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Learning Communities

Get off to a great start by being part of a Residential Learning Community! Learning communities create an environment for success for first-year students in the McAnulty College of Liberal Arts.

Each community shares:

  • Four integrated courses of study in the fall semester, one or two courses that get you back together in the spring
  • A theme
  • A floor in a residence hall (if you live on campus)

Community members:

  • Get to know faculty members on a personal basis
  • Discover friends and study companions with similar interests
  • Organize study groups quickly and easily
  • Benefit from being taught by a faculty team who connect their courses
  • Take part whether you live on campus or commute

Common reading:

Each year the faculty of the learning communities choose a text for students in all the learning communities to read, study, and discuss. Students write about the text in their own community and join in an all-communities forum to share their views.

For 2015-16 the common text will be Arthur Miller's, Death of a Salesman, which will inaugurate Duquesne's new Genesius Theater when it opens in fall 2015.

    "Studying no longer is boring; the learning community allows you to get feedback from other students.  It helps create study groups easily.  It also helps you become acquainted fast with a group of friends."
    --CIVITAS student

    With no more than 30 student members, communities quickly form their own identity. Each community has a Latin name that captures its emphasis and focus. You can choose the community you prefer, as space allows:

    CIVITAS IconAMOR (AH'-MORE)
    love, passion, fondness, desire

    Explore the meanings of love in religion, literature and art.

    CIVITAS IconCIVITAS (KEE'-WEE-TOSS)
    state, citizenship, city-state

    Prepare to make a difference in community and governance.

    FIDES IconFIDES (FEE'-DES)
    trust, confidence, belief, faith

    Challenge and strengthen your most important beliefs.

    JUSTITIA IconJUSTITIA (YOU-STEE'-TEE-AH)
    justice, equity, rightness

    Search for truth and justice through evidence in the public sphere.

    NARRATIO logoNARRATIO (NAH-RAH'-TEE-OH)
    telling relating, narrative, story

    Read and create stories.

    ORBIS IconORBIS (OR'-BIS)
    circle, the world, the earth

    Study other lands, cultures and states.

    PERSONAE IconPERSONAE (PER-SOH'-NYE)
    parts, roles, characters, personalities

    Consider how individuals and groups shape one another.

    RATIO IconRATIO (RAH'-TEE-OH)
    reckoning, reason, judgment, method

    Ask better questions; work toward more satisfying answers.

    TERRA IconTERRA (TER'-RAH)
    earth, land, ground

    Cultivate compassion for the earth and those that inhabit it.

    For more details:

    Read the College's Goals for Learning Communities, Testimonials and Reports from past learning communities members.

    Browse our Frequently Asked Questions.