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Liberal Education

Liberal Education

Liberal Education Program Overview

Printer Friendly Version 2018 - 2019

Printer Friendly Version 2019 - 2020

Liberal Education credit is NOT applied retroactively. For example, if a student took a non-liberal education course, in Fall 2017, and the course was subsequently approved for liberal education credit in Fall 2018, the student DOES NOT receive liberal education credit retroactively. Petitions requesting approval will be denied. Students do have the option of changing their liberal education catalog year, if they choose, upon the advice of their advisor.

Mission Statement: The Goals of a Liberal Education

A liberal education prepares individuals to lead productive and socially responsible lives in a diverse and rapidly changing world. The Liberal Education Program at UMD helps students develop competencies that can be adapted for use in any occupation and by virtually any individual. Liberal education at UMD is not restricted to any particular part of the curriculum but is woven through each student’s course of study, including core requirements and requirements for the major.

The program includes detailed criteria that bind courses together and help to create a common experience across the disciplines. It promotes greater integration of liberal education throughout the student’s undergraduate education by encouraging the incorporation of liberal education courses into the major and in upper division courses.

Liberally educated students are “Prepared, Informed, and Committed.”

Prepared to:

  • identify, analyze and solve problems, demonstrating critical and analytical thinking competency within and across various fields of knowledge
  • think creatively, demonstrating intellectual curiosity, imagination and flexibility
  • communicate effectively through writing and speaking
  • work productively, independently and through collaboration
  • access, evaluate, and make use of information gathered through multiple methodologies

Informed about:

  • the foundations of knowledge and inquiry about nature, culture and society
  • the past and its relevance to the present and the future
  • controversies and unanswered questions in multiple domains of knowledge

Committed to:

  • life-long learning
  • civic engagement and social responsibilities
  • knowledge and competence across cultures
  • considering ethical implication of ideas and actions
  • understanding contemporary global issues

Total Credit Requirement for the Liberal Education Core

The Liberal Education Core requires completion of all 10 categories (39 credits); however, a single course can be used to satisfy multiple requirements, reducing the total number of credits.

Part I. Language and Reasoning Skills (9 credits)

a. Writing and Information Literacy - WRIT 1120 (3 credits)
b. Oral Communication and Languages (3 credits)
c. Logic and Quantitative Reasoning (3 credits)

Part II. Knowledge Domains (21 credits)

a. Natural Sciences (6 credits, 2 course subjects*, 1 lab)
b. Social Sciences (6 credits, 2 course subjects*)
c. Humanities (6 credits, 2 course subjects*)
d. Fine Arts (3 credits)

Part III. Key Topics (9 credits)

a. Global Perspectives (3 credits)
b. Cultural Diversity in the US (3 credits)
c. Sustainability (3 credits)

  • An LE Core course that meets the criteria for part II (Knowledge Domains) and part III (Key Topics) may be used to fulfill both requirements. A course in the major that meets the criteria for parts Ib, Ic, II and/or III may be used to satisfy both major and LE Core requirements

Courses that also apply towards other topics are noted as follows:

GPCourse may also fulfill the Global Perspectives category.

CDCourse may also fulfill the Cultural Diversity in the U.S. category.

SCourse may also fulfill the Sustainability category.

NSCourses may also fulfill the Natural Sciences category.

SSCourses may also fulfill the Social Sciences category.

HCourses may also fulfill the Humanities category.

FACourses may also fulfill the Fine Arts category.

*Course subject simply means the designator area or prefix.  For example, taking two different course subjects in the Natural Science category, could be a Biology (BIOL) course and a Chemistry (CHEM) course.