Intellectual Foundations Program - General Education Curriculum

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

The new curriculum was implemented in fall 2009 but is currently being revisited.

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 he 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 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 (for students in the UHP only)
ENC 1939 Special Topic: College Writing
ENC 2452 Honors Composition for Science
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 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 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 I
MGF 1107        Math for the Liberal Arts II
STA 2023         Introductory Statistics

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 2281        Calculus for Engineers I
MAC 2282        Calculus for Engineers II
MAC 2312        Calculus with Analytic Geometry II

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 choose two courses, each from a different department. One of the courses must have a lab. At least one of the courses must be chosen from group A. The second course must be chosen from group A or group B.

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 X000         Blue Planet (formerly ESC 2070)
EVR X001         Introduction to Environmental science (new course)
PHY X020         Fundamentals of Physics (new course)
PHY 2048         General Physics I
PHY 2053         College Physics I

Group B
ANT 2511         Introduction to Biological Anthropology
CHM 2083        Chemistry in Modern Life
ETG 2831         Nature: Intersections of Science, Engineering, and the Humanities
EVR 2017         Environment and Society
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 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, each from a different department, from among the following, 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 (formerly in Global)
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 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 (formerly Global-Western)
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 Logic and Aesthetics (6 credit hours required)

Logic and aesthetics are uniquely human attributes. 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 Logic and Aesthetics requirement will:

  • confirm the ability to think critically through demonstrating interpretive ability and cultural literacy;
  • acquire competence in reflecting critically upon the human condition. (NOTE: These outcomes will be discussed at our next meeting. The outcomes listed here are from the original IFP draft. No changes have yet been made.)

Students must take two courses from among the following, each from a different department. At least one of the courses must be 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           Global Great Books
LIT 2010           Interpretation of Fiction
LIT 2030           Interpretation of Poetry
LIT 2040           Interpretation of Drama
LIT 2070           Interpretation of Creative Nonfiction


 Last Modified 3/24/14