Sophia Program

A New Way of Integrating Your Entire Education

Sophia

All students complete the Sophia Program in Liberal Learning over their four years of study at Saint Mary’s College. Sophia is a vision of a liberal arts education that is uniquely Saint Mary’s. The program calls upon each student to understand the purpose of a liberal arts education and how it prepares her to make a difference in the world.

The Sophia Program has the following three foundational learning outcomes:

  • Knowledge Acquisition and Integration of Learning
  • Cognitive and Communicative Skills
  •  Engagement through Intercultural Competence, Social Responsibility, and Global Learning

These learning outcomes cultivate both the mind and the heart, ensuring that a Saint Mary’s education includes the hallmark of a Holy Cross education. Thus, the Sophia Program provides knowledge and skills for the twenty-first century, underscoring the importance of women’s voices as well as the social responsibility and intercultural competence befitting global citizens and shaped by the distinctive tradition of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

What makes the Sophia Program distinctive?

The Program seeks to make learning intentional and integrated. It does this by transferring focus away from particular courses in a variety of disciplines that you must study to instead focus on the learning outcomes, or knowledge, skills, and abilities you should expect to gain from your general education experiences.

Knowledge Acquisition and Integration of Learning (LO1)

Culture and Systems

Traditions and Worldviews

Science for the Citizen

Arts for Living

Cognitive and Communicative Skills (LO2)

Engagement through Intercultural Competence, Social Responsibility, and Global Learning (LO3)

  • Intercultural Competence (IC)
  • Social Responsibility (SR)
  • Global Learning (GL)
  • Academic Experiential Learning (AEL)

LO1 courses may be used to satisfy LO2 and LO3 requirements.


Introductory-level Course Offerings

The following introductory-level courses fulfill Sophia Program requirements:

Knowledge Acquisition and Integration of Learning (LO1)

Cultures and Systems

Literature

(one course)

Courses that meet the Literature learning outcomes:

ENLT 151 Introduction to Literature (WV)3
ENLT 151 Introduction to Literature: Latina Literature (WV, IC)3
ENLT 151W Introduction to Literature: Death and Dying (WP, WV)4
ENLT 151W Introduction to Literature: Dialogue (WP, WV)4
ENLT 151W Introduction to Literature: Metamorphosis of the Self (WP, WV)4
ENLT 151W Introduction to Literature: Page Turning to Binge Watching (WP, WV)4
ENLT 216 Literature of Social Justice (WV, SR)3
HUST 103 Lives and Times (CTS, WV, SR)3
HUST 292 Reclaiming the Classics for a Diverse and Global World (WV, GL, SR)3

History 

(one course)

Courses that meet the History learning outcomes:

HIST 103 World Civilization I (GL)3
HIST 104 World Civilization II (WV, IC, GL, SR) (CTS for CRN 71636 only)3
HIST 201 United States History to 1865 (WV)3
HIST 201W United States History to 1865 (WP, WV)4

Modern Languages 

(two courses at a level appropriate to the student’s previous experience with that language)

Courses that meet the Modern Languages learning outcomes:

MLAR 101 Introductory Arabic I4
MLCH 101 Introductory Mandarin Chinese I4
MLFR 101 Introductory French I4
MLFR 111 Intermediate French I4
MLIT 101 Introductory Italian I (WV, GL)4
MLIT 111 Intermediate Italian4
MLSP 101 Introductory Spanish I4
MLSP 111 Intermediate Spanish I4
MLSP 115 Intermediate Spanish for Heritage Speakers I4

Traditions and Worldviews

Philosophical Worldviews

(one course)

Courses that meet the Philosophical Worldviews learning outcomes:

PHIL 110 Introductory Philosophy (CTS for CRN 71357 only)3
PHIL 110 Introductory Philosophy: Exploring the Good Life (CTS, WV, SR for CRN 71358 only)3
PHIL 110W Introductory Philosophy (WP, WV) half of the tandem with ART 290W3.5
PHIL 235 Philosophy of Human Existence3
PHIL 253 Philosophy of Politics3

Religious Traditions I

(one course)

Courses that meet the Religious Traditions I learning outcomes:

RLST 101 Introducing Religious Studies: Conversion3
RLST 101 Introducing Religious Studies: Ideas and Experiences (CTS, WV)3
RLST 101 Introducing Religious Studies: Encounters with the Divine in Ancient Mediterranean Religions3
RLST 101 Introducing Religious Studies: Religions in Feminist Perspective3
RLST 101W Introducing Religious Studies: Conversion (WP)4

Religious Traditions II

(one course, not normally taken in first year)

Historical Perspectives

(one course)

Courses that meet the Historical Perspectives learning outcomes:

ART 241 Art History Survey I (WV, GL)3
ENVS 161 Introduction to Environmental Studies (GL, SR)3
ENVS 161W Introduction to Environmental Studies (GL, SR)4
GWS 207 Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies (WV, GL, SR)3
HUST 197W Myth, Legend, and History (CTS, WP, WV, GL, SR)4
HUST 212 High Society (GL, SR)3
ICS 201W Introduction to Intercultural Studies (WP, IC)4
MUS 243 Latin American and Latino Popular Music (GL, IC)3
MUS 244 History of Rock ‘n’ Roll (WV, SR, IC)3
POSC 150 Politics and Film3

Science for the Citizen

Natural Science

(two courses, at least one of which must be a laboratory course)

Courses that meet the Natural Science learning outcomes:

BIO 110 Understanding Women’s Cancers (WV, SR)4
BIO 141 Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIO 155 Foundations of Molecular Biology2
BIO 156 Foundations of Ecology and Evolution2
CHEM 121 Principles of Chemistry I (CTS)4
PHYS 121 General Physics I: Mechanics and Waves4

Social Science I  

(one course)

Courses that meet the Social Science I learning outcomes:

ANTH 253 Survey I: Culture and Language (SR, GL, IC)3
POSC 201 American Politics3
PSYC 156 Introduction to Psychology: Culture and Systems3
SOC 255 Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in the United States (SR, IC) (CTS for CRN 71488 only)3
SOC 257 Sociology of Families (WV, SR, IC)3

Social Science II

(one course)

Courses that meet the Social Science II learning outcomes:

ECON 251 Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECON 252 Principles of Microeconomics (CTS for CRN 71528 only)3
PSYC 157 Introduction to Psychology: Science for the Citizen (CTS for CRN 71945 only)3
SOC 153 Sociological Imaginations (SR, IC)3
SOC 203 Social Problems (CTS, GL, SR for CRN 71723 only)3

Arts for Living

Creative and Performing Arts

(Single courses satisfying this requirement must be 3 credits. Multiple courses that fulfill the appropriate learning outcomes may be used to satisfy this requirement as long as they add up to at least 3 credits and come from the same discipline.)

Courses that meet the Creative and Performing Arts learning outcomes:

ART 101 Drawing I 3
ART 103 Design Lab (CTS)3
ART 125 Silkscreen (WV)3
ART 205 Painting: Oil3
ART 211 Ceramics: Introduction to Clay3
ART 221 Photography I (WV)3
ART 224 Video Art (WV)3
ART 236 Sustainable Textiles (SR)3
ART 290W Earth Art (WP) half of the tandem with PHIL 110W3.5
COMM 103 Introduction to Communication3
COMM 103W Introduction to Communication: Exploring the Good Life (WP, WV)4
DANC 145 Ballet Technique: Beginning2
DANC 148 Jazz Technique: Beginning2
DANC 240 Introduction to Dance3
DANC 244 Modern Dance Technique: Intermediate2
DANC 245 Ballet Technique: Intermediate2
DANC 248 Jazz Technique: Intermediate2
DANC 344 Modern Dance Technique: Advanced2
DANC 345 Ballet Technique: Advanced2
DANC 348 Jazz Technique: Advanced2
MUS 111–131 Applied Music: Private Lessons — Instrumental or Voice1 or 2
MUS 150: Voices in Time (CTS, WV)3
MUS 181 Theory I: Fundamentals of Music3
MUS 201 Collegiate Choir1
MUS 203 Women's Choir1
MUS 207 Concert Band1
THTR 135W Introduction to Theatre (WP)4
THTR 205 Introduction to Acting (WV)3

 Professional Arts 

(one course)

Courses that meet the Professional Arts learning outcomes:

SLP 220 Introduction to Communicative Disorders (WV, SR, AEL)3
SW 202 Introduction to Social Work (WV, SR) (CTS for CRN 71786 only)3
SW 235 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (SR)3

Mathematical Arts

(one course)

Courses that meet the Mathematical Arts learning outcomes:

MATH 102 Liberal Arts Mathematics3
MATH 104 Finite Mathematics3
MATH 113 Survey of Calculus4
MATH 131 Calculus I4
MATH 133 Theory and Application of Calculus4

LO2: Cognitive and Communicative Skills

Critical Thinking Seminar

(one course) Most students fulfill this requirement during the fall semester of their first year. If a CTS does not fit into a student's fall semester, there are additional CTS courses offered in the spring semester.

Critical Thinking Seminars are spread throughout the curriculum so that students can select from a wide range of different disciplines and knowledge.

Courses that meet the Critical Thinking Seminar requirement:

(The courses listed below also fulfill an LO1 requirement.)

ART 103 Design Lab (CP)3
CHEM 121 Principles of Chemistry I (NSL)4
ECON 252 Principles of Microeconomics (CRN 71528 only) (SSII)3
HIST 104 World Civilization II (CRN 71636 only) (HH, WV, IC, GL, SR)3
HUST 103 Lives and Times (HL, WV, SR)3
HUST 197W Myth, Legend, and History (HP, WP, WV, GL, SR)4
MUS 150: Voices in Time (CP, WV)3
PHIL 110 Introductory Philosophy (CRN 71357 only) (PW)3
PHIL 110 Introductory Philosophy: Exploring the Good Life CRN 71358 only) (PW, WV, SR) 3
PSYC 157 Introduction to Psychology: Science for the Citizen (CRN 71945 only) (SSII)3
RLST 101 Introducing Religious Studies: Ideas and Experiences (RTI, WV)3
SOC 203 Social Problems (CRN 71723 only) (SSII, GL, SR)3
SOC 255 Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in the United States (CRN 71488 only) (SSI, SR, IC)3
SW 202 Introduction to Social Work (CRN 71786 only) (PA, WV, SR)3

Writing Proficiency

(one course) Students generally fulfill this requirement during the fall or spring of their first year.

Many students find it helpful to take a W course in field that engages them; they discover they enjoy writing, and make more progress, when the course topic is one they especially want to explore. All W courses fulfill a Sophia Program requirement and provide the opportunity to earn the Basic W.

Courses that meet the Writing Proficiency requirement:

(The courses listed below also fulfill an LO1 requirement.)

ART 290W Earth Art (CP) half of the tandem with PHIL 110W3.5
COMM 103W Introduction to Communication: Exploring the Good Life (CP, WV)4
ENLT 151W Introduction to Literature: Death and Dying (HL, WV)4
ENLT 151W Introduction to Literature: Dialogue (HL, WV)4
ENLT 151W Introduction to Literature: Metamorphosis of the Self (HL, WV)4
ENLT 151W Introduction to Literature: Page Turning to Binge Watching (HL, WV)4
ENVS 161W Introduction to Environmental Studies (HP, GL, SR)4
HIST 201W United States History to 1865 (HH, WV)4
HUST 197W Myth, Legend, and History (HP, CTS, WV, GL, SR)4
ICS 201W Introduction to Intercultural Studies (HP, IC)4
PHIL 110W Introductory Philosophy (PW, WV) half of the tandem with ART 290W3.5
RLST 101W Introducing Religious Studies: Conversion (RTI)4
THTR 135W Introduction to Theatre (CP)4