General Education

General EducationGeneral Education is a hallmark of an American college education. This set of required courses, which all our undergraduates take, usually in their first two years, helps you acquire the foundational skills and habits of mind you need to succeed in your studies and career, and become an adaptive, life-long learner.

In addition to building the critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills for academic success, the program will also help you:

  • Broaden your knowledge of the social and natural world and of yourself and grow as a learner and individual.
  • Become an informed and ethically aware individual who is attentive to diversity and knowledgeable about how your actions impact local and global communities.
  • Strengthen your ability to make connections between ideas and concepts from various disciplines so that you can apply knowledge and skills to new contexts and questions.

These goals are addressed in a 40-credit program with 7 required (core) courses and 7 elective courses that you select from various subject areas.

The Core Courses and Foundational Skills

The required core courses, which you ordinarily take in the first two years of your studies, Through these courses you’ll develop your ability to:

  • Speak persuasively before an audience
  • Communicate effectively in writing in academic and professional contexts
  • Locate, evaluate, and responsibly use information
  • Think critically and creatively
  • Understand and create arguments supported by quantitative evidence
The Electives: Knowledge of the World and its Peoples, Cultures, and Achievements

You will also take courses that will broaden your knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, foreign languages, and the arts.

The Politis Program of Civic Engagement

General Education also includes a component called The Politis Program, which aims to foster civic engagement. It combines service-learning opportunities, volunteer work, and other forms of co-curricular community involvement to expose students to community problems, and help them develop social, civic, and cultural responsibility. All undergraduate students complete 45 hours of service-learning activities and community volunteer work prior to their graduation. You can meet the requirement by participating in three kinds of activities: personal development events and activities, action service, and course work. For more information, please consult the page on the Politis Program of Civic Engagement.

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