I. To meet the challenges of the 21st century, students must be prepared to make responsible decisions about their personal and professional lives. To prepare them for the challenges ahead, the curriculum must provide the opportunity to acquire a basic educational foundation for life-long learning.

II. The goals of this curriculum are to:

1) Integrate the Marietta College core values into the curriculum;

2) Develop a distribution model based on disciplines and cognate areas rather than administrative structures.

III. Rules for Implementation

1) Unless otherwise stated, general education requirements may be satisfied only by three or four-hour credit courses.

2) With the exception of Writing Proficiency (W) Courses, no course can count for more than one general education requirement. However, a single course may count as both a course for a major/minor and a general education requirement.

3) Unless otherwise stated, all specific criteria must be met in order to receive a course designation.

4) Students may not count more than 3 courses in the same subject area towards general education requirements. "Subject area" is defined by the prefix used by the Records Office.

5) Combinations of one and/or two-hour courses can be used to satisfy general education requirements only when approved by the Curriculum Committee.

IV. Outline of the curriculum:

Min. Credit Hours General Ed. Requirement
First Year Experience
Writing 110
Communication 101
Historical Perspectives
Scientific Inquiry
Social Analysis
Quantitative Reasoning
Fine Arts
Literary Analysis
Diversity and Global Perspectives
Leadership and Ethics
Total 47
Writing Proficiency Courses    
Total 53


V. Cognate Area Descriptions and Criteria

Freshman Experience (3 credit hours) (Core Value 1)
Freshman Year Experience

Writing Competency (Core Value 1)
Writing 110 (3 credit hours) with a grade of at least a C-;
plus Writing Proficiency (W) Courses (6 credit hours).

Writing Proficiency Course: A Writing Proficiency course is one in which the development of writing skills is an integral part of the course objectives. These courses provide students with opportunities to develop basic writing skills and learn the process of writing as practiced by a particular academic discipline or profession.

The objectives of a Writing Proficiency course are to help students: 

  • Learn to write as a process that follows a series of steps leading to a finished product. 
  • Improve their ability to communicate ideas through writing according to the conventions of a particular discipline or to a wider audience. 
  • Develop fundamental skills of expository writing covered in introductory-level courses.

The criteria for Writing Proficiency courses are:

1. Writing 110 is a prerequisite.
2. Clear description of the writing assignments in the course syllabus.
3. Implementation of a pedagogical strategy to improve student writing skills. No single model is necessarily appropriate to all disciplines and courses. The course should include preliminary process assignments that culminate in one or more completed works, as the emphasis of Writing Proficiency courses is to help students improve the quality of the final work. The number of final and process assignments in the course is left up to the instructor, but the writing pedagogy should reflect the commitment of the course to improve student writing. 

Click here for sample writing assignments

Oral Communication Competency (Core Value 1)
Communication 101 (3 credit hours), with a grade of at least a C-.

Historical Perspectives (3 credit hours) (Core Values 1 & 9)
The purpose of the historical perspectives requirement is to examine worlds of the past. This requirement introduces students to the political, cultural or intellectual contexts of previous eras. The intent is to examine the interconnectedness and continuity of the human experience, as well as introduce the process of historical interpretation.

Specific Criteria Required for Historical Perspectives Courses:
Historical Perspectives courses are those whose primary focus is on each of the following.

1. Studying the causes and consequences of events and ideas in the past.
2. Developing theses explaining processes of historical change and continuity.
3. Using both primary and secondary sources to analyze events, people, movements, and ideas over time.
4. Providing an appreciation for the uniqueness of historical contexts and for the social construction of reality.

Scientific Inquiry (a minimum of 8-credit hours, including at least one course with a lab. The requirement may be fulfilled by two, 4-credit lab courses or one, 4-credit lab course and two, 3-credit non-lab courses) (Core Values 1 & 4)
An understanding of the process by which science discovers new knowledge and how that knowledge is put into practice is essential to living and functioning effectively in modern society and is a critical component of a college education. The scientific inquiry requirement is designed to impart an understanding of: (1) basic content knowledge in at least one area of science; (2) the scientific method and inquiry, including its capabilities and limitations; (3) scientific concepts, as well as develop the student's ability to use experimentation and measurements in exploring and testing hypotheses; (4) scientific thinking and technology as they relate to societal issues and problems.

Specific criteria required for Scientific Inquiry courses:
Must address all of the following:

1. Provide an in-depth analysis of scientific concepts and the scientific method.
2. Include material that demonstrates the discipline's impact on society.
3. Include some historical perspective with respect to the development of the discipline's concepts, theories, and models.

Additional criteria required for lab components of Scientific Inquiry courses:
Must address all of the following:

1. Provide knowledge of and use of the scientific method.
2. Make use of some computer-based technology for acquisition and/or analysis of data.
3. Include at least two experiments in which students are actively involved in the following elements of the scientific method:

(a) hypothesis development,
(b) experimental design,
(c) collection and analysis of data and observations,
(d) drawing conclusions based on experimental results,
(e) written report.

Social Analysis (6 credit hours) (Core Value 1)
The requirement in social analysis is designed to familiarize students with different approaches to the study of social life and to introduce them to modes of thinking about social institutions and cultural norms and their interconnectedness with forms of human behavior. The Social Analysis requirement is designed to introduce students to some of the central concepts and methods of the social sciences and show both the variety and the interconnectedness of social institutions. For example, courses in this area may examine how individuals interact with, and are shaped by, social groups and institutions, including those associated with politics, economics, religion, family, the arts, health, and education; how and why particular forms of social organization and social relations emerge within a group or culture; and the origins, characteristics, and consequences of social conflict and change.

Specific criteria required for Social Analysis courses:
Must address all of the following:

1. Use of models/theories that describe, explain, and/or predict behavior of individuals and groups.
2. Use of empirical methods to evaluate models/theories, using quantitative and/or qualitative evidence.
3. Examination of the interrelationship of human behavior and social institutions.
4. Examination of how social analysis can be applied to further understanding of social events, problems, and situations.

Quantitative Reasoning (3 credit hours) (Core Value 1)
Quantitative reasoning is a process in which problems are described mathematically and solved within a structured mathematical framework. This requirement introduces students to the manipulation and interpretation of numerical and categorical information and the quantification of inferences drawn from that information. Appropriate courses include those that address theoretical and/or empirical questions. The goal of this requirement is to give students an understanding of basic mathematical and/or statistical methods and their applications; to provide them with an ability to understand and appreciate quantitative issues that have become part of everyday life.

Specific criteria required for Quantitative Reasoning courses:
Must address at least three of the following five aspects of Quantitative Reasoning:

1. Interpreting Data. Must cover the use of data to create and read graphs, draw inferences, and recognize sources of error. This perspective differs from traditional quantitative reasoning in that data (rather than formulas or relationships) are emphasized.
2. Logical Thinking/Deductive Reasoning. Must include methods of analyzing evidence, reasoning carefully, understanding arguments, questioning assumptions, detecting fallacies, and evaluating risks.
3. Making Decisions. Must introduce the use of quantitative reasoning to make decisions and solve problems in everyday life.
4. Application of Quantitative Reasoning. Must introduce students to the use of appropriate quantitative reasoning tools for specific contexts.
5. Cultural Appreciation. Understanding the nature of quantitative reasoning, its role in scientific inquiry and technological progress, and its importance for comprehending issues in the public realm.

Leadership and Ethics (3 credit hours) (Core Value 8)
The requirement in leadership and ethics is designed to engage students in disciplined reflection on human conduct, character, and ways of life. Courses in this area focus on leadership related issues, particularly related to ethical thought and moral values that shape individual and collective life. It is important for students to understand the role of citizen-leader if they are to create a livable, sustainable, ethical future. Through inquiry into questions of ethics and morality, these courses will help students to discern, understand, and appreciate ethical issues and to articulate, assess, and defend moral judgments in an informed and thoughtful way.

Specific criteria required for Leadership and Ethics courses:
Must address at least two of the following:

1. The course examines the way leaders and followers develop, maintain, and articulate shared goals and values.
2. The course introduces the student to the major moral principles, such as utility, rights, justice, and virtue.
3. The course requires students to reflect upon living in a society with pluralistic values.
4. The course examines conduct, character and other factors that influence the decision-making of leaders and followers, particularly as they relate to important historical and/or contemporary societal issues.

Fine Arts (6 credit hours) (Core Value 1)
The requirement in fine arts emphasizes a variety of critical and analytical approaches to artistic expression and engages students in creative practices. These courses provide an opportunity to gain an understanding of the impact and importance of the aesthetic elements in our world through experiential opportunities as creators and informed audience members. These courses aspire to meet students at their individual proficiency levels in each art form and challenge students to make conscientious and steady progress. To ensure the development of wellrounded individuals, the guiding principle of this cognate area is to increase and deepen the level of student exposure to the arts.

The Fine Arts are practical, analytical, or critical courses that specifically focus on the creative, visual, or performing arts in at least one of the two following ways:

1. By significantly engaging students in the study of the visual or performing arts. In these courses, students will
* Develop technique through the progressive application of interpretation, performance, and/or presentation skills.
* Balance discipline and creativity through regular practice
* Collaborate appropriately with others in the critique of technique or aesthetics
2. By developing students’ skills in the reception, analysis, and understanding of the arts. In these courses, students will
* Develop a basic understanding of the terms and concepts employed in forming critical responses to art
* Integrate analysis with historical knowledge and context

Student may fulfill the two required three-hour courses through any combination of the following:
a) a designated three-hour fine arts course
b) 3 hours of Music 161, 162, 163, 165, and/or 361
c) 3 hours of applied lessons in the same instrument, numbered 151 or above
d) 3 hours of Dance 103,104, 105, 106, 107, 108 and/or 109
e) 3 hours of Communication 215

Items a through d may be doubled in order to meet the six-hour requirement.

Literary Analysis (3 credit hours) (Core Value 1)
The Literary Analysis requirement emphasizes the skills of reading, observing, and analyzing texts and films. Students will learn how the form of a text or film contributes to its message and impact. That is, they will study form and content as an interconnected whole.

Specific criteria required for all courses in Literary Analysis:
Must address both of the following:

1. Provide a close reading of texts or films, including knowledge of their historical and cultural contexts. In most cases this will require a special attention to language.
2. Teach students how to identify and understand the characteristics and conventions of the genre being studied (e.g., epic poetry, drama, documentaries, novels, memoirs, etc.).

Diversity and Global Perspectives (6 credit hours) (Core Value 9)
The requirement in Diversity and Global Perspectives prepares students to understand diversity within their own society, the role of culture in shaping human lives, and the relations among states or groups of people. Dimensions of diversity include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, physical or mental ability, religion, language, socio-economic status and sexual orientation. These courses prepare students to live and work in a diverse society and a connected, interdependent world. While any two courses will fulfill the requirement, a student whose first course is a foreign language is strongly encouraged to fulfill the second requirement with a second course in that language.

Specific criteria required for Diversity and Global Perspectives courses:
Must address one of the following:

1. Culture: Focus on at least one culture through the study of one or more of the following: social structures, religions, historical traditions and customs, languages, politics, economics, etc.
2. Diversity: Explore the diverse backgrounds and characteristics found among humans through the examination of at least one of the following: age, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or social class.
3. Global Perspectives: Compare and understand some factor or set of issues in different cultural or regional settings, or investigate the relationships among states or groups of people.