Course Information

Program Overview

Fortin and Gonthier Foundations of Western Civilization

The goal of a liberal arts education is to produce a well-rounded individual. The Fortin and Gonthier Foundations of Western Civilization Program (Foundations) at Assumption integrates the study of politics, arts, literature, philosophy, theology and history to help students reflect upon the heritage of the Western world and better understand the interconnected nature of the various disciplines.

You can earn an Honors Certificate or a Minor in Foundations while fulfilling many of your general education requirements. Anyone in any major can select to participate in Foundations, and there is even a special sequence for first-year students. Classes are small and there are a variety of interesting educational opportunities scheduled outside the classroom.

Foundations Honors Certificate

The Foundations Honors Certificate is for a self-selecting group of students who are enjoy the challenge of learning about Western Civilization and are prepared to reap the rewards of rigorous, integrated academic study. Students who pursue the Foundations Honors Certificate must complete the Minor with a 3.25 GPA in Foundations courses and also take FND 300: Special Topics in the Foundations of Western Civilization.

Minor in Foundations

Students who Minor in Foundations take 6 courses that include politics, arts, literature, philosophy, theology and history. The College’s program for first-year students, the Tagaste Project, offers a Foundations section that includes 4 of the required courses for the Minor. Foundations is an excellent opportunity for students to build their inquiry, analysis and writing skills—skills that will last a lifetime.

Opportunities Outside the Classroom

  • Select Foundations courses offer subsidized trips to Rome and Venice or Paris. This is a terrific opportunity for students to experience various periods of Western Civilization. The trips are not a required component of the courses, but have been very popular.
  • Public lectures and special Foundations events, such as trips to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and plays at Worcester’s Foothills Theatre.

Belgium Holland

Assumption students explored "The High Days of the Low Countries" with their professors as part of the Fortin and Gonthier Foundations of Western Civilization program. This blog describes their experiences in Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, and Amsterdam, during their 10-day expedition in May 2013 as they discovered the cultural riches of history, art, and architecture in these grand cities of Northern Europe.
16 Assumption College students contributed photos and videos to a blog capturing their voyage to the Golden Age of the Low Countries. Click here to read the journal.
To learn about the Foundations Program Travel Seminar to Venice, click here.