General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements for Students Matriculating After Fall 2013

I. Complete the requirements for a major
II. General education requirements
A. First-Year Program
B. First-Year Seminar

C. The Human Experience and the Natural World
Students are required to complete at least one unit from each of the following perspectives: The Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Natural Sciences. Courses fulfilling this requirement need to be from different departments and only one course may be from the student’s major. FYS courses can be used to fulfill this requirement; FYP courses cannot. The instructor of record designates the perspective of her/his course using the guideline that at least 75 percent of the course’s content achieves the learning goals for The Arts, Social Sciences, Humanities, or Natural Sciences, as described below (Not all courses have to fulfill this requirement and be designated as ARTS, SS, HU, or NS-L):

1. The Arts (ARTS): Courses have primary learning goals in which students develop:

  • a. an enhanced awareness of the process of artistic production through making works of art; and/or
  • b. an understanding of the diverse ways to interpret and analyze works of art.

2. Social Sciences (SS): Courses have primary learning goals in which students develop:

  • a. an enhanced awareness of the diverse ways in which economic, political, and social institutions can be organized; and/or
  • b. an understanding of the various ways in which evidence about social structures and interactions is acquired and handled; and/or
  • c. an understanding of how social science knowledge is gained through the formulation, testing, and reformulation of theories and hypotheses.

3. Humanities (HU): Courses have primary learning goals in which students develop:

  • a. an enhanced awareness of the variety of ways humans understand, signify, and make meaning of their lives; and/or
  • b. an enhanced awareness of how cultures and the interpretations of cultures change over time.

4. Natural Science with Lab (NS-L): Courses have primary learning goals in which students develop:

  • a. an understanding of the physical, chemical, biological, and/or behavioral phenomena of the natural world and, insofar as possible, an ability to relate them to everyday experience; and
  • b. a theoretical and quantitative understanding of the processes underlying the physical, chemical, biological, and/or behavioral phenomena of the natural world; and
  • c. an understanding of how scientific knowledge of the natural world is obtained and revised through hypothesis testing using experimental and/or observational methodologies.

In addition, Natural Science Lab Courses are required to include a regularly scheduled laboratory component that meets weekly for at least 90 minutes, in which students have the opportunity to examine phenomena of the natural world using experimental and/or observational methods.

D. Human Diversity: Culture and Communication
Students are required to complete one of the following combinations in human diversity and communication:

  • 1. One course approved for diversity credit (DIV13) and one course in a foreign language (LANG).
  • 2. Two courses approved for diversity credit (DIV13).
  • 3. One course approved for diversity credit (DIV13) and an experience on an off-campus program approved for diversity credit by the Academic Affairs committee.

The Academic Affairs committee will approve courses for DIV13 credit. Courses that fulfill the DIV13 requirement may also fulfill other general education requirements. FYS courses may be approved for DIV13 or LANG credit; FYP courses cannot. DIV13 courses are at least one unit and include primary learning goals in which students develop: a. an understanding of the nature and significance of diversity within and among groups; and b. an understanding of the dynamics of power and justice within and/or among groups or societies; and c. a capacity for critical self-reflection on social location, including how social location shapes human interactions.

The Academic Affairs committee will approve courses for LANG credit. LANG courses that fulfill the LANG requirement may also fulfill other general education requirements. LANG courses are at least one unit and include primary learning goals in which students:

  • a. learn the skills necessary for communication in another language: reading, listening, writing and speaking; and
  • b. are introduced to the different cultures in which these languages are employed; and
  • c. are exposed to global diversity and encouraged to develop a critical perspective on their own cultural practices.

E. Quantitative/Logical Reasoning (QLR) 
Students are required to complete at least one unit that meets the learning goals of either quantitative reasoning or logical reasoning courses. Courses that fulfill the QLR requirement may also fulfill other general education requirements. FYS courses may be approved for QLR credit; FYP courses cannot. The Academic Affairs Committee will approve courses for QLR credit using the following guidelines: 

1 . Quantitative Reasoning Courses have primary learning goals in which students, through multiple opportunities and classroom instruction, develop their abilities to: a. address questions by examining quantitative evidence using appropriate methods of analysis and evaluation; and b. explain their conclusions and the quantitative methods they used in developing their reasoning.

2. Logical Reasoning Courses have as the primary learning goals that students develop:

  • a. an understanding of deductive and/or inductive logic; and
  • b. an understanding of the methods of determining the reliability of these types of reasoning.

F. Environmental Literacy (EL) 
Students are required to complete at least one unit that meets the learning goals of environmental literacy courses. Courses that fulfill the EL requirement may also fulfill other general education requirements. FYS courses may be approved for EL credit; FYP courses cannot. The Academic Affairs Committee will approve courses for EL credit. EL courses are at least one unit and at least 50 percent of the course’s content must achieve the learning goals for Environmental Literacy, as described below.

Environmental Literacy Courses have primary learning goals in which students, through multiple opportunities and classroom instruction, develop:

  • a. a recognition of the consequences of human activities on natural systems; and/or
  • b. an awareness of the cultural, economic, and political forces that affect environmental policies; and/or
  • c. an understanding of natural systems and/or the impacts they can have on the environment, human life, health, and welfare.

G. Integrative Learning (ILC)
Integrative learning helps students combine the benefits of the breadth and depth in their education by fostering a synthetic understanding directed toward a particular question, topic, or theme. All students are required to complete an ILC through which they: a. enhance their knowledge of a particular question, topic, or theme by bringing into conversation some combination of written, visual, artistic, experiential, or laboratory based inquiry; and b. use two or more ways of knowing and/or theoretical approaches to cultivate a more nuanced understanding of a particular question, topic or theme. Students may meet the ILC requirement by completing any of the following:

1. A cluster of 4 courses of at least one unit, each organized around a particular question, topic, or theme, selected in consultation with the academic advisor. The 4 courses must be from at least 2 different departments or programs and may include courses counted toward other general education requirements. The academic advisor must approve the student’s course cluster prior to graduation.

2. A semester-long off-campus study program that has been approved by CIIS as meeting the description of integrative learning above.

3. A Multi-field Major or a major or minor approved by the Academic Affairs Committee as meeting the description of integrative learning above. Approved majors include African Studies-History; African Studies-Government; African Studies-Anthropology; African Studies-Economics; Asian Studies-History; Asian Studies-Government; Asian Studies-Religious Studies; BiologyPhysics; Business in the Liberal Arts(2nd major only); Canadian Studies-Anthropology; Canadian Studies-Art and Art History; Canadian Studies-Economics; Canadian Studies-English; Canadian Studies-Government; Canadian Studies-History; Canadian Studies-Francophone Studies; Canadian Studies-Religious Studies; Canadian Studies-Sociology; Conservation Biology; EconomicsMathematics; Environmental Studies-Biology; Environmental Studies-Chemistry; Environmental Studies-Economics; Environmental Studies-English; Environmental Studies-Geology; Environmental Studies-Government; Environmental Studies-Mathematics; Environmental Studies-Philosophy; Environmental Studies-Psychology; Environmental Studies-Sociology; Geology-Physics; Global Studies; International Economics-Estudios Hispánicos; International Economics-Francophone Studies; International Economics-German Studies; International Economics-Multi-Language; and Neuroscience. Approved minors include African Studies; African-American Studies; Asian Studies; Canadian Studies; Caribbean and Latin American Studies; European Studies, Film & Representation Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Global Studies; Native American Studies; Outdoor Studies; and Peace Studies.