Engage, Explore, Experience, Extend
WCore is Westminster University's liberal education program that gives you the opportunity
to expand your knowledge, investigate and express your interests, and explore new
subjects and ideas through unique, engaged, and challenging courses. Through this
program, you’ll make connections across courses and disciplines, explore equity and
inclusion, have important and interesting conversations with your peers, develop your
problem solving and communication skills, approach problems, subject areas, and issues
in depth, and much more. As you get to know yourself and the world around you, you’ll
prepare yourself to take on your aspirations and what lies ahead when you leave Westminster.
These courses are taught in small-group settings that focus on synthesis, communication, disciplinary research, and meaningful interactions with faculty, rather than simply memorizing facts. Some courses are offered online. Additionally, because WCore has fewer requirements, you will have more flexibility in your schedule to pursue minors, electives, or even take additional WCore courses that interest you. Your advisor can give you individualized help in designing a minor or choosing which minor is right for you.
AP and IB credits will count toward graduation, as general electives, and for some major requirements. However, they will not count toward the completion of WCore.
Honors College students satisfy all of Westminster’s liberal education requirements through the interdisciplinary, team-taught courses in the Honors curriculum, which serves as an alternative learning experience to WCore.
The first- and second-year WCore courses will be waived for all transfers with associates degrees. All other transfers will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis.
WCore is designed to fit your interests each step of the way. Your individualized WCore experience will look something like this
- First and Second Year: In your first fall semester, you'll engage with your fellow students in a learning community, taking 2 courses. Additionally, during your first and second years, you’ll also select WCore courses to explore subjects that interest you and take them to meet your course and emphases requirements.
- Third Year: You'll investigate and explore the world beyond Westminster’s campus through an Engaging the World experience, selecting from multiple options that help you become a better global citizen.
- Fourth Year: You'll extend your learning through a capstone project that you share with others at a campus-wide Celebrating Your Path event, such as the Westminster Student Showcase and other events.
WCore courses can be used to meet the requirements for an emphasis (1 emphasis per course):
Diversity Emphasis: Diversity Emphasis courses challenge you to examine differences of power, privilege, and subordination based on hierarchically organized, socially ascribed categories of race, ethnicity, social class, gender, ability, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and religion.
Quantitative Emphasis: Quantitative Emphasis courses are framed around a real-world context or problem and include an extensive exploration of quantitative techniques that illuminate the question, or they begin with a cohesive set of quantitative methods then explore their application across a broad range of real-world problems.
Writing Emphasis: Writing Emphasis courses offer you opportunities to write, reflect, and revise with writing instruction embedded in a topic from an academic discipline to build knowledge and skills.
Research Emphasis: Research Emphasis courses give you an opportunity to engage in an intensive, discipline-specific research experience within the context of a broader course, giving you the potential to make an original intellectual or creative contribution to that discipline.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Increase your understanding of human behavior and social interaction. These social and behavioral science courses explore dimensions of human life that may include cultural, biological, social, behavioral, interactional, organizational, structural, and institutional approaches.
Fine Arts and Humanities
Learn about the human experience as you create and study art, literature, and historical and philosophical texts. These fine arts and humanities courses teach you the skills of articulating ideas and concepts clearly in writing and speech, developing your analytical, creative, and reflective capacities.
Science and Mathematics
Develop your critical, analytical, and integrative thinking skills, as well as writing and other communication skills. These science and mathematics courses teach you how quantitative reasoning and scientific inquiry shape your understanding and knowledge of the human experience and the world we inhabit.
I never thought that it was possible for me to feel enlightened by a math class, but Social Justice by the Numbers has opened my eyes to the way that math impacts society—and how math literacy can be essential to combating various social issues. The knowledge I've gained from this class has been surprising; the world of mathematics is a lot more intertwined with society than I could ever have imagined.
It was an extraordinary experience to learn about all of the national parks' geology, how they formed and how they still continue to change today which then gives light as to why these lands should be protected and preserved. I found this course to be very interesting for the fact that I was born and raised in Utah and therefore I was very eager to learn about the many national parks that I've grown up exploring and the National Parks that I have yet to visit.
When it came time to do a final creative project [for (being} Creative], Heidi inspired me to dream big and think small: so I designed what my dream theatre company would be. The class ended, and that dream grew to a reality and I have now done two productions (working on a third) that have all raised funds for different nonprofit organizations while giving a voice to women.
Your Engaging the World experience prepares you to be a better global citizen. You will build on the knowledge you acquired in your WCore courses during your first and second year at Westminster and apply what you have learned by focusing on ways to advance social transformation, equity, and parity within local and global communities. You’ll also challenge your biases and prejudices and emphasize the knowledge that you live in an integrated, complex, and interdependent society. There are 4 options for completing the Engaging the World requirement: Engaging the World courses, studying abroad, completing an international internship, or participating in a May Term Study Experience.
There is a required capstone course within each major for all seniors. Many of the specific objectives of this course will be based on your major, but all students will produce a piece of work that demonstrates the culmination of your educational experience at Westminster. Projects created in these courses include things like submissions for the senior arts exhibit, posters describing independent research projects, reflections on an impactful clinical experience, a collection of poems, talks explaining business plans, and much more. When you’ve completed your project, you will have the opportunity to share it at the Westminster Student Showcase or a senior showcase event.