Perspectives Tier Course Descriptions

The Perspectives Tier core course requirements are designed to provide a wide range of experiences with fundamental academic perspectives on human nature and the world. Ten perspectives tier courses are required, two from each of the five different perspectives.


(P1) Perspectives on the Arts

In Perspectives on the Arts, you will learn some of the tools necessary for fully appreciating the depth and scope of creative expression found in the literary and visual arts. Works of art will be studied in terms of their cultural and historical provenance, formal compositions, and other theoretical and critical perspectives. You will gain skills that will allow you to describe and interpret works of art, as well as create original works of art.

Knowledge: Arts
Skills: Critical thinking and analytical skills
Rubric: Perspectives on the Arts (P1) Rubric [pdf]


(P2) Philosophical and Religious Perspectives

This core area engages you in the critical exploration and appreciation of these perspectives through the lens of various philosophical and religious frameworks. These courses also encourage reflection on the social, political, and cultural implications of the course material studied and will do so within the framework of personal and civic responsibility.

Knowledge: Religion, philosophy
Skills: Critical thinking and analytical skills, ethical reasoning
Rubric: Philosophical and Religious Perspectives (P2) Rubric [pdf]


(P3) Sociocultural Perspective

Sociocultural Perspectives courses provide you with the opportunity to learn some of the approaches frequently used in social science toward understanding the broad scope of human behavior (i.e. individual, societal, cultural, economic, political). Some courses may look at individual human behaviors, some may trace patterns of sociocultural change, and some may take a cross-cultural perspective. What all the courses share, however, is an interest in understanding, explaining, and interpreting patterns of human behavior based on the accepted methodologies of the social sciences.

Knowledge: Social Science
Skills: Critical thinking and analytical skills, multiple perspectives
Rubric: Sociocultural Perspectives (P3) Rubric [pdf]


(P4) Explorations of the Natural and Technical World

In these courses, you will explore specific scientific, mathematical, and technical topics and relate them to historical and contemporary developments. Such topics may be general principles underlying science and mathematics (such as “force and energy”, “rates of change”, or “the structure of matter”) or may be specific areas of interest (such as “cancer and its effects” or “oceans and climate change.”) These courses will illustrate how mathematics and the sciences are constantly changing as a result of their interactions with each other and their applications, which are usually interdisciplinary in nature. These courses can be from any discipline or combination of disciplines which satisfy the course goals and are designated as core courses, unless your major dictates otherwise.

Knowledge: Natural science
Skills: Critical thinking and analytical skills, quantitative/scientific reasoning
Rubric: Explorations of the Natural and Technical Worlds (P4) Rubric [pdf]


(P5) Intercultural Perspectives and Languages

In order to function and thrive in a multicultural society, you must explore intercultural perspectives. These courses offer opportunities for you to do just that. Whether it is through a study abroad opportunity, or learning a new language, you will be encouraged to leave your comfort zone and analyze questions of gender or ethnic/race identity that will further your curiosity, understanding, and overall educational experience.

Knowledge: Intercultural Perspectives, foreign language
Skills: Critical thinking and analytical skills, oral communication
Rubrics: Intercultural Perspectives and Languages (Foreign Language) (P5-FL) Rubric [pdf]Intercultural Perspectives and Languages (Non-Foreign Language) (P5-NFL) Rubric [pdf]

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