Students should be aware that some majors require particular courses from the General Education Core offerings. Please meet with your advisor to determine whether a specific option in the General Education Core is needed for your major.
What is General Education? General Education is a term many colleges and universities use to refer to a common group of courses that all students are required to take independent of their major course of study. These courses are designed to provide students a broad base of knowledge, intellectual and practical skills, opportunities to hone their individual values, and the ability to adapt and synthesize knowledge, skills, and responsibilities as global citizens of the 21st century.
Who do I ask to get answers about the courses I am selecting for my General Education requirements? Some departments require majors to take courses for the major that are also available in the General Education core. Be sure to ask your advisor or department chair any questions about how the General Education program at APSU relates to your major.
Am I required to take a Foreign Language? Two semesters of 2000-level Foreign Language courses are required for students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree. Some majors also have a departmental requirement for a year of Foreign Language, so be sure to seek the advice of your advisor.
Why take General Education courses? More and more employers want to hire people who communicate their ideas clearly, make decisions confidently, and find creative solutions to problems. While new technical skills and information you may learn in your major may land you an interview, your ability to think for yourself, see multiple perspectives of an issue, work well in teams, and navigate quantitative problems will get you the job or lead you to new career advances. General Education courses deliberately offer students the opportunity to prepare in these broad ways: effective communication, analytical thinking, and approaching unstructured problems.
What does English Composition and Public Speaking offer me? Communication is the foundation of society and social interaction. We engage in communication during most hours of each day using a variety of different media for expression. But the cornerstone of communication is our use of the written and spoken language. For that reason, the general education core begins with two essential classes focusing on the written language (ENGL 1010 and 1020) and a third course (COMM 1010) that involves presenting ideas verbally before a live audience.
To be successful we assess a situation to determine the best mode of communication. You speak with our boss in a way that is distinctive from the way we chat with friends or family. You will use the knowledge and skills gained from these three courses not only in your other academic studies but throughout your personal and professional life as well.
What are the ‘Humanities?’ Courses in Literature, Music, Philosophy, Theatre, and the Visual Arts introduce students to a variety of cultures and ways of thinking that help us understand the increasing global nature of our everyday world. How might we approach the arts from an unfamiliar culture in an analytical and informed way, rather than just our gut reaction? Cultural beliefs and priorities are expressed through music, poetry, philosophy, drawing, dance, and all forms of art. Exploration of the creative process broadens our problem-solving modes.
History? Why study the past? Studying history allows us to recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience across a range of historical periods as well as address the complexities of a global culture and society. Through analysis of the contributions of past cultures/societies we understand more fully our contemporary world. Like the arts, an understanding of historical facts and a variety of interpretations of those facts provide each of us with a fuller comprehension of out own beliefs and values.
How can Mathematics matter in my life? Living in our increasingly technical society requires quantitative literacy that general education mathematics courses can provide. Quantitative literacy involves the ability to recognize the mathematical nature of circumstances in everyday life and to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to analyze these situations. Being a competent citizen and consumer requires a good degree of the ability to understand and use basic mathematics in sophisticated ways.
Natural Sciences are for scientists, not me. Scientific discovery has changed the way we live in the 21st-century and the naturals sciences provide us with an alternative way of knowing the world around us. Conduct an experiment, collect and analyze data, and interpret results in a laboratory setting are a few of the skills students can apply to their daily life. Debates about healthcare, food sources, environmental issues, and the values of natural diversity are significant to our lives and these courses allow us to prepare our individual point of view.
Social Media, yes, but what are the Social and Behavioral Sciences? Knowledge gained from the social and behavioral sciences help us navigate our private and public worlds more successfully. Whether at work or home, the ability to establish an objective view of our social and cultural institutions allows individuals to shape their own quality of life. How are the individual and society-at-large intertwined? What role does the varied definitions of today’s family units play in shaping contemporary social systems and values? Courses in the social and behavioral sciences provide us a better understanding of self and the diverse global world in which we live.