Catalog 2013-14

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Liberal Arts: Distribution

The intent of the distribution requirement is to assist students in broadening their education. This breadth helps students to develop and retain the intellectual flexibility necessary to cope with their rapidly changing environment.

Students must complete at least six credit hours of coursework in each of the following five areas. In three of these five areas, at least one course must have a prerequisite or be at the 300-level.

Fine Arts (F):

Fine arts courses examine the interaction of elements within art forms, the ways in which these interactions produce artistic expression, and the conventions of the particular artistic disciplines.  In these courses, students expand their expressive abilities and/or sharpen their skills at formal analysis (such as how to experience a work of art). 

International Studies (I):

“I” courses may study global issues in one of three ways.  1. The course introduces students to the history, art, literature, philosophy, or civic life of people of different nationalities.  2. The course requires students to think and express themselves in a language other than English. 3. The course examines international social, material, cultural, or intellectual exchange at a systemic level.

Social Science (S):

Social scientists strive to understand a wide range of human behavior, from the formation of the self to the interaction of nations. Knowledge is acquired from systematic study, using a diverse set of scientific methods including laboratory experiments, field observation, survey work, and quantitative and qualitative ethnographic analyses, as well as insight acquired through experience.

Humanities (H) :

The humanities use methods such as textual interpretation, historical analysis, and philosophical investigation to ask fundamental questions of value, purpose, and meaning in a rigorous and systematic way.  The humanities teach us to think critically and imaginatively, informed by the knowledge of how those questions are (or have been) understood in different times, places, and cultures.

Natural Sciences (N):

Courses in natural and mathematical sciences enable students to engage with the methods of exploring the processes of the natural world. These methods include observation, generation of models and hypotheses, and analysis of models that pertain to the natural world, and empirical testing.

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