Ways of Knowing

The ways of knowing approach reflects our belief that students who have a wide range of intellectual capacities are better equipped to make a difference in the world. Each of these ways of knowing represents an important modality for approaching, analyzing, and understanding different aspects of our lives and our world. Each way of knowing forms a complementary part of the larger whole, bringing individual students closer to attaining the intellectual capacities and practices that fulfill the overall goals of a Notre Dame education.

  • Advanced Language and Culture – Courses at or above the 30000 level that expose students to literature, culture, thought, and political discourse in the original language of expression.
  • Catholicism and the Disciplines (CAD) – Courses that engage ideas central to the Catholic tradition from the perspective of one or more disciplines.
  • Fine Arts and Literature – Courses that engage students with artistic expression, which may include creative practice in addition to critical analysis of created works.
  • History – Courses that contain dimensions of historical inquiry: temporal, contextual, analytical, rhetorical, geographical, and human.
  • Integration – Courses team-taught by faculty from two departments or academic units having as a primary goal the analysis of compelling problems from the perspective of two or more disciplines.
  • Philosophy – Courses that provide the framework of reason that allows the discovery of truths that extend the reach of empirical disciplines.
  • Quantitative Reasoning – Courses that engage students in multiple mathematical ways of thinking.
  • Science and Technology – Courses that engage students in the thought processes and concepts through which scientists, engineers, and other inventors view and characterize the world.
  • Social Science – Courses that study society, individuals’ relationships to that society and one another, and how these relationships vary across time and cultures.
  • Theology – Courses that invite students to broaden their understanding by grappling with the mystery of the God’s revelation and by seeing how they may bring the fullness of reason and experience to bear in comprehending its meaning for all dimensions of human life.
  • Writing – Writing and Rhetoric, University Seminar, and other writing intensive courses.