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Intellectual Inquiry Curriculum

The Intellectual Inquiry (INQ) Curriculum and Roanoke's entire approach to education is structured to help students develop the skills that will make the most difference in their lives after college, including their work lives.

Employers search for job candidates who can think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems.

Where will you find the courses that help you build these skills? They are at all levels in your major, and in the Intellectual Inquiry Curriculum. INQ 110 helps you work on critical thinking and writing. INQ 120 focuses on ethical reasoning and oral skills. INQ 240 shows you how data can be used in decision-making. The  other 200-level INQ courses focus on using the methodologies of the disciplines to ask and answer questions. In your Glolbal course, you analyuze issues in terms of global interconnections or cultural perspectives.

And finally in INQ 300 Contemporary Issues, you work collaboratively to solve a real problem by employing all the skills developed in your major and the other INQ courses.

These courses form the basis of a strong liberal arts education that is at its core an "education for liberation." It liberates us from the limitations of our own personal experiences.  It opens our eyes to the world, challenges what we believe, asks us to support ideas with facts and reason, and arms us with the skills needed to thrive in a complex and changing world. 
 

  • Want to know more about the skills, competencies, and experiences upon which faculty built the Intellectual Inquiry Curriculum?  See these documents:

Intellectual Inquiry Description
Freedom with Purpose
Why Inquiry?
Skills & Competencies by INQ Course
Student Learning Outcomes for Intellectual Inquiry  
Stack up Skills Employers Want in your INQ Courses

  • Looking for lists of requirements, substitutions, or rules?  See these documents:

INQ Check Sheet
Substitutions for 200-level INQ courses revised June 2016 (submit form to Registrar when you believe you have satisfied all of the 200-level requirements)  

  • Looking for descriptions of INQ course topics offered in an upcoming term?  See                

Registrar's webpage with Registration Information

  • Looking for the list of courses that satisfy the Global Requirement?

Registrar's webpage with Registration Information

The link above gives you a list of courses that currently satisfy the Global Requirement. The link is updated as new courses are added. Note the approval dates shown in the link. You must take a course AFTER it has been approved as Global in order for it to satisfy the Global Requirement. If you took one of these courses sometime before it was designated as Global, it does NOT satisfy your Global Requirement. Also, do not assume that a course satisfies the Global Requirement simply because it sounds global or has words like Global or International in its title.

Prior to Fall 2016 only 200-level INQ sections with Global in their titles satisfied the Global Requirement.If you took such a class, you satisfied your Global Requirement.

  • Wondering if you can repeat an INQ course? Yes, you can repeat an INQ course to improve your grade. If you repeat INQ 110, 120, 240, 241, 251, 270, 271, or 300, the grade from the new attempt will replace the first attempt even if the topic is different. You will also lose credit for the first attempt, so be careful not to repeat a course by accident. Laboratory science and social science courses are tagged by discipline. So, for example, we actually offer INQ 260, we offer INQ 260AN, INQ 260SO, INQ 260PY, INQ 260PS, etc. If you have already taken INQ 260AN and then take a second INQ 260AN, the grade will replace and the credit for the first attempt will be lost. On the other hand, if you have already taken INQ 260AN, you could take any of the other disciplines such as an INQ 260SO to receive an additional credit. The grade will not replace and credit will not be lost.
  • Wondering if you can take INQ courses out of order?  All 100- and 200-level INQ requirements, including the Global requirement, must be complete before you take INQ 300. You may not co-enroll lower level INQ courses with INQ 300. Other INQ courses may be taken in any order except that INQ 250 or another natural science with laboratory is prerequisite to INQ 251, and INQ 240 or another mathematics/statistics course is prerequisite to INQ 241.
  • Wondering how this works for a transfer student? (Transfer students attended another college before Roanoke. If you have credits taken while in high school, see dual-enrollment below.) Yes, we work with transfer student credits. Nearly all INQ requirements can be transferred in, but once enrolled at Roanoke remaining requirements must be met with INQ courses (not more substitutions) for students who transfer in three or more 200-level INQ courses. See

INQ for Transfer Students  

  • Wondering whether dual-enrollment, AP credits, or college credits earned while you were in high school can count? Yes, they can substitute for 200-level INQ courses. See the substitution rules linked above. Even competency earned for a score of 3 on an AP test can be used for substitution. BUT, you are limited to a total of three substitutions towards INQ requirements. Other credits will count towards major or needed electives.
  • Wondering how INQ courses work if you study abroad? We apply the same rules for substitutions in 200-level INQ courses as if you were on campus.  Note that studying abroad does NOT satisfy either your Global Requirement or the Intensive Learning (May Term) requirement. 
  • Considering a summer school course at another college or university? That is a great way to pick up some electives, but a faculty rule says that all general education (INQ) requirements must be completed at Roanoke College once you enroll. Courses you plan to take at other schools do not count for INQ substitutions for other requirements. See the Registrar's Office for more information on transferring summer courses back to Roanoke. They will pre-approve courses for transfer.  

Have questions that haven't been answered by any of the documents above? Contact:              

Dr. Gail Steehler
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & General Education                                
gsteehle@roanoke.edu or 375-2436