General Education Goals and Purposes
The general education requirements of the B.A., B.S., and B.S.Ed. degree programs enable students to cultivate the skills, knowledge, values, and habits that will allow our graduates to lead personally enriching and socially responsible lives as effective and informed citizens of a rapidly changing world. The General Education curriculum helps students to:
Develop core skills needed to understand, evaluate, articulate, and advance their ideas and the ideas of others
Students learn to think critically, analyze data, evaluate evidence and the arguments and theories grounded in that evidence, conduct research thoroughly and with integrity, write and speak effectively, and be in command of the technologies that define not only 21st-century communication but also the emerging tools of different disciplines.
Explore issues, solve problems, and learn though multiple methodological approaches
The wide range of general education courses challenge students to make connections across their course of study and to explore the variety of ways they can understand and apply what they learn. General education courses focus on complex problems and issues in the arts, humanities, quantitative reasoning, and natural and social sciences.
Engage knowledgeably and responsibly with a changing, complicated, and multi-dimensional world
Students must understand and appreciate global connections, differences, cultures, languages, environments, and change. These courses require students to be both individual and collaborative learners, solve problems systematically and creatively, and find opportunities to explore beyond the classroom experiences such as undergraduate research, internships, study abroad, and engagement in community and civic life.
The B.A./B.S./B.S.Ed. degree general education requirements
General education requirements and courses for these degrees fall into three categories. See the general education list for the courses that will meet the various requirements.
First Year Seminar
One course designated as a first year seminar. Transfer students do not have to meet this requirement.
Three courses designated Writing Intensive.
One course designated Speaking Intensive.
Intermediate competency in a second language defined as the completion of any 201 language course. (Completion of Level IV of a language in high school will also satisfy this requirement.)
Methods of Investigation
Arts and Literature
One course focusing on visual art, performing art, and/or literature.
One course in the humanities (including history).
One course in the natural sciences that includes a laboratory.
One course focusing on quantitative information and abstract reasoning.
One course in the social sciences.
Additional Methods of Investigation Courses
Two additional courses taken from two different Methods of Investigation categories.
One course designated as a Digital Intensive course.
Diverse and Global Perspectives
One course focusing on global and/or diverse communities.
Beyond the Classroom
One faculty supervised experiences involving a significant experiential learning component designed to challenge students to go outside of the bounds of the typical classroom.
After Mary Washington
One experience focused on translating the liberal arts experience for life after Mary Washington.