Liberal Arts Core


Category 1: Core Competencies

  12 hours required


 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)

Category 2: Civilizations and Cultures

  9 hours required

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.

Category 3: Fine Arts, Literature, Philosophy and Religion

  6 hours required

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.

Category 4: Nature Science and Technology

  7 hours required

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.)

Category 5: Social Science

  9 hours required

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.  2016 Program Requirement: one course from group A, one course from group B, and one course from group C. 

Category 6: Capstone Experience

  2 hours required, 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.