The Woods Core

According to a survey by the Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the American Association of Colleges and Universities, today’s employers rate the following in their top 10 desired skills:

  • Working in a team structure
  • Effectively communicating in  both oral and written form
  • Analyzing and solving problems
  • Applying ethical behavior and practices

In response to today’s rapidly-changing educational and professional environments, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College launched The Woods Core in August 2013. This exciting new General Studies curriculum prepares students to study and work in interdisciplinary environments, while focusing on developing students in three crucial areas:

  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Values Development

The Woods Core ensures that SMWC students graduate with the skills needed to succeed in the professional environment, as well as in graduate and professional degree programs.

With an emphasis in critical thinking, communication, and ethical development, The Woods Core threads these three areas throughout its curriculum, with a special emphasis on these skills in the foundational courses. Students learn values foundational to the College’s mission, including issues pertaining to sustainability, women, and social justice. Students explore the world-view from a variety of discipline areas, including literature, philosophy and ethics, social sciences, and religion and spirituality, while also broadening their knowledge foundation with courses in science, history, fine arts, culture, and foreign language.

A 39-hour curriculum, The Woods Core allows room for students to add a second major or a minor, as well as providing opportunities to enjoy diverse electives in other areas of interest, such as music, theatre, foreign languages, and equine studies.  A double major or a major and a minor, coupled with The Woods Core’s strong liberal arts foundation, give SMWC graduates the knowledge and skills they need to compete successfully for professional positions, as well as coveted graduate and professional school program spots and scholarships. 

SMWC students starting in August 2013 will be the first to enroll under The Woods Core. During the two-year transition to The Woods Core curriculum, students transferring hours to SMWC will have their transcripts evaluated individually by an SMWC faculty or staff member to determine their general studies curriculum placement.   Policies and procedures related to transfer students are currently being developed.

If you entered SMWC before August, 2013, please click here to see your General Studies curriculum.

The Woods Core: Required Courses

Into the Woods, Out of the Woods: Utopias and Education    3 hours
English Composition 3 hours
Philosophy 3 hours
Literature 3 hours
Religion/Spirituality 3 hours
Communication 3 hours
History 3 hours
Social Sciences Course (choose one)
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Macroeconomics
3 hours
Mathematics Course (choose one)  
  • College Algebra
  • Statistics
3 hours
Culture Course (choose one)  
  • Foreign Language
  • Culture
3 hours
Sciences Course (choose one)  
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
3 hours
Fine Arts Course (choose one)  
  • Art
  • Music
  • Theatre
3 hours
Capstone Course (choose one)  
  • Social Justice
  • Sustainability
  • Women's Issues
3 hours

39 hours