Intellectual Foundations Program - General Education Curriculum

Area I | Area II | Area III | Area IV | Area V | Area VI

Florida Atlantic University believes that higher education should go well beyond the preparation of individuals for demanding careers in their chosen fields. It should also provide broad intellectual enrichment through systematic exposure to a diversity of academic experiences. The purpose of the general education curriculum in this endeavor is to develop the intellectual skills, habits of thought, ethical values, and love of learning that transcend the choice of major. These are the hallmarks of educated men and women capable of meeting effectively the social, political, and economic challenges of contemporary life. Perhaps at no other time in history has a well-rounded, inquiring intellect been more important and useful than in the world of rapid technological change and ever increasing globalization in which we now live. Thus, the mission of a comprehensive university education is to produce graduates who can intelligently analyze information, appreciate diverse peoples and ideas, and adapt to change through the self-motivated acquisition of new knowledge.

Consequently, FAU's general education curriculum is a carefully devised program that draws on many subject areas to provide and reinforce essential skills and values from different points of view. It equips students with the academic tools they will need to succeed, not only as undergraduates in their degree programs but also as responsible citizens in a complex world. The courses that comprise the FAU general education curriculum combine to develop:

  1. Substantive knowledge and/or skills in a breadth of foundation areas;
  2. The ability to think critically;
  3. The ability to communicate effectively.
Students are invited to select from a number of courses, all at the lower-division level, in completing their general education requirements. All of the courses contribute to meeting the overall goals of the general education curriculum, thereby allowing flexibility in making individual choices. Students must complete a minimum of thirty-six credit hours of general education coursework, distributed as indicated in the six categories below.
Students who enter FAU as freshmen or as transfer students with fewer than 30 credits must fulfill the University’s general education curriculum requirements as described below. A course may be used to simultaneously satisfy a general education curriculum requirement and a requirement of the student’s major program. All course selections should be made in consultation with an advisor.
I. Foundations of Written Communication (6 credit hours required; a grad of "C" or higher is required in each course)
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.

Students who complete the Written Communication requirement will be able to:

  • demonstrate effective written communication skills by exhibiting the control of rhetorical elements that include clarity, coherence, comprehensiveness, and mechanical correctness;
  • analyze, interpret and evaluate information to formulate critical conclusions and arguments;
  • identify and apply ethical standards in the use of external sources.

Students must choose from among the following courses:
ENC 1101 College Writing I (required)
ENC 1102 College Writing II

The following courses may be substituted for ENC 1102:
ANT 1471 Cultural Difference in a Globalized Society
ENC 1930 University Honors Seminar in Writing (permit only)
ENC 1939 Special Topic: College Writing II
HIS 2934 Writing History
NSP 1195 Being Cared For: Reflections from Other Side of Bed

NOTE: Students must take four GRW courses. Two must be taken from the Foundations of Written Communications category.

II. Foundations of Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 credit hours required)

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.

Students who satisfy the Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning requirement will be able to:

  • identify and explain mathematical theories and their applications;
  • determine and apply appropriate mathematical and/or computational models and methods in problem solving;
  • display quantitative literacy.

Students must take at least one course with the prefix MAC or MGF from the list below. Pretest is required before a student can take their first math class.

MGF 1106   Math for Liberal Arts I
MGF 1107   Math for Liberal Arts II
MAC 1105   College Algebra
MAC 1114   Trigonometry
MAC 1140   Precalculus Algebra
MAC 1147   Precalculus Algebra & Trigonometry (5 cr)
MAC 2233   Methods of Calculus
MAC 2311   Calculus I with Analytic Geometry I (4 cr)
MAC 2312   Calculus with Analytic Geometry II (4 cr)
STA 2023    Introductory Statistics
PHI 2102     Logic

III. Foundations of Science and the Natural World (6 credit hours required)

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.

Students who satisfy the Science and the Natural World requirement will be able to:

  • explain important scientific concepts, principles and paradigms;
  • explain how principles of scientific inquiry and ethical standards are used to develop and investigate research questions;
  • explain the limits of scientific knowledge and of how scientific knowledge changes;
  • critically evaluate scientific claims, arguments and methodology.

After completion of the associated lab, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate and explain how experiments are conducted;
  • analyze resulting data and draw appropriate conclusions from such data.

Students must take two courses from two different departments. One course must have a Lab

..........................for non-science majors:.............................

ANT 2511 & L      Intro to Biological Anthropology (4 cr incl. Lab)
BSC 1005 & L      Life Science (3 credits incl Lab)
CHM 1020C        Contenmporary Chemical Issues
CHM 2083 (P/F)  Chemistry in Modern Life (Online Course)
ETG 2831            Nature: inter. of Sc., Eng. and the Humanities
ESC 2070            Blue Planet (Online Course)
GLY 2010C          Physical Geology (4 credits include lab)
GLY 2100            History of Earth and Life
MET 2010 & D    Weather and Climate
AST 2002 (P/F)   Introduction to Astronomy
PSC 2121           Physical Science

.......................for science and/or engineering majors:.........................

BSC 1010 & L & D  Biological Principles (4 cr. incl. Lab & Disc)
BSC 1011 & L & D  Biodiversity (4 cr. incl. Lab and Discussion)
BSC 2085 & L         Anatomy & Physiology I (4 credits incl. Lab)CHM 2032 & L        Chemistry for Health Sciences (4 credits)
CHM 2045 & L        General Chemistry I (4 credits incl. Lab)
PHY 2043               Physics for Engineers I (3 credits)
PHY 2048 & L         General Physics I (5 credits incl. Lab)
PHY 2053               College Physics I (4 credits)


IV. Foundations of Society and Human Behavior (6 credit hours required)

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.
Students who satisfy the Society and Human Behavior requirement will be able to:
  • describe patterns of human behavior;
  • describe how political, social, cultural, or economic institutions influence human behavior as well as how humans influence these institutions;
  • apply appropriate disciplinary methods and/or theories to the analysis of social, cultural, psychological, ethical, political, technological, or economic issues or problems.

Students must take two courses from two different departments

ANT 2000 & D   Introduction to Anthropology
ECO 2013         Macroeconomics Principles
ECO 2023         Microeconomic Principles
ECO 2002         Contemporary Economic Issues
POS 2041         Government of the United States
EEX 2091         Disability and Society
EVR 2017         Environment and Society
POS 2041         Government of the United States
PSY 1012         General Psychology
PAD 2258         Changing Environment of Soc., Bus., & Government
SYG 1000         Sociological Perspectives
SYG 2010         Social Problems
URP 2051         Designing the City

V. Foundations in Global Citizenship (6 credit hours required)

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.

Students completing the Global Citizenship requirement will be able to describe:

  • the origins and consequences of different individual, cultural, and national identities;
  • the economic, political, environmental, and/or social processes that influence human action/interaction across place and time;
  • the causes and consequences of interaction between and among cultures, societies and nations.

Students must choose two courses from two different departments. At least one course must be Global Perspectives (GP).

ANT 2410            Culture and Society (GP)
EDF 2854            Educated Citizen in Global Context (GP)
GEA 2000            World Geography (GP)
AMH 2010 (P/F)   United States History to 1877
AMH 2020 (P/F)   United States History Since 1877
WOH 2012           History of Civilization I (GRW) (GP)
WOH 2022           History of Civilization II (GP)
LAS 2000             Intro to Caribbean & Latin American Studies
LIN 2607              Global Perspectives on Language (GP)
PHI 2010 & D       Introduction to Philosophy (GRW)
INR 2002              Introduction to World Politics (GP)
SYD 2790             Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality
SYP 2450             Global Society (GP)
SOW 1005           Global Perspectives of Social Services (GP)

VI. Foundations of Creative Expression (6 credit hours required)

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.

Students fulfilling the Humanities requirement will:

  • reflect critically on the human condition;
  • demonstrate the theory or methods behind forms of human expression.

Students must take two courses from two different departments.

ARC 2208           Culture & Architecture
ARH 2000 (P/F)  Art Appreciation
FIL 2000 & D      Film Appreciation
LIT 2010             Interpretation of Fiction (GRW)
LIT 2030             Interpretation of Poetry
LIT 2040             Interpretation of Drama
LIT 2070             Interpretation of Creative Nonfiction
LIT 2100             Intro to World Literature
MUL 2010           History & Appreciation of Music
DAN 2100           Appreciation of Dance
THE 2000           Appreciation of Theatre

 Last Modified 1/12/15