Blessed Saint John Henry Newman presents his vision for a Catholic university education in his famous book, The Idea of a University. Newman extols the value of all the disciplines, from literature to science to business, but argues that they must be deeply rooted in the liberal arts and ultimately brought together in a pursuit of Truth and Goodness. For Newman, a university education should produce an enlargement of mind that allows the graduate not merely to succeed in society, but to elevate it. The Newman Studies Program encompasses the ideas developed by Blessed Saint John Henry Newman.
Every undergraduate who earns a baccalaureate degree at Newman University is required to complete the Newman Studies Program (NSP). The NSP is divided into three tiers (Skills Courses, General Education Courses and Capstone courses). Each tier supports the goals for the Newman baccalaureate graduate. Both the general education tier and capstone tier are divided into four areas: (i) The Human Story, (ii) The Creative Spirit, (iii) The Universe We Live In, and (iv) Quest for Meaning. A description of these four areas is described in the General Education Courses section below.
The NSP creates a common experience for Newman students of all majors and backgrounds and is designed to teach students how to think about the world around them in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary ways. The skills tier consist of intensive, skills-based courses which emphasize writing, speaking, mathematics and information technology to allow students to effectively engage college level coursework. The program continues with the general education tier. These courses offer students a body of knowledge and cultivate dispositions. In addition, they also intentionally address ways disciplines explore the world, define questions and posit answers. Finally, the capstone tier consists of a series of capstone courses which examines problems or issues that cross disciplinary boundaries. Here students will draw the elements of their education together, considering these problems or issues from the perspective of two or more disciplines as well as again practicing the skills necessary to be a successful student and citizen.
Students who enter Newman with an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from a nationally accredited institution or a Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited 4-year institution are not required to take: (i) Skills Level Courses and (ii) general education level courses with the exception of theology and philosophy requirements. (Some majors may require a third course - please consult with an academic advisor). For clarity, in order to complete the Newman Studies Program, these students are required to take a maximum of 4 courses, which is 12 credit hours, meeting the following criteria:
- One Theology Course from the list of General Education Quest for Meaning Courses
- One Philosophy Course from the list of General Education Quest for Meaning Courses
- *One Capstone Course from the Quest for Meaning (Course Identification Number: NSP 4703 QM)
- *One Capstone Course that is philosophy focused, which can be taken from either the Human Story, Creative Spirit, or Universe We Live In. (An academic advisor will assist the student in determining which courses meet the requirement of a philosophy focused course).
* Course must be taken at Newman University
(4 courses, minimum 12 credit hours)
To fulfill the Skills Tier a student must complete the 4 required courses listed in the table below:
Reason Effectively: The ability to reason effectively, quantitatively and qualitatively, is a skill not simply applied in an academic arena, but one that will benefit the graduate throughout his or her life. It allows graduates to assess evidence, make decisions effectively, and, perhaps most importantly, to know when there is insufficient evidence to make a reasoned argument. Students will demonstrate proficiency in thinking, expression, argumentation and communication.
Communicate Effectively: Communication helps us to learn who we are and what we think. It is the language of the mind, a way toward helping us understand the human story, the creative spirit, the universe we live in, and the quest for meaning. Students will demonstrate effective written, verbal and nonverbal communication in various settings.
General Education Tier
(8 courses, minimum 24 credit hours)
To fulfill the General Education Tier a student must complete:
Only one course from a discipline may be used, so that eight (8) different disciplines must be completed to satisfy general education requirements. Disciplines are defined by the prefixes to the courses. A course that is cross-listed counts toward both prefixes for this purpose (in other words, if a student takes a course cross-listed as history and political science, neither a second course in history nor in political science could be used to meet general education requirements).
No more than 2 courses from General Education may count towards a major.
(4 courses, 12 credit hours, must be taken at Newman University)
These Capstone courses are interdisciplinary, often team-taught courses with relatively small enrollments (capped at 25) that examine a particular issue or problem. Prerequisites for these Capstone courses are sophomore standing and completion of the NSP Skills Courses.
To fulfill the Capstone Tier a student must complete:
- NSP 4703 - The Quest for Meaning will be taught/co-taught by a Theology faculty member.
- Out of the 4 Capstone courses, one Capstone Course must be philosophy focused, which can be taken from either the “Human Story”, “Creative Spirit”, or “Universe We Live In”.
- Philosophy focused courses are generally taught or co-taught by a philosophy instructor.
- Philosophy focused courses are labeled as either NSP 4153 , NSP 4353 , NSP 4553 or one of the following courses: EDUC 3113 - Foundation and Philosophy of Education or BSAD 3193 - Business Ethics .
- Students graduating with a BSN meet this requirement through completing the nursing curriculum due to the heavy emphasis on ethics throughout the Nursing Curriculum.
- Students graduating from the School of Education meet this requirement by taking EDUC 3113 - Foundation and Philosophy of Education .
- No more than 1 course from the 4 capstone courses may count toward a major
- Exception: Externally accredited programs (School of Education and School of Healthcare Professions) may count two capstone courses toward major requirements.
Capstone courses may be repeated with a change in topic/title.
The Newman Studies Program (NSP) affords students the opportunity to present an original, faculty supervised work to an audience of their peers. The presentation may occur during the official Scholars Day event (held each semester on the Newman University campus) or through another venue approved by the NSP committee. Students completing a bachelor’s degree under the Newman Studies Program must enroll and successfully pass this course. This zero-credit hour course is graded pass/fail and is a requirement for graduation. Failure to complete Scholars Day will result in a grade of “F.” No incompletes will be provided for this course.