Exploration: The General Education Requirements in the College (PART 1)

The College of Arts and Sciences is defined by its liberal arts curriculum, meaning that College students take classes beyond their majors and learn about a variety of disciplines. College students acquire a broad set of skills to prepare themselves for the rest of their academic and professional careers. This most clearly manifests itself in the College’s General Education Requirements: The Sectors of Knowledge (specific academic areas) and The Foundational Approaches (skills). These requirements are best thought of as buckets of classes with many classes fulfilling each requirement. Taking these classes has been a great opportunity for me to learn about fields different from my major and I am better prepared for the future because of them. I’ll go into Foundational Approaches below, and look out for another post on the Sectors of Knowledge soon!

Foundational Approaches

Writing: For this requirement I took WRIT 076 (The Urban Invasion) which looked at gentrification and urban redevelopment. I’m pursuing a career in real estate, so working on my writing through a real estate lemse was instructional and informative. I also developed a strong portfolio of relevant writing that I have used with potential employers!

Foreign Language: After taking French in high school, I decided to complete the Foreign Language requirement by continuing my French studies. This continuation provided a transitional set of courses during my first few semesters of college and left me with a certain level of proficiency.

Formal Reasoning: Here I took MATH 103, which was a prerequisite for my major. Additionally, MATH 103 was a Structured Active In-Class Learning (SAIL) class, so most of the learning happened outside of the classroom and we worked on complex problems in class. I would recommend SAIL classes to anyone who wants to learn about their learning style.

Quantitative Data Analysis: I fulfilled this foundation with ECON 103, Statistics for Economists, and was able to count it towards my major.

Cross Cultural Analysis: I took HIST 023 (The Islamic Middle East) for this requirement, as did many of the other Cognos. We learned about the history of the Islamic Middle East (starting with the fall of the Roman Empire and ending with the Ottoman Empire). This course actually inspired me to take an elective this semester about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Cultural Diversity in the US: For this requirement, I took ARTH 278 which was an American art history class. Beyond lectures, our class got to travel to different museums around Philadelphia to look at iconic works of American art. Seeing the famous pieces in person absolutely enhanced my learning, and was only possible in a city like Philadelphia!

Matthew S, C'18