Feb 24, 2024  
2016-2017 University Catalog 
2016-2017 University Catalog [Archived Catalogue]

Liberal Arts Distribution

Programs  > Programs in the Division of Liberal Arts 

All undergraduate degree programs at the University of the Arts require a substantial commitment (42 credits) to the liberal arts and sciences. This work ensures that students develop critical thinking, cultural understanding, and communication skills. The Liberal Arts core curriculum reflects the University’s conviction that a broad general education is essential to the development of artists, designers, musicians, performers, and writers.

Liberal Arts Core Curriculum Requirements (42 credits)

Discipline History (9 - 12 credits)

History courses specific to each major teach students about their chosen field of interest. Each program requires three discipline history courses; certain programs within the College of Art, Media & Design require a fourth course. The requirements are different for each major and are listed on the program pages .

First Year Writing (6 credits)

The First Year Writing Program is designed to meet the individual needs of students mastering their chosen fields in the visual, literary, or performing arts. Each student’s path through the writing program is tailored to suit specific reading and writing aims, providing opportunities to strengthen academic and artistic processes.

All students must successfully complete FYWT 100 (COMP*101) or FYWT 111 (COMP*111) and FYWT 112 (COMP*112) or FYWT 101 (COMP*102). Some students may need to complete additional developmental coursework. Initial course assignment is made on the basis of SAT or ACT scores and/or performance on an English placement examination.

Students typically take one of the following sequences to complete the first year writing requirement:

Humanities Seminar (3 credits)

Humanities Seminars extend and require reading, writing, and research skills learned in FYWT by focusing on a theme or topic that cuts across times and cultures.

Period Interpretation (6 credits)

Drawing on both established and newer approaches to cultural history, Period Interpretations are interdisciplinary courses that explore how we come to understand a given era.  All students are required to take two Period Interpretation courses, one in a pre-20th century topic (PIPT), the other in a topic after 1900 (PITC). Prerequisite: HUMS.

    Pre-20th Century

  • Select 1 course from subject PIPT
    Prerequisite: completion of Humanities Seminar (HUMS) requirement

    20th Century

  • Select 1 course from subject PITC
    Prerequisite: completion of Humanities Seminar (HUMS) requirement

Scientific Inquiry Foundation Track (3 credits)

SIFT courses instruct students in the nature of the scientific method and, through case studies, in its application to the empirical world.

Liberal Arts Electives (12 - 15 credits)

Students choose electives from an array of courses in a variety of disciplines.  The liberal arts curriculum offers students considerable flexibility and freedom of choice. To make the best use of these opportunities, students should study the list of elective courses carefully, explore their educational opportunities with their program advisors and with the Liberal Arts faculty, and create a coherent study plan. The minimal number of liberal arts electives varies by program; specifics are given on the program pages .

  • Select courses from subjects:
    • AHST (Art History), HIST (History)
    • ARAB (Arabic), FRCH (French), ITAL (Italian), LITT (Literature)
    • PHIL (Philosophy), RELI (Religion)
    • MATH (Math), SCIE (Science)
    • ANTH (Anthropology), PHIL (Philosophy), PSYC (Psychology), SOCI (Sociology)
    • STCU (Cultural Studies), STDA (Dance Studies), STGS (Gender & Sexuality Studies),
      STMU (Music Studies), STPF (Performance Studies) 
  • Select courses from  : Art History or LA Elective