2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Civitae Core Curriculum

The Civitae Core Curriculum experience, combined with students’ disciplinary study in the major, fulfills Longwood’s institutional mission to develop citizen leaders. A citizen leader is someone who is academically and personally transformed by knowledge of fundamental modes of inquiry and informed civic engagement and who then applies the virtues of a Longwood education to serve and transform communities.

The Civitae Core affords an extensive, intellectual vision for every Longwood graduate. Foundations courses that span the liberal arts and sciences - with a focus on effective communication, fundamental knowledge, and informed citizenship - form the pillars of the curriculum, providing each student with the broad horizons and scholarly curiosity characteristic of all educated citizens. Perspectives courses, which build on the Foundations, are a series of visionary, integrative experiences that offer up-to-date, practical lenses facilitating more nimble, reflective thinking. The Civitae Core culminates in a Symposium on the Common Good that asks students to reflect upon and activate the skills and perspectives developed throughout their undergraduate career. Through the Civitae Core, every Longwood student develops the imagination, forethought, discipline, confidence, and empathy required to make positive contributions to society.  A total of 39-40 credit hours is required for the Civitae Core. Students may take more than the required 39-40 credits as part of the Civitae Core, either because of major requirements or student choice.  In such cases, the additional credits will be included in the credit totals for the major requirement or general electives, respectively.


At the Foundations level, students take 24-25 credits comprised of the following:



Definition: At the Foundations level, students engage in creative inquiry, cultivate curiosity, and develop foundational knowledge and skills.

First-year and Pillar courses, which comprise the Foundations, introduce students to the nature of college-level academic work and disciplinary modes of thinking. Students take two required First-Year courses, Inquiry to Citizenship and Writing and Rhetoric, which inspire their curiosity and equip them with skills necessary for college success. Students exercise intellectual agency by choosing from a variety of Pillar courses to explore historical and contemporary insights, cultural norms and societal institutions, world languages and culture, the arts and quantitative and scientific reasoning. All Pillar courses provide students with opportunities to practice at least one mode of communication: writing, speaking, or artistic expression. Students gain knowledge and skills in Pillar courses that provide a foundation for informed citizenship and for coursework at the Perspectives level and in their major. 

Student Learning Outcomes: As they complete the Foundations, students will:

  1. Investigate foundations of citizenship, which include ethical reasoning, critical thought, and civil discourse.
  2. Describe and analyze continuity and change in one or more cultures.
  3. Evaluate cultural norms, societal institutions, and implicit and explicit assumptions about themselves.
  4. Develop skills for global citizenship through study of world languages and cultures.
  5. Explore and/or engage in creative and artistic expression.
  6. Analyze which quantitative reasoning methods best address different types of questions and apply them to various problems in context.
  7. Use scientific reasoning to address a variety of questions in context.
  8. Analyze and use writing conventions appropriate to different audiences. Students will identify strengths and weaknesses in their own writing in order to improve.
  9. Analyze and use speaking conventions appropriate to different audiences. Students will identify strengths and weaknesses in their own speaking in order to improve.

At the Perspectives level students take 12 credits, by choosing one course from each of the following categories:  


Definition: At the Perspectives Level, students develop and articulate informed perspectives essential to participation in civic and global life by integrating knowledge and skills across disciplines.

Perspectives courses are disciplinary-based integrative learning experiences, intentionally designed to make explicit connections between courses, fields, and disciplines or between interdisciplinary knowledge and its application outside the classroom. These courses challenge students to master upper-level academic content, to develop the ability to understand issues from a variety of perspectives, and to practice the skills necessary to address those issues as an informed citizen. Perspectives courses are taught by a single instructor in a discipline or by multiple instructors from different disciplines. Research methods and modes of communication are further refined.

Student Learning Outcomes: As they complete the Perspectives Level, students will:

  1. Locate, evaluate, and organize information from multiple disciplines to develop, refine, and address questions.
  2. Use valid data and evidence form multiple disciplines to construct well-framed and well-supported arguments.
  3. Articulate how different cultural perspectives influence an understanding of civic and global issues.
  4. Collaborate with their peers to create a shared product.
  5. Reflect on the development of an informed perspective on a civic or global issue.


Definition: In the Symposium, students prepare to serve the common good by applying their cumulative knowledge, skills, and perspectives from the whole of their university experience.

The Symposium on the Common Good is the culmination of the Core Curriculum experience. The course is designed to engage students in critical deliberation of citizenship and the issues citizens face in their communities. The Symposium will support students’ investigation, discussion, and advocacy of a position on a civic issue.

The Symposium is organized around a broad theme, rotated on a regular basis, ideally three to six years. The Symposium creates a common shared experience across sections of the course. Faculty design their Symposium section to support students’ exploration of issues and challenges relating to the broad theme. The Symposium experience results in a public, campus-wide Symposium Day to move students from discussion to action and to highlight the Symposium course as a common experience for Longwood citizen leaders.

Student Learning Outcomes: As they complete the Symposium, students will

  1. Explain the implications for themselves and others of decisions made in local, regional, or global contexts.
  2. Explain the ethical consequences of their own decisions, so as to be responsible citizens.
  3. Advocate for, and respond to criticisms of, a position while practicing civil discourse. 
  4. Collaborate across disciplines to analyze the complexities of a community issue. 
  5. Create and deliver oral and written messages appropriate to audience, purpose, and context.
Civitae Core Program Requirements

To complete the Civitae Core Curriculum, all students must complete one Pillar or Perspectives course from the humanities or the arts; one from the behavioral or social sciences; and one from mathematics or natural sciences. The following table lists prefixes in each of the three categories.  Additional restrictions for Civitae courses in this catalog are in the third column; please check the appropriate catalog before assuming there is no restriction on a course not listed in this catalog.

SACSCOC Category Possible Course Prefixes Other Restrictions

Humanities/Fine Arts


COMM 101, ENGL 165/265, and any modern language course below the 300-level does not fulfill this requirement, per the SACSCOC standard.

Social/Behavioral Science



Mathematics/Natural Sciences



Each major or minor program may offer courses in no more than two of the following categories: Historical & Contemporary Insights, Human Behavior & Social Institutions, Global Citizenship, Aesthetic Expression, Quantitative Reasoning, and Scientific Reasoning. Interdisciplinary majors and minors are exempt from this policy.  

Courses may be offered by a single department or may be cross-listed in different categories when the course is co-taught. If a course is cross-listed in different categories, students may count it toward the completion of only one requirement.

Civitae Core Communication Infusion

Improving communication skills takes practice in a variety of settings. As such, communication will be infused in all Civitae Core courses.

In Writing-Infused courses, students will regularly engage in written exercises and assignments while working to achieve course objectives and Civitae Core outcomes. Faculty will provide feedback and allow opportunities for students to improve their writing skills throughout the course.

In Speaking-Infused courses, students will regularly engage in speaking opportunities, exercises, and/or assignments while working to achieve course objectives and Civitae Core outcomes. Faculty will provide feedback and allow opportunities for students to improve their speaking skills throughout the course.

In the Arts-Applied courses, students will regularly engage in creative and artistic expression. Faculty provide feedback and allow opportunities for students to improve their artistic expression skills throughout the course.