Catalog

Core Requirements

The Core provides a common intellectual foundation for all Southern Virginia students. It focuses on great artistic, literary, philosophical, political, scientific, and social achievements, comparing these when appropriate with insights of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Core courses emphasize careful writing, critical thinking and analytic reasoning. Students discuss, write and present on issues of the highest importance to humanity, thereby preparing themselves to be articulate and knowledgeable leader-servants. The Core requires at least intermediate knowledge of a second language to ensure deeper understanding of another people and of language in general, and it requires competence in mathematics in order to reason well about quantitative data and claims. Finally, it ensures attention to the well-being of others and oneself by encouraging meaningful service and wholesome physical activities.

Download the Core Checklist

University Writing

Freshman Writing. Students must take ENG 120 College Composition during their first year. This course is waived for those scoring 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement English test. Students scoring 20 or lower on the ACT verbal test or 500 or lower on the SAT verbal test must take ENG 110 Elements of Composition in their first semester.

Advanced Writing. Students are required to complete one major writing assignment, fulfilled in an upper-division class and meeting the following criteria: (a) it must be developed to at least 3,000 words, (b) it must engage an academic subject in a thesis-driven manner and be developed through substantial research, (c) it must be documented in the accepted style of the discipline, and (d) it must undergo at least one revision in response to comments from the instructor of the course. Most students will meet this requirement through the completion of a senior paper as part of their major program. Those students in a major that does not require a senior paper should fulfill this requirement in a suitable upper-division course, preferably in their major. All Advanced Writing assignments will be evaluated by the Advanced Writing Rubric and will pass only upon achieving at least the minimum standard of competence. The instructor will ensure that the paper and completed rubric are filed and recorded in the Registrar’s Office upon completion.

Civilization

Students must take five courses in the great achievements of civilization during their first two years, completing one or two civilization courses per semester.

Take these three courses:

Take one course from among these five:

Take one course from among these five:

The faculty may offer two civilization courses together as a team-taught colloquium. A colloquium gives students a cross-disciplinary perspective on civilization’s achievements and is an especially stimulating way of completing the civilization courses.

Mathematics

Students must take a general education math course during their first two years. Choose one of the following:

A placement test is available online to help you determine which math course to take. Students with a strong background in algebra are encouraged to take Calculus I. Students without a good background in high school algebra should take MAT 100 Intermediate Algebra before taking one of the above courses. Students scoring 28 or higher on the ACT’s math section or 680 or higher on the SAT’s math section may take PHI 223 Introduction to Logic to satisfy the math requirement.

Natural Sciences

Students must take two general education science courses during their first two years: one in biology, the other in chemistry or physics. One of these courses must have a lab component. BIO 114 Biological Concepts, CHE 114 Chemistry Today, PHY 114 Physical Science are lab courses especially suited for those not intending to major in biology or to pursue a career in medicine. If you intend to start medical, dental, or veterinary school in the year following graduation from Southern Virginia, you should take General Chemistry I and II in your first year and consult with the premed advisor.

Social Sciences

Students must take one course from among the following:

Fine Arts

Students must take one course from among the following:

Foreign Language

Students must demonstrate at least intermediate proficiency in a foreign language. Proficiency may be demonstrated through one of two ways:

  1. Completion of a third semester foreign language course (FRE 201, GER 201, GRK 201, LAT 201, or SPN 201) or
  2. Scoring at an adequate level on an approved assessment test.

Students with some background in a second language who wish to continue in that language at Southern Virginia must take a placement test to determine whether to enroll in the first, second, or third semester course (101, 102, or 201). Completion of the foreign language requirement can be up to three (3) courses across three (3) semesters. You should complete the foreign language requirement by the end of your junior year.

Leadership and Service

Students must take SER 103 Becoming a Leader-Servant (1 credit hour) in their first year at Southern Virginia. Although not a requirement for graduation, it is also expected that during their time at Southern Virginia, students will develop a leadership and service portfolio in which they document meaningful service led and provided to individuals and institutions in the external community, at church, and on campus, consistent with the mission of the university. In developing their service portfolios, students are strongly encouraged to give an average of at least 15 hours of service per semester.

Physical Activity

Students must take three general education physical activity courses (PER) and PER 143 Health and Wellness, normally completing one course per year over four years (5 credit hours). At least one of the three activity courses must be taken in a different activity/sport from the others (e.g., two tennis courses and one basketball course, or one course each in tennis, basketball and ballet, but not three tennis courses). Physical activity courses at the 100-level receive a pass/fail grade. Physical activity courses marked “R” may be taken twice for Core credit.

Information Literacy

Students must take LIB 203 Information Literacy (1 credit hour). This requirement applies to students who did not complete the Core’s former computer skills requirement before spring semester 2009 by either passing CSC 103 Technology Tools or demonstrating comparable skills. It is recommended that LIB 203 be completed before the end of the sophomore year.

Senior Seminar

Students must take LIB 490 Contemporary Issues (2 credit hours) in their senior year, preferably in the last semester before graduation.

Course Equivalencies to Prior Catalogs

Continuing students who, prior to fall 2007, have completed all of the cultural heritage requirements of a pre-2007-08 catalog need not take LIB 110, 120, 130, or 490.

Continuing students who, prior to fall 2007, have completed only part of the cultural heritage requirements of a pre-2007-08 catalog must complete the new Core requirements, with the following exceptions:

A student need not take LIB 110 if he or she has passed PHI 210 or 215.
A student need not take LIB 120 if he or she has passed HIS 220.
A student need not take LIB 130 if he or she has passed ENG 210 or 215.
A student need not take LIB 490 if he or she has completed one of the following pairs prior to fall 2007:

These exceptions apply only to Core requirements and do not necessarily apply to major or minor requirements. The Social Sciences and the Fine Arts electives are not required of students who start prior to fall 2007.

Service Course Waiver

Southern Virginia University will waive the prior general education requirement of two (2.0) credit hours of service classes for students graduating under catalogs prior to fall 2007. Although for-credit service classes are no longer a requirement for graduation, it is nonetheless expected that during their time at Southern Virginia, students will develop a leadership and service portfolio in which they document meaningful service led and provided to individuals and institutions in the external community, at church, and on campus, consistent with the mission of the university. In developing their service portfolios, students are strongly encouraged to give an average of at least 15 hours of service per semester.

Adequate Progress

Inasmuch as the Core provides the common intellectual foundation for upper division work at Southern Virginia University, we encourage students to engage fully in the Core early in their Southern Virginia experience. The following standards help to promote adequate progress through the Core.

By the end of the first year: Students must complete the freshman writing requirement (ENG 120 College Composition) and the leadership and service requirement (SER 103 Becoming a Leader-Servant). Students should also make significant progress through the Core requirements needed by the end of the second year (see below). It is recommended that first-year students take one or two civilization courses each semester, take one physical activity course, and complete at least one of their natural sciences requirements.

By the end of the second year: Students must complete the civilization requirement (5 courses), the mathematics requirement (1 course), the natural sciences requirements (2 courses, including a lab), two physical activity courses, and the equivalent of one year of foreign language (2 courses).

Although earlier completion is recommended, the social sciences elective, the fine arts elective, the second year of foreign language, and any remaining physical activity courses may be taken during the last two years. The senior seminar and the advanced writing paper are completed during the senior year.

Religion

Southern Virginia University students can transfer up to eight (8) hours of elective credit toward graduation from any Church Educational System Institute of Religion (CES Institute) by successfully completing many of the classes that are offered for transfer credit. The Buena Vista Church Educational System Institute of Religion is located adjacent to the Southern Virginia University campus, but it operates independently of Southern Virginia University.

All CES Institute “Ancient Scripture” courses, and all upper-division CES Institute “Church History and Doctrine Courses” that are accepted for transfer credit at any of the regionally-accredited universities operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be transferred into Southern Virginia University. Students must provide the registrar’s office with an official transcript from the CES Institute showing that such transfer credit has been earned.

Students are cautioned to consult with the CES Institute upon registration for any CES Institute class about what procedures they must follow in order to earn transfer credit on an official CES Institute transcript.