2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

The Northwest Core

The Northwest Core (General education)

Northwest prides itself on providing students with meaningful learning opportunities through academic and other educational, co-curricular experiences.  The Northwest Core is designed to give students the knowledge and skills to:

  • lead productive and meaningful lives
  • practice life-long learning
  • engage intelligently and humanely with diverse and global populations
  • excel in their chosen careers
  • act as leaders in their communities

The Northwest Core emphasizes not only academic, but co-curricular understanding and experiences:

The Northwest Core - Academics

Through coursework, The Northwest Core enables student's development of the intellect and creative capabilities to study the world as it has been, understand it as it is, and imagine it as it might be.

The Northwest Core - Co-Curriculum

Co-Curricular learning extends The Northwest Core outcomes developed in the classroom (explained in "Institutional Learning Outcomes," below) to the student's involvement in an inclusive campus community experience--engagement in committed action, personal development through continuous learning, and leadership in a comprehensive professional environment.  

This integration of The Northwest Core curriculum with the co-curriculum affords that from Day One of graduation, students are both career-ready and prepared to be thoughtful, productive citizens.


The Northwest Core Academics and the State of Missouri's Core 42

Through its courses and outcomes in the various knowledge areas (described below), The Northwest Core satisfies all criteria of the State of Missouri 42 General Education program. This program allows transfer of credit for completed lower-level general education courses among all State of Missouri colleges and universities. Each qualifying general education course at any Missouri public higher education institution is considered equivalent to a MOTR (Missouri Transfer) course. This program has the following effects on students who transfer among Missouri public colleges and universities:

1. Students who complete the Associate of Arts degree or who complete the Missouri CORE 42 at a State of Missouri community college or university and then transfer to another Missouri public university shall be considered as having completed all lower-division general education requirements at the receiving institution. Students shall receive full credit, including any prerequisites or requirements in the major, for all MOTR courses transferred. The receiving institution cannot require the student take any additional lower-division general education courses to replace MOTR courses already taken. The student may, however, have to take additional lower-division courses to fulfill program or institutional requirements.

2. Students who do not complete either the Associate of Arts or the CORE 42 shall receive credit at a receiving institution for each MOTR course completed at a sending institution. Students shall receive full credit, including any prerequisites or requirements in the major, for all MOTR courses transferred. After receiving credit for MOTR courses, the student shall complete the CORE 42 at the receiving institution. The student may have to take additional lower-division courses to fulfill program or institutional requirements.

In short, fulfilling the general education requirements at one Missouri public college or university is the equivalent of fulfilling the general education requirements--including The Northwest Core--at any other Missouri public higher education institution, too.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

Through academic and co-curricular experiences, The Northwest Core focuses on the seven fundamental outcomes advocated by the university. The first four of these align directly with the State of Missouri CORE 42 Basic Outcomes:

  • Valuing--Northwest students will understand the formation and context of values, both their own and those of others.
  • Managing Information--Northwest students will successfully locate, retrieve, organize, store, synthesize, and annotate various forms of information.
  • Communication--Northwest students will understand the role of writing and speaking in living and learning, and speak and write effectively in a variety of contexts.
  • Critical (Higher Order) Thinking--Northwest students will engage in disciplined thought to generate and communicate ideas.

In addition, the Northwest Core emphasizes the following complementary outcomes:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion--Northwest students will be culturally competent citizens who understand and engage comfortably with difference.
  • Teamwork--Northwest students will engage in team-based activities, and understand the logistics, value and challenges of effective teamwork.
  • Leadership--Northwest students will understand effective and ethical leadership and will practice the skills required to engage in it.

These outcomes are realized through the student's academic and co-curricular work in the Knowledge Areas of the Northwest Core.

The Northwest Core--Academics and Degree Requirements

In order to complete the bachelor's degree, students must take 1) The Northwest Core requirements for their specific degree, plus 2) the Institutional Requirements courses, plus 3) major and/or minor requirements as specified by the department(s), plus 4) electives as needed to total a minimum of 120 credit hours.

It is important for students to work closely with academic advisors when selecting courses, as not all courses fulfill requirements for degrees. Students who change majors, choose double majors, or additional certification, or who do not choose courses carefully may need more than 120 semester hours to complete a degree program.

Non-MOTR Courses in the Northwest Core

In all areas of The Northwest Core, the student is provided at least one--and sometimes several--MOTR courses from which to choose. The MOTR courses are indicated by the Core 42 MOTR symbol (see courses below). However, some of The Northwest Core areas also contain one or more non-MOTR courses. If a student chooses to take any non-MOTR courses listed below, such courses will count toward The Northwest Core, but might not be accepted by other Missouri public institutions.