Catalogue 2015 - 2016

Perspectives of Understanding

In its Mission Statement, the University commits itself to developing in its students an appreciation of multiple perspectives of understanding. Perspectives are the systematic ways various academic disciplines view and interpret the world around us. Each perspective enhances the students’ understanding of the complexity of the environment in which we live and of the richness of human experience. Ultimately these perspectives have the potential to deepen our judgments and inform our responses to the opportunities and challenges of life and work in the 21st century. They can help us to lead more responsible and fulfilling lives as individuals, family members, and citizens of democracy.

Perspectives courses significantly emphasize three components. First is the approach or method of analysis in the discipline; second is the factual foundation of the discipline; and third is the contribution of the discipline to a greater knowledge of contemporary issues. Perspectives of Understanding included in this requirement are Natural Science, Behavioral Science, History, Cultural Studies, Ethics, Aesthetics, and Integrated Liberal and Professional Learning as described below.

Students must complete a minimum of seven perspectives courses that collectively achieve the following requirements:

  • All perspectives are covered.
  • At least one is an integrated liberal and professional course in which two perspectives are typically presented in a team-taught offering.
  • Two are natural science courses, each with laboratories, or two sequential courses in natural science, the first of which must have a laboratory.

Note: Comparative courses that combine two perspectives, such as behavioral science, history, cultural studies, ethics, or aesthetics will satisfy the requirement in both areas. However, students must still take a minimum of five perspectives courses in addition to the natural science courses.