Curriculum

For purposes of reference, courses are listed alphabetically by departments. Each department description contains a statement of objectives  the department seeks to achieve through its educational program, a statement of the requirements of a major and a minor in that department, and a list of the courses offered, together with a description of the course.

Courses numbered 200 and above are upper division. Courses numbered 100 to 199 are lower division.

The letters prefixed to the numbers are an abbreviation for the department in which the course is offered.

Independent Study (IS)

Independent study courses, which are specially designed by the student and the instructor, are listed under the course numbers 440-445 and are subject to the following regulations:

  1. Independent study courses are ordinarily limited to juniors and seniors.
  2. Not more than 2 courses may be taken independently in the major.
  3. Not more than 4 independent study courses may be taken during the four years of college and not more than 2 independent studies in any one term.
  4. Independent study credit is not given for a paid job.
  5. The application form, which can be obtained from the Provost's Office, must fully describe the rationale and objectives of the course, the content and sources from which the content is to be obtained, methods and activities to be used, evaluation procedure and any pertinent deadlines to be met by the student. The form is to be completed by the student in conference with the instructor who has agreed to direct the study.
  6. A screening committee must give approval for the course. The committee consists of the instructor supervising the course, the chairperson of the department in which the course is being offered and the academic advisor. The application also must bear the signature of the Provost. At the option of the department, the screening committee meets to discuss the course with the student, or the student personally takes the form to be signed to each member of the committee and answers any questions that a member may have about the course.
  7. The application form with all the necessary signatures must be in the Registrar’s Office in order for the registration to be completed.
  8. Faculty members are not required to direct an independent study.

Directed Study (DS)

A Directed Studies course is an individualized delivery of an existing course found in the Catalog and is only offered in exceptional circumstances. Course outcomes and objectives for the DS course are the same as if the course was being taken in the normal, classroom delivery mode. Contact the Provost's Office for the approval form prior to registering for the class.

Internships

An Internship offers the student an opportunity to gain valuable experience by applying skills and concepts learned in the classroom to real, work-based problems. Other benefits include the ability to explore a career area, in-depth; and an opportunity to begin building a professional network. Most majors offer a course for which the student can register to earn credit for participation in an internship. Contact your academic advisor or the Career Services office to learn more about locating and applying for internships.

Upon receiving an offer to participate in an internship and securing faculty approval, the student should:

  1. Meet with academic advisor to complete the Internship Registration and Release of Liability form for the appropriate course.
  2. Submit the Internship Registration form to the Provost's office for approval.
  3. Upon approval by the Provost, the Internship Registration form will be sent to the Registrar’s office for processing.
  4. Schedule an appointment with the Director of Career Services for an internship orientation.

Degrees and Majors

Mount Mercy offers the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the Bachelor of Business Administration, the Bachelor of Applied Science and the Bachelor of Applied Arts degrees.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is the primary degree offered at a liberal arts university. It is awarded to graduates who major in:

Applied Philosophy
Art
Art Education
Communication
Criminal Justice
English
English – Language Arts (Teacher Education Program)
Graphic Design
History
International Studies
Journalism
Music
Music – Education (Teacher Education Program)
Outdoor Conservation
Political Science
Public Relations
Religious Studies
Secondary Education**
Social Work
Sociology
Social Science – Sociology (Teacher Education Program)
Visual Arts/Business Administration - Interdisciplinary

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is typically for those majors/students who would enter a profession in that discipline upon graduation, or for those majors that are in the sciences and/or have a significant amount of quantitative or technical content. It is awarded to graduates who major in:

Actuarial Science
Applied Management***
Biology
Biology – Education (Teacher Education Program)
Computer Science
Early Childhood Education
Elementary Education
Healthcare Administration
Healthcare Leadership*** (Adult Accelerated)
Management Information Systems (Adult Accelerated)
Mathematics
Mathematics – Education (Teacher Education Program)
Medical Laboratory Science
Outdoor Conservation
Psychology
Social Science – Psychology (Teacher Education Program)
Secondary Education** Social Science - Education (Teacher Education Program)

The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree is for those majors which fulfill the business core. It is awarded to graduates who major in:

Accounting
Business (Adult Accelerated)
Business – Education (Teacher Education Program)
Finance
Human Resource Management
Management
Management Information Systems
Marketing
Secondary Education**

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is for nursing majors.

The Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)/Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA) degree program is designed specifically for persons with technical training who wish to broaden their specialized background to include a liberal arts education. The BAS or BAA degree is conferred when the student is using more than 16 hours of postsecondary technical credit and applies to any major in the catalog.

** Majors in Secondary Education must major in an Original Endorsement, which determines the type of degree. Please see the Education section for further details.

***Majors are only offered as a BAS or BAA.

Minors

  • Accounting
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice
  • Early Childhood
  • Economics
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • Finance
  • History
  • Human Resource Management
  • International Studies
  • Journalism
  • Legal Studies
  • Management Information Systems (Adult Accelerated)
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Relations
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Science
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Special Education
  • Writing

Original Endorsements

The following Original Endorsements, coupled with the secondary education major, may be competed as majors at Mount Mercy: Art-Education, Biology-Education, Business-Education, English-Language Arts, History, Mathematics-Education, Music-Education, Social Science-American Government, Social Science-American History, Social Science-Education, Social Science-Psychology, Social Science-Sociology, and Social Science-World History.

Transfer Credits

Developmental, remedial, vocational, test out, or experiential learning college credit is not transferable to Mount Mercy. A maximum of 63 semester hours (non-technical) from two-year, regionally-accredited, associate degree granting institutions will be accepted. (See exceptions for business majors and Early Childhood majors). There is no limit to the number of semester hours that will be accepted from a four-year, regionally-accredited institution. Credit earned at non-regionally accredited institutions may be accepted in transfer on a case by case basis.

Transfer courses meeting the requirements noted above and completed with a grade of D- or better will be accepted at Mount Mercy. Whether or not the D- grade counts toward the major is up to the individual department. (See department description.) Transfer course grades will be listed on the Mount Mercy transcript but will not count toward the cumulative grade point average.

Transfer courses marked with a double grade meeting the requirements noted above will have the higher grade transferred to Mount Mercy. For example, if a grade of CD has been assigned, the higher grade, C, will be placed on the Mount Mercy transcript.

Students who transfer to Mount Mercy with an AA degree from an Iowa Community College will have all core curriculum requirements waived except the Mercy Capstone and one course in the Ultimate Questions domain. These two requirements must be taken at Mount Mercy.

Transfer of Technical Credit

Transfer Credits Specific to BAA/BAS Degree

A maximum of 63 semester hours from regionally-accredited, postsecondary technical institutions will be transferred to Mount Mercy for students pursuing majors available under the Bachelor of Applied Arts or Bachelor of Applied Science degrees, unless otherwise designated for a specific major. A maximum of 16 semester hours from postsecondary technical courses will be transferred to Mount Mercy for students pursuing majors not available under the Bachelor of Applied Arts or Bachelor of Applied Science degrees.

* NOTE: Computer science courses taken seven or more years ago are subject to review by the department before awarding credit for a major or minor in computer science.

Departments

Mount Mercy is organized into eight departments:

  • Department of Business
  • Department of Communications, Literature and Art
  • Department of Education
  • Department of History, Politics, and Justice
  • Department of Natural and Applied Sciences
  • Department of Nursing
  • Department of Philosophy and Religion
  • Department of Psychology, Sociology and Social Work

Graduation Requirements

Students need to submit the Application for Graduation to the Registrar’s Office to be considered a candidate for graduation. The Application for Graduation should be submitted at the time the student registers for the final two semesters of study. The Application for Graduation is available on the Mount Mercy web site. Requirements include:

  1. A minimum of 123 semester hours credit earned toward the degree.
  2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00.
  3. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 for all credits earned at Mount Mercy.
  4. Completion of the core curriculum requirements.
  5. Completion of a major program of study.
  6. At least 12 semester hours, above course number of 200, in the major must be completed at Mount Mercy.
  7. A minimum of 30 semester hours completed at Mount Mercy.
  8. Minimum of 30 consecutive semester hours completed at Mount Mercy immediately preceding graduation.
  9. If graduating with a minor, nine (9) semester hours of the minor must be taken at Mount Mercy.

Major-minor programs. The major typically includes 30 or more semester hours, as indicated in individual requirements by field. The minor requires fewer semester hours. The student is, in every case, responsible to see that he or she properly applies for graduation and meets the graduation requirements.

Interdisciplinary Major

An Interdisciplinary Major is an individualized educational plan that a student and two faculty advisors, selected from significantly different majors, design to include coursework comparable to a single discipline major. The design must include the stated purpose and objectives of the major as well as a list of courses that assure that the objectives are met. The proposed major must include senior performance criteria and a method for how those performance criteria will be met by the student.

Students have the option of naming the interdisciplinary major. For example, a student might combine chemistry and political science for an interdisciplinary major and call it “Interdisciplinary major – chemistry/political science.”

Students should begin planning their interdisciplinary major as soon as they have completed 60 semester hours and shall have completed the first step in the process by the time they have completed 75 semester hours. The plan should be completed and approved by departments involved in the interdisciplinary studies at this stage. The plan and title are then submitted to the Educational Policies Committee for approval and must carry the recommendation of the involved departments. Candidates must have their interdisciplinary major approved by the time they have earned 90 semester hours.

Candidates for the interdisciplinary major must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 and a minimum Mount Mercy grade point average of 3.00 at the time they apply for the major. The interdisciplinary major must include a minimum of 30 semester hours, 21 semester hours of which must be upper division courses (200 level or above) taken at Mount Mercy, and all courses in the major must be passed with grades no lower than C (C- does not count). Only one core curriculum course can be included in the major.

The interdisciplinary major is not to be confused with the prestructured interdisciplinary majors of Visual Arts/Business Administration, International Studies, and Applied Philosophy.

Pre-Professional Curricula

The pre-professional curricula at Mount Mercy allow students to prepare for degrees not offered at Mount Mercy. Depending on the professional program, students can spend one to four years at Mount Mercy completing pre-professional requirements.

Students should be able to transfer from pre-professional study at Mount Mercy to professional study at Mount Mercy or another institution with no loss of credit. However, students should find out the specific professional curriculum requirements before they undertake a pre-professional course of study. In consultation with the departmental advisor, students should then plan a course of study that meets requirements of the professional program. The departmental information in the next section of this Catalog often contains planned pre-professional curricula.

 

Reflection and Action: The Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum is the foundational piece of a Mount Mercy education. Regardless of one’s major, every student at Mount Mercy can be assured of a broad course of study in the traditional liberal arts. The courses in the Core are designed to foster inquiry, critical thinking, personal reflection, and a spirit of service and citizenship. The Core emphasizes freedom of choice as each student creates an individualized plan to complete the core requirements according to his or her needs and interests. The Core Curriculum has four components:

·         An introductory Portal Course

·         A comprehensive survey of the seven Domains of Liberal Study

·         A culminating Capstone experience

·         Multiple ways to achieve Competency in writing, math, and oral communication

The Mount Mercy Portal

The portal course has two main objectives: to introduce students to the fields of liberal studies, priming them to make informed choices about their future core courses; and to foster a sense of community and service in the class, at Mount Mercy, and in the greater Cedar Rapids area. Students will examine questions from the Mercy Critical Concerns: earth, immigration, non-violence, poverty, racism, and women.

Through an interdisciplinary approach, students will gain experience examining problems from multiple perspectives. The interdisciplinary nature of the course fosters teamwork and leadership in the students. As they encounter questions from various liberal disciplines, students will be asked to reflect, then take action, as they articulate for themselves what it means to be a citizen in their various communities. During the portal course, students will outline an integrated plan for completing their course of liberal studies, as chosen from the Domains.

Transfer students who have an AA degree from an Iowa Community college, earned 60 hours or more transferable college credits, or have used transfer courses to fulfill 7 of the 10 domain requirements, are exempt from the portal course. Portal courses include:

Sharing The Earth With Animals
Rogues, Rebels, And Accidental Discoveries: The Crooked Path to Creativity
Ethnic Iowans: Diversity Issues in the New Millennium
Cities, Sewers And Shots: Health Protection
Immigrants and Literacy: In Pursuit of the American Dream
Avatars Of Good and Evil: Media Stereotypes vs. Reality
Why A Mercy Education?
Poor Women, Poor Family, Poor Work
Screen Icons: A Cultural & Aesthetic Study
The Religious Roots of Political Involvment
Talking in "She" and "He": Gender Communication in College and Beyond
Water - A Shared Responsibility
Law Ungendered: History of the Legal Status of U.S. Women

Note: Portal course waived for RN-BSN students.

Competencies

In addition to completing a Portal Course, a Capstone course and all of the Domains of Liberal Studies, students are required to demonstrate core competencies. These may be demonstrated by taking and earning at least a C- in particular courses, or a student may demonstrate competencies through previous experience and coursework. Students who think that they may be able to demonstrate a competency need to arrange assessment well in advance of beginning their Mount Mercy coursework. The competencies should be completed within a student’s first two years of college. If a student demonstrates competency and one of the course requirements listed below is therefore waived, that does not grant the student the credit hours listed. Students transferring to Mount Mercy with an AA degree from an Iowa Community College are considered to have met the competency requirements in writing, math and speech.

The competencies are:

1.     Writing Competency: Met by successful completion of four hours of college-level English Composition: 

Writing And History
Writing And The Environment
Writing And Popular Culture
Writing and Issues of Health & Mortality
Writing And Film
Writing And Gender Studies
Writing And Social Issues
Writing And Other Cultures
Writing And Memoirs
Writing And Sports
Writing And Place

Note: the writing course is a prerequisite to the literature courses.

  2. Oral Communication competency: Met by successful completion of CO 101 Oral Communication.

  3. Mathematics competency: Met by successful completion of the three-hour college-level math course including:

Mathematics In Arts And Humanities
Fundamentals Of Arithmetic & Logic
Finite Mathematics
Basic Statistics
Pre-Calculus
Mathematics Modeling
Calculus I

 

4.  Technology Competency: Met according to criteria set within the majors. This is one competency that is built into the major curricula, and is thus not waived.

The Mount Mercy Domains of Liberal Studies

The Mount Mercy Domains of Liberal Studies give all students in all majors a sense of breadth and connection among traditional liberal arts disciplines. These courses are grouped according to the overall concepts covered by courses in that domain: Expressive Arts, Global Awareness, Historical Roots, Holistic Health, The Natural World, Self and Society and Ultimate Questions.

Domain Requirements

Domain I: Expressive Arts – Great works of art, music, drama, and literature engage us emotionally and cognitively as they interrogate the ways we perceive and understand ourselves and the world around us. Studying literature and the fine arts strengthens habits of mind – observation, the ability to entertain multiple perspectives and discern significant patterns; envisioning, the ability to imagine and think innovatively; reflection, the ability to evaluate one’s own perceptions; expression, the ability to communicate what is meaningful in the pursuit of purposeful living; and aesthetic judgment, the ability to appreciate the context in which fine art is created – that find application in every discipline of study.

Two courses, one from literature, one from fine arts. The courses included in this domain:

Lliterature courses:
Topics In American Multiculture Lit
Major World Writers
Introduction To Literature
American Drama
American Literature Survey: Colonial to 1914
Major American Writers
Literature and Gender
British Literature and Culture 1
Irish Literature & Culture 1
Introduction to Film Adaptation
Fine arts courses:
Introduction To Art
Introduction To Music
Introduction to Dramatic Art

 

Domain II: Historical Roots – The courses in this domain will enable students to gain a deeper understanding of the human condition and the relationship between historical developments and contemporary social and political trends. The curriculum provides opportunities for students to investigate the social, economic, political, and cultural development of diverse peoples from the beginnings of civilization to the present. Emphasis is placed on reading, writing, researching, speaking, and on critical and analytical thinking. The courses included in this domain include:

History of Early America
History Of Modern America
Origins Of The Western Tradition
Emergence Of The West, 800-1648
Hist Of Western World Since 1648

 

Domain III: The Natural World – Courses in this domain will give students a basic understanding of the natural world and how it functions. Students will learn to employ the scientific method as they engage with specific fields of inquiry, such as the central processes of biological systems, the energetics and chemical reactions underlying all processes in living and non-living systems, the global role of geologic, hydrologic and atmospheric systems in supporting life on earth, and the impact of human activity on the environment. Students are required to take a course and an accompanying lab, but transfer students who have earned at least six hours of approved science credits do not have to meet the lab requirement. The courses included in this domain:

Biology Of Human Concern
Foundations of Biology & Scientific Inquiry I
Basic Microbiology 2
General Chemistry I
Natural Science-Physical
Introduction To Earth Science

 

 Domain IV: Ultimate Questions – This domain introduces students to the study of the ultimate questions of human experience. It invites consideration of possible answers to those questions through philosophical or religious reflection about the meaning of human life, ethical responsibility, and social justice. The courses engage students in critical analysis of ideas and symbols and foster a variety of skills including critical thinking, finding key concepts in the midst of complex information, evaluating ideas, and communicating effectively.

Two courses, one from Philosophy, one from Religious Studies. The courses included in this domain:

Philosophy courses:
Introduction to Western Philosophy
Introduction to the Philosophy of the Human Person
Introduction To Ethics
Religious Studies courses:
Introduction To The Bible: Old Testament
Introduction To The Bible: New Testament
Introduction to Christianity
Introduction To World Religions
Christians Divided:Conservative Versus Liberal Battles
Christian Action:Moral Responsibility, Charitable Service, Social Justice

 

 Domain V: Self and Society – This domain is designed to expose students to the study of society and the manner in which people behave and impact the world around us. It introduces students to the concepts and methods of social science, the scientific inquiry into human behavior and social, political and economic problems within institutions. Students will appreciate the interconnectedness and complexity of human interaction as represented in the various social science disciplines. The courses included in this domain:

Two of the following courses from different disciplines:
Introduction To Criminal Justice
Macroeconomics Principles
Introduction To American Politics
Introductory Psychology
Introduction To Sociology
Social Problems
Minority Groups

 

Domain VI: Global Awareness Courses in the Global Awareness Domain address the basic question of what it means to live in a globalized world. Courses in this Domain address at least one of three areas: multicultural sensitivity as individuals come in contact with cultures that are different from their own; the interconnectedness of global political and economic policies; and an understanding of ecological and resource issues that transcends national borders.

Survey Of Mexican Culture Today
Biology And Human Culture
Intercultural Communication
British Literature and Culture 1
Irish Literature & Culture 1
European Union: Culture, Politics & Economics
Recent China In Global Economy
Modern East Asia
Latin American History
Introduction To Asian Thought
Government and Politics Around the World
Introduction to International Relations
Globalization and Human Survival
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Social Inequalities
Global Race Relations
Intermediate Spanish I

 

Domain VII: Holistic Health – Courses in this domain explore health-related theories and research and address various aspects of the six dimensions of wellness including physical, emotional, social, environmental, intellectual, and spiritual. Courses aim to increase students’ knowledge within the dimensions of wellness to enable them to enhance health-related aspects of their own lives and perhaps the lives of others. The courses included in this domain:

 

Personal Financial Planning
Health Awareness and PE Methods
Women's Health
Healthy Lifestyle
Complementary Therapy&Wellness
American Food
Meditation And Its Benefits
Psychology Of Eating
Men's Health
Psychology Of Adjustment
Human Sexuality

 

The Mount Mercy Capstone

The 400-level Mercy Experience Capstone course (ME 450 Mercy Experience Capstone) is intended as a culminating experience in the liberal studies. Students need to register for this course along with the senior seminar (or another designated course) within their major, typically during the year in which they plan to graduate. During the Mercy Experience Capstone, students will integrate knowledge they have acquired from each of the core domains and will reflect on their Mercy education in the context of their major discipline. In addition, they will examine one of the Mercy critical concerns identified by the Sisters of Mercy from a disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and global perspective and will actively participate in a related capstone project.

1

Course counts in only one area in the core requirements, it will not satisfy two core requirements.

2

For nursing majors only.

Note: Students should consult accelerated and traditional course schedules to determine course availability and delivery format.