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Details of the Social Sciences (or General Education) Requirements (60 credit hours)

The Social Sciences or General Education is the foundation of the American degree. It can be thought of as the glue that holds the professional disciplines together. The courses are crafted to offer students critical thinking, communication, writing and expansive skills from a humanities base that are necessary for leadership and innovation in any professional field. This framework provides students with courses that meet specific approved general education learning outcomes and New York State Education Department liberal arts and sciences requirements. The Social Sciences degree requirements moves through three educational phases designed to give students a strong foundation, an introduction to fundamentals of liberal arts and sciences disciplines, and the opportunity for deeper study and integrative learning through immersion in a cluster of related courses.

A. Foundation Requirements (6 semester credits)

Two courses in the first year that introduce students to the intellectual life of the university, and provide a focus on communication skills to prepare students for future coursework and life-long learning.

  1. UWRT-150 FYW: Writing Seminar
  2. ENGL-216 Literature from Around the World

B. Perspective Requirements (24 semester credits)

The perspective category introduces students to important areas of inquiry that provide ways of knowing about the world. The perspectives represented in this category are ethical, artistic, global, social, scientific, and mathematical. The number of required credits in this category is 15 credit hours for the AAS degree and 24 credit hours for the BS degree.

  • ETHICS Perspective: Courses focus on ethical aspects of decision-making and argument, whether at the individual, group, national, or international level. These courses provide students with an understanding of how ethical problems and questions can be conceived and resolved, and how ethical forms of reasoning emerge and are applied to such challenges.

  • ARTS Perspective: Courses focus on the analysis of forms of artistic expression in the context of the societies and cultures that produced and sustained them. These courses provide insight into the creative process, the nature of aesthetic experience, the fundamentals of criticism and aesthetic discrimination, and the ways in which societies and cultures express their values through their art.

  • GLOBAL Perspective: Courses in this category encourage students to see life from a perspective wider than their own and to understand the diversity of human cultures within an interconnected global society. Courses explore the interconnectedness of the local and the global in today’s world or in historical examples, and encourage students to see how global forces reverberate at the local level.

  • SOCIAL Perspective: Courses focus on the analysis of human behavior within the context of social systems and institutions. Because student success depends on the ability to understand how social groups function and operate, these courses provide insight into the workings of social institutions’ processes.

  • NATURAL SCIENCE Perspective: Science is more than a collection of facts and theories, so students are expected to understand and participate in the process of science inquiry. Courses focus on the basic principles and concepts of one of the natural sciences. In these classes, students apply methods of scientific inquiry and problem solving in a laboratory or field experience.

  • SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES Perspective: Courses focus on the foundational principles of a natural science or provide an opportunity to apply methods of scientific inquiry in the natural or social sciences. Courses may or may not include a laboratory experience.

  • MATHEMATICAL Perspectives (x2): Courses focus on identifying and understanding the role that mathematics plays in the world. In these courses, students comprehend and evaluate mathematical or statistical information and perform college level mathematical operations on quantitative data.

C. Arts and Science Elective Requirements (18 semester credits)

D. Free Elective Requirements (9 semester credits)

E. Communications Requirement (3 semester credits)

The remaining general education elective credits may be specified by the academic programs in order for students to fulfill supporting requirements (e.g. math or science, foreign languages, etc.). Some of these credits will be free general education electives that can be chosen by the students themselves. Credits in the perspectives category that exceed the minimum requirement will be applied toward the elective credits.




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