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Liberal Studies

for the 21st Century

E-Series Signature Courses

E-Series courses are a distinctive part of FSU's Liberal Studies for the 21st Century General Education curriculum. E-Series courses are taught by faculty with a record of teaching excellence, giving students the opportunity to interact closely with faculty early in the student's academic career for an exceptional academic experience.


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.

These courses focus on significant questions that are relevant to humanity and our natural world and can be engaged, explored, examined, and evaluated using multiple perspectives within a field or across disciplinary areas. The courses are designed for non-majors and help students learn to think "outside the box" by challenging students to analyze persistent issues from multiple perspectives. Through an inquiry-based approach, E-Series courses stimulate curiosity and motivate students to engage in lifelong learning. These courses:

  • engage students in broad, critical and creative thinking about contemporary problems and enduring issues of human existence.
  • are inquiry-based, with a focus on a major question that relates to real-world issues or problems.
  • are taught by excellent instructors.
  • include substantive work on college-level writing, with feedback and time for revisions.
  • include a diverse range of assessments, from essays, to hands-on team or individual projects, to multiple formats of paper or electronic testing.
  • encourage both individual and team-based approaches to projects.
  • typically have lower section sizes than other courses.
  • involve intensive discussion and interaction.
  • like all other Liberal Studies courses, undergo a rigorous course approval review, overseen by the Liberal Studies Coordinating and Policy Committee, which reports to the Faculty Senate.

E-Series courses help students develop the foundational skills, analytical tools, and habits of mind required to excel in courses in their majors. In an addition, E-Series courses pave the way for success in a changing labor market and for effective citizenship in a global world. An Association of American Colleges and Universities survey of over 300 executive companies found that employers across all sectors seek employees who have developed the abilities that E-Series courses are designed to foster: analysis, reasoning, written communication, and collaboration. In this way, E-Series courses provide students with the academic "toolkit" for success in all aspects of life.

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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