GE Pathways

General Education Paths

Arts, Media, and Culture

arts media and culture logo thumbnailThe goal of the Arts, Media and Culture Path is to empower students to think, read, and write critically and creatively about the transformative power of art, media and culture across diverse range of forms and practices. This Path encourages students to formulate their own criteria for responsible aesthetic judgments attuned to the differences of class, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, and national identity and to create and compose their own artistic works. Through interdisciplinary and comparative studies of a wide range of artistic, literary and cultural works including media and performance, students will rigorously explore, analyze, and evaluate cultural expression. This Path also enriches students’ appreciation of culture by engaging them both in the history of various aesthetic theories and material practices, and in contemporary public life with its variety of popular and independent forms. Thus, this Path will enable students to be informed and critical citizens of public culture.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to define aesthetics, media, culture and their interconnections.

  2. Students will explain the rich and varied genres of aesthetic expression across a diverse range of cultural forms.

  3. Students will be able to analyze and write about various artistic, literary, intellectual, and other works of culture with appropriate theoretical concepts.

  4. Students will be able to evaluate various forms and practices of art, media, and culture and demonstrate an understanding of historical and contemporary debates in the critical discourses about various art, media, and cultural practices.

  5. Students will create their own literary and artistic works.

Evolutionary Thinking

evolutionary thinking logo thumbnail

Evolution as an idea and a framework for thinking permeates academic work and more general cultural activity, as well. This GE Path is designed to provide students with a coherent but diverse view of the fields of inquiry that comprise evolutionary thinking and research, including coursework from the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, and the Arts and Humanities subject exploration areas in GE.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the processes that can shape change in populations of organisms over time (for example, genetic, epigenetic, developmental, and cultural factors).

  2. Students will be able to identify coherent rational arguments and recognize fallacious reasoning and argumentation.

  3. Students will be able to identify a number of ways in which evolutionary theory informs a variety of academic disciplines from the humanities to the natural and social sciences.

  4. Students will be able to integrate knowledge from seemingly disparate fields into a coherent view of what is referred to as “evolutionary theory.”

  5. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the scope of evolutionary change over varying scales of time.

Global Studies


global studies logo thumbnailThe Global Studies path provides students an opportunity to explore how global and transnational processes bring people together across the globe. It prompts students to examine how their lives affect and are affected by globalization. Through interdisciplinary coursework students will be introduced to definitions of globalization and key concepts related to globalizing trends. Students will explore political, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of contemporary globalization, the historical antecedents of globalization, and the diverse consequences of globalization including how it influences traditional culture, identity, media, markets, the boundaries and power of nation-states, and the environment.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to define globalization and key concepts related to globalizing trends.

  2. Students will be able to recognize a variety of globalized political, economic, socio-cultural, and aesthetic forms.

  3. Students will be able to discuss the political, economic, socio-cultural and/or historical underpinnings of globalization.

  4. Students will be able to analyze the diverse consequences of globalization including its impacts on various social formations (e.g. identity, culture, art, communities, media, markets, nation-states, among other examples) and/or the environment.

  5. Students will be able to demonstrate how globalization affects and is affected by one’s own life.

Health and Wellness


health and wellness logo thumbnailThe Health and Wellness path provides students with opportunities to explore personal and community health and wellness during various stages in the family life cycle.  Students will be engaged in content and interdisciplinary coursework that examines the significance of health as physical, mental and social well-being. They will understand that wellness includes the ability of people and communities to reach their full potential by removing both personal and societal barriers. Students will develop an awareness of lifestyle choices and how they create a framework for promoting and actively supporting health, a healthy lifestyle and a culture where wellness is valued.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will gain an understanding of the political, economic, social and cultural perspectives influencing health and wellness.

  2. Students will examine the role of personal and public health and wellness in society.

  3. Students will objectively analyze health factors, habits and beliefs that positively and negatively impact health and wellness across cultures and communities.

  4. Students will identify the physical, psychological, and social benefits of health and wellness.

  5. Students will understand societal barriers to maintaining personal health and wellness.

Principles of Sustainability


principles of sustainability logo thumbnailSustainability is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Report, 1987). The goal of this path is to broadly educate students about the fundamental concepts of sustainability including economic, environmental, and social aspects. It is designed to supplement education in other disciplines and to provide knowledge of the considerations necessary to make decisions in a world where resources are limited.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to define sustainability and understand how concepts of sustainability are connected to issues of social justice, the environment, and the economy at local, regional, and global levels.
  2. Students will demonstrate knowledge of key concepts related to the study of sustainability, including planetary carrying capacity, climate change, and ecological footprint.
  3. Students will be able to explain how sustainability relates to their lives and their values, and how their actions impact issues of sustainability at the individual, and at local, regional, and global levels.

Social Justice


social justice logo thumbnailThe primary goal of the Social Justice Path is to encourage students to think critically about social justice, to recognize it as foundational for peaceful societies, and to look for ways to promote it. Through interdisciplinary studies students will learn about distinct definitions of social justice and explore issues related to it. They will analyze the ways that socially determined beliefs and expectations associated with race, ethnicity, nation, religion, developmental challenges, gender, and/or sexuality become institutionalized and facilitate and/or limit people’s ability to exercise and enjoy equal social, political, and economic rights. Finally, students will develop insight into the interrelationship between cultural recognition and economic justice and the importance of both for ensuring that people are treated equally.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to compare the distinct definitions of social justice.
  2. Students will be able to recognize and critically analyze the inter-relationship between cultural recognition and economic justice.
  3. Students will be able to identify and practice the methods people use to fight for social justice at local, national, and international levels.
  4. Students will be able to identify and analyze the ways injustices are institutionalized in social, political, and economic structures.
  5. Students will be able to recognize and connect the ways individuals and institutions may be beneficiaries and/or victims of social injustice.