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Liberal Studies

for the 21st Century


Liberal Studies Curriculum

THE CENTRAL ELEMENTS OF THE LIBERAL STUDIES EDUCATION PROGRAM

The Liberal Studies for the 21st Century Program at Florida State University builds an educational foundation that will enable FSU graduates to thrive intellectually and materially and to engage critically and effectively in their communities. In this way your Liberal Studies courses provide a comprehensive intellectual foundation and transformative educational experience.

These requirements are for students who matriculated to the University in the 2015-2016 academic year, beginning with Summer C 2015. If you entered the University prior to Summer C 2015, you are under the old Liberal Studies requirements.

General Education Requirements


Quantitative and Logical Thinking

Requirements

Students must complete a total of 6 credit hours in this area, of which at least 3 credits will be chosen from the statewide core course list below (or courses that include these as a direct prerequisite). Additionally, at least 3 of the 6 total credits must be taken from within the Department of Mathematics (courses with a course prefix of either MAC or MGF). This coursework must be completed in the first two years of undergraduate study, initiating in the first semester. Students must earn a “C-” or higher to fulfill this requirement.

Learning Objectives

These courses are designed to help students become critical analysts of quantitative and logical claims. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Select and apply appropriate methods (i.e., mathematical, statistical, logical, and/or computational models or principles) to solve real-world problems.
  2. Use a variety of forms to represent problems and their solutions.

English Composition

Requirements

Students must complete a total of 6 credit hours in the area, of which 3 will be ENC1101: Freshman Composition and Rhetoric, and 3 will be ENC2135: Research, Genre, and Context. Courses in this area meet the College-level Writing Competency. Students must earn a “C-” or higher to fulfill this requirement. In order to receive a “C-” or better in the course, the student must earn at least a “C-” on the required writing assignments for the course. If the student does not earn a “C-” or better on the required writing assignments for the course, the student will not earn an overall grade of “C-” or better in the course, no matter how well the student performs in the remaining portion of the course.

Learning Objectives

These courses are designed to help students become critical readers and clear, creative, and convincing communicators. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Compose for a specific purpose, occasion, and audience.
  2. Compose as a process, including drafts, revision, and editing.
  3. Incorporate sources from a variety of text types.
  4. Convey ideas clearly, coherently, and effectively, utilizing the conventions of standard American English where relevant.

Social Sciences/History

Requirements

Students must complete 6 credit hours in the combined area of Social Sciences / History, of which at least 3 credits will be chosen from the combined statewide core course lists below. Students must complete at least one Social Sciences course and one History course, i.e., the student's second course must be drawn from whichever area was not represented by the Statewide Core course.

Learning Objectives

These courses are designed to help students become critical analysts of theories and evidence about social forces and social experience and historical events and forces. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Discuss the role of social or historical factors in contemporary problems or personal experiences.
  2. Analyze claims about social or historical phenomena.

Humanities and Cultural Practice

Requirements

Students must complete 3 credit hours in this area. Students require only a single course from the statewide core list between the combined Humanities and Cultural Practice / Ethics area. Students who take PHI2010 in the Ethics area fulfill the statewide core requirement for the combined area and are free to take any Humanities and Cultural Practice course to meet FSU's Liberal Studies requirements.

Learning Objectives

These courses are designed to help students become thoughtful patrons of and participants in cultural practices. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Interpret intellectual or artistic works within a cultural context.
  2. Use a cultural, artistic, or philosophical approach to analyze some aspect of human experience.

Ethics

Requirements

Students must complete 3 credit hours in this area. Students require only a single course from the statewide core list between the combined Humanities and Cultural Practice / Ethics area. Students who take a statewide core course from the Humanities and Cultural Practice area fulfill the statewide core requirement for the combined area and are free to take any Ethics course to meet FSU's Liberal Studies requirements.

Learning Objectives

These courses are designed to help students become ethically engaged citizens and logical thinkers. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Evaluate various ethical positions.
  2. Describe the ways in which historical, social, or cultural contexts shape ethical perspectives.

Natural Sciences

Requirements

Students must complete 6 credit hours in this area, of which at least 3 credits will be chosen from the statewide core course list (or courses that include these as a direct prerequisite).

Additionally, as a graduation requirement, students must complete 1 credit hour of Natural Science Laboratory, either as separate laboratory course taken concurrently with the corresponding lecture class designated by the course suffix “L” (e.g., CHM1020L along with CHM1020) or as a combined lecture/lab class designated by the course suffix “C” (e.g., CHM1020C). In order to fulfill FSU's Natural Sciences Laboratory requirement, the student must earn a “C-” or better in the laboratory or combined course.

Learning Objectives

These courses are designed to help students become effective interpreters of scientific results and critical analysts of claims about the natural world. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Pose questions or hypotheses based on scientific principles.
  2. Use appropriate scientific methods and evidence to evaluate claims or theoretical arguments about the natural world.
  3. Analyze and interpret research results using appropriate methods.

E-Series

Requirements

Students must complete one 3-credit hour E-Series course as part of their 36 FSU Liberal Studies credit hours. These courses will fall within one of the six core Liberal Studies disciplinary areas or Scholarship in Practice courses at the 1000-, 2000-, or 3000-levels, even if they do not fall into some other Liberal Studies disciplinary area. All E-Series courses are approved to count toward the “W” (State-Mandated Writing) requirement. Thus, students must earn at least a “C–” in the course and earn at least a “C–” average on the required writing assignments.

Learning Objectives

They should be designed to help students become competent analytical and flexible thinkers and lifelong learners. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Analyze the major questions or problems in the course using various intellectual perspectives.
  2. Demonstrate the relevance of ideas or findings from the course.
  3. Communicate arguments central to the course using clear, coherent prose that utilizes the conventions of standard American English.
  4. Discuss relevant ideas from the course using sources from a variety of text types.

Read more about the E-Series Program


Liberal Studies Electives

Requirements

To complete the 36 required Liberal Studies credit hours, students must complete a total of 6 credit hours of Liberal Studies electives drawn from the following areas, with certain limitations:

  • Social Sciences / History (only one additional course may count)
  • Humanities and Cultural Practice
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • Natural Sciences (only one additional course may count)
  • Scholarship In Practice (see restrictions below)

Scholarship In Practice Limitations
Only 3 hours of 1000/2000/3000-level Scholarship in Practice courses that have no other General Education designation may be counted as a Liberal Studies elective. Scholarship in Practice courses at the 4000 level do not count towards the thirty-six hours required for Liberal Studies General Education.



Skill in writing is not something that can be cultivated in a single pair of courses. Recognizing this, the State of Florida mandates that all undergraduates complete an additional six credit hours of coursework that emphasize college-level English language writing skills. Florida State University addresses this need through the E-Series courses and the “W” (State-Mandated Writing) courses.

Requirements

To satisfy the State writing mandates, students must complete 3 credit hours of "W" (State-Mandated Writing) coursework. An additional 3 credit hours of E-Series coursework (beyond the minimum 3 credit hours required in the 36 General Education credit hours) will also fulfill this requirement. To fulfill the college-level writing requirement, students must earn a grade of at least a “C–” in the course, and also earn at least a “C–” average on the required writing assignments. If a student does not earn a “C–” average or higher on the required writing assignments, the student will not earn an overall grade of “C–” or higher in the course, no matter how well the student performs in the remaining portion of the course.

Learning Objectives

These courses are designed to help students become creative, and convincing communicators. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Compose for a specific purpose, occasion, and audience.
  2. Convey ideas in clear, coherent prose that utilizes the conventions of a standard language.

Scholarship in Practice

The primary aim of Scholarship in Practice courses is to engage students in the application of knowledge from a particular field of study and to use critical and creative thinking to create a tangible product or outcome. As such, Scholarship in Practice courses require students to apply the key ideas, concepts, theories, and methods of a particular field to produce a creative, scholarly, or professional artifact. The courses provide students with direct experience of what it means to be, for example, an historian, biologist, or filmmaker by engaging in a wide variety of experiences relevant to the discipline. Scholarship in Practice courses engage students in the authentic work of a particular field of study and also allow fields that do not typically have a liberal studies presence, such as engineering and business, to offer hands-on opportunities to non-majors.

Scholarship-in-Practice courses focus the students on two central questions:

  • What sorts of scholarly and creative endeavors do we undertake?
  • What are the projects that represent the authentic work of our particular fields of study?
Requirements

Students must complete two Scholarship in Practice courses prior to graduation—they may be taken within the 36 credit hours of Liberal Studies courses, but they do not need to be. In order to fulfill FSU’s Scholarship-in-Practice requirement, the student must earn a “C-” or higher in the course.

Learning Objectives

These courses are designed to help students become critical thinkers, creative users of knowledge, and independent learners. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Apply relevant areas of scholarship to produce an original project.
Formative Experiences

Formative Experiences provide an alternative way to fulfill one of the two required Scholarship in Practice courses. Students can meet one SIP requirement by completing a Formative Experience course, in which students engage in applied learning. Unlike SIP courses, which require students to apply knowledge and skills within a traditional classroom-based course, Formative Experiences involve “hands-on” experiences outside of the classroom that reflect, enhance, or give meaning to important issues in a field. Student participation in Formative Experiences must be evaluated by an instructor of record (faculty or qualified staff). These experiences can include research (lab-based or other), internships, field or clinical work, Honors in the Major thesis research, global and local citizenship, or service work. In order for the Formative Experience to fulfill one of the two required Scholarship in Practice courses, the student must earn a “C-” or higher or an “S” in the course if taken on an “S/U” basis.


Diversity

Cross-Cultural Studies (X)

Culture may be described in its broadest sense as all socially patterned, symbolically mediated, learned behavior among humans. Students who would be truly educated must have an appreciation of the interrelatedness of and the diversity within cultural traditions on both regional and global scales. Cross-Cultural Studies (X) courses focus on cultural variation on a global scale and will examine differences among cultures in general or will examine in detail one or more cultural traditions outside the dominant currents of European civilization. They should help students become culturally conscious participants in a global community.

Diversity in Western Experience (Y)

Whether by choice or by circumstance, a society is an association of persons, and as such, differences within a society are inescapable and essential features. Functional members of any society must be able to read the social differences between each other within the context of the society of which they are members. Diversity in Western Experience (Y) courses focus on diversity on a regional scale by examining the nature of relations among groups within a society, exploring topics such as race, class, gender, or ethnicity. They should help students become culturally literate members of society.

Requirements

All students who enter the University with fewer than sixty semester hours must complete at least one “X” and one “Y” course. Students transferring to the University with sixty credits or more must complete one multicultural course from either designation. These courses may be taken as part of the liberal studies requirement, as electives, or as part of a student's major. The multicultural requirement must be completed with the grade of “C-” or higher prior to the receipt of the baccalaureate degree.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Analyze some aspect of human experience within a culture, focusing on at least one source of diversity (e.g., age, disability, ethnicity, gender, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, social class, or other).
  2. Explore one’s own cultural norms or values in relation those of a different cultural group.

Oral Communication Competency

Competence in oral communication is shown through one's ability to clearly transmit ideas and information orally in a way that is appropriate to the topic, purpose, and audience. A competent communicator must also discuss ideas clearly with others, hear and respond to questions, and assess critical response appropriately. This competency cannot be accomplished through a single speaking experience but requires multiple practice opportunities throughout a course. Courses satisfying the oral communication competency requirement enable the student to develop the requisite skills through application of theoretical concepts and analytical structures basic to successful oral communication. Thus, instruction in the theory and practice of oral communication are an intrinsic part of the course, as evidenced in course objectives, course readings, activities, and evaluation.

Requirements

Students must complete the Oral Communication Competency Requirement (OCCR) with the grade of “C-” or higher. This may take the form of three main approaches:

  1. A 1-or-more-hour course in oral presentations.
  2. A course of 3-or-more hours in which a student's oral competency is reported as a separate grade in a no-credit, S/U, OCCR companion course. A student who passes the course but fails the OCCR companion course will have to fulfill the university’s OCCR requirement through a different course.
  3. A course of 3-or-more hours in which the oral communication component is a significant portion of the final grade. The oral communication component constitutes enough of the grade to warrant failing a student who does not pass the oral component.

In rare cases, programs may require OCCR credits over more than one course.


Computer Competency

Competence in the use of computers is exhibited in different ways in different disciplines. Requisite skills for a graduate of the School of Music are not the same as a graduate of the College of Engineering. But underlying each degree program is the need to demonstrate mastery of computer use in that discipline. In recognition of this skill diversity, a department or school is given the option of proposing a course to satisfy this requirement for its graduates.

Requirements

The computer competency requirement must be completed with one to four credit hours in one or more of the approved courses prior to the receipt of the baccalaureate degree. Students must earn a “C-” or higher to fulfill this requirement.


Upper Division Writing

Skill in professional writing is critical to the long-term success of all FSU graduates. Professional writing requires the ability to write clearly and effectively, as well as the ability to draw upon a variety of material, and forms, and writing conventions to convey information for different audiences and a variety of purposes. That is, competent professional writers are flexible and can write to meet the demands of a specific task or context. Thus, all students will be required to demonstrate competence in professional writing by taking upper-division coursework, which includes a substantial writing component. Multiple opportunities for feedback are required and instructors will provide opportunities for revision. This coursework may be completed outside or within a student's major course of study.

Requirements

Students must complete one Liberal Studies-approved Upper-Division Writing course prior to the receipt of the baccalaureate degree. Honors in the Major undergraduate thesis credit may also count towards the Upper-Division Writing requirement. In order to fulfill FSU's Upper-Division Writing requirement, the student must earn a “C-” or higher in the course, and earn at least a “C-” average on the required writing assignments. If the student does not earn a “C-” average or better on the required writing assignments, the student will not earn an overall grade of “C-” or better in the course, no matter how well the student performs in the remaining portion of the course.

Learning Objectives

These courses are designed to help students become flexible and proficient writers for professional purposes. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Use appropriate evidence from multiple sources to illustrate how a chosen topic is relevant to a particular field.
  2. Compose as a process, including drafts, revision, and editing.
  3. Convey ideas clearly, coherently, and effectively for a particular purpose, occasion, or audience representative as appropriate for the field.

Natural Science Lab

Additionally, as a graduation requirement, students must complete 1 credit hour of Natural Science Laboratory, either as separate laboratory course designated by the course suffix “L” (e.g., CHM1020L) or as a combined lecture/lab class designated by the course suffix “C” (e.g., CHM1020C). Students are required to observe all pre- and co-requisite requirements for laboratory courses. In order to fulfill FSU's Natural Sciences Laboratory requirement, the student must earn a “C-” or better in the laboratory or combined course.

Learning Objectives

These courses are designed to help students become effective interpreters of scientific results and critical analysts of claims about the natural world. By the end of the course, students will:

  1. Pose questions or hypotheses based on scientific principles.
  2. Use appropriate scientific methods and evidence to evaluate claims or theoretical arguments about the natural world.
  3. Analyze and interpret research results using appropriate methods.

Liberal Studies for the 21st Century is located in room A3502 on the third floor of University Center C in the stadium

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