IFP Curriculum

Intellectual Foundations Program - General Education Curriculum


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

FAU 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, the FAU 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.
  4. A critical understanding of issues relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion in U.S. society. 

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 Florida Atlantic University without an Associate of Arts degree from a Florida State School 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 adviser.

  I. Foundations of Written Communication (6 credit hours required; a grade 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:

  • 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 standards of academic integrity.

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:

ENC 1939    Special Topic: College Writing
HIS 2050      Writing History
ENC1930      University Honors Seminar in Writing
NSP 1195     Being Cared For: Reflections from the Other Side of the Bed

Note: Students must take four Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) courses, two of which must be taken from the Foundations of Written Communi cations category.

  II. Foundations of Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 credit hours required; a grade of "C" or higher is required in each course) 

Mathematics is a peculiarly human endeavor that attempts to organize our experience in a quantitative fashion. It a ids 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 two of the following courses, one of which must be from group A. The second course may be from group A or group B.

Group A

MAC 1105 College Algebra
MAC 2311 Calculus I with Analytic Geometry 1 (4 cr.)
MGF 1106 Math for the Liberal Arts 1
MGF 1107 Math for the Liberal Arts 2
STA 2023   Introductory Statistics
or any mathematics course for which one of the above courses is the direct prerequisite

 Group B

COP 1031C  Computer Programming & Data Literacy for Everyone
(For Non-College Engineering & Computer Science majors)

MAC 1140   Precalculus Algebra
MAC 1114   Trigonometry
MAC 1147 Precalculus Algebra & Trigonometry (4 cr.)
MAC 2210 Intro Calculus w/Applications (4 cr.) (Permit Only)
MAC 2233 Methods of Calculus
MAC 2241 Life Science Calculus 1
MAC 2312 Calculus with Analytic Geometry 2 (4 cr.)
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 of the following courses, one of which must be from group A. The second course may be from group A or group B. One of the courses must have a lab.

Group A

For Non-Science Majors

AST 2002          Introduction to Astronomy (P/F)
BSC 1005 & L   Life Science (3 cr. w/Lab)
CHM 1020C     Contemporary Chemical Issues
ESC 2000            Blue Planet (online)
EVR 1001            Environmental Science and Sustainability

 For Science Majors

BSC 1010 & L       Biological Principles (4 cr. w/Lab & Dis)
BSC 2085 & L       Anatomy & Physiology 1 (4cr. w/Lab)
CHM 2045 & L     General Chemistry 1 (4cr. w/Lab)
PHY 2048 & L       General Physics 1 (5cr. w/Lab)
PHY 2053             College Physics 1 


Group B

For Non-Science Majors

ANT 2511 & L    Introduction to Biological Anthropology (4cr. w/Lab)
ETG 2831           Nature: Inter. of Sci., Eng., & the Humanities
GLY 2010C         Physical Geology (4 cr. w/Lab)
GLY 2100            History of Earth and Life
MET 2010           Weather and Climate
IDS 2382             Human Mission to Mars
PSC 2121            Physical Science

For Science Majors

BSC 1011 & L         Biodiversity (4 cr. w/Lab & Dis)
CHM 2032 & L       Chemistry for Health Sciences (4 cr. w/Lab)
EGN 2095              Engineering Chemistry 

  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 demonstrate the ability to:

  • describe patterns of human behavior.
  • describe how political, social, cultural, or economic institutions influence human behavior and 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 of the following courses, one of which must be from group A. The second course may be from group A or group B.

Group A

AMH 2020 & D   United States History Since 1877
ANT 2000 & D    Introduction to Anthropology (WAC)
ECO 2013           Macroeconomic Principles
POS 2041            Government of the United States
PSY 1012             Introduction to Psychology
SYG 1000            Sociological Perspectives

Group B

AMH 2010 & D   United States History to 1877
CCJ 2002            Law, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System
DIG 2202            Digital Culture
ECO 2023           Microeconomic Principles
ECO 2002           Contemporary Economic Issues
EEX 2091            Disability and Society
EME 2620           Digital Literacy in a Globally Connected World 
EVR 1110            Climate Change: The Human Dimensions
EVR 2017            Environment and Society
PAD 2081            Risk, Resilience, and Rising Seas
PAD 2258            Changing Environment of Soc., Bus., & Government
LIN 2001             Introduction to Language
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.
  • economic, political, environmental, and/or social processes that influence human events across place and time.
  • causes and consequences of interaction between and among cultures, societies and nations.

Students must choose two courses from among the following:

ANT 2410   Culture and Society
EDF 2854    Educated Citizen in Global Context
GEA 2000    World Geography
INR 2002      Introduction to World Politics
JST 2452        Global Jewish Communities
LAS 2000     Intro to Caribbean & Latin American Studies
LIN 2607      Global Perspectives on Language
MAR 2142      Culture, Consumers, and the Global Marketplace
MUH 2121      Music in Global Society
POT 2000       Global Political Theory
SOW 1005   Global Perspectives of Social Services
SOW 1130      Race and Cultural Inclusion in Social Work
SYP 2450      Global Society
WOH 2012D   History of Civilization I (WAC)
WOH 2022   History of Civilization II
WST 2351    Gender and Climate Change

 VI. Foundations of Humanities (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 at least one of the courses from group A. The second course may be from group A or group B.

Group A

ARH 2000 Art Appreciation
MUL 2010 Music Appreciation
PHI 2010   Introduction to Philosophy (WAC)
THE 2000 Theatre Appreciation

Group B

ARC 2208  Culture & Architecture
DAN 2100 Appreciation of Dance
FIL 2000&D  Film Appreciation
HUM 2471    Racism and Anti-Racism
LIT 2100       Introduction to World Literature
LIT 2010       Interpretation of Fiction (WAC)
LIT 2030       Interpretation of Poetry (WAC)
LIT 2040       Interpretation of Drama (WAC)
LIT 2070       Interpretation of Creative Nonfiction (WAC)
LIT 2931       Special Topics in Literature (WAC)
SPC 2608     Public Speaking