Liberal Arts Core

LAC Requirements


Total Program Minimum 45 hours*

Category 1. Core Competencies 12 hours*

Courses in written and oral communication enhance students' abilities to read and listen critically and to write and speak effectively by attention to how the gathering, analyzing, and presenting of evidence and conclusions can be designed for specific purposes and audiences. Courses in quantitative techniques enhance students' abilities to use quantitative data effectively and to apply relevant mathematical and statistical concepts and methods to diverse problems and situations. Personal wellness promotes the acquisition of knowledge and the development of skills and attitudes necessary for implementing positive health-related decisions.


(Students should complete 1A, 1B and 1C in their first year)

A. Reading and Writing (3 hours required)

UNIV 1000/1010 First Year Cornerstone 6 hours


College Writing and Research

3 hours


Craft of Academic Writing

3 hours


Critical Writing About Literature

3 hours


B. Speaking and Listening (3 hours required)

COMM 1000 Oral Communication 3 hours


C. Quantitative Techniques and Understanding (3 hours required)*

MATH 1100 Mathematics in Decision Making 3 hours
MATH 1204 Mathematical Reasoning for Teachers I 3 hours
MATH 1420 Calculus I 4 hours
STAT 1772 Introduction to Statistical Methods 3 hours
CS 1025 Computational Modeling and Simulation 3 hours
STAT 1774 Introduction to Statistical Methods 3 hours


*Elementary Education students may meet the category IC requirement by completing MATH 1201.


D. Personal Wellness (2-3 hours required)

HPELS 1010 Personal Wellness 3 hours
HPELS 1059 Dimensions of Well-Being 1 hour
HPELS 1059 Dimensions of Well-Being-Lab 1 hour



Category 2. Civilizations and Cultures 9 hours

Courses in this category promote an understanding of Western and Non-Western cultures and civilizations from ancient times to the present through historical accounts, literatures, philosophies, religions, and fine arts. Using methods of critical inquiry, students explore aspects of human nature, the shaping of thoughts and values, and their interrelations.

A. Humanities (6 hours required)

HUM 1021 Humanities I: The Ancient, Classical, and Medieval Worlds 3 hours
HUM 1022 Humanities II: The Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment 3 hours
HUM 1023 Humanities III: The Age of Revolution to the Present 3 hours


B. Non-Western Cultures (3 hours required)*

HUM 3121 Russia/Soviet Union 3 hours
HUM 3122 Japan 3 hours
HUM 3123 Latin America 3 hours
HUM 3124 China 3 hours
HUM 3125 India 3 hours
HUM 3127 Middle East 3 hours
HUM 3128 Africa 3 hours

HUM 3132/

ANTH 2410

Native North America 3 hours

HUM 3137/

ANTH 2411

Native Central and South America 3 hours

* SPAN 3020 may substitute for the non-Western Cultures requirement, 3 hours



Category 3. Fine Arts, Literature, Philosophy and Religion 6 hours

Courses in this category explore diverse forms of human expression and enhance understanding of how religious, philosophical, literary, and aesthetic ideas and experiences shape and reflect cultures and common patterns of human life. Students will develop knowledge of the complex interplay of culture, history, and human experience through critical examination of ideas and beliefs, rituals and symbols, moral codes and social values, story and poetry, visual art, music theater, and dance.

A. Fine Arts (3 hours required)*

PEMES 2034 Survey of Dance History 3 hours
THEATRE 1002 The Theatrical Arts and Society 3 hours
MUSIC 1100 Soundscapes: Music in Culture 3 hours
ART 1002 Visual Inventions 3 hours
ARTHIST 1004 Visual Perceptions 3 hours

*MUS HIS 1020 may substitute for the Fine Arts requirements for all music majors, 3 hours


B. Literature, Philosophy, or Religion (3 hours required)

ENGLISH 1120 Literature: (Topic) 3 hours
GER 1120 Introduction to German Literature & Translation 3 hours
RELS 1020 Religions of the World 3 hours
PHIL 1020 Philosophy: The Art of Thinking 3 hours
FREN 1120 Introduction to Francophone Literature in Translation 3 hours
SLAV 1120 Introduction to Russian Literature in Translation 3 hours
PORT 1031 Introduction to Portuguese and Hispanic Literature in Translation 3 hours



Category 4. Natural Science and Technology 7 hours

Courses in natural science promote an understanding of science as a human process that investigates matter and energy acting within complex organic and inorganic systems. Fundamental principles of both physical and life sciences are included. A capstone course demonstrates the relationships among science, technology, society, and the natural environment.

(Students are required to take a course with a scheduled laboratory from either Life Sciences or Physical Sciences or another laboratory course offered by the College of Natural Sciences. Only 6 hours are required for students who meet the Liberal Arts Core laboratory requirement with a course other than one listed in Life or Physical Sciences.)

A. Life Sciences (3 or 4 hours required)

For all courses listed under Life Sciences and Physical Sciences, with the exception of ANTH 1001, a student must have satisfied University entrance requirements in English and Mathematics. (College of Natural Science majors and Health Promotion Major/Science Intensive: Environmental Health Options students may meet the Life Sciences requirement by completing BIOL 2051 or BIOL 2052.)

SCI ED 1200* Inquiry into Life Science 4 hours
BIOL 1012 Life: The Natural World 3 hours
BIOL 1013* Life: The Natural World - Lab 1 hour
BIOL 1014 Life: Continuity and Change 3 hours
BIOL 1015* Life: Continuing and Change - Lab 1 hour
BIOL 1033* Principles of Microbiology 3 hours
BIOL 2051* General Biology: Organismal Diversity 4 hours
BIOL 2052* General Biology: Cell Structure and Function 4 hours
ANTH 1001 Human Origins 3 hours
BIOL 3101 Anatomy & Physiology 3 hours

* Lab course


B. Physical Sciences (3 or 4 hours required)

For all courses listed under Life Sciences and Physical Sciences, with the exception of ANTH 1001, a student must have satisfied University entrance requirements in English and Mathematics. (College of Natural Sciences majors may meet the Physical Sciences requirement by completing CHEM 1110, CHEM 1130, PHYSICS 1511, or PHYSICS 1701.) Health Promotion Major/Science Intensive: Environmental Health Option students may met the Physical Sciences requirement by completing CHEM 1110, CHEM 1120, or CHEM 1130.

SCI ED 1300* Inquiry into Physical Science 4 hours
SCI ED 1100* Inquiry into Earth and Space Science 4 hours
CHEM 1010** Principles of Chemistry 3-4 hours
CHEM 1011 Molecules and Life 3 hours
CHEM 1020* Chemical Technology 4 hours
CHEM 1110* General Chemistry I 4 hours
EARTHSCI 1100** Astronomy 3-4 hours
EARTHSCI 1200 Elements of Weather 3 hours
EARTHSCI 1210 Elements of Weather - Lab 1 hour
EARTHSCI 1300* Introduction to Geology

4 hours

PHYSICS 1400* Conceptual Physics 4 hours
PHYSICS 1000 Physics in Everyday Life 3 hours
PHYSICS 1511* General Physics I 4 hours
PHYSICS 1701* Physics I for Science and Engineering 4 hours
GEOG 1210** Physical Geography 3-4 hours
GEIG 1211* Physical Geography- Lab 1 hour
TECH 1015 Intro to Sustainability 3 hours

* Lab Course

** Lab Course if 4-hour option elected



Category 5. Social Science 9 hours

Courses in this category introduce students to the description and analysis of human behavior from different perspectives, ranging from the societal and cultural to the institutional, individual and topical viewpoints. Students are exposed to the diversity of sociocultural systems created by human beings during their evolutionary development, and examine the manner in which behavior is influenced by environmental, sociocultural, psychological, and historical processes.

2014 Program Requirement: one course from group A, one course from group B, and one course from group C. 

A. Group A Sociocultural and Historical Perspectives

WGS 1040 Women's and Gender Studies: Introduction 3 hours
GEOG 1120 Human Geography 3 hours
SOC 1000 Introduction to Sociology

3 hours

ANTH 1002 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 3 hours
HISUS 1023 History of the United States 3 hours


B. Group B Individual and Institutional Perspectives

FAM SERV 1010 Human Identity and Relationships 3 hours
PSYCH 1001 Introduction to Psychology 3 hours
ECON 1031* Introduction to Economics 3 hours
POL AMER 1014 Introduction to American Politics 3 hours

*Satisfactory completion of both ECON 1041 and ECON 1051 by all non-business majors and Business Teaching majors, through UNI or transfer, may substitute for ECON 1031.)


C. Group C Topical Perspectives

EDPSYCH 2030 Dynamics of Human Development 3 hours

SW 1041

SOC SCI 1041

Social Welfare: A World View 3 hours

SW 2045

SOC SCI 1045

SOC 1045

American Racial & Ethnic Minorities 3 hours
SOC SCI 1020 Women, Men, and Society 3 hours
POL Gen 1020 Contemporary Political Problems 3 hours
SOC 1060 Social Problems 3 hours
GEOG 1110 World Geography 3 hours
POL INTL 1024 International Relations 3 hours



Category 6. Capstone Experience 2 hours

(Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.)

Capstone courses provide opportunities for students to synthesize the diverse realms of thought they have studied and to apply the intellectual proficiencies they have acquired. The emphasis is on cultivating life-long learning through linking theory and academic preparation to practical problem-solving activities in multidisciplinary seminars or community-based learning courses.

CAP 3102 Living in Our Techno-Social World 3 hours
CAP 3103 Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Genocide: Case Studies 3 hours
CAP 3105 Sacred Space 3 hours
CAP 3106 Theatre in Education 3 hours
CAP 3110 Obesity and Diabetes: Science, Sociology and Economics 2 hours
CAP 3121 Creativity and the Evolution of Culture 3 hours
CAP 3122 Building Communities: Developing Intentional Family Spaces 3 hours
CAP 3123 Greece: From the "Cradle of Democracy" to Today 3 hours
CAP 3124 Democracies 3 hours
CAP 3125 Globalization, Cultural Pluralism and International Security 3 hours
CAP 3128 Ethics in Communication 3 hours
CAP 3129 Being National 3 hours
CAP 3130 Science and Pseudoscience: Critiquing the World Around You 3 hours
CAP 3131 Analysis of Social Issues 3 hours
CAP 3132 Medicine, Morality, and Society 3 hours
CAP 3134 Back in the Valley: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 21st Century 3 hours
CAP 3140 Environment, Technology, and Society 2 hours
CAP 3144/ENGLISH 3144 Genocide in Writing and Film 3 hours
CAP 3148 The Holocaust in Literature and Film 3 hours
CAP 3151 Money, Sex and Power: Theories of Race, Class and Gender 3 hours
CAP 3152 Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Health 3 hours
CAP 3154/BUSINESS 3154 Global Skills 2-3 hours
Cap 3155 Socio-Economic Reality of Central America 2 hours
CAP 3158 The Water Planet 3 hours
CAP 3159/BUSINESS 3159 Managing Energy and Sustainability for the Organization  3 hours
CAP 3159/RELS 3159/PHIL 3159 Monsters, Vampires, and Religion: An Awesome Alliance  hours
CAP 3159/ENGLISH 3159 Myths of Ireland  hours
CAP 3160 Community and Public Health 3 hours
CAP 3165/GER 3334/TESOL 3565 Intercultural Perspective 3 hours
CAP 3173 Bio-Medical Ethics 3 hours
CAP 3187 Blues and Jazz in African American Film and Literature 3 hours
CAP 3190 Idea of the University 3 hours
CAP 3194 Perspectives on Death and Dying 3 hours
CAP 3350/TESOL3350 Constructing Cross-Cultural Bridges 3 hours





  1. Liberal Arts Core courses may be used to satisfy requirements for both the Liberal Arts Core program and the major, minor, and program emphasis.

  2. Departments offering a liberal arts core course may preclude their major or minor students from taking that particular course to satisfy the requirements for the liberal arts core, the major, or the minor.

  3. Liberal Arts Core requirements can be met through CLEP examinations, departmental examinations and the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board.
    CLEP examinations do not include the mandatory laboratory course requirement. A student who receives CLEP credit in both the physical and biological sciences shall be considered to have fulfilled the laboratory requirement.

  4. No Liberal Arts Core course may be taken for graduate credit.

  5. No Liberal Arts Core course may have a non-Liberal Arts Core course as a prerequisite.

  6. All courses taken to meet liberal arts core requirements must be taken for graded credit.

  7. The Liberal Arts Core program requirements apply to all undergraduate degree programs.




*ENGLISH 1005 recommended for students with ACT English and Reading scores of 18-26;

ENGLISH 2015 has prerequisite of combined ACT English and Reading scores of 54 or higher;

ENGLISH 2120 recommended for English majors and minors with prerequisite of ACT English and Reading scores of 54 or higher.


**For students admitted to UNI prior to Fall 1994, the Speech and Listening course included in the Communication Essentials category is not required.

Liberal Arts Core courses included in major or minor program requirements are distinguished by italics.