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.

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:

                    ANT 1471     Cultural Difference in a Globalized Society
                    ENC 1930     University Honors Seminar in Writing (for students in the UHP only)
                    ENC 1939     Special Topic: College Writing
                    ENC 2452     Honors Composition for Science
                    HIS 2050       Writing History
                    NSP 1195      Being Cared For: Reflections from Other Side of 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)

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
                        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

                        MAC 1114      Trigonometry
                        MAC 1140      Precalculus Algebra
                        MAC 1147      Precalculus Algebra & Trigonometry (5 cr)
                        MAC 2233      Methods of Calculus
                        PHI 2102        Logic
MAC 2312      Calculus with Analytic Geometry 2

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

                        AST 2002         Introduction to Astronomy
                        BSC 1005        General Biology
                        BSC 1010        Biological Principles I
                        BSC 2085        Anatomy and Physiology I
                        CHM 1020C    Contemporary Chemical Issues
                        CHM 2045       General Chemistry I
                        ESC 2000        Blue Planet
                        EVR 1001        Environmental Science
                        PHY 2048       General Physics I
                        PHY 2053       College Physics I
                        or any course in the natural sciences for which one of the above courses is the direct prerequisite

            Group B

                        ANT 2511       Introduction to Biological Anthropology
                        CHM 2083      Chemistry in Modern Life
                        ETG 2831       Nature: Intersections of Science, Engineering, and the Humanities
                        GLY 2010       Physical Geology
                        GLY 2100       History of Earth and Life
                        CHM 2032      Chemistry for Health Sciences
                        EGN 2095      Engineering Chemistry
                        PHY 2043       Physics for Engineers I
                        BSC 1011       Biodiversity
                        MET 2010       Weather and Climate
                        PSC 2121       Physical Science

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     United States History Since 1877
                        ANT 2000      Introduction to Anthropology
                        ECO 2013     Macroeconomics Principles
                        POS 2041     Government of the United States
                        PSY 1012      Introduction to Psychology
                        SYG 1000      Principles of Sociology

            Group B

                        AMH 2010      United States History to 1877
                        ECO 2023      Microeconomic Principles
                        ECO 2002      Contemporary Economic Issues
                        EEX 2091       Disability and Society
                        EVR 2017       Environment and Society
                        PAD 2258       Changing Environment of Soc., Bus., & Government
                        SYD 2790       Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality
                        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
                    LAS 2000        Intro to Caribbean & Latin American Studies
                    LIN 2607         Global Perspectives on Language
                    SOW 1005      Global Perspectives of Social Services
                    SYP 2450       Global Society
                    WOH 2012      History of Civilization I
                    WOH 2022      History of Civilization II

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
                        THE 2000     Theatre Appreciation

            Group B

                        ARC 2208       Culture & Architecture
                        DAN 2100       Appreciation of Dance
                        FIL 2000         Film Appreciation
                        LIT 2100         Introduction to World Literature
                        LIT 2010         Interpretation of Fiction
                        LIT 2030         Interpretation of Poetry
                        LIT 2040         Interpretation of Drama
                        LIT 2070         Interpretation of Creative Nonfiction

 Last Modified 10/8/15