General Education:
The Liberal Studies Program

Dr. Linda Cabe Halpern, Dean

Course Descriptions: University Mathematics and Science

General education is the core program required of all students at JMU, regardless of the major or professional program. JMU's general education program is called the Liberal Studies Program. All students are required to take 38-53 credit hours of courses intended to provide you with a broad-based education to serve as a foundation for your college career and the rest of your life. JMU's general education program is currently undergoing revisions aimed at making it more interdisciplinary. Students entering JMU in 1996-97 will continue to follow these liberal studies guidelines even after the transition to the new program. However, some of the new general education courses may satisfy your liberal studies requirements. Watch for announcements of new courses which might interest you.

Purpose and Goals

Intended to provide the basis for lifelong learning, the liberal studies program is designed to liberate the minds of students through experiences that challenge them to become active in their own education, to be critical of ideas, and to explore the foundations and range of knowledge. More specifically, in the course of the entire program the student should develop or improve:

Liberal Studies Curriculum and Requirements

JMU attempts to realize these goals through the 11 areas of study listed below with purposes and course requirements. By the time of graduation, most students will have taken 41 credit hours in the liberal studies program, although this number may vary depending on options chosen during the student's college career.

An individual course in areas 1-10 may not be used to satisfy requirements in more than one of these areas, even if the course is listed under two or more areas. However, courses taken to satisfy requirements in areas 1-10 may be counted toward a major program if permitted by the provisions of that program. Only the courses in area 11 may be counted both toward the major and toward a requirement in one of the other areas.

Requirement Summary Hours
ENG 101-102. Reading and Composition 3-6
Fine arts/aesthetics course 3
History/civilization courses 6
Literature course 3
Mathematics course 3
Natural science courses 6-16
Oral communication course 3
Philosophy/religion course 3
Physical education/dance course 2
Social science courses 6
Cultural studies courses 0-6

1. Composition
ENG 101-102. Reading and Composition (3-6)

To improve, through critical reading and various strategies of writing, the student's ability to develop and communicate ideas, interpretations, and judgments; to enable the student to locate, evaluate and use library resources effectively.

Students with verbal SAT scores of 530 or below must take ENG 101, ENG 102 and an upper-level writing course. Students with SAT verbal scores of 540 and above must take ENG 102 and an upper-level writing course. Students with SAT verbal scores of 670 and above are exempt from taking ENG 102; however, they are still required to take an upper-level writing course.

2. Fine Arts/Aesthetics (3)

To inculcate awareness of the importance of creativity; understanding of the value of fine art in the individual life experience and as a major cultural force in human societies present and past; connections between the imagination and other mental functions; better perceptual skills; fundamental understanding of artistic uses of sound, movement, and/or images; sensitivity to and enjoyment of aesthetic experiences; and ability to make enlightened aesthetic choices.

Select one course (three hours) from:
ART 200. Art in General Culture
ARTH 201. Art and Its Purpose
ARTH 205. Survey I: Prehistoric Through Medieval Art
ARTH 206. Survey II: Renaissance Through Modern Art
ARTH 413. Masterpieces of Italian Renaissance Art
ARTH 414. Masterpieces of Spanish Art
ARTH 415. Masterpieces of British Architecture
ARTH 416. Masterpieces of British Art
ARTH 417. Masterpieces of French Art
ARTS 101. Introduction to the Fine Arts
DANC 248. History of Dance: Renaissance Through
the 20th Century
MUS 200. Music in General Culture
MUS 203. Music in America
MUS 356. History of Jazz in America
THEA 210. Introduction to Theater

3. History/Civilization (6)

To inculcate a basic ability to confront historical evidence by analyzing primary texts; an understanding of the way in which human experience has unfolded over time; familiarity with the interrelationships of the political, intellectual, religious, economic, and artistic developments that have shaped lives and formed the world; and promote a tradition of experience to draw upon in framing humane solutions to contemporary issues.

Select two courses (six hours) from:
HIST 101. World History to 1650 and
HIST 102. World History Since 1650
HIST 101. World History to 1650 or
HIST 102. World History Since 1650
Plus one course from the following:
HIST 233. United States to 1877
HIST 234. United States Since 1877
HIST 263. Africa
HIST 267. Latin America
HIST 268. Contemporary Latin America
HIST 270. Modern Middle East
HIST 273. Asia to 1600
HIST 274. Modern Asia

4. Literature (3)

To inculcate detailed knowledge, within a larger conceptual framework, of a broad selection of acknowledged masterpieces of creative literature; skill in fundamental techniques of literary criticism.

Select one course (three hours) from:
CHIN 265. Chinese Literature in Translation
CLAS 266. Greek and Roman Classics in Translation
ENG 231. Survey of Poetry
ENG 232. Survey of Drama
ENG 233. Survey of Prose Fiction
ENG 235. Survey of English Literature: From Beowulf
to the 18th Century
ENG 236. Survey of English Literature: From the 18th
Century to the Modern Period
ENG 238. Survey of World Literature: From the Ancient
World Through the Renaissance
ENG 239. Survey of World Literature: From the
Enlightenment Through the Modern Age
ENG 247. Survey of American Literature: From the
Beginning to the Civil War
ENG 248. Survey of American Literature: From the
Civil War to the Modern Period
ENG 260. Survey of African-American Literature
FL 265. Modern Japanese Literature in Translation
FL 266. African Literature of the 20th Century
FL 267. The Literature of Opera in Translation
FR 265 or 266. French Literature in Translation
GER 265. German Literature of the 18th and 19th
Centuries in Translation
GER 266. Contemporary German Literature in Translation
ILS 290. Selected Topics in International Liberal Studies
RUS 265 or 266. Russian Literature in Translation
SPAN 267. Spanish-American Literature in Translation

5. Mathematics 2 (3)

To inculcate an understanding of the nature, methods, power, growth and ethical use of mathematics; experience and awareness of the precise and careful reasoning used to solve problems with mathematics, including the use of computers as appropriate; and ability to connect particular subjects in mathematics with the discipline as a whole and with other disciplines.

Select one course (three hours) from:
ISAT 141 or 142. 3 Analytical Methods I; Analytical Methods II
MATH 103. The Nature of Mathematics
MATH 107 or 108. Fundamentals of Mathematics
MATH 205. Introductory Calculus I
MATH 206. Introductory Calculus II
MATH 220. Elementary Statistics
MATH 235 or 236. Analytic Geometry and Calculus
UMSC 100-101-102A-102B. 4
The World of Mathematics; Science and Human Experience; Environment: Earth; Discovering Life

6. Natural Science (6-16)

To inculcate a substantial body of currently valid scientific facts, theories and models; basic knowledge about the philosophy, ethics, historical development, current methods and data bases, and limits of science, and of how science and technology influence human life; awareness that scientific truth emerges from the interplay of imagination and observation and that it is often ambiguous and always tentative; basic ability to distinguish nonscientific from scientific classifications and theories, and to engage with critical awareness in the sequence, observation -- hypothesis -- test -- retry.

The number of credit hours required depends on the option chosen and must include courses from at least two different disciplines, although the two selected might be from the same department, e.g., physics and astronomy or geology and oceanography.

Select two of the following (or the corresponding multi-course substitutions in parenthesis). Include at least two disciplines.
BIO 101. Contemporary Biology (or BIO 120.
General Zoology and BIO 130. General
CHEM 100. Chemistry Today (or CHEM 131-131L
and 132-132L. General Chemistry I-II with Laboratories)
GEOL 100. The Earth and Man (or GEOL 110. Physical Geology and GEOL 230. Evolution of Earth)
GEOL 211. Introduction to Oceanography
ISAT 111-112. 3 Issues in Science and Technology:
Living Systems; Environmental Issues
in Science and Technology
LS 300. History of Modern Science
LS 310. The British Foundations of Modern Science
PHYS 115. Physics as Inquiry (or PHYS 140-140L and
PHYS 150-150L. College Physics I-II with Laboratories) (or PHYS 240-140L and PHYS 250-150L. University Physics I-II with Laboratories)
PHYS 120. The Astronomical Perspective
PHYS 201. Discovering Physics
UMSC 100-101-102A-102B. 4 The World of Mathematics;
Science and Human Experience; Environment: Earth; Discovering Life

7. Oral Communication (3)

To improve the student's ability to develop, deliver, assume responsibility for and absorb oral messages, especially as a speaker before small and large groups; to inculcate knowledge of the variables that affect successful communication.

Select one course (three hours) from:
SCOM 120. Interpersonal Communication
SCOM 121. Basic Human Communication
SCOM 122. Public Speaking

8. Philosophy/Religion (3)

To foster knowledge and a sensitive understanding of the world's great philosophical and religious traditions, with emphasis on their systematic interpretation and investigation by scholars; students develop the intellectual skills and attitudes, including some of the forms of reasoning, which enable them to critically analyze such fundamental and perennial questions as the nature of the self and the world, the character of the divine, what we can know, the meaning of human life, and the nature of morality.

Select one course (three hours) from:
AMST 250. Introduction to American Studies
ANTH/SOCI 313. Processes of Social and
Cultural Change
ANTH 350. Magic, Witchcraft and Religion
ART 380. Seminar in Aesthetics
ARTH 303. West African Experience: Art and Culture
CLAS 265. The Individual and Society in Ancient Greece and Rome
CLAS 336. Myth in Classical and Modern
European Literature
CLAS 337. Human Values: The Classical Tradition
EDUC 360. Foundations of American Education
ENG 250. Literature and Values
ENG 306. The Bible for Students of Literature
LS 200. The Age of Pericles
LS 240. Aesthetic Values in American Society
PHIL 101. Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 200A. Philosophers in Cultural Context:
Ancient Greek Philosophy
PHIL 250. Introductory Logic
PHIL 260. Philosophy and Contemporary Life
PHIL 270. Introduction to Ethics
PHIL 300. Reasoning: Methods and Problems
PHIL 380. Seminar in Aesthetics
REL 101. Religions of the World
REL 200. Exploring Religion
REL 201. Introduction to the Literature and
Religion of the Old Testament
REL 202. Introduction to the Literature and
Religion of the New Testament
REL 270. Religious Ethics
SCOM 346. Free Speech in America
SOCI/ANTH 368. Modern American Culture

Courses in literature, area 4, will also satisfy the requirement in philosophy/religion.

Continue General Education

Introduction and General Information Directory

Undergraduate Catalog Contents

1996-97 Undergraduate Catalog
Last reviewed: 30 November 1996
Information Publisher: Division of Academic Affairs
James Madison University