response to two or more global issues (e.g., "Africa through the Eyes of Women," "Native American Religions").

Each course should include significant study of the lives of the less powerful as well as the lives of political, economic, or social elites. Students should become more aware of their own cultural values and the common issues we face, and thus be more prepared to contribute positively to our global future. 

M6 Aesthetic Expression

Through courses in this category, students will gain an appreciation of the creative process in the fine arts and will experience the theoretical and practical components of a fine art—creative writing, visual arts, music, or theater. The course or activity will include an analysis of procedure and production in a historical context and may also engage the students in an active creative experience. As a result of taking a course in this category, students should develop an understanding of the diversity and complexity of one of the fine arts, the interdependence of form and content, and the richness and importance of artistic expression for individuals and society. They should have the ability to discuss and analyze works of art using vocabulary germane to the discipline and also should understand the relationship between a work of art and the society in which it was created.

The following music ensembles can fulfill the M6 requirement. Six terms of successful participation in any combination are required. Additional assignments apply.

  • Marching Band
  • Moravian University Big Band
  • Moravian University Choir
  • Moravian University Community Orchestra
  • Wind Ensemble

Upper-Division Categories: Detailed Description

U1 The Social Impact of Science

Courses in this category will examine the impact of selected areas of science and technology on contemporary society. These courses give students a chance to understand relevant scientific principles and technological innovations and their impact on contemporary society. Possible areas of focus may include nuclear power, science and religion, evolution and creationism, the choices and trade-offs of energy production, the problems of toxic waste disposal, the economic costs of modern health care, or the impact of the Internet on journalism. Through taking courses in this category, students acquire an informed perspective of the role of science and technology in their lives and in society.

U2 Moral Life

Courses in this category will have two focuses. One is an introduction to two or more frameworks for reflection upon a moral life. The other will be two or more significant contemporary issues that will be explored in light of these theoretical considerations. Possible issues or topics include racism in America, sexism, moral traditions of non-Western societies, war and peace. In these courses, students will learn that moral issues are typically more complex than they appear to be and that informed decision-making about them requires interdisciplinary understanding. Students will grapple with their own values and moral positions, and their capacity for moral discernment, criticism, and argument will be enhanced.