General Studies
Mount Saint Mary's College
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General Studies

General Studies Curriculum

An educated person is one who is not only academically prepared in an area of specialization but also one who has knowledge and appreciation of the diverse fields of human endeavor. To achieve this, a student is expected to explore areas of learning outside the major through the General Studies curriculum. The College has adopted the following components of a liberal education as fundamental in developing excellence of mind and spirit. The components are integrated into the educational program, and into the General Studies Curriculum, in a way that enables the growth of students as free, imaginative, and responsible human beings, sensitive and responsive to the needs of the human

  1. effective written expression of ideas;
  2. effective oral communication;
  3. analysis of assumptions, methods of argumentation, values;
  4. problem-solving: defining problems, identifying issues; organizing, analyzing, synthesizing ideas; comparing, contrasting ideas; decision-making;
  5. understanding of personal and group behavior;
  6. effective participation in a group or organization;
  7. sense of history as providing perspective for interpreting human events;
  8. sense of literature as reflecting and interpreting human experience;
  9. understanding of and appreciation for music and the visual arts;
  10. curiosity about and a spirit for investigating the natural universe;
  11. ability to recognize patterns of thought used in science and mathematics;
  12. understanding of the impact of advancing technology on human society and culture;
  13. understanding of social classes and social structures in diverse societies;
  14. understanding of contemporary economic, social, and political issues;
  15. understanding of criteria and standards to assess personal moral values and ethical judgments;
  16. openness to understanding of and respect for philosophical, religious, and ethnic diversity;
  17. awareness of the religious and spiritual dimensions of human existence.

General Studies Requirements

The following structure and content for the General Studies Curriculum applies to Bachelor degrees except that there is no modern language requirement for the Bachelor of Science degree. Students may not take general studies courses on a credit/no-credit basis. All courses used to fulfill General Studies requirements must be passed with a grade of C- or above.

The college policy on challenge examinations will prevail in the General Studies Curriculum.

  1. Communication Skills
    1. Written
    2. Oral
  2. Critical thinking
  4. Arts and Sciences
    At least one course must be taken in each of the following categories (A - G):
    1. Art or Music
    2. Literature
    3. History
    4. Natural and Physical Science
    5. Mathematics
    6. Social and Behavioral Science
    7. Contemporary Economics or Politics
  6. Language and Culture (Required for B. A. degree only)
  7. Philosophy and Religious Studies (minimum 15 units - must include 3 units of Ethics and 3 units of Philosophical Ideas.)
    1. Religious Studies
      1. Scripture
      2. Christian Thought
      3. Christian Ethics
      4. Religion and Religions
    2. Philosophy
      1. Philosophical Ideas
      2. Ethics
      3. Other
  8. Diversity
  9. Quantitative Literacy

Please see the current academic catalog to determine which courses count for each of the General Studies Requirements.