Mount Union has been cited by BestColleges.com for having one of the top integrative studies programs, securing the 11th spot in the nation in the current rankings, which highlights the institution's Integrative Core. According to BestColleges.com, interest in integrative studies has risen as academics, organizations and students recognize the value of engaging in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary learning. These types of degrees equip students with a wide range of knowledge as well as the critical and analytical skills needed to be successful in the workforce.
The Integrative Core at the University of Mount Union is a collection of foundational courses that ensure a well-rounded educational experience. Extending throughout all four years of your college career, this unique curriculum will allow you to explore a variety of topics and ideas through four levels that build on skills learned previously. The Integrative Core enhances the learning developed through your major and minor and provides for the development of complex thinking and effective communication skills – all of which you will need to be successful in life after college.
The Integrative Core comprises eight courses totaling 32 credit hours of coursework. These courses include:
- One First Year Seminar taken in the first semester
- Four Foundations courses (one from each of the four Foundations areas – humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and arts) that should be completed by the end of the sophomore year
- Two Themes courses taken during the junior year
- One Capstone course taken during the senior year
First Year Seminar
Each First Year Seminar (FYS) focuses on a specific topic in a wide range of areas. The small class size allows you to interact closely with a professor who will help you to cultivate a vision for your education. The FYS also will expose you to basic writing, communication and critical thinking skills, among others.
These courses focus on four major areas of human knowledge - humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and arts, building on the skills you learned in the FYS. They address issues such as:
- What questions do these perspectives ask about the world?
- How do these perspectives go about answering the questions?
- Why are these perspectives important?
These are a pair of connected courses designed around a common theme that build upon what you learned in the Foundations to help you integrate ideas, methods and perspectives from different fields.
In the Capstone Seminar, you will work with other students to address a real-world issue. This problem-solving experience will prepare you to draw upon your entire education for life beyond college, wherever that might lead you.
Written and Oral Communications Portfolio
The Written and Oral Communications (WOC) Portfolio, submitted during the second year at Mount Union, will allow you to reflect on your communication abilities to date and then receive feedback on your development midway through your time at Mount Union. The portfolio will also provide guidance toward further development and/or additional support for the enhancement of your communication skills.
Faculty members teaching courses in the Integrative Core will focus their written and oral communication assignments and supportive class activities in ways that directly reflect the WOC learning outcomes for each level of the Integrative Core.