Requirements for Graduation

Academic Catalog: 2012–2013

General Requirements

  1. Successful completion of 32 courses, including a maximum of one course credit in designated health and exercise science activities (HES-100 to HES-199). Courses taken in the January Interim do not count toward this total.
  2. In addition to the 32 regular semester course credits, students will complete at least two Interim Experience (IEX) course credits during the January Interims. Transfer students admitted with advanced standing are also required to complete two Interim Experience course credits.
  3. Two years (17 courses minimum) are required in residence, including the senior year. The senior year may be the last two semesters preceding the conferring of the degree or at least nine of the last 12 regular semester courses taken toward the degree. Exceptions to the senior year residency are made for students enrolled in Study Abroad Programs sponsored by the College and in cooperative programs with other institutions leading to a B.A. and professional degree. At least three courses of the 17 must be taken outside of the major department.
  4. Three designated writing courses from at least two different departments. One of these courses must be taken in the first year (normally in the First Term Seminar). At least one designated writing course must be a WRITI (Writing Intensive) and one must be a WRITD (Writing in the Disciplines).
  5. An approved major.
  6. A cumulative grade point average of 2.000 or higher. Each graded January IEX course will be included in calculating the grade point average.
  7. Completion of the core requirements from either Curriculum I or II (below).

Curriculum I (Distributive Core)

The Curriculum I requirements represent approximately one-third of the total courses required for graduation and are intended to ensure that each student has had a broadly based liberal arts education.

  1. First Term Seminar: As part of their first semester course schedule, Curriculum I students entering Gustavus Adolphus College as first-year students enroll in one course designated FTS-100: First Term Seminar. The FTS is a small, discussion-based course that introduces students to skills and habits central to the liberal arts: critical thinking, writing, speaking, and recognizing and exploring question of values. The FTS professor will serve as the first-year academic advisor. Each FTS carries a WRITI (writing) designation. A list and description of FTS offerings is published for entering students before registration.
  2. Completion of a Non-English Language Requirement: Curriculum I students will pass the beginning sequence in a non-English language (the first two courses constitute the beginning sequence in all such languages) or will demonstrate equivalent proficiency. Students should contact the Academic Advising Office or the Office of the Registrar for information about demonstrating proficiency in a language (including ASL) that Gustavus does not regularly teach.
  3. General Education Liberal Arts Perspective Courses: Each Curriculum I student must complete nine designated general education courses (including at least one course from each of the nine areas listed below). No more than two courses from the same department may be counted.

Liberal Arts Perspective Courses

A Liberal Arts Perspective course teaches the principles of a particular domain of study, provides its context, questions the values of that domain, and builds bridges towards other disciplines.

  1. The Arts (ARTS). Through modes of expression such as painting, sculpture, music, dance, theatre, and film, artists clarify, intensify, dramatize, and interpret the world in all of its physical, social, and spiritual aspects. Courses meeting this requirement in the visual and performing arts develop a more comprehensive understanding of the creative process and foster a lifetime involvement with the arts. These experiences enable students to recognize and value the integral role that the arts play in society; such experiences enable students to express themselves and their ideas in creative ways.
  2. Biblical and Theological Studies (THEOL). The requirement of one regular semester course in the Christian tradition is a curricular expression of the College’s long-standing commitment, articulated in the Mission Statement, to foster in its students a “mature understanding of the Christian faith.” Included in such a mature understanding is a careful consideration of the role of religion in human life. Courses meeting this requirement help students understand religion as part of a liberal arts education through a biblical and theological study of the Christian tradition. These courses seek neither to inculcate the Christian religion nor to dismiss it. Rather, such courses help students develop a critical understanding and appreciation of the Christian tradition as an important entity in itself, and as an important element in world cultures.
  3. Literary and Rhetorical Studies (LARS). The purpose of the Literary and Rhetorical Studies requirement is to help students revel in the beauty and power of the word; understand and enjoy the life of the mind as embodied in books and formal oral communication; and place themselves within the human community of storytellers, poets, orators, essayists, playwrights, satirists, and critics. Courses in this area will introduce students to literary and rhetorical genres, methods of analysis, and historical and cultural circumstances surrounding texts. These courses will help students formulate questions about issues of meaning and value, and will provide a context for the appreciation and personal expression of literature and rhetoric.
  4. Historical and Philosophical Studies (HIPHI). Philosophy investigates the nature of reality, knowledge, and values. History analyzes past events and constructs narratives that seek to explain those events. Thus, courses in Historical and Philosophical Studies critically interpret records of, and reflections on, human thought, action, and values across time and place and among diverse cultures and peoples. Courses in this area promote understanding of human thought in the context of historical developments, and historical developments in the context of their relation to questions of meaning and value. Historical and philosophical inquiries require that we ask fundamental questions about the construction and creation of knowledge, the roles of objectivity and subjectivity in the search for truth, and the relationship of human agency to theories of historical causation. Philosophers undertake their inquiries with awareness of the historical context in which ideas develop. Historians consider the intellectual milieu in which past events unfold and are interpreted.
  5. Mathematical and Logical Reasoning (MATHL). Courses in Mathematical and Logical Reasoning introduce students to the methods and applications of deductive reasoning. As such, they focus on underlying axioms, theorems, and methods of proof. Considerable emphasis is placed on the application of these ideas to the natural and social sciences. They also place some emphasis as appropriate on the history of the discipline, its philosophical assumptions, the strengths and limitations of its methods, its relation to other disciplines, and its relation to social and ethical problems. Courses in this area will provide students with knowledge of the language of mathematics and logic; familiarity with mathematical, logical, algorithmic, or statistical methods; knowledge of practical applications; and appreciation of the role of the deductive sciences in the history of ideas, and of their impact on science, technology, and society.
  6. Natural Science Perspective (NASP). Liberal Arts Perspective courses in Natural Science introduce the student to the mechanics of natural and life processes, and the quantitative basis for understanding these processes. As such, they focus on the evidence, theories, and methods of the natural sciences and place them in a historical context. They also place some emphasis on the strengths and limitations of the methods employed, the philosophical assumptions, the boundaries and connections with other disciplines, and relationships to social, ethical, and political problems. Courses in this area will provide students with factual information about the natural world, knowledge of concepts, principles, and theories that scientists use to organize and explain those facts, familiarity with the application of scientific concepts and principles to the solution of problems, acquaintance with the historical development and philosophical implications of the scientific concepts, and sensitivity to the ethical and social impact of science and technology. These courses also include a laboratory component.
  7. Human Behavior and Social Institutions (SOSCI). Courses in Human Behavior and Social Institutions seek to enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to understand fundamental social institutions and social characteristics of human beings. Courses in this area will address concepts used by the social and behavioral sciences to organize and to explain information about human behavior and social institutions, as well as the historical development of a particular social and behavioral science. They will also address methods of collecting and presenting information in the social and behavioral sciences, and social and ethical issues concerning human behavior.
  8. Non-Western Cultures (NWEST). The nature of contemporary world events makes an understanding of non-Western and global perspectives a necessary component of a liberal arts education. It is increasingly necessary for people involved in business, politics, economic development, religious interaction, and everyday life to function across traditional linguistic and cultural boundaries. Courses fulfilling the NWEST requirement will enable students to recognize difference in a pluralistic way while encouraging an appreciation of the importance of difference in common and cultural life.

This requirement may be fulfilled either by taking a NWEST course or by completing an appropriate study-abroad experience. A NWEST course will focus predominantly on non-Western material, and will provide students with an understanding of cultures, societies, religious worldviews and/or political/economic systems outside of the familiar Western context. It will provide the student with the tools or opportunity to gain access to an understanding of others’ cultures from within the context of those cultures.

A study-away experience meeting this requirement will be a semester or yearlong program centered in a non-Western country. Study abroad will provide students with the opportunity to participate in an intensive exploration of, and experience in, another culture through classroom study and daily living.

  1. Lifelong Fitness (FIT and ACT). Students must complete both the Personal Fitness (FIT) requirement (.5 course) and the Lifetime Activity (ACT) requirement (.5 course equivalent).
    1. The Personal Fitness requirement (FIT) encourages exploration of personal values and enables students to recognize and appreciate the importance of lifelong fitness. Students learn how to set appropriate goals to improve fitness, engage in regular aerobic exercise, and acquire knowledge regarding health promotion, disease prevention, and relaxation.
    2. The Lifetime Activity requirement (ACT) encourages students to select courses across a range of activity areas based on personal interest. Courses engage students in activity designed to increase muscular strength and flexibility, improve psychomotor skills, and explore the connection between mind and body. Each course emphasizes appreciation of lifetime activity, health promotion, and reduction of risk behavior.

Curriculum II (Integrated Core)

Curriculum II is an integrated studies approach to general education that explores the interrelatedness of the varied fields of learning. A theme of “the individual and community” is seen throughout the program as it examines the Western intellectual and cultural traditions. Students are challenged to address ethical values questions both in class and in the out-of-class Curriculum II-sponsored cultural, social, and intellectual activities. The courses listed below are open to Curriculum II students only. The program is available, by application, to any entering first-year student, subject only to a limitation of 60 students per entering class. It is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and enrolls students from all the major fields of study. The recommended sequence of courses is as follows:

  • First Year Fall: CUR-100 Historical Perspective I, CUR-140 The Biblical Tradition
  • First Year Spring: CUR-110 Historical Perspective II, CUR-120 The Individual and Morality
  • Second Year Fall or January: CUR-210 The Individual and Society, CUR-220, 230 or 240 Fine Arts
  • Second Year Spring: CUR-250 The Literary Experience
  • Third Year Fall or Spring: CUR-260 The Natural World
  • Fourth Year Fall or Spring: CUR-399 Senior Seminar

In addition to the above:

  1. Foreign language through the third semester equivalent (FRE-201, GER-201, GRE-201, JPN-201, LAT-201, MLC-201, RUS-201, SPA-103, or SWE-201).
  2. One quantitative reasoning course, MCS-115, The Nature of Math, MCS-121, Calculus, or MCS-140, Statistics.
  3. HES-100, Personal Fitness and .5 course equivalent in physical education activities (ACT). (See #9 in Liberal Arts Perspective Courses.)

The CII program recognizes that flexibility in scheduling is sometimes necessary; in cases of serious academic conflicts, students may petition to use appropriate substitutions, including courses taken abroad, to fulfill Curriculum II requirements. See the director for further details.

Curriculum II Courses

CUR-100 Historical Perspective I (1 course) This course studies some of the people, ideas, and events that are regarded as the most influential in Western history. It provides a survey of civilizations from southwest Asia, Greece, and Italy to the European Renaissance, with some reference to other Asian history and the interactions of Europe with other cultures. Concentrating on specific pivotal periods which illuminate crucial human problems, students will read and analyze primary sources in order to develop an understanding of history’s significance for contemporary life and of the shifting nature of historiography itself. WRITI.

CUR-110 Historical Perspective II (1 course) This course picks up where CUR-100 leaves off in an overview of global history. Historical Perspective II explores the overarching themes of interconnectedness and the interdependence of the world, from approximately 1500 until the present. With this more global focus, the course examines points of convergence as well as differences as we address the major themes of globalization, empire, significant ideological “isms” (imperialism, Fascism, communism, racism, capitalism, liberalism, etc.) and the relationship between society and the individual. The course also seeks to develop an awareness of the “history of history,” and what it means to think and work as historians.

CUR-120 The Individual and Morality (1 course) This course will explore the historical and social context in which moral problems develop and in which human beings and their communities respond to them. It will investigate the ways in which politics, science, art, and religion, for example, influence the formulation and resolution of moral problems. Non-Western approaches to ethics, morality, and individuality may also be included in the course. We will raise questions about the widely held view that values in morals, politics, science, art, and religion are merely matters of taste.

CUR-140 The Biblical Tradition (1 course) This course will use the Bible as a primary source to study the role and major contributions of the Judeo-Christian tradition in the development of Western culture. It will give special emphasis to themes such as faith and reason; the functions of symbol, ritual, myth, and literary genre; the shape of history; the world as the arena of divine creation, providence, and redemption; the communal identity and ethical goals of persons; and aesthetic dimensions of their interrelationship with non-human life and inanimate being.

CUR-210 The Individual and Society (1 course) This course will introduce students to the study of individual behavior, of social interaction, or of social institutions. The basic assumptions, issues, and methods of the behavioral and social sciences will be explored, and students will be asked to reflect on the role of the social sciences in understanding and evaluating society. The interplay of individuals with society will be analyzed over a variety of cultural settings.

CUR-220 Musical Understanding (1 course) This course provides students with an understanding and appreciation of the nature and place of music in contemporary culture. Music is a rich source of diversity in cultural influences as well as musical periods, styles, and media. The composer’s perspective, the performer’s role, and the listener’s responsibility provide points of departure for considering the individual’s contributions to music and communal reaction to differing types of music or musical developments. Students will be involved in activities such as listening to recorded performances of music, attending performances of music on- and off-campus, writing papers for class presentations, discussing special topics, and participating directly in musical performance.

CUR-230 The Visual Experience (1 course) This course provides a basis for the appreciation of the visual arts in human experience. It does this through examination of artistic periods, artists, and individual works of art in a variety of artistic traditions. Students will explore both Western and non-Western traditions. Artistic events on and off campus will be integrated into the course. Although this is mainly a course on art appreciation, students will be involved in exploring their individual artistic creativity.

CUR-240 Theatre Arts (1 course) This course provides the basis for understanding and appreciating the nature of theatrical art. Through the study of significant texts and historical contexts, the student gains a critical understanding of drama or dance. Through the study of the physical and imaginative nature of performance, the student gains an appreciation of the processes of theatrical art. The relationship of the individual and the community is approached in this course from the viewpoint of one or more theatre artists: the playwright, the designer, the actor, the director, the choreographer, the dancer. While the primary focus is upon Western theatre, comparisons are made with non-Western theatres or between minority and mainstream traditions in the West.

CUR-250 The Literary Experience (1 course) This course analyzes works of various literary traditions in the context of the development of Western civilization and examines the scope and importance of reading literature critically. Influential texts of diverse world literatures are also read and discussed. The course encourages students to think and write critically, to make aesthetic, intellectual and moral discriminations, to enjoy literature, and to compare the kind of truth literature offers with that of other forms of art and enquiry. WRITD

CUR-260 The Natural World (1 course) This course will provide an historical view of the evolution of human understanding of the physical universe. It will trace the development of natural science from classical Greece to the rise of modern science in the 20th century. The course will point out the changing view of nature as represented by introducing working models and theories of science in their historical context. The relationship between the drive for unity and the perception of diversity in science will be explored. There will be one laboratory per week.

CUR-291, 391 Independent Study (Course value to be determined.) Opportunities exist in Curriculum II for students to develop independent projects under the supervision of a CII professor.

CUR-268, 368 Career Exploration, Internship This internship is designed to place students in situations where their CII integrated liberal arts studies are highly valued. Prerequisites: At least three semesters of CII courses.

CUR-399 Senior Seminar (1 course) As a capstone course for the Curriculum II program, this seminar calls upon students to contemplate questions concerning values in the context of the relationship between the individual and the community. The course’s main activity is vigorous discussion of books and articles that raise issues concerning values in contemporary life from diverse cultural perspectives. The course’s main product is a major paper in which students account for their own values from both theoretical and personal perspectives.WRITI.