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, Self and Society and The Ultimate Question. For detailed course information and class descriptions, view the catalog.
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 perceptions 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. Required: Two courses, one from literature, one from fine arts
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. Required: One course
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. Required: One course and lab
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. Required: Two courses, one from Religious Studies, one from Philosophy.
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. Required: Two courses, selected from two different academic disciplines
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. Required: One course 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. Required: One course