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  • Liberal arts and sciences program
  • cross cultural requirement
  • courses
  • liberal arts and sciences course options
  •  


    General education courses

    Bluffton University is a liberal arts college. In addition to courses in the major field of study, the liberal arts and sciences program provides an integrated program of general education for all students. This core program strives to place the student in an ever-expanding context from individual identity in the First Year Seminar to the global citizen of the senior capstone course.

    The program is designed to acquaint the student with current thought and advances in all of the traditional academic disciplines. The liberal arts and sciences program models how an Anabaptist-Mennonite vision of community can be used to develop responses to issues and concerns. The courses listed below are designed to give students the knowledge and basis for life-long learning needed for the challenges of the 21st century.

    The general sequence of courses is outlined below, but the precise sequence of general education and major courses will be determined by each student in consultation with the academic adviser.

    Liberal Arts and Sciences Program
    (The number of semester credit hours is indicated in parentheses.)
    Required:
    LAS 100 First Year Seminar (3)
    ENG 110 College English (3) or ENG 120 Advanced College English (3)
    MAT 105 Understanding Numerical Data (2) or LAS 210 Reason and Argument (2)
    LAS 111 Integrated Arts (3)
    Two natural sciences from different areas (7)
    REL 200 Introduction to Biblical Literature (3)
    Two introductory social science courses (6)
    HUM 221, 222 Humanities 1, 2 (3 each)
    LAS 301 Issues in Modern America (3)
    REL 273 Christian Theology (3) or
    REL 274 Christian Ethics (3)
    LAS 342 Cross-cultural/Service and Learning Experience (4) OR
    6 hours of one foreign language taken at college level (6) OR
    participation in an approved semester abroad program
    LAS 400 Christian Values in a Global Community (3)



    Courses

    LAS 100 First Year Seminar (3)
    Required of all first-year students during the fall semester of the first year. The course will explore what it is that makes us who we are from a variety of perspectives. Class, ethnicity and race, religious background, gender and many other factors help create identity. Primary texts drawn from psychology, sociology, economics and literature will help students locate themselves in these many contexts.

    LAS 050 Applied College Skills (3) (only 2 count toward graduation) 
    This course stresses reading and writing comprehension and skills. Students will learn how to gain support from instructors and classmates, will increase knowledge and improve skills needed for success in college, and will be helped in their transition to college. The student must earn a grade of C- or above in order to be eligible to enroll for th
    e following semester.

    ENG 110 College English (3)
    Designed to help students improve writing and critical thinking skills needed in college. Students analyze and critique written texts in the process of writing several analytical essays. Students work through the research process and write a research essay.

    ENG 120 College English (3)
    Designed to help students improve writing and critical thinking skills needed in college. Students analyze and critique challenging written texts in the process of writing several analytical essays. Students work through the research process and write a research essay. Placement in this class is based on college entrance scores and high school record.

    MAT 105 Understanding Numerical Data (2)
    Designed to help students understand, interpret and think critically about numerical information. The main focus of the course is concept development rather than mathematical manipulation. Use of graphing calculators will give students experience in handling numerical data. Prerequisite:
    MAT 050 or placement into MAT 100 or above.

    LAS 111 Integrated Arts (with lab) (3)
    The course will present an introduction to the arts as a discipline, as a reflection of the culture and as an expression of the artist. Practice and theory in music, drama and the visual arts and their relationships will be explored. Cross-cultural influences and contemporary themes in art will be considered. In addition to lecture sessions, each student chooses one of the three arts in which to pursue participatory laboratory work.

    BIO 105 The Biological World (4)
    This course is a survey of the fundamental concepts of biology for the non-science major.  It also explores topics in chemistry that are relevant to understanding the life sciences, such as the basic structure of the atom, covalent and ionic bonds, the structure of biologically-relevant organic molecules, acids/bases and the pH scale, and oxidation/reduction reactions.  Biological topics range from biomolecules and cells to the diversity of life and the complexity of ecosystems.  Laboratory sessions give students hands-on experience, which illuminates topics explored in the lecture sessions.  Throughtout, the presentation includes the history of the science, the present-day understandings of the science, and the impact of scientific knowledge on humankind.

    PHY 105 The Physical World (4)
    This course is designed to introduce non-science majors to the fundamental concepts of physics.  It also presents some earth and space science topics.  Laboratory sessions give students hands-on experience, which illuminates topics explored in the lecture sessions.  Throughtout, the presentation includes the history of the science, the present-day understanding of the science, and the impact of scientific knowledge on humankind.

    NSC 106 Human Biology Today(3)
    This course will cover issues related to human biology.  The focus will be on studying the systems of the human body and how they are influenced by cancer, pathogens, and environmental toxins.  A brief introduction to the topics of human population dynamics, human impact on the Earth's ecosystems, and how humans fit into the historical scheme of life may also be included.  The specific topics emphasized may vary from term to term.

    NSC 107 The Science of Global Climate Change (3)
    This course offers insight into the science behind our current understanding of the earth's climate system both past and present.  By examining the workings of earth's climate students will be offered insight into the potential for current human activities to alter climate with its attendant biological and economic consequences.  The major topics covered will include an explanation of the current functioning of Earth's climate and its impact on biota. We will also investigate long term fluctuations in climate driven by orbital factors, shorter term fluctuations (glacial events), and recorded/historical climate changes.  The relationships between climate and flora, fauna, and human activity will be examined.  Throughout, the presentation includes the history of science, present day understandings of science, linkages between branches of science and the impact of scientific knowledge on humankind.

    NSC 109 Energy (3)
    One of the most important challenges facing society in the 21st century involves the development of new ways to obtain energy from our environment and technologies to transform and use this energy.  This course will explore the topic of energy in many of its important forms.  The course will start by examining the classical physics of energy.  Various forms of potential and kinetic energy, such as motion, heat, light, and electricity, and the energy of atoms will be studies, as well as the theories and techniques of energy transformation.  The course will lead to an investigation of alternative energy sources, such as solar, biomass, and wind power and will look at questions of sustainability, economics, and societal impact of these new energy technologies.

    NSC 115 The Physical World: Physics/Chemistry (4)
    This course is designed to introduce non-science majors to the fundamental concepts of physics and chemistry. Laboratory sessions give students hands-on experience which illuminates topics explored in the lecture sesions. Throughout, the presentation includes the history of science, present day understandings of science, and the impact of scientific knowledge on humankind.


    NSC 151 The Biological World (3)
    This course is a survey of the fundamental concepts of biology. Topics range from biomolecules and cells to the diversity of life and the complexity of ecosystems. Throughout, the presentation includes the history of science, present day understandings of science, and the impact of scientific knowledge on humankind.

    PHY 105 The Physical World (4)
    This course is designed to introduce non-science majors to the fundamental concepts of physics.  It also presents some earth and space science topics.  Laboratory sessions give students hands-on experience, which illuminates topics explored in the lecture sessions.  Throughout, the presentation includes the history of the science, the present-day understanding of the science, and the impact of scientific knowledge on humankind. 

    REL 200 Introduction to Biblical Literature (3)
    An introduction to the literature of the Bible with emphasis on the primary text. Students will read and analyze material from a broad spectrum of biblical texts in the effort to understand the main components of the biblical story and the nature of the literature in the Bible. The course will emphasize the ability to read and understand biblical text in a discerning way and to explore the text's potential for shaping a modern world view. Prerequisite:
    LAS 100 or placement into ENG 120.

    LAS 210 Reason and Argument (2)
    An introduction to the evaluation of arguments for their validity, logical soundness and ethics and an introduction to the creation of sound and persuasive arguments. Includes the examination of arguments current in political and local discourse, techniques of developing an effective argument and strategies for presenting these orally and in writing. Prerequisite:
    ENG 110 or placement into ENG 120.

    HUM 221, 222 Humanities 1, 2 (3 each)
    The humanities courses are interdisciplinary in character, drawing on the disciplines of history, English, philosophy, art and music. The sequence examines the history of Western civilization to the present and acquaints students with questions of fundamental human concern such as: What dynamic has shaped western civilization? What is the "good life?" What is the "good society?" How should individuals think in terms of their relationship to God, the state, other people? Are individuals responsible for their actions? Music and art history will be used to illustrate important cultural themes. The student, it is hoped, will acquire an intelligent frame of reference for Western civilization and confront important issues related to human values.

    HUM 221, the first course in the sequence, begins with origins of civilization and follows the history of the West through the Renaissance. The second course in the sequence begins with the Reformation and follows the history of western civilization up to the present. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or 120; HUM 221 is a prerequisite for HUM 222.

    REL 273 Christian Theology (3)
    The course surveys central doctrines of the Christian faith and develops a few doctrines in more depth. Topics include the nature and work of Christ, the nature of the church, eschatology, religious authority and creation. Emphasis on particular topics may vary. The overall focus of the course is to present these doctrines both from the perspective of the church of the so-called Constantinian synthesis and from alternative church perspectives. Prerequisite:
    REL 200.

    REL 274 Christian Ethics (3)
    The first part of the course demonstrates how much of mainstream ethics reflects the church of the so-called Constantinian synthesis and then provide an alternative church view of Christian ethics. The second part of the course will apply this learning to the spectrum of issues that confront Christians in the modern world. Prerequisite:
    REL 200.

    LAS 301 Issues in Modern America (3)
    Thematic approach to current problems in U.S. society. The goals of the course are to help students understand the complexity of issues, to see how various disciplines analyze problems and arrive at solutions, to learn to read critically and sensitively and to consider ethical implications of the way society chooses to deal with the issues. Prerequisite: 15 hours of general education credit.

    LAS 342 Cross-cultural/Service Learning Experience (4)
    This course develops a framework for understanding and appreciating diversity and different cultures and provides a cross-cultural learning experience. Through this experience of immersion in another geographic and cultural setting, students are expected to 1) more fully understand and appreciate a culture other than their own and then reflect critically upon their own location within their cultural context, and 2) examine what it means to be a responsible citizen in the global community and grow in developing an ethic of justice, service and peacemaking. Normally completed during the student's junior year.


    LAS 400 Christian Values in a Global Community (3)
    Provides a forum for interdisciplinary examinations of ethics, community and the environment. Using a seminar format, it aims to help develop a framework for practicing global citizenship by the peace church tradition. Designed to serve as the capstone for Bluffton University’s general education curriculum, this course asks students to integrate their liberal arts studies, cross-cultural experiences and disciplinary perspectives in order to find ethical responses to community problems. Prerequisites:
    LAS 301 or EDU 332, LAS 342 and senior status.

    Social Science Requirement (6)
    Students are required to take two social science courses with two different pre-fixes.  They can do this by either taking two courses from group A, or by taking one course from Group A and one course from group B.  Group A consists of survey courses of the various social science disciplines.  Group B consists of focused introductory social science courses.

    Group A
    EBA 141 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
    GEO 111 Principles of Geography (3)
    PLS 215 Introduction to Politics (3)
    PSY 110 Introduction to Psychology (3)
    SOC 152 Introduction to Sociology (3)
    SOC162 Anthropology (3)

    Group B
    CRJ 180 Law, Justice and Society (3)
    PLS 251 American Political Process (3)
    PSY 254 Educational Psychology and Classroom Assessment (3)
    SWK 141 Understanding Social Welfare (3)

    General Education Natural Science Requirement (7)
    Students who enter Bluffton University in the fall of 2005 or after will be required to take at least seven hours of natural science by choosing a course from column I and a course from colum II below.  At least one course must have a laboratory component.

     

    Column I:  Life Science and
                   Chemistry

    Hours Column II:  Physics, Earth, Space, or 
      Environmental Science
    Hours
    With lab especially
    for
    general education
    BIO 105 The Biological World   4 PHY 105 The Physical World   4
    With lab, suitable
    for general education
    BIO 135 Botany
    BIO 205 Invertebrate Zoology
    BIO 230 Anatomy and Physiology
    CEM 121 Gen Inorganic Chemistry I

    4

     

    5

    PHY 211 Physics I

    PHY 202 Astronomy

    PHY 203 Earth Science

     

    5

     

    4

     

    4

     

    Without lab,
    especially for
    general education
    NSC 106 Human Biology 3 NSC 107 Global Climate Change
    NSC 109 Energy
    3

    Students who entered Bluffton University prior to fall of 2005 can meet their natural science requirment by following the above.  With this change NSC 115 and NSC 151 have been eliminated.  The new Biological World (BIO 105) is a 4-hour lab course.  The Physical World (PHY 105) is also a 4-hour lab course.  Current students who have taken NSC 115 (or NSC 111) can fulfill their science requirment by choosing any course from column I.  Students who have already taken NSC 151 can fulfill their science requirement by choosing a 4- or 5-hour lab course from column II.

    Cross-cultural Requirement
    Students meet this requirement in one of three ways: (1) completing 
    LAS 342  Cross-cultural/Service Learning Experience, (2) participating in an approved semester abroad program, or (3) electing a minimum of six hours of one foreign language. International students may complete the requirement by completing SOC 162 Anthropology.

    The majority of students meet their cross-cultural requirement through experiences offered during the May term. These experiences take place in international locations (Central America; Europe; Israel/Palestine; Jamaica; China; and Trinidad) and in domestic settings (Appalachian Kentucky; Chicago; San Antonio; New York City; New Orleans,  and in Native American communities in the Southwest). The experiences available each May are announced in the class schedule or in the course listing found on Jenzabar.

    In special cases, students may petition to meet the LAS 342 requirement by directed study. For more information, see the director of cross-cultural programs.

    Arts and Lecture Credit Requirement
    Bluffton University provides a rich program of lecture series and arts events. These arts and lecture events provide an opportunity for shared academic and cultural experiences among faculty, staff, and students across departments and disciplines. All Bluffton undergraduate students entering fall 2004, except for those in BCOMP and 2+2 child development, are required to complete two semester hours of arts and lecture credit. Students earn arts and lecture credit by attending events that are part of the forum series and artist series, Friday colloquia, drama productions, and other events designated as eligible for arts and lecture credit by the forum advisory committee.

    Students earn .5 hours of credit for each 15 events attended. Five of these 15 events must be events that are part of the forum series.

    Courses
    Las 101, 102, 103, 104 Arts and Lecture Credit (.5 each)
    This credit is awarded to students who attend 15 events approved for arts and lecture credit. Five of the events must be part of the forum series. Students are not billed for arts and lecture credit.

    Liberal Arts and Sciences Course Options
    LAS 140 Portfolio Development (2)
    This course will guide students in preparing a portfolio for submission for college credit based on learning occurring outside the college or university environment.

    LAS 200 Forum/Fine Arts Performance
    (1 hour per year)
    Forum addresses and other enriching experiences are a legitimate and essential part of a liberal arts education. Students may register for one semester hour of elective credit per academic year for attending Forums and other approved campus performances (maximum: four semester hours). To receive one semester hour of credit, students must attend at least 35 approved events. It is not necessary to register for this optional credit in order to attend Forums or other campus performances.
     Open only to students who entered the university before fall 2004.

    LAS 205 Voluntary Service
    Students who have participated in voluntary service for a significant period of time prior to attending college or during their college career may apply for academic credit for this experience. Maximum credit granted 12 semester hours.

    LAS 390 Independent Study
    (variable number of hours)