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Areas of Study

Core Curriculum

The term “core” connotes the heart of the curriculum, which is centered on the human person. Its purpose is to give concrete expression to educating students for leadership, life, and to be men and women for others.

The Wheeling University core curriculum provides all students, regardless of their major, with the skills that will allow them to pursue their own integral development and to contribute to the common good. In the spirit of free inquiry, it teaches students to communicate effectively, through both writing and speech, a coherent vision of reality consistent with a framework of ethical principles. In so doing, it provides students with the critical faculties to evaluate, discover, reason, and discern that which is true, good and beautiful.

The Core Curriculum’s Primary Educational Goals:

  1. The student can communicate effectively through the development and expression of ideas in writing using a variety of genres and styles.
  2. The student can communicate effectively through the development and delivery of formal oral presentations to both general and discipline-specific audiences.
  3. The student is a critical thinker who utilizes valid information and criteria, is reasonable, sensitive to context, mindful of alternatives, and can make prudent and logical decisions.
  4. The student is an ethical decision-maker who can recognize moral issues and incorporate ethical principles in a course of action that supports the common good.

Core Requirements 33-35 cr

Experiential and Service Learning | 0 cr

University graduation requirement fulfilled by taking at least one (1):
  1. EXSL Cross-listed academic courses
  2. EXSL Co-curricular course

First-Year Seminar | 3 cr

WFYS 101

First Year Experience, Service, Reflection Seminar I

3 cr

This seminar is designed to assist the student with the transition to a university living and learning environment, providing opportunities and direction on how to develop an education for life, leadership, and service with and among others.

Course Offered: Every Fall

Effective Communication | 9 cr

  1. First-Year Composition: ENGL 110
  2. One Writing-Intensive Course (writing intensive is indicated by a “W” after the course #.)

COMM 115

Principles of Professional Speaking

3 cr

This course provides an overview of effective speaking techniques in a variety of settings and emphasizes communicating messages to different audiences. Students demonstrate public speaking concepts and principles to compose informative and persuasive speeches. While primarily performance based, students also critique memorable speeches through their observation and application of course content. Core: EC

Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

Foundations & Integration | 9 cr

SOCIAL SCIENCES | 3 cr. (choose one)

CRJU 120

Survey of Criminology

3 cr

Looks at theoretical approaches to criminal behavior and the controversies arising from them. Modern criminal justice policies and the ideologies that lie behind them are applied to the problems of crime control and the sentencing of criminal offenders.

Course Offered: Every Fall

CRJU 121

Introduction to the Criminal Justice System

3 cr

Surveys patterns of crime and the processes of the American justice system. Crime, law enforcement, judicial process and corrections are examined from political, sociological and psychological perspectives.

Course Offered: Every Spring

ECON 211


3 cr

A presentation of basic macroeconomic relationships. Topics emphasized are: the determination of income and employment, monetary and fiscal policies, inflation, interest rates and economic growth.

Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

POSC 120

American Political Process

3 cr

Operations of the American government and their consequences for the population. Policies on management of the economy, defense and foreign policy, poverty, race relations. Roles of the Presidency, bureaucracy, Congress, courts. Nature of elite and mass political ideas and opinions.

PSYC 110

General Psychology

3 cr

A survey of contemporary psychology, including the topics of conditioning and learning, sensation and perception, psychophysiology, motivation and emotion, memory and cognition, development, social behavior, psychological testing, personality, psychopathology and psychotherapy. Participation in research projects or an alternative exercise is required.

Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

HUMANITIES  |  3 cr (choose one)

PHIL 115

Philosophy of the Human Person

3 cr

A philosophical study of the human person as a being who, while embodied in nature, is capable of rationally knowing, freely choosing, and creatively acting as a unique individual open to communion with others and with transcendent.

THEO 115

The Religious Quest

3 cr

An introduction to how people address such “religious” issues as faith, doubt, deity, good, evil, community, salvation and worship. Particular attention is given to ways of interpreting the Bible, and how this sacred literature addresses the lives of its many readers.

Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

THEO 117


3 cr

An introduction to foundational questions regarding the meaning and practice of Catholicism.

Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

ETHICS | 3 cr  (choose one)

PHIL 305


3 cr

How ought human beings live in society? A study of the nature, types and criteria of values, with an in-depth study of ethical principles and their applications to certain contemporary moral problems, e.g., abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, war and peace.

THEO 305

Theological Ethics

3 cr

A study of the foundations of moral theology, including methodological and anthropological questions as well as attention to decision-making in the context of specific social and political issues that students are likely to encounter in the contemporary world. A writing-intensive capstone course introducing foundations of theological ethics as well as attention to virtue and decision-making in the context of contemporary personal, social, and political issues.

Prerequisites: sophomore standing.     Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

Empirical Analysis | 6-8 cr

MATHEMATICAL REASONING | 3-4 cr (choose one)

MATH 109

College Algebra and Problem Solving

3 cr

This course is designed to strengthen the student’s pedagogy in mid-elementary, middle school, and practical mathematics. The course goal is to equip students to answer the question “how can I prepare myself and my students (and/or children) to be competent mathematics students?” Students will develop skills and gain the content knowledge necessary to be an effective, competent, and student-centered mathematics teacher.

Course Offered: Every Fall

MATH 115

Introduction to Statistics

3 cr

Descriptive statistics including measures of central tendency and variability, graphic representation, probability, the binomial, normal and T distributions, hypothesis testing and linear regression.

Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

MATH 151


3 cr

A thorough preparation for calculus with analytic geometry, including conic sections, and the transcendental functions: logarithmic, exponential and trigonometric functions.

Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

MATH 191

Calculus I

4 cr

A theoretical introduction to differential calculus including limits, continuity, the basic rules for derivatives and applications including optimization problems. A brief introduction to integration leading to the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus completes this course.

Prerequisite: MATH 151 or equivalent.    Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

PSYC 115

Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

3 cr

Students will learn to analyze and interpret data using descriptive and inferential statistics. Measures of central tendency, variability and hypothesis testing using parametric and non-parametric tests will be discussed. Correlation, ttests, regression, z-scores, chi square and analysis of variance will be presented. The course will make significant use of the SPSS computer analysis program.

Prerequisite: PSYC 110 with grade of C+ or better.     Course Offered: Every Spring

NATURAL SCIENCES | 3-4 cr (choose one) 

Any 3-4 credit course in BIOL, CHEM, ENVS, GSCI, or PHYS

Global Perspectives | 6 cr

Two courses from the following:

ENGL 150

Culture and Conflict in Literature

3 cr

Students will examine selected topics related to global perspectives within literary studies. Assigned literary texts must include a variety of perspectives of characters and authors from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Course topics will vary by section. Core: GP.

Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

ENGL 170

World Myth and Folktale

3 cr

Students will survey myths and/or folktales rooted in the oral tradition from a variety of world cultures representing broad regions in such places as Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe. The course will frame our contemporary understanding of world myth and folktale through an examination of literary works and/or films that have adapted earlier myth and folktale in order to appeal to a modern audience. Course topics will vary by section. Core: GP.

Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

GEOG 121

World Geography

3 cr

A thematic survey aimed at understanding the contemporary world through an analysis of physical/environmental and cultural regions. Special attention is given to problems of social and technological change, political geographic disputes, and population growth.

HIST 115

The Twentieth Century

3 cr

This course begins with an examination of Europe’s position of political, economic and military dominance in the world in the decades before World War I. After a thorough treatment of the causes and effects of the Great War and the rise of Japan to great power status, our emphasis shifts to the international economic and political problems of the interwar era. We analyze the rise of authoritarian regimes of the right and left in Europe, the civil war in China and the imperialist powers’ weakening grip on their colonies in Africa and Asia. World War II and the Holocaust figure prominently in the second half of the course, as do the decolonization process, the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and post-Cold War issues such as ethnic conflict and responses to globalization.

Course Offered: Every Fall

HIST 214

History of Appalachia

3 cr

An introduction to the history of the institutions and people of the Appalachian mountain region from the earliest years of exploration to the present.

Course Offered: Every Fall

SOCI 121

World Community

3 cr

An introduction to the global environment. Topics include world geography, comparative cultures, international conflict and economic interdependence.

Course Offered: Every Fall, Every Spring

SPAN 101

Introduction to Spanish I

3 cr

This is the first in a series of introductory level Spanish language classes. The focus will be on the development of listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture. It is intended primarily for students who have not studied the language or have had only one year of foreign language instruction.

SPAN 102

Introduction to Spanish II

3 cr

This is the second in a series of introductory level Spanish language classes. The focus will be on the development of listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture. It is intended primarily for students who have completed or tested out of SPAN 101 Introduction to Spanish I.

THEO 252

World Religions

3 cr

A study of the origins, history and beliefs of the major Western and Eastern religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, with an emphasis on interreligious understanding.