VIA Program

The VIA program consists of six courses that cover many areas of study, but focus in particular on the great ideas in history that inform the building of the "Good Life." Taken together, the courses provide a pathway ("via" in Latin) to graduation and a sound preparation for life in the 21st century.

Working collaboratively with professors, students in the VIA program take one course together each semester beginning in the fall of the sophomore year and continuing until graduation. All VIA courses fulfill Core Curriculum requirements.

Students apply for the VIA program in the fall of their first year, and up to 25 students are selected as VIA scholars for their remaining three years at the University.

First-year students interested in the VIA program are encouraged to take a VIA section of UNV102: University Seminar during their spring semester. VIA sections explore various themes that often lay the groundwork for the three-year sequence of VIA courses that follow. They also introduce students to the learning community in which they will participate in future semesters.


Sophomore Theme: Interpretations

The sophomore year looks at the wide variety of interpretations that have been given to visions of the "Good Life." Students need to become responsible for their own interpretations as they shape their lives. Interpretation here means not only the skill to read and think critically, but also the ability to translate historical ideas into some form of personal expression.

During the spring semester, sophomores in the VIA program take a trip to Washington, D.C.  The trip focuses on the obligations of responsible citizenship and includes visits to Capitol Hill, social justice organizations and the Holocaust Museum.

Required courses:

  • PHL225: Quest of the Good Life (fall semester)
  • HIS203: Hitler and the Holocaust or another history course (spring semester)

Junior Theme: Reflection and Action

The junior year explores reflection and action. Students consider the insights psychology offers regarding contemporary problems and take action to serve those most in need.

Required courses:

  • PSY255: Psychology of Prejudice (fall semester)
  • RTS335: Christian Ethics and Social Issues or RTS325: Who Is My Neighbor? Mercy in the Christian Tradition (spring semester)

Senior Theme: Integration

Required courses:

  • THE360: Theater Production or other course (fall semester)
  • Integrating Seminar (spring semester)