Tier 1 Study Areas

This section includes the definitions of general education study areas for Tier One courses.  Click on the tabs below to view the guidelines, learning outcomes, and subcategories for Tier One:  Individuals and Societies, Traditions and Cultures, and Natural Sciences courses.

 

General Course Guidelines for Individuals and Societies
Tier One courses in Individuals and Societies will:
  • emphasize fundamental issues and concepts pertinent to the broad exploration of questions about human beings and their societies
  • foster independent, creative, and interactive learning
  • provide students with opportunities to discuss course topics and material
  • inspire students to think about themselves, others, and social organizations in new insightful ways
  • instill in students a love of learning, excite them about the university experience, and leave them with valuable skills and knowledge applicable to their lives
  • focus on BOTH individuals AND societies, or on either
  • Representative areas of study include, but are not limited to: basic human thought processes (e.g. conceptual systems, symbolic representation of the world, knowledge acquisition, judgment and decision-making, problem-solving); personal identity; group identity; family and kinship structure; religious, political, economic, and legal institutions; individual freedom and social control; ethical and moral principles; and ideas of social justice. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and it is not expected that any single course will necessarily span all the areas above.

Note: Tier One courses in Individuals and Societies do not conform to these guidelines if they do not avoid narrow parochialism.

Sub-Categories for Individuals and Societies
INDV 101 (150A) - Mind, Self and Language
  • The focus is on the individual – areas of study include, but are not limited to, personal identity, basic human thought processes, perception, knowledge acquisition, judgment and decision-making, problem solving.
  • XXXX 150A*[XXXX denotes the offering department's prefix]
  • e.g., LING 150A1 - Language

INDV 102 (150B)- Social Interaction and Relationships

  • The focus is on interactions among groups – areas of study include, but are not limited to, family and kinship structure, group identity, gender and cultural diversity, development of ethical and moral principles within groups, issues of social justice, business transactions.
  • XXXX 150B*
  • e.g., GWS 150B1 - Gender & Contemporary Society

INDV 103 (150C) - Societal and Institutional Systems

  • The focus is on institutions and societies – areas of study include, but are not limited to, formation of political systems and states, legal and religious organizations, economic systems, globalization, health and human services systems.
  • XXXX 150C*
  • e.g., ECON 150C1 - An Economic Perspective
Learning Outcomes for Individuals and Societies
After taking Tier One courses in Individuals and Societies students will be able to:
  • understand more clearly issues of self-identity, social difference and social status, and the effects of major institutions on individual experiences
  • demonstrate knowledge of the formal and informal structures and processes that make social systems, governments, and economies work
  • have an informed opinion about socio-cultural problems and issues, which can be expressed orally or in writing, and based on knowledge about social, cultural, political, economic, philosophical, and religious theory
  • demonstrate a well-developed critical faculty for distinguishing among the various theoretical and ideological interpretations of world events as they are presented in the media
 
General Course Guidelines for Traditions and Cultures
Tier One courses in Traditions and Cultures will:
  • study historical development and fundamental concepts in European or other world cultures
  • provide an awareness that we, as historical beings, are shaped by the thoughts and actions of our predecessors and that we will influence the lives of those who follow us
  • examine cultures as distinct heritages of ideas, values, and artistic expressions and view them as having undergone continual adaptation due to social changes
  • have a broad sweep both in terms of chronology and in terms of geography
  • engage in a rigorous exploration of fundamental knowledge that emphasizes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural analysis
  • emphasize the assessment, evaluation, and critique of culture
  • require significant essay assignments

Tier One courses in Traditions and Cultures do not conform to these guidelines if they do not use the study of a specific culture as an exemplar of how traditions and cultures develop and change.

Sub-Categories for Traditions and Cultures
TRAD 101 (160A) - Non-Western Cultures and Civilizations
  • areas of study include, but are not limited to, non-European and non-North American cultures, emerging regions of the world, native peoples and civilizations, prehistoric migrations and agriculture, non-Western modes of thought and religions, contacts between traditions.
  • XXXX 160A*
  • e.g., AIS 160A1 - Many Nations of Native America

TRAD 102 (160B) - Western Cultures and Civilizations: Classical to Renaissance

  • areas of study include, but are not limited to, historical development and fundamental concepts in Europe, the Western heritage of ideas, values, and artistic expressions and the ways these have evolved with social changes through the 16th Century.
  • XXXX 160B*
  • e.g., CLAS 160B1 - In the Beginning: Roots of Western Culture

TRAD 103 (160C) - Western Cultures and Civilizations: Renaissance to Present

  • areas of study include, but are not limited to, the historical development and fundamental concepts in Europe and North America from the 17th Century to the present, the continuing development of Western ideas, values, literature and fine arts, science and technology.
  • XXXX 160C*
  • e.g., GER 160C1 - German Speaking World

TRAD 104 (160D) - Topics in Culture and Civilization

  • areas of study include, but are not limited to, global studies, the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural analysis of societies, the assessment and critique of cultures, topics that cover a broad span of time and place/geography.
  • XXXX 160D*
  • e.g., PHIL 160D1 - Justice & Virtue
Learning Outcomes for Traditions and Cultures
After taking Tier One courses in Traditions and Cultures students will be able to:
  • identify references and allusions to the periods, ideas, people, artifacts, and events generally felt to have been important in the past
  • identify and define their own world view, compare and contrast their world view with other world views, and through written and oral communication present and defend their world view
  • appreciate the art, history, politics, and philosophies of cultures other than their own, including non-western cultures
  • analyze how perceptions, values, beliefs, and customs influence individual and societal behavior and to use these analyses before judging
 
General Course Guidelines for Natural Sciences
Tier One courses in Physical Sciences will:
  • demonstrate the importance of physical and chemical processes and their application to events in the everyday world
  • cover the following major concepts:
    • Newton's laws governing force and motion
    • laws of thermodynamics governing energy and entropy
    • the role of electromagnetism in nature
    • the atomic structure of matter
  • be interdisciplinary and cut across departments and disciplines and integrate them so that the commonality of the scientific approach can be exemplified. To insure this interdisciplinary perspective every offering must include course content that integrates two or more disciplinary or cross-disciplinary applications such as:
    • Astronomy/Planetary Sciences: Formation and development of the Universe; cosmology, stellar evolution and planetary astronomy
    • Geosciences: Formation, development of the earth; geophysical/geochemical processes of continents and oceans
    • Engineering/Technological Sciences: The interplay between science and technology; applied science and everyday life
    • Atmospheric sciences: Formation and development of the atmosphere; physical and chemical processes of the atmosphere, weather and climate
    • Environmental Sciences: The interaction and interconnections between physical, chemical, and biological processes as they affect, and are affected by, human beings living in their environment.
Sub-Categories for Natural Sciences
NATS 101 - The Earth and Its Environment:
  • areas of study include, but are not limited to, physical and chemical processes and their application to events in the everyday world; formation and development of the earth, continents and oceans; development of the atmosphere, weather and climate; soil and water sciences; the interplay between applied sciences and technology; interactions between the physical environment, resources and human beings.
  • XXXX 170A*
  • e.g., GEOG 170A1 - Earth’s Environment: Introduction to Physical Geography

NATS 102 - Beyond the Earth in Space and Time:

  • areas of study include, but are not limited to, astronomy and planetary sciences, formation of the universe, cosmology and stellar evolution, life and humanity in the universe.
  • XXXX 170B*
  • e.g., PTYS 170B1 - The Universe & Humanity: Origin & Destiny

NATS 104 - Biological Sciences:

  • areas of study include, but are not limited to, biological processes and their application to events in the everyday world, the evolution of diverse life forms, interdependence of plant and animal systems, conservation and preservation of diverse life forms, nutrition and processes contributing to good health and well-being.
  • XXXX 170C*
Learning Outcomes for Natural Sciences
After taking Tier One courses in Natural Sciences students will be able to:
  • understand the nature and application of physical and /or biological science
  • apply ideas and processes beyond the classroom
  • recognize the complexity of many scientific issues
  • design experiments, generating and analyzing actual data, using abstract reasoning to interpret these, formulating and testing hypotheses with scientific rigor
  • speak and write about scientific knowledge
  • appreciate the relative scale of objects, rates of change, linear and nonlinear growth
  • present data in tables, graphs and charts as well as performing appropriate mathematical calculations and data analysis
  • read and understand scientific literature from popular sources such as magazines and newspapers