General Education

Plymouth State University provides opportunities for students to cultivate the mind in ways that will lead them to full awareness as adults, and to lives in which occupational achievement is balanced by social responsibility, cultural experience, and personal happiness. The University measures its excellence, not by the quality of students who enter its doors, but by the quality it adds to those who graduate. Because of this commitment, Plymouth State University believes that every student must receive a strong general education as well as specialized instruction in a field. The undergraduate General Education program gives students a broad perspective on ideas and an awareness of diverse human experiences and cultures.

The General Education program is meant to ensure that students develop the skills necessary for academic success and lifelong learning, an appreciation of the various ways scholars consider and understand human experience, and an appreciation of the process by which different approaches to scholarship can be brought to bear on the same problem. Courses taken to ensure breadth of knowledge emphasize the relevance and application of methods of inquiry and content to students’ lives.

Habits of Mind

Habits of Mind are a set of four usual ways of thinking or ways of engaging with the world. They will equip students well for life and work after college. In this General Education program, the following Habits of Mind are developed in meaningful contexts.

Purposeful Communication is a Habit of Mind characterized by the construction of meaning through interactions with texts and people and the creation of new messages. “Text” refers broadly to any communicative message including, but not limited to, messages that are spoken or written, read or listened to, nonverbal, and/or delivered through any form of media (digital, social, artistic, print, etc.). Construction of meaning and creation of messages are influenced by individuals’ prior experiences as well as cultural and historical contexts. Creation of messages involves the development and purposeful expression of ideas and is designed to increase knowledge, foster understanding, and/or promote change in others’ attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors. To be effective, messages must engage the perspectives of others and foster dialog among individuals and the community.

Problem Solving is a Habit of Mind that involves an iterative process of identifying, explaining, and exploring problems, describing challenges, envisioning possible solutions and their implication, and make decisions about how to proceed based on all of these considerations. Problem solving encompasses a broad array of activities and approaches. Problems range widely in scale and scope—small to large, local to global, well-defined to ambiguous, simulated to real-world—and problem solving may be undertaken individually or in collaboration with others. In all cases, engaging in problem solving requires the ability to think creatively, adapt and extend one’s thinking, acknowledge different contexts and incorporate different perspectives, embrace flexibility, consider potential implication, determine courses of action, persist and adapt despite failure, and reflect on the results. While the types of problems encountered and the strategies used to grapple with problems vary across disciplines, the problem solving Habit of Mind is relevant to all disciplines.

Integrated Perspective is a Habit of Mind characterized by the recognition that individual beliefs, ideas, and values are influenced by personal experience as well as multiple contextual factors—cultural, historical, political, etc. All human beings are interconnected through their participation in natural and social systems. An integrated perspective recognizes that individual decisions impact the self, the community, and the environment. Students will acknowledge the limitations of singular points of view and recognize the benefits of engaging with and learning from others in order to integrate multiple perspectives for effective communication, problem-solving, and collaboration.

Self-Regulated Learning is a Habit of Mind that encompasses the desire to learn, the ability to set personal goals for learning, and the capacity to engage in a self-monitored learning process. Self-regulated learners demonstrate strong commitment to the process of learning and take responsibility for their own learning. They take intellectual risks, persist in the face of challenges, and learn from their mistakes. They are able to organize and reorganize information, interpret information in new ways, and generate their own ideas. Self-regulated learners demonstrate metacognitive awareness (an understanding of the factors that influence their own learning) and cultivate the skills and confidence they need in order to be effective learners.

Skills

To live and learn in a multicultural, multimedia, multidimensional world, students need certain skills. These are the competencies expected of an educated person, the skills needed for lifelong learning. In this General Education program, the following skills are developed in meaningful contexts.

Critical Thinking: the abilities to compare, contrast, analyze, and synthesize; and to challenge underlying assumptions; to take imaginative leaps and intellectual risks; and to solve problems creatively and effectively.

Reading: the achievement of advanced literacy; that is, the ability to comprehend written material within a variety of genres, and to articulate one’s response verbally and in writing.

Quantitative Reasoning: the ability to analyze quantitative materials and use quantitative techniques to solve problems.

Writing: development of a writing process that includes the ability to pre-write (brainstorm, outline, take notes, free-write) on a selected topic; to prepare, assess, and organize information; and to compose, revise, and edit a polished product.

Speaking and Listening: the ability to use both verbal and nonverbal skills to communicate effectively in one or more languages, to listen actively, and to take part respectfully in group discussions.

Conducting Research: the ability to locate, comprehend, and synthesize information; and to understand what constitutes reliable evidence for decision making.

Working with Information Technology: the ability to perform searches; to use word processing and spreadsheets; to work with database management systems and presentation software; to work with software to enhance the creative process; and to make effective use of software to organize information and to communicate with others.

Collaborating with Others: to know, understand, and respond to others’ feelings and perspectives; to work and learn in teams to enhance interpersonal relationship skills; and to develop an awareness of leadership approaches and the ability to influence others.

Components of the Program

In Plymouth State University’s General Education program, students take three First-Year Experience courses, which introduce the skills listed above. The skills are then further developed and refined in the other components of the program: the Directions courses and the Connections courses, as well as in the major. Students must take one course in each of the Directions categories as well as an additional 4-8 credits of Directions (total of 20 credits of Directions). These courses are designed to excite students about learning and to give them breadth of knowledge and experience with different approaches to learning. Though taught by the various academic departments, they are required of no major and are open to all students. Connections courses help students develop more advanced academic skills, appreciation of difference, and appreciation of wellness within specific academic contexts. Three of the seven Connections must be explored within the context of the major; the other four may be explored in that context or in some other.

Overview of Three Components

Course Title Credits
First Year Experience
EN 1400Composition4
IS 1111The First Year Seminar: Critical Thinking and the Nature of Inquiry3
MAMathematics Foundations3-4
Directions
CTDICreative Thought3-4
PPDIPast and Present3-4
SIDIScientific Inquiry3-4
SSDISelf and Society3-4
Directions (choose from CTDI, PPDI, SIDI, SSDI) 14-8
Connections
DICODiversity 23-4
GACOGlobal Awareness 23-4
INCOIntegration 23-4
WECOWellness 23-4
QRCOQuantitative Reasoning in the Disciplines 3
TECOTechnology in the Disciplines 3
WRCOWriting in the Disciplines 3
Total Credits42-47

Description of the Three Components

First Year Experience (3-4 credits)

The goals of the First-Year Experience component are to connect students to life in an academic community and to introduce and practice in a meaningful context the skills listed above. The component consists of the following three courses to be taken during the first year.

Composition (4 credits)

The Composition requirement is intended to help students become responsible writers who can take charge of their own writing process. It is satisfied by the course Composition (EN 1400) or its equivalency.

Students learn how to draft, respond to feedback from peers and instructor, revise, and edit successful college prose. By the end of the course, they should be able to write essays that are unified by a central thesis, well-developed in carefully organized paragraphs with vivid details, and grammatically appropriate with effective sentence structure and correct mechanics.

Students also learn to read comprehensively and effectively in order to relate ideas and arguments to their writing and thinking. They are expected to summarize different kinds of texts, paraphrase the ideas of someone else, analyze others’ arguments and positions, compare and contrast ideas, and generate their own thoughts and ideas following research and observation. Students are required to engage in library research and to write papers based on their research. Thus the General Education Skills being given special emphasis in this course are writing, reading, conducting research, and collaborating with others.

First Year Seminar (3 credits)

During the first semester, all first year students, including those transferring in fewer than 24 credits, take the course IS 1111 The First Year Seminar: Critical Thinking and the Nature of Inquiry. This course introduces students to the concepts of general education and the academic community and to the skills educated people use to generate and address important questions. Using critical thinking skills and basic tools of gathering and evaluating information, students and the instructor together explore a specific question which challenges contemporary thinkers. The question varies across sections of the course.

The First-Year Seminar is a cornerstone course, through which students begin to build the repertoire of intellectual skills needed for university-level work. The skills are not taught in isolation but rather in the context of the topic or problem of the course. Assignments and activities introduce all of the skills listed above, but special emphasis is given to critical thinking, conducting research, working with information technology, writing, speaking and listening, and collaborating with others.

Mathematics Foundations (3-4 credits)

Through the Mathematics Foundations requirement, students become aware of the importance of mathematics and its application to fields as diverse as art, music, and science. It is satisfied by a mathematics course numbered Mathematics and the Humanities (MA 1500) or above, or by a mathematics course that is equivalent to Mathematics and the Humanities (MA 1500) or above, including credit-by-exam as explained below.

Mathematics Foundations courses focus on problem solving using the language of mathematics and on developing students’ ability to reason quantitatively in diverse contexts. Students learn to reduce complex problems to their fundamentals using algebra and geometry.

The Mathematics Foundations requirement enables students to make connections between mathematics and their own lives and to explore the roles of mathematics in society, culture, and politics. General Education skills given special emphasis are quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and working with information technology.

Students may demonstrate proficiency in mathematics by recording under the credit-by-examination policy, credits for a satisfactory performance on an AP, CLEP, DSST, or IB examination (see Transferring Credits). Mathematics coursework for which equivalent AP, CLEP, DSST, or IB credit has been received will not be granted credit.

Transfer students may demonstrate proficiency in mathematics by recording mathematics transfer credits that are equivalent to Plymouth State University courses. In cases where there is no equivalent course, the transfer credits must be deemed to be at a level equivalent to Mathematics and the Humanities (MA 1500) or higher by the transfer and articulation specialist and the mathematics faculty. Mathematics course work at PSU for which equivalent transfer credit has been recorded will not be granted credit.

If a student fulfilled the Mathematics Proficiency (as indicated in the 1998–1999 Catalog) by August 31, 1999, and chooses to change to the 1999–2000 or subsequent Catalog, the requirement to take a Mathematics Foundations course will be waived.

Mathematics Placement Assessment. The Department of Mathematics offers an online placement assessment. The goal of the placement assessment is to help students enroll in the math course most suited to their background. Students may take the assessment a total of two times. Students are encouraged to study after they take the assessment the first time and then retake it. The placement level determines placement in the algebra/precalculus/calculus sequence. Note that not all students are required to take courses in this sequence. Based on the placement level, students may also receive a recommendation to complete Elementary Algebra (MA 1200) before taking their required Mathematics Foundations course. The mathematics placement assessment is scored at four levels:

  • Level 0: Students must complete College Algebra (MA 1800) before entering Precalculus (MA 2140). However, students may not be prepared for success in College Algebra (MA 1800) or their Mathematics Foundations course and should consult with their academic advisor and the mathematics faculty before enrolling. The mathematics faculty recommends students who score at this level complete Elementary Algebra (MA 1200) prior to subsequent math courses.
  • Level 1: Students must complete College Algebra (MA 1800) before entering Precalculus (MA 2140).
  • Level 2: Students meet the prerequisite for Precalculus (MA 2140).
  • Level 3: Students meet the prerequisite for Applied Calculus I (MA 2490).
  • Level 4: Students meet the prerequisite for Calculus I (MA 2550).

The mathematics placement assessment is available online for all registered students through the Math Activity Center website.

Note: Elementary Algebra (MA 1200) does not satisfy Mathematics Foundation or any General Education requirement.

Students satisfy the Mathematics Foundations requirement (3-4 credits) by either successfully completing a three-credit mathematics course at the level of Mathematics and the Humanities (MA 1500) or higher, OR by successfully completing a mathematics course that is specified by the student’s major.

Directions

The Directions component is intended to introduce students to different ways of considering and understanding human experience which they can apply as they seek meaning in their lives. Directions courses challenge them to see how different perspectives shape the ways in which people interpret ideas and experiences to construct meaning. They emphasize connections between the world of ideas and the “real world.”

Rather than introducing a whole academic discipline, these courses focus on a particular issue or problem or topic of interest within the discipline, especially a topic relevant to students’ own lives. Ideally and whenever possible, alternative perspectives and approaches are woven into the course. No Directions course is required as part of any major.

The four Directions essentially represent four different approaches to learning, defined by a combination of method of inquiry and content. They are intended to further strengthen the academic skills upon which the First-Year Experience is based. Different Directions emphasize different of these, but among them all skills are included. Because these skills are useful in all academic work, students are encouraged to take Directions courses early. Ideally all should be completed by the end of the second year.

Students must take one course in each of the Directions categories as well as an additional 4-8 credits of Directions (total of 20 credits of Directions). Directions courses will be a minimum of three credits. Some, for example, Scientific Inquiry courses involving laboratory work, may be more.

Creative Thought (3-4 credits)

People need to be creative in order to thrive in our complex and changing world. People need to understand the creative processes that lead to the generation of ideas and to engage in new interpretations of existing ideas. Creative Thought courses encourage students to recognize beauty in its many manifestations and to become aware of formal elements of creative expression.

These courses also encourage students to view themselves as creative beings, to appreciate creativity in others, and to regard creativity as an essential component in all areas of human endeavor. In these courses, students develop and value perseverance and a tolerance for ambiguity. Students are challenged to appreciate aesthetic forms, to use their imaginations, and to develop the skills and attitudes that allow creativity to flourish: independence and non-conformity, the ability to organize and reorganize information, and the confidence to think in new ways. Creative Thought courses emphasize the skills of critical thinking, reading, writing, listening and speaking, and working with information technology.

Course Title Credits
ARDI 1200Creativity and the Visual World3
ARDI 1400The Art of Sketching3
ARDI 1450Public Art: The Politics of Visual Meaning3
ARDI 2310Table Manners: Functional Pottery3
CMDI 1100Creating Games3
CMDI 1200Web Expressions3
CMDI 2100The Digital Imagination3
CSDI 1200Web Expressions3
CSDI 1300Digital Media Creation3
DNDI 2105Movement for Community4
DNDI 2205Athleticism in the Performing Arts4
DNDI 2250Hip-Hop Culture and Performance3
EDDI 2100Transformation Through the Arts3
ENDI 1402Writing and the Creative Process4
ENDI 2205The Art of Film4
ENDI 2230Creating Arguments3
GEDI 2400Mapping Our World: Creating Realities4
LIDI 2450Creating Language3
MUDI 1105Creating Sound Effects and Music for Video Games4
MUDI 1355American Popular Music: History and Creation4
MUDI 2005Sound Design for Multimedia4
PODI 1061Politics and Art4
PTDI 2200The Art of Photography3
PTDI 2450Digital Photography3
PYDI 2410Creative Problem Solving in Ethics3
THDI 1300The Theatrical Experience3

Past and Present (3-4 credits)

In order to comprehend the present and envision the future, we must understand the past. Cultures and societies discern time and construct chronologies of significant events to explain the past, comprehend the present, and envision the future. By examining issues and events that are currently impacting students’ lives, Past and Present courses explore how people interpret causes and effects within events.

These courses encourage students to realize that different times shape different views of the world. For students to realize that all fields of knowledge are subject to change, they need to study the changes that have taken place within those fields. They also need to understand the dialectic movement between the past and present: just as the past shapes the present, so does the present shape our understanding of the past. Past and Present courses emphasize the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, critical thinking, and conducting research.

Course Title Credits
AHDI 1200Exploring Art: Temples and Treasures3
AHDI 1210Exploring Art: Revelations and Revolutions3
BIDI 1400Plagues and Peoples3
CLDI 2100Writing Systems of the World3
CMDI 2020Sex and Cinema in the 20th Century (and Beyond)3
CSDI 1400Computers: Past, Present, and Future3
ENDI 1335Arthurian Legends: Myth, Fantasy, and Romance4
ENDI 1350Twice-Told Tales3
ENDI 2320Settling the American West: Women and Men on the Overland Trail3
FLDI 2300Comedy and History in Foreign Film3
GEDI 1400Globalization and Diversity3
HIDI 1201War in US History4
HIDI 1207The American West3
HIDI 1209Creating the US: 1600-18773
HIDI 1211Modern United States History3
HIDI 1215US Society in the Vietnam Era4
HIDI 1355Medieval Legacies in Our Modern Era4
HIDI 1455Roots of Current Global Conflicts4
HIDI 1600(Re)Considering the Holocaust in a Polarized Society3
HIDI 2310American Economic Development3
LIDI 2500The History of the English Language3
LLDI 2300Comedy and History in Foreign Film3
LLDI 2500The History of the English Language3
MUDI 1005Jazz Styles: Past and Present4
MUDI 1310Exploring Music3
PODI 1045Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism4
PODI 1056Humanitarianism: Working in the Global Community4
PYDI 1300Perspectives on Religion3
PYDI 2280Women Philosophers3
PYDI 2415Death and Dying3

Scientific Inquiry (3-4 credits)

The methods of science are powerful tools with which we can attain a clearer understanding of the world. In the modern world, science has real application to all people’s lives. Scientific literacy helps people to make sense of the explosion of information they encounter every day. Scientific Inquiry courses use scientific methodologies to examine relationships between events in the natural world and make students aware that science occurs in a social, cultural, political, and ethical context.

Use of scientific methods in laboratory or field settings is an integral part of these courses. As students plan investigations, collect, analyze, and interpret data, and develop their ability to propose answers, offer explanations, and make predictions, they come to see both the power and the limitations of science. Students investigate the distinctions between rational thinking and anecdotal argumentation and develop an understanding that answers are never final, but always subject to revision. Scientific Inquiry courses emphasize the skills of critical thinking, writing, conducting research, quantitative reasoning, working with information technology, and collaborating with others.

Course Title Credits
ANDI 1205Artifacts, Customs & Fossils: Studying Humans through Anthropological Prespectives4
ANDI 1300Ancient and Experimental Technology3
ANDI 2205The Science of Archaeology4
BIDI 1220Biology Core Concepts: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior3
BIDI 1320Biology Core Concepts: Cells, Genes, and Biotechnology3
BIDI 2010Human Biology I4
BIDI 2020Human Biology II4
CHDI 1500The Science of Crime-Solving3
CHDI 1760Chemistry in Society3
CHDI 1770Chemistry in Society Laboratory1
CHDI 1800Chemistry For A Sustainable World3
CJDI 1500Profiling Criminal Behavior4
CMDI 2200The Science of Animation Programming4
ESDI 1100Resource Management – an Earth Systems Science (ESS) Approach4
ESDI 2500Environmental Science4
ESDI 2610Earth Systems Science: The Hazardous Earth4
GEDI 1200Environmental Geography3
LIDI 2950Language Acquisition3
LLDI 2950Language Acquisition3
MTDI 1200Weather and Climate3
MTDI 1500Severe and Hazardous Weather3
PHDI 2100Physical Science4
PHDI 2300Astronomy3
PSDI 2030Mind, Brain, and Evolution3
PSDI 2190Quack Remedies, False Prophets, and Unwarranted Claims3
PYDI 2710Science or Superstition3

Self and Society (3-4 credits)

A rich and productive life encompasses an understanding of one’s self and one’s relationship to the world. An educated person must grapple with a question that has interested human beings for centuries: the relationship between self and society. To understand one’s self, one must understand and acknowledge the impact of society on the development of identity and the formation of beliefs. The needs of the individual sometimes conflict with the needs of society. Cultures differ in the relative value they give to the individual and to the group.

Using issues that impact on students’ lives, Self and Society courses explore questions of these sorts. They encourage students to inquire into multiple dimensions of self including the social, physical, emotional, and cognitive, and to investigate the interactions between individuals and the spatial, temporal, political, economic, and technological aspects of the social environment. Self and Society courses emphasize the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, critical thinking, conducting research, and collaborating with others.

Course Title Credits
ARDI 1300Myths, Masks, and Identity3
BIDI 1500Insects and Society3
BIDI 2050Plants and Society3
BUDI 2300Personal Financial Planning3
BUDI 2650Career Exploration3
CJDI 1030The Individual and the Law4
CLDI 2550Cross-Cultural Communication3
CMDI 2010Outlaws, Delinquents, and Other "Deviants" in Film and Society3
CODI 2050Helping Skills in Society3
CODI 2060Interpersonal Conflict Resolution3
CSDI 1500Computers: Fact, Fiction, Fantasy, and Film3
ENDI 1300Murder, Mayhem, and Madness: Reflections of the Self and Society in Literature3
ENDI 1450The Outsider3
ENDI 1555Wilderness Literature4
ENDI 1600Let's Hear It For Sports - or Not!3
ENDI 2100The Story3
GEDI 1300Spatial Organization of Everyday Life3
HIDI 1305Childhood in American History3
HIDI 1320Cultural Contact in World History4
HIDI 1360A Mockingbird's Song: Race, Class, and Identity in the United States3
ISDI 2100Issues in Sustainability3
LIDI 2020Queer Language, Culture, and Identity3
PEDI 2950Sociocultural Dimensions in Physical Activity3
PODI 1051Global Problems, Power and Politics4
PODI 1101Citizen Politics4
PYDI 1030Thinking for Yourself3
PYDI 1050Building a Civil Society3
PYDI 1130Ethics and Everyday Life3
SODI 2205Exploring Social Life4
SPDI 2200Latin American Literature in English Translation3
SPDI 2250The Latino Boom: A Survey of US-Latino Literature3
WSDI 2500The F Word: Feminism in the United States3

Connections

The Connections component is intended to tie general education to the rest of the curriculum, including the majors, by helping students develop attitudes shared by educated people and more advanced academic skills within specific academic contexts. Three of the seven Connections are tied explicitly to the majors in that students take courses required by the major which advance their writing, quantitative, and technological skills in ways appropriate to the major. In many cases, one or more of the other four Connections may be tied to the major as well.

Diversity1 (3-4 credits)

Becoming educated involves developing awareness of, sensitivity to, and appreciation for viewpoints other than those to which we have been acculturated. Through such development comes increased respect for those different from oneself.

Students take a three or four-credit Diversity (DICO) course (either within the major or not) designed to broaden and deepen awareness and appreciation of differences and commonalties of sub-cultural groups in the US society defined by differences in race, ethnicity, ability, social class, religion, politics, gender, or sexual orientation. International courses do not address diversity in US society so DICO credit is omitted from international courses. Diversity courses do this by exposing students to the life stories and the voices of members of different groups and by exploring issues of equity, opportunity, and justice.

Course Title Credits
AE 3060Instructional Planning and Pedagogy for Art Education3
AH 3600Arts of the United States3
AH 3750Women, Art, and Society3
BI 3240Conservation3
BU 3420Organizational Behavior3
CD 2360Foundations of Diversity3
CJ 3075Race, Class, Crime and Justice4
CJ 3155Society, Ethics, and the Law4
CJ 3515Women and Crime4
CM 3710Film and Identity Politics3
CM 3810Analyzing Film3
CS 4520CyberEthics3
EN 2250Identity and Difference in American Literature3
EN 2440Rethinking Early American Literature4
EN 2460Rethinking Modern American Literature4
ER 3300Culturally Responsive Early Care and Education3
FR 1015French Language and Culture Studies I3
FR 1025French Language and Culture Studies II3
FR 2030French Language and Culture Studies III3
FR 2040French Language and Culture Studies IV3
FR 4815The Diversity of Franco Communities in the United States3
HI 3115Early American Society to 17763
HI 3140Antebellum America, 1815-18603
HI 3350American Women's History3
HI 3352African-American History3
HI 3358US Legal History3
HI 3520The Great Depression in Film, Print, and on Stage3
HI 3530US Home Fronts: The 1940s and 1950s3
IS 3610Biology of Sex Roles3
IS 4360Cultural Diversity and American Society3
IS 4370Hispanic Culture in the United States3
LIDI 2020Queer Language, Culture, and Identity3
LL 2950American Sign Language I3
MA 4020The Cultural and Psychological Aspects of Mathematics Learning3
MU 3250Global Jazz3
NR 3020Introduction to Patient-Centered Care3
PO 2025Public Administration4
PS 3200Psychology of Women3
PY 3155Society, Ethics, and the Law4
PY 3330Business Ethics3
PY 3370Ethics and Communication3
PY 3720Philosophy of Law3
PY 3730Philosophy of Communication3
PY 3830Phenomenology3
PY 3840Pragmatism3
SL 2950American Sign Language I3
SL 2960American Sign Language II3
SO 2225Foundations of Sociology4
SO 3185Sociology of Deviance4
SO 3375Sociology of Race and Ethnicity4
SP 1015Spanish Language and Culture Studies I3
SP 1025Spanish Language and Culture Studies II3
SP 1060Conversational Spanish I3
SP 1080Spanish for Criminal Justice I3
SP 1090Spanish for Criminal Justice II3
SP 2030Spanish Language and Culture Studies III3
SP 2040Spanish Language and Culture Studies IV3
SP 3170Spanish for Social Services3
SP 3190Spanish for Business3
SW 3130Child Welfare and Family Services3
SW 3480Exploring the Dominican Republic: Culture and Social Justice in a Developing Nation3
TE 3300Foundations of Multilingual Multicultural Studies3
TH 2230American Musical Theatre3
TH 3930American Drama3

Global Awareness1 (3-4 credits)

Educated people are aware that human beings are interdependent members of a world community, that there are both similarities and differences in the societies and cultures of the world, and that the manners in which people live their lives need not be exactly alike.

Students take a three or four-credit Global Awareness (GACO) course (either within the major or not) designed to expose them to the important societal issues facing the world and to encourage them to develop the ability to appreciate and think about issues from different points of view. Global Awareness courses focus on the forces that have shaped peoples, cultures, nations, and regions of the world. They increase students’ understanding of each person’s position, participation, obligations, and responsibilities within the world community.

Course Title Credits
AH 3530Arts of the Far East3
AH 3540Art and Ideas in the 19th Century3
AH 3620Mesoamerican Arts: Maya to Frida Kahlo3
AH 3730Renaissance Art in Southern Europe3
AN 2100Foundations of Anthropology4
AN 3120Anthropology of Migration4
AN 3405Anthropology of Sub-Saharan Africa4
BI 3240Conservation3
CJ 3515Women and Crime4
CM 3480Global Perspectives in the Media3
CN 1015Fundamentals of Chinese I3
EC 2550Macroeconomics3
EN 3515Currents in Global Literature4
FLDI 2300Comedy and History in Foreign Film3
FR 1015French Language and Culture Studies I3
FR 1025French Language and Culture Studies II3
FR 2030French Language and Culture Studies III3
FR 2040French Language and Culture Studies IV3
FR 3030French Popular Culture and Technology3
GE 3020Geography for Educators3
GE 4110Topics in Regional Geography3
GR 1015Fundamentals of German I3
GR 1025Fundamentals of German II3
HE 3310Epidemiology and Evidenced Based Medicine3
HI 2011World History Since 15004
HI 3460The British Empire in World History3
HI 3480The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era, 1789-18153
HI 3730Modern History of East Asia3
HI 3742History of Japan3
HI 3761History of Southeast Asia4
HI 3767India and the World3
HI 3770The History of Islamic Empires3
HI 3825Topics in World History4
IS 3560Philosophical Perspectives on War and Peace3
IS 3610Biology of Sex Roles3
IT 1060Conversational Italian I3
IT 1070Conversational Italian II3
LLDI 2300Comedy and History in Foreign Film3
MA 3460History of Mathematics3
MT 2800Climatology3
MU 3250Global Jazz3
NR 4020Global Health and Population-Based Health Care3
PO 1035World Politics4
PO 3255Model United Nations4
PO 3305Latin American Politics4
PO 3505Politics and Conflict in the Middle East4
PY 1010Ultimate Questions3
PY 3050Ethical Theories3
PY 3345Military Ethics3
PY 3515Philosophy of World Religions3
PY 3560Philosophical Perspectives on War and Peace3
PY 3820Existentialism3
PY 3870Non-western Philosophy3
SP 1015Spanish Language and Culture Studies I3
SP 1025Spanish Language and Culture Studies II3
SP 1060Conversational Spanish I3
SP 1080Spanish for Criminal Justice I3
SP 1090Spanish for Criminal Justice II3
SP 2030Spanish Language and Culture Studies III3
SP 2040Spanish Language and Culture Studies IV3
SP 3030Advanced Spanish3
SP 3170Spanish for Social Services3
SP 3190Spanish for Business3
SW 3300Mental Health and Society3
SW 3480Exploring the Dominican Republic: Culture and Social Justice in a Developing Nation3
SW 3500Health and Society3
TMP 2010Introduction to Travel and Tourism4

Integration1 (3-4 credits)

We live in a world where scholarship is increasingly interdisciplinary. The educated person recognizes the challenges and rewards of drawing connections between fields of knowledge and of applying alternative methods of inquiry to solve problems.

Students take a three or four-credit Integration (INCO) course (either within the major or not), which brings content or methods of inquiry from two or more disciplines or perspectives to bear on a problem or question. The Integration course is a General Education capstone course, taken in the junior or senior year. As such, it should require substantial, although general, background and a high level of proficiency at most or all of the General Education skills.

Course Title Credits
AG 3530History of Graphic Design3
AH 3100Contemporary Art Seminar3
AH 3530Arts of the Far East3
AH 3540Art and Ideas in the 19th Century3
AH 3620Mesoamerican Arts: Maya to Frida Kahlo3
AH 3730Renaissance Art in Southern Europe3
AN 3505Illness, Wellness, and Healing4
AR 3570The Art of Sustainability3
AT 4100Administration of Athletic Training3
BI 3025Obesity – The Biology and Sociology of an Epidemic3
BI 3035Biochemistry I4
BI 3240Conservation3
BU 3720Career Development3
BU 4220Strategic Management3
CD 3000Philosophical and Historical Perspectives on the Child in Society3
CH 3035Biochemistry I4
CH 3600Environmental Chemistry4
CH 4150Air Quality3
CJ 3155Society, Ethics, and the Law4
CM 3000Rhetoric and Semiotics3
CM 3120Communicating Through Animation3
CM 3800Analyzing Television3
CM 3850Introduction to Game Design and Development3
CM 3940Social Media: Technology and Culture3
CS 4520CyberEthics3
EN 3420Rethinking Medieval and Renaissance Literature4
EN 4040Mysticism and Contemplation4
ER 4200Senior Seminar: Perspectives on Early Childhood3
ESP 3400Life in the Universe3
ESP 4440Climate Change3
FR 4815The Diversity of Franco Communities in the United States3
HI 3140Antebellum America, 1815-18603
HI 3356American Ideas3
HI 3520The Great Depression in Film, Print, and on Stage3
HI 3767India and the World3
IP 4425Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Seminar3
IS 3470Women in Contemporary American Culture3
IS 3560Philosophical Perspectives on War and Peace3
IS 3610Biology of Sex Roles3
IS 4360Cultural Diversity and American Society3
IS 4370Hispanic Culture in the United States3
IS 4461Sustainability Capstone4
MA 4020The Cultural and Psychological Aspects of Mathematics Learning3
MT 4150Air Quality3
MT 4400Numerical Weather Prediction3
MT 4420Tropical Weather and Climate3
MT 4440Climate Change3
MU 3320History and Literature of Music II3
PE 4010Exercise and Health Psychology3
PO 3255Model United Nations4
PO 3305Latin American Politics4
PO 3505Politics and Conflict in the Middle East4
PY 3110History of Ancient Philosophy3
PY 3111History of Medieval Philosophy3
PY 3112History of Modern Philosophy3
PY 3113History of Contemporary Philosophy3
PY 3155Society, Ethics, and the Law4
PY 3310Environmental Ethics3
PY 3325Medical Ethics3
PY 3330Business Ethics3
PY 3360Ethics and Psychology3
PY 3370Ethics and Communication3
PY 3515Philosophy of World Religions3
PY 3540Philosophy of Religion3
PY 3560Philosophical Perspectives on War and Peace3
PY 3610Philosophy of Technology3
PY 3720Philosophy of Law3
PY 3730Philosophy of Communication3
SO 3385Drugs and Society4
SO 3395Environment and Society4
SO 3405Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management4
SO 3505Illness, Wellness, and Healing4
SS 4950Community Research Experience4
SSE 4505Advances in Social Studies Pedagogy and Learning3
TH 4610Directing for the Stage3
TMP 4010Tourism Development4

Wellness1 (3-4 credits)

To be fully educated, people need respect for and understanding of how health, physical activity, and wellness contribute to mental acuity and emotional well-being. Awareness of and attention to the physical can enhance the cognitive and emotional aspects of life.

Students take a three or four-credit Wellness (WECO) course (either within the major or not) designed to increase their understanding of the connection between mind and body.

These courses expose students to the theory and practice of life-span wellness and fitness activity, and to the knowledge, attitudes, habits, and skills needed to live well. Their goal is to help students cultivate life skills, which will promote mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Course Title Credits
AN 3505Illness, Wellness, and Healing4
AT 3350Athletic Training Health, Prevention, and Management3
BI 3025Obesity – The Biology and Sociology of an Epidemic3
BIDI 2010Human Biology I4
BIDI 2020Human Biology II4
BU 3720Career Development3
BU 4650Professional Employment3
CM 3510Communication, Media, and Wellness3
ED 2350Child and Youth Health and Development in Context3
EN 4040Mysticism and Contemplation4
ER 2400Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Health for the Young Child3
ESP 3550Environment and Health3
HE 2900Disease, Safety, and Environment3
HE 3200Stress Management3
HE 3210Mental Health Issues3
HE 3700Drug Behavior3
HE 4100Women's Health Issues3
HI 3354Health and Illness in American History3
ME 1100Introduction to Music Education3
NR 3070Health and Wellness of Older Adults3
PE 2840Health and Fitness for Educators3
PE 2850Wellness Choices for a Healthy, Active Lifestyle3
PE 2860Adventure Programming for Physical Educators3
PE 2880Adventures in Wellness3
PY 3310Environmental Ethics3
PY 3325Medical Ethics3
PY 3360Ethics and Psychology3
SO 3505Illness, Wellness, and Healing4
SO 3605Sustainability in Practice4
SW 3050Perspectives on Aging3
SW 3500Health and Society3
TH 2820Acting I3

Quantitative Reasoning in the Disciplines2 (3-4 credits within the major)

Mathematics finds application in all fields of scholarship. All disciplines make use of quantitative reasoning in some way and to some extent.

Students take a three or four-credit Quantitative Reasoning (QRCO) course specified as required for their major. This course may be taught within the major discipline or not. It might teach quantitative techniques used as primary or secondary tools within the discipline, or might be a course in which students of less quantitative disciplines come to deepen their appreciation of the relevance of quantitative reasoning to us all.

Course Title Credits
AG 3490Production for Graphic Design3
AR 3060Foundations of Sculpture: Representing the Body4
AR 3160Foundations of Sculpture: Objects and Ideas4
AT 4200Research and Statistics in Athletic Training3
BI 4050Ecology4
BU 2240Business Statistics3
CH 2335General Chemistry I4
CJ 3260Data Analysis for Criminal Justice4
CM 4650Communication Research Methods3
EN 1600Studies in English4
ER 3450Guiding Young Mathematicians: Math Methods for Early Childhood4
GE 2050GIS I: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
HE 3310Epidemiology and Evidenced Based Medicine3
HI 2223Methods, Theories, and Careers in History4
LI 2000Introduction to Language and Linguistics3
LL 2000Introduction to Language and Linguistics3
MA 1500Mathematics and the Humanities3
MA 1900Statistical Literacy in Today's Society3
MA 2120Mathematics for Grades 4-6 Educators4
MA 2140Precalculus4
MA 2200Finite Mathematics3
MA 2300Statistics I3
MA 2490Applied Calculus I4
MA 2500Applied Calculus II4
MA 2550Calculus I4
MA 2560Calculus II4
NR 4060Research Process and Evidence-Based Practice3
PE 3565Measurement and Assessment in Physical Education3
PS 3115Research Methods and Statistics I4
PY 2310Elements of Logic3
SS 3705Social Statistics4
SSE 3010Theories of Learning and Assessment in Social Studies3
SW 3705Social Statistics4
TH 2500Stagecraft Fundamentals3

Technology in the Disciplines2 (3-4 credits within the major)

In the modern world, technology has application to every academic discipline, and educated people must have an understanding of technology that will allow them to adapt to rapid technological change.

Students take a three or four-credit Technology in the Disciplines (TECO) course specified as required for the major. This course may be taught within the major discipline or not. The course will help students examine the role of technology within their own discipline and within a larger societal and cultural context. The TECO course will provide students with hands-on experience using current technologies; with a broad understanding of the concepts underlying current technology; with an understanding of the potential ethical issues involved with the use of technology; and with an understanding of forces, based in the needs and values of our culture, that drive technological innovation.

Course Title Credits
AG 2330An Introduction to Graphic Design Software3
AN 4415Methods of Social Research4
AP 3101Immersion Wilderness Expedition4
AR 1080Art Foundations: Digital and New Media4
AT 4500Therapeutic Modalities3
BI 1110Biological Science I4
BU 1100Business Computer Applications3
CD 1000Children and Youth in Schools and Community3
CH 3400Instrumental Analysis4
CJ 1060Technology in Criminal Justice4
CJ 3260Data Analysis for Criminal Justice4
CM 2000Studies in Communication and Media4
CM 2770Introduction to Media and Cultural Studies3
CM 3090Technical Communication3
CM 3670Journalism3
CS 1170Computing Technology in Criminal Justice3
CS 2010Computing Fundamentals3
ED 3350Classroom Planning, Management, and Organization for Middle School and Secondary Educators3
EN 2440Rethinking Early American Literature4
EN 2490Rethinking Modern British Literature, 1660-19454
EN 4155Digitalit: Storytelling in the Digital Age4
ER 4250Inquiry, Integration, and Problem Solving in the Primary Grades4
ER 4300Leadership, Advocacy, and Policy in Early Childhood3
FR 3030French Popular Culture and Technology3
GE 2050GIS I: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
HE 3220Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living3
HI 4360Doing Public History4
IP 2225Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies3
MA 2140Precalculus4
MA 3230College Geometries4
MA 4430Numerical Analysis3
ME 3500Technology for Music Educators3
MT 4280Synoptic Meteorology II4
MT 4400Numerical Weather Prediction3
MU 3200Technology in Music Performance3
PE 2550Foundations of Physical Education3
PO 3125Political Parties, Elections, and Interest Groups4
PS 3115Research Methods and Statistics I4
PTDI 2450Digital Photography3
PY 2650Mind and Machine3
PY 3380Humans and Humanoids: Ethics in Technology3
PY 3610Philosophy of Technology3
SO 4415Methods of Social Research4
SP 3030Advanced Spanish3
SW 4020Social Work Research Methods3
TH 2100Technology for Theatre Professionals3

Writing in the Disciplines2 (3-4 credits within the major)

 Students take a three or four-credit Writing course (within a major) that contains significant writing experiences appropriate to the discipline. These experiences must include Writing Across the Curriculum activities that facilitate student learning and help students become better writers. At a minimum these activities demonstrate three specific aspects.

  1. Students in the course do substantial writing that enhances learning and demonstrates knowledge of the subject or the discipline. Writing assignments should be an integral part of the course and account for a significant part (approximately 50 percent or more) of the final grade.
  2. The course demonstrates an approach to writing as a process where students have the opportunity to submit and receive feedback on multiple drafts of major assignments.
  3. Students have the opportunity to write for formal and informal, graded and ungraded occasions throughout the course with an emphasis on the use of writing as a mode of learning.

Note: Students who entered in 2003–2004 or earlier, but elect to follow the 2005–2006 or subsequent catalog for their major requirements, must fulfill the General Education requirements of the 2003–2004 catalog. Students who entered in 2004–2005, but elect to follow the 2005–2006 or subsequent catalog for their major requirements, must fulfill the General Education requirements of the 2004–2005 catalog.

Course Title Credits
AG 3530History of Graphic Design3
AH 270020/21: Art Since 19003
AN 4605Seminar: Theory, Practice, and Careers4
AP 3320Adventure Education Philosophy and Theory3
AT 3350Athletic Training Health, Prevention, and Management3
AT 4200Research and Statistics in Athletic Training3
BI 4050Ecology4
BI 4150Developmental Biology4
BI 4170Ecology and Development4
BI 4760Animal Behavior4
BI 4770Animal Physiology4
BI 4780Neurobiology4
BU 2290Organizational Communications3
CD 3000Philosophical and Historical Perspectives on the Child in Society3
CH 3410Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Kinetics4
CJ 4805Criminal Justice Seminar4
CM 3090Technical Communication3
CM 3640Communication Theory3
CM 3670Journalism3
CS 4520CyberEthics3
ED 2500Learning and Development3
EN 1600Studies in English4
ER 3300Culturally Responsive Early Care and Education3
ESP 4550Environmental Science and Policy Seminar4
EX 4840Research Methods in Exercise Science3
FR 3130Advanced French Composition3
GE 4110Topics in Regional Geography3
HE 3240Health Promotion Planning and Evaluation4
HE 3310Epidemiology and Evidenced Based Medicine3
HI 3115Early American Society to 17763
HI 3150American Civil War and Reconstruction3
HI 3341New Hampshire and New England History4
HI 3358US Legal History3
HI 3520The Great Depression in Film, Print, and on Stage3
HI 3530US Home Fronts: The 1940s and 1950s3
HI 3742History of Japan3
HI 3767India and the World3
HI 4360Doing Public History4
IP 4425Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Seminar3
MA 2700Logic, Proofs, and Axiomatic Systems3
MA 3230College Geometries4
MA 3460History of Mathematics3
MA 4140Abstract Algebra3
MT 3710Meteorological Instruments and Observations4
MU 3320History and Literature of Music II3
NR 4060Research Process and Evidence-Based Practice3
PE 3565Measurement and Assessment in Physical Education3
PO 3060Political Analysis and Policy4
PO 3580Politics of the Pacific Rim - ASEAN3
PS 3125Research Methods and Statistics II4
PY 4770Great Philosophers Seminar3
SO 4605Seminar:Theory, Practice, and Careers4
SP 3220Advanced Spanish Composition3
SSE 4505Advances in Social Studies Pedagogy and Learning3
SW 4550Social Work Integrative Seminar3
TH 2230American Musical Theatre3
TH 3930American Drama3
TMP 4010Tourism Development4

Transfer of General Education Courses

A course, or courses, must fulfill the transfer criteria established by Plymouth State University. When discrepancies occur, the transfer and articulation specialist shall consult with the department chair for clarification on details of course description or the amount of credit to be honored. In cases where a clear decision is not apparent, or where students make a challenge of a decision, it shall become the responsibility of the academic affairs officer to make a decision.

Courses that are transferred into Plymouth State University receive General Education designation in one of the following ways:

  • The appropriate department declares the course to be equivalent to a PSU course that carries the General Education designation.
  • The transfer and articulation specialist assigns the designation as part of the initial evaluation of transfer credit or as part of the review of the Transfer Credit Approval form.
  • The academic affairs officer approves a Student Request for such designation (this option provides a mechanism of appeal of the first two).

The First-Year Experience

In each of the courses students take, professors will be looking for evidence of three skills: critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and communication. Successful first-year students approach the First-Year Seminar, Mathematics Foundations, and English Composition with the special attention and effort they require and deserve. These courses are the foundation of the General Education program, the program which will instill in PSU students the hallmarks of a truly educated person.

Far from being merely introductory academic hurdles, the mastery of these three courses is a predictive barometer of students’ ability to make the transition from high school-level thinking—characterized by the elementary skills of merely absorbing and regurgitating facts, to college-level thinking—characterized by the ability to analyze and synthesize opposing viewpoints, an eagerness to weigh skeptically the accuracy and relevance of an argument’s logical and quantitative evidence, and an ability to communicate eloquently and convincingly a reasoned response. Only when students embrace and persevere in these skills will they have made the transition from high school to college; only then will they have taken the most important first steps toward becoming educated.

Plymouth State University places special emphasis on success in the first year. PSU is one of only 12 United States state institutions to hold the title of founding member of Foundations of Excellence in the First College Year™. To achieve this honor, the University participated in a two-year study in order to develop a model first-year experience to which it might aspire. Using this model, PSU continually makes efforts to improve the experience by refining its approach to the first-year philosophy, organization, recruitment methods, and faculty involvement. Additionally, Plymouth State University pays special attention to the individual needs of all students, student engagement, diversity, the roles and purposes of education, and the systematic assessment of its progress in all of these areas. In 2004, the Policy Center on the First Year of College, located in Brevard, NC, formally commended Plymouth State University for exemplary service and for its contributions as a Founding Institution in the establishment of foundations of excellence in the First College Year.

Writing Across the Curriculum

Plymouth State University has a Writing Across the Curriculum program that supports the Writing (WRCO) courses and other courses in which writing is assigned. The program is overseen by the Writing Across the Curriculum advisory board, whose members represent a variety of academic disciplines. The advisory board sponsors activities that are designed to encourage faculty to make more and better use of writing assignments in teaching. As students write to learn, they learn to write.