Intellectual Foundations Program (IFP) for Studentsline

Students who enter Florida Atlantic University without an Associate of Arts degree from a Florida State School must fulfill the Intellectual Foundations Program requirements as part of their pursuit of the baccalaureate degree. While the classes do not necessarily relate to the major, they do provide a foundation of knowledge that all well-educated students should possess. The IFP is comprised of a total of 36 credit hours:  

6 hours of Foundations of Written Communication

Learning to communicate effectively is much more than the putting of thoughts and ideas into words. Writing, in particular, allows us to develop and organize our thoughts and ideas in intelligible and meaningful ways. Effective communication involves the examination of evidence, the development of ideas, and the clear expression of those ideas. Communication also involves the application of ethical standards when using words or ideas that are not one’s own. Courses that fulfill this requirement are designed not only to develop students’ writing skills but their ability to think critically -- to question habitual ways of thinking, to move beyond obvious responses, and to develop new ways to see themselves and the world around them.  

6 hours of Foundations of Society & Human Behavior 

Courses in this area examine the forces that shape human behavior and societies. The disciplines represented in this foundation area study individuals, groups, societies, cultures, markets, and nations. Their scope is broad: the formation of attitudes; how institutions develop, function, and change; the forces that transform society and social institutions; how societies change the environment and respond to environmental change; the relationships between individuals and society; and the scope and complexity of systems of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and social class.

6 hours of Foundations of Science & the Natural World

Scientific principles are behind what we find in nature and in natural occurrences. Scientific issues, such as those dealing with stem-cell research, cloning, and global warming, are hotly debated by policy makers.Courses that meet this requirement share the goal of seeking to understand patterns and principles behind phenomena and occurrences, both in the inorganic world and in the living world. They typically fall within either the physical sciences (Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, and the Earth Sciences) or the Biological sciences. 

6 hours of Foundations of Mathematics & Quantitative Reasoning

Mathematics is a peculiarly human endeavor that attempts to organize our experience in a quantitative fashion. It aids and supplements our intuitions about the physical universe and about human behavior. The Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning requirement is intended to give students an appreciation of mathematics and to prepare them to think precisely and critically about quantitative problems.

6 hours of Foundations of Global Citizenship 

FAU students live in a region that is increasingly diverse as a consequence of immigration and international connections. They live in a world in which individuals, societies, and governments are becoming more and more interconnected across national boundaries. To succeed in this world, students must have an understanding of diverse national and regional cultures and interests; they must understand the challenges and necessity of being able to communicate across these diverse cultures; they must understand the global forces that shape societies and nations and the relationships between and among them; they must have an awareness of global connectedness and interdependence, understanding how their actions can affect other peoples and places.

6 hours of Foundations of Humanities

Through literature, the creative and performing arts, philosophy, and architecture, individuals and cultures interpret, express, and define their values and ideals. They also explore human potential, the human condition, and the imagination.


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