Core Curriculum Requirements

Course Catalog: Core Curriculum Requirements

In order to earn a baccalaureate degree at Rocky Mountain College, students must complete a core curriculum consisting of 40-46 semester hours of course work in a variety of areas, including mathematics, writing, communication, fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students should choose core curriculum courses in consultation with their academic advisor, as in some cases, courses taken to fulfill a program requirement for a major or minor may also be used to fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the core curriculum requirement at Rocky Mountain College will be able to:

  1. Compose essays that demonstrate critical thinking, command of standard grammar, and logical organization;
  2. Demonstrate critical, analytical, and creative problem-solving skills.
  3. Analyze texts and other materials critically and creatively;
  4. Construct and analyze models using approximation or statistical techniques;
  5. Construct and deliver clear, well-organized oral presentations;
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts and methods of the natural sciences;
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts and methods of the social sciences;
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts and methods of the fine arts;
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts and methods of the humanities.

Mathematics (3-8 credits)

After completing the core curriculum requirement in mathematics, students will be able to:

  1. Explain information presented in mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words);
  2. Convert relevant information into various mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words);
  3. Make judgments and draw appropriate conclusions based on the quantitative analysis of data, while recognizing the limits of this analysis.

Requirement: The core curriculum requirement in mathematics is fulfilled by both of the following:

  • MAT 100: College Algebra or a placement exam score necessary to test out of College Algebra (see "Math Placement," next section).

And one of the following courses:

  • MAT 152: To Infinity and Beyond
  • MAT 175: Calculus I
  • MAT 176: Calculus II
  • MAT 210: Probability and Statistics

Note: MAT 090 credits are considered pre-college level and do not count for core curriculum or other degree requirements.

Advanced Placement (AP) credit in math may NOT be used to satisfy a core curriculum requirement; however, math AP credit may count as general elective credit toward the total number of credits required for graduation.

Math Placement

MAT 090: Elementary Algebra
(preparatory course; does not count toward graduation):

  • ACT score 0-18
  • SAT score 260-509
  • Accuplacer Elementary Algebra score 0-56

Student places into MAT 100: College Algebra
(course fulfills Math #1 requirement):

  • ACT score 19-22
  • SAT score 510-549
  • Accuplacer Elementary Algebra score 57-79

Student tests out of MAT 100: College Algebra
(waives Math #1 requirement):

  • ACT score 23+
  • SAT score 550+
  • Accuplacer College Level Math score 80+

Students who test out of MAT 100 may be placed into the following:

MAT 103: Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers I (for education majors; does not satisfy a core requirement)
MAT 110: Precalculus (prerequisite for Calculus; does not satisfy a core requirement)
MAT 131: Trigonometry and Calculus (for aviation majors; does not satisfy a core requirement)
MAT 152: To Infinity and Beyond (fulfills Math #2 requirement)
MAT 210: Probability and Statistics (fulfills Math #2 requirement)

Additionally, students who test out of MAT 100 may place into Calculus with the following scores:

MAT 175: Calculus I (fulfills Math #2 requirement):

  • ACT score 26+
  • SAT 610+
  • Accuplacer College Level Math score 100+

Math placement beyond College Algebra depends on student interest and major; students are advised to consult with a faculty advisor before enrolling. Students with dual-enrollment or transfer coursework in math should request a course evaluation prior to enrolling.

If a student wishes to take a course at a higher level than where he or she has placed with the ACT or SAT, the student may use Accuplacer exam scores to challenge that placement. Additionally, Rocky Mountain College will accept Accuplacer exam scores for math placement for non-traditional and transfer students.

Writing (6 credits)

After completing the core curriculum requirement in writing, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate in writing a thorough understanding of context, audience, and purpose;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of cultural differences and values;
  3. Compose essays according to the appropriate disciplinary expectations of thesis, organization, content, presentation, format, and grammar;
  4. Identify, incorporate, and properly cite appropriate primary and secondary sources in research-based assignments;
  5. Critically analyze and interpret ideas, assumptions, arguments, and textual materials.


Requirement (6 semester hours)
Students must successfully complete both of the following:

  • ENG 119: First-Year Writing Seminar
  • ENG 120: Critical Reading and Evaluative Writing


Advanced Placement (AP) credit in English may NOT be used to satisfy a core curriculum requirement; however, English AP credit may count as general elective credit toward the total number of credits required for graduation.

Communication (3 credits)

After completing the core curriculum requirement in communication studies, students will be able to:

  1. Develop an organized, cogent speech;
  2. Develop a persuasive speech that ethically utilizes evidence and persuasive appeals;
  3. Effectively deliver speeches;
  4. Use critical listening skills to evaluate the evidence and arguments of others.


Requirement: Public Speaking (3 semester hours)
To fulfill this requirement, students must complete the following course:

  • COM 102: Public Speaking

Fine Arts (6 credits)

The fine arts core curriculum requirement is fulfilled by successfully completing three semester hours from Requirement 1 and three semester hours from Requirement 2. The two courses must be from different disciplines.

Upon completion of Requirement 1 in the fine arts, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental concepts and methods of a fine art;
  2. Describe the interrelationships between a fine art, history, and culture.

Upon completion of Requirement 2 in the fine arts, students will able to:

  1. Demonstrate the capacity to evaluate works of a fine art based on disciplinary criteria;
  2. Demonstrate competence in applying fundamental concepts, methods, skills, and techniques to a specific fine art.

Fine Arts Requirement 1: (3 semester hours)
Students must successfully complete a course from the following:

  • Art: ART 220, ART 221, ART 222, ART 232, ART 244, ART 250, ART 321, ART 322, ART 323
  • Music: MUS 101, MUS 140, MUS 201, MUS 202, MUS 204/304, MUS 205/305
  • Theatre: THR 101, THR 131, THR 433, THR 434

Fine Arts Requirement 2: (3 semester hours)
Students must successfully complete a course from the following:

  • Art: ART 101, ART 121, ART 215/315, ART 231, ART 232, ART 243, ART 244, ART 247, ART 250, ART 251, ART 252, ART 321, ART 322, ART 323
  • Music: MUS 215/315; three semesters in concert band (MUS 283/383), concert choir (MUS 271/371), or jazz ensemble (MUS 286/386) can fulfill this requirement. The three credits must be taken in the same ensemble.
  • Theatre: THR 132, THR 135, THR 230, THR 235, THR 240, THR 245, THR 310, THR 315, THR 318, THR 320, THR 336, THR 347, THR 391

In order to complete the fine arts core curriculum requirements, the courses from Requirement 1 and Requirement 2 must be in different disciplines.

Humanities (9 credits)

The humanities core curriculum requirement is fulfilled by successfully completing three semester hours each in history, literature, and philosophy and religious studies.
After completing the core curriculum requirements in the humanities, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyze source material and compose clearly reasoned and supported written arguments;
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of key terms, methods, and figures of literature, philosophy and religious thought, and history, as per course discipline;
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of how cultures express and negotiate complex social and ethical concerns and conflict.

Requirement 1: History (3 semester hours)
Students must successfully complete a course in history from the following:

  • History: HST 103, HST 104, HST 211, HST 212, HST 232, HST 260, HST 263, HST 303, HST 304, HST 311, HST 313, HST 324, HST 325, HST 356, HST 358, HST 363, HST 365, HST 370

Requirement 2: Literature (3 semester hours)
Students must successfully complete a course in literature from the following:

  • English: ENG 223, ENG 224, ENG 242, ENG 244, ENG 245, ENG 247, ENG 252, ENG 270, ENG 272, ENG 273, ENG 282, ENG 283, ENG 291

Requirement 3: Philosophy and Religious Studies (3 semester hours)
Students must successfully complete a course in philosophy and religious thought from the following:

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies: PHR 100, PHR 120, PHR 205, PHR 210, PHR 211, PHR 212, PHR 218, PHR 220, PHR 236, PHR 303, PHR 304, PHR 310, PHR 312, PHR 320, PHR 321, PHR 330, PHR 340, PHR 362, PHR 370, PHR 375, PHR 378, PHR 460, PHR 490

Social Sciences (6 credits)

The social sciences core curriculum requirement is fulfilled by successfully completing two courses of three semester hours each in psychology, sociology, economics, environmental management and policy, or political science. The two courses must be in different disciplines.

Upon successfully completing the core curriculum requirement in the social sciences, students will be able to:

  1. Name and describe ethical and/or normative perspectives and concepts in the social science discipline;
  2. Recognize ethical and/or normative issues in a variety of settings;
  3. Synthesize existing knowledge, research, and/or views within the discipline;
  4. Analyze evidence to gain a better understanding of complex topics or issues;
  5. Extrapolate findings from evidence that result in informed judgments; and
  6. Discuss limitations and implications of findings.

Requirement: (6 semester hours)
Courses that may satisfy the core curriculum requirement for social sciences include:

  • Economics: ECO 205
  • Geography: GPY 102, GPY 224
  • Political Science: POL 101, POL 225, or POL 313
  • Psychology: PSY 101, PSY 205, or PSY 206
  • Sociology: SOC 101 or SOC 225

Natural Sciences (7-8 credits)

This core curriculum requirement is fulfilled by successfully completing two courses (a minimum of seven semester hours) in the natural sciences: biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, geology, and physics. The two courses must be in different disciplines and at least one the courses must have a laboratory component.

After successfully completing the core curriculum requirements in the natural sciences, students will be able to:

  1. Construct a problem statement or research question;
  2. Present existing knowledge, research, and/or views;
  3. Propose solutions and/or state hypotheses;
  4. Identify and evaluate potential solutions for a stated problem;*
  5. Evaluate and communicate results of a scientific inquiry.

*This objective is satisfied only when the class has a laboratory component.

Requirement: (7 semester hours)
Courses that may satisfy the core curriculum requirement for natural sciences include:

  • Biology: BIO 102*, BIO 105, BIO 120*
  • Chemistry: CHM 100*, CHM 101*, CHM 210, CHM 260
  • Computer Science: CSC 112 (non-majors only)
  • Environmental Science: ESC 105/106*, ESC 215, ESC 243*, ESC 244*, ESC 262
  • Geology: GEO 101/104*, GEO 218/104*
  • Physics: PHS 101*, PHS 105*, PHS 201*

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) have a laboratory component.

Transfer Credits for Core Curriculum Requirements

Although the College reserves the right to refuse incoming transfer credits, credits from accredited colleges normally will be accepted, subject to these conditions:

  • No more than 90 semester hours (135 quarter hours) of credit from four-year colleges will count toward the total number of credits required for graduation.
  • No more than 64 semester hours (96 quarter hours) from two-year colleges will count toward the total number of credits required for graduation.
  • No upper-division credit will be allowed for courses from two-year colleges.
  • No "F" grades will be accepted.
  • No preparatory/developmental classes or non-degree applicable courses will be accepted.

For specific information about core curriculum courses, including course descriptions, please refer to the appropriate academic program or contact the faculty in that department.

For general information about core curriculum requirements, contact the Office of Student Records.

  • Faculty from various academic programs