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Approaches Requirements

(25 hours)

Approaches courses in the General Education curriculum provide substantive experience with six distinctive approaches to knowledge and intellectual inquiry. These are represented by courses in the physical and life sciences, the social and behavioral sciences (including historical analysis), and the humanities and fine arts (including philosophical and/or moral reasoning, literary arts, and the visual and performing arts).

Physical and Life Sciences (7 hours)

All students must complete two courses in the physical and life sciences, at least one of which must include a laboratory component. Science courses combining lecture and laboratory components normally constitute four hours of credit. Some lecture courses may be taken singly for three credit hours (PL) or combined with an optional matching laboratory for one additional credit hour (PX).

Social and Behavioral Sciences (9 hours)

Courses in social and behavioral sciences (SS, HS) focus on the scientific study of individual or collective behavior, including the family, society, culture, politics, and the economy. All students must complete three courses in the social and behavioral sciences. The three courses must be from at least two different departments or curricula, and at least one course must focus on historical analysis (HS).

Humanities and Fine Arts (9 hours)

The humanities and fine arts explore enduring issues of the human condition and develop the means of communicating, representing, and expressing the varieties of human experience. Students must take three courses, one from each of the following categories:

  • Philosophical and/or Moral Reasoning (3 hours)
    Courses (PH) that address fundamental questions about human experience and teach methods of reasoning, analysis, and interpretation appropriate to such inquiry. Such courses also may contain significant content in ethics or moral reasoning.
  • Literary Analysis (3 hours)
    Courses (LA) that principally analyze and evaluate literary or filmic texts as the written or visual expression in any language of human experience.
  • Visual and Performing Arts (3 hours)
    Courses (VP) in art, music, drama, performance studies, or film that emphasize aesthetic content that is not literary, focus on creative practice, provide perspective into the human condition, and encourage life-long engagement with the fine arts.