DCP Core Curriculum

As a member of the higher education community, Gardner-Webb University’s academic programs include a series of broad and intensive learning experiences entitled, “Dimensions of Excellence.” Further, each “Dimension” in the general studies component has a set of competencies which students are expected to meet in order to complete successfully a bachelor’s degree at Gardner-Webb University.


The university has been recognized by the John Templeton Foundation and listed in its Honor Roll of Character-Building institutions; therefore, the core curriculum includes a general studies component appropriate for a character-building institution. Care has been taken to ensure that the focus and theme of the core curriculum is compatible with the university’s mission and heritage.



Students will

  1. develop skills in formulating well organized thoughts for the purpose of effective communication;
  2. demonstrate the ability to analyze written, oral, or visual forms of communication and create appropriate responses;
  3. compare and contrast intra- and intercultural realities to cultivate attributes necessary for adapting to and functioning in a globalized world; and
  4. develop skills in effective research using traditional and technology-based research methods.



Students will

  1. identify and analyze the origins, development, and complexity of contemporary civilization;
  2. describe significant economic, religious, political, technological, cultural and social trends and patterns of change over time;
  3. recognize that the role of the individual is culturally determined and will distinguish basic cultural traits of American, Western and other civilizations; and
  4. develop effective analytical and communication skills.



Students will

  1. describe the process of acquiring scientific knowledge through the scientific method and discuss the limitations of science, as conclusions are based on quantifiable and testable attributes of the physical universe;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of key concepts and vocabulary in physical and life sciences;
  3. contrast science and technology and discuss the effect each has at the individual, local and global levels;
  4. discuss the importance of ethics in science and examine the impact of ethics on society; and
  5. identify key historical events and figures of science



Students will

  1. identify and define appropriate quantitative relations within variables;
  2. demonstrate improvement in critical thinking skills by formulating mathematical models, both symbolically and graphically, to analyze quantitative problems;
  3. exhibit development of their quantitative and computational skills; and
  4. employ quantitative reasoning in the decision-making process.



Students will

  1. identify means to enhance the integration of the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, environmental, and social dimensions of the human personality;
  2. investigate and create opportunities leading to self-discovery, self-evaluation, and self-reflection;
  3. recognize and express value assumptions and perspective held by self and others; and
  4. develop habits of intentionality in the areas of personal, physical, psychological and aesthetic appreciation



Students will

  1. describe the significance of major peoples, places, events, themes and types of literature in the Old and New Testaments;
  2. trace the historical development of the cannons of the Old and New Testaments;
  3. identify, assess and utilize appropriate resources in biblical interpretation; and
  4. utilize the principles of critical analysis in interpreting a verse of Scripture.


Before graduating from the Gardner-Webb University Degree Completion Program with a bachelor’s degree, the student will have completed a liberal arts core which consists of the following areas of course work taken at a community/junior college, another senior institution and/or Gardner-Webb University. It is anticipated that Gardner-Webb University will offer the courses in the specified areas over a two-year period. Advisors will work with students (using the transcript evaluation) to determine the extent to which requirements have been met before coming to Gardner-Webb and will assist the student in selection of courses.



(Represents approximately 1/2 of DCP Curriculum offered, i.e. these do not represent prerequisites for eligibility).

I. Dimensions of Humanities


A. Composition

❐ English 101 - Composition I

❐ English 102 (or 300) - Composition II

All students accepted for admission to Degree Completion must complete ENG 101 and ENG 102 or ENG 300. Students who do not meet the requirement for English Composition must complete these courses no later than their second semester of enrollment.


B. Oral Communications


Most students have the competence through previous course work in speech, business communications, or other similar courses. For those who have not met the competency, the student must enroll in the appropriate course at GWU which emphasizes oral and visual communication. Drama, speech, debate, business communications, teaching, preaching, or other approved courses will meet this competency. This requirement can be met by taking BAD 325 online or in the traditional classroom setting. While BAD 325 will meet the oral communication competency and will serve as a major course requirement in selected business majors, BAD 325 can only be counted once as a three-hour course.


C. Literature (one course)

❐ English 311 - British Literature Survey I

❐ English 312 - British Literature Survey II

❐ English 331 - American Literature Survey I

❐ English 332 - American Literature Survey II

❐ English 351 - World Literature I

❐ English 352 - World Literature II


D. Information Literacy (one course)


        ❐ Library 301 - Research Skills


II. Dimensions of Faith (two courses)


        ❐ Religion 304 - Old Testament Survey

        ❐ Religion 305 - New Testament Survey


III. Dimensions of Heritage (two courses)


        ❐ Social Science 305 - Global Understanding

        ❐ History 301 - Western Civilization I

        ❐ History 302 - Western Civilization II

        ❐ History 319 - 20th Century U.S. History

        ❐ Political Science 302 - U.S. Government

At least one course transferred in or taken at GWU must be a History course.


IV. Dimensions of Self (two courses)


A. Health & Physical Education

 ❐ 338 - Health Maintenance, Promotion, and Wellness

B. Aesthetics - One Course

 ❐ Art 307 - Art Survey

 ❐ Music 320 - Survey of Music

 ❐ Theatre 235 - Theatre Survey

 ❐ French 300 - Aspects of French Culture and Language

 ❐ Spanish 300 - Aspects of Hispanic Culture and Language

 ❐ German 300 - Aspects of German Culture and Language


V. Dimensions of Scientific Inquiry - (two courses)


         ❐ Science 302 - Physical Science

         ❐ Science 303 - Human Biology

         ❐ Science 322 - Environment

Two regular college courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, etc., may be used to satisfy the requirements.


VI. Dimension of Quantitative Analysis - (one course)


         ❐ Mathematics 309 - Finite Mathematics

         ❐ Mathematics 316 - Probability and Statistics

         ❐ Mathematics 320 - Math for the Liberal Arts





  1. The last academic year (32 semester hours or more) must be taken at Gardner-Webb.
  2. Participation in commencement exercise is required. If a student is unable to participate in the Graduation Ceremony upon completion of degree requirements, the student must notify Registrar Services in writing.
  3. A minimum grade point average of 2.00 on a 4.00 scale based on the University grading system on all work attempted at Gardner-Webb is required for graduation.
  4. The student must have a minimum grade of “C’’ (2.00) on each course counted toward the major. A transfer student must complete at least one half of the major at Gardner-Webb.
  5. Any student transferring from a two-year college must complete a minimum of 64 semester hours of subsequent study in senior colleges or universities.
  6. The student is responsible for making official application for graduation to the Registrar by the deadlines published in the Registrar’s website:  www.gardner-webb.edu/registrar.

The Comprehensive Articulation Agreement

Students who began at a North Carolina community college in the 1997 Fall semester or later can meet Gardner-Webb’s general core requirements by completing the General Education Core and earning an Associate in Arts or an Associate in Science degree. However, courses in both Old and New Testament (RELI 101/304 and 102/305) must be taken as a part of the General Education Core or as electives at the community college, or the student will be required to take these courses at Gardner-Webb University. Students must also complete the course Research Skills (LIB 301) at Gardner-Webb University. Students who graduated with an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from a North Carolina community college prior to 1997 or students who have out-of-state coursework accepted by a North Carolina community college will have their coursework examined on a course-by-course basis.


  • The General Education Core is a 44 semester hour core including the following areas (Grade of “C” (2.00) or better is required):


  • English Composition (6 semester hours)


  • Humanities/Fine Arts (12 semester hours)
          Four courses from at least three of the following discipline areas are required: music, art, drama, dance,   foreign languages, interdisciplinary humanities, literature, philosophy, and religion. At least one course must be a literature course.


  • Social/Behavioral Sciences (12 semester hours)

Four courses from at least three of the following discipline areas are required: anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. At least one course must be a history course.


  • Natural Sciences (8 semester hours)


  • Associate in Arts:Two courses, including accompanying laboratory work, from the biological and physical science disciplines are required.


  • Associate in Science:A two-course sequence in general biology, general chemistry, or general physics is required.


  • Mathematics (6 semester hours)


  • Associate in Arts: At least one course in introductory mathematics is required; the other course may be selected from among other quantitative subjects, such as computer science and statistics.


  • Associate in Science:At least one course in mathematics at the precalculus algebra level or above is required; the other course may be a higher level mathematics course or may be selected from among other quantitative subjects, such as computer science and statistics.


  • Other Required Hours (20-21 semester hours)

Courses in health, physical education, college orientation, and/or study skills may be included as other required hours. Work experience may be included up to 1 semester hour for career exploration.


  • Associate in Arts:A minimum of 20 semester hours of college transfer general education, elective, and/or pre-major courses is required.


  • Associate in Science:A minimum of 14 semester hours of college transfer courses in mathematics, natural sciences, computer science, and/or other pre-major courses is required. The remaining hours may be selected from elective transfer courses.


Total Semester Hours Credit in Program: 64-65


All of the aforementioned stipulations must be completed PRIOR to entering Gardner-Webb University.


Participation in the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement does not preclude or negate minimum requirements specified by individual departments at Gardner-Webb University. Transfer students can review the departmental requirements under Additional General Education Courses Required by Major Department for specific courses required in the major.





The student bears the final responsibility for the selection of a program of study and adherence to all published regulations and requirements of the University, including the requirements for graduation. Furthermore, it is the student’s responsibility to meet any prerequisites for future graduate study or certification exams. The student cannot transfer these responsibilities to his/her advisor.





Classifications are made at the beginning of the academic year in August or at the time of the student’s enrollment.


A sophomore must have removed all entrance conditions and have completed 30 semester hours of work toward a degree.


A junior must have completed 60 semester hours, and a senior, 90 semester hours of credit toward a degree.


Special students include all persons enrolled at the University who are not seeking a degree.