Liberal Arts Curriculum Requirements
For a copy of the Liberal Arts Curriculum Checklist please go to:
Students continuing uninterrupted work will graduate according to the liberal arts curriculum requirements in effect at the time of matriculation unless students choose to graduate according to provisions enacted by the faculty and stipulated in subsequent catalogs.
Students re-entering the College after an official leave of absence greater than three calendar years, a withdrawal or unapproved absence will graduate according to the liberal arts curriculum in effect at the time of re- enrollment unless students choose to graduate according to provisions enacted by the faculty and stipulated in subsequent catalogs.
The Liberal Arts Curriculum serves as the intellectual foundation for the completion of academic majors and the pursuit of lifelong learning by ensuring that students receive a comprehensive liberal arts education rooted in the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences. A fundamental purpose of the curriculum is to hone the critical thinking skills of students as reflected in their ability to reason—scientifically, qualitatively, quantitatively, and morally. Another goal of the curriculum is to develop the communications skills of students as reflected in their ability to express ideas via the written and spoken word and through the use of technology. Ultimately, the Liberal Arts Curriculum intends to help students to acquire knowledge and skills that will foster their thoughtful participation in the various communities to which they belong, personal and professional, local and global.
The Liberal Arts Curriculum requires students to complete a minimum of 40 general education credits distributed across eight areas of knowledge and application. These requirements apply to all students, regardless of academic major or transfer status. To complete the program, a student must earn a grade of “C” or better in all required coursework.
In meeting Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC) and major-embedded general education (MGE) requirements, students will have demonstrated an acceptable level of academic performance (i.e. proficiency or better) relative to the following general educational outcomes:
- The student will use qualitative reasoning to analyze and interpret the aesthetic qualities, social significance, and meaning of historical and/or literary texts and/or other cultural artifacts, including film.
- The student will use qualitative reasoning to analyze and interpret the aesthetic qualities, social significance, and meaning of works of art, including the visual arts, performing arts, and/or creative writing.
- The student will demonstrate the ability to apply qualitative and quantitative approaches to understand social systems, human culture, and/or human behavior.
- The student will demonstrate the ability to apply scientific reasoning to investigate the natural and physical world.
- The student will produce writing that expresses understanding as a series of claims supported by sound reasoning, illustrative examples, pertinent evidence, or relevant authorities.
- The student will demonstrate the ability to use an ethical framework to guide personal conduct and community service.
- The student will formulate, interpret, and solve problems using quantitative and logical reasoning skills.
- The student will demonstrate the ability to apply qualitative and quantitative approaches to engage in cross-cultural analysis and/or identify strategies for participation within a global environment.
- The student will demonstrate the ability to use technology for purposes of data acquisition, analysis, and presentation.
- The student will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate information gathering strategies for purposes of data acquisition, analysis, and presentation.
- The student will demonstrate the ability to use public speaking techniques to communicate ideas and information to an audience.
A Cedar Crest College student must complete the following course work to earn a degree.
Requirements for the Liberal Arts Program
Arts: 2 courses, one of which must be a 3-credit course; 6 credits
Humanities: 2 courses; 6 credits
Natural Sciences: 2 courses, one of which must be a lab-based course; 7 credits
Social Sciences: 2 courses; 6 credits
Ethics: 1 course: 3 credits
Global Studies: 1 course; 3 credits
Mathematics & Logic: 2 courses, one of which must be a mathematics course; 6 credits
Writing: 2 courses: WRI 100 or HON 110, plus one WRI-2 course; 6 credits
40-43 credits total
Transferred courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Arts Curriculum requirements, consistent with the College's transfer policy.
Areas of Knowledge and Application
A. Courses that address areas of scholarly inquiry and human achievement:
Arts: The courses that comprise this category are designed to help students develop an understanding and appreciation for the fine arts, including the visual and performing arts and creative writing. Creating, performing and appreciating works of art define the basis for an aesthetic education. Studio and/or performance experiences help students to develop creative and critical thinking skills whereas appreciation experiences help students to understand the value systems that have developed over the centuries, underpinning the rationale for determining the great works and their creators. While tools and process may differ, the concepts that define the arts are common to all disciplines in this category. The key disciplines in this category are the Fine Arts: Dance, Theater, Music, Creative Writing, and the Visual Arts.
Humanities: The courses that comprise this category examine the texts produced by human culture in order to understand how these texts have, in the past, reflected and shaped – and continue to reflect and shape – human thought, including human aspirations and fears. The texts studied by humanistic disciplines include literature and film, philosophical and religious treatises, and historical documents. The method of inquiry employed by humanities disciplines requires a textual analysis that arrives at its understanding by considering the text from multiple perspectives, ranging from the study of the text’s language and its implications, to a consideration of historical and cultural contexts, to the situation of a text within a tradition of thought. The key disciplines in this category are Communication, English, History, International Languages, and Philosophy.
Mathematics and Logic: The courses that comprise this category are designed to engage students in activities that develop analytical skills relating to the formulation, interpretation and solution of quantitatively-based problems or activities which develop logical reasoning skills, including the ability to analyze and critically evaluate arguments from a logical point of view. The key discipline in this category is Mathematics.
Natural Sciences: The courses that comprise this category share a common methodology, in that they explore and study the natural world through the application of the scientific method. This method of inquiry involves critical and objective observation, the formulation and testing of hypotheses, and the critical analysis and interpretation of empirical data. The key disciplines in this category are Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and General Science.
Social Sciences: The courses that comprise this category study human culture and behavior and the institutions within which individuals and groups live, work, learn and act. The mode of inquiry associated with the investigation of the cognitive, political, religious, social, expressive, and economic dimensions of human life is informed by the scientific method, signifying an appreciation of the value and significance of using empirical evidence, hypothesis testing, quantitative analysis and qualitative studies to think critically about the nature of human behavior, institutions and individual development. The key disciplines in this category are Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, and Sociology.
B. Courses that promote reflection on and engagement with the demands of citizenship within a complex and changing society:
Ethics: The courses that comprise this category are designed to help students develop a working knowledge of the theories and principles underlying the Western tradition of ethics while also engaging students in activities that encourage individuals to reflect systematically on their personal moral beliefs and values. Courses should be interdisciplinary in nature and should focus upon the application of ethical theory to practice, both in the classroom and in experiences beyond the classroom.
Global Studies: The courses that comprise this category introduce students to art, literature, religion, or historical perspectives beyond the American mainstream; diverse cultural practices and beliefs, including health practices and new cultures arising from new technologies and the development of a quasi-borderless world; or the study of economic, political, legal and/or scientific systems or interactions within the context of varied social backgrounds or cultural frameworks.
C. Courses that promote the ability to use writing as a tool for expression and understanding:
Writing: The courses that comprise this category are designed to help students develop the ability to approach a topic for writing in light of the demands of purpose, audience, and the specific requirements of an assignment. Such requirements include skills in these categories: insightful and developed ideas, a supported thesis, awareness of audience and discourse conventions, coherence and logical organization, a sophisticated and professional style, and an attention to the revision process and manuscript preparation.
Students should consult the Registrar’s Page on MyCedarCrest for a full list of courses approved for each Liberal Arts designation.
College-wide Requirements Satisfied Within the Departmental Major
The following requirements will be satisfied by students within the context of individual academic majors. For all requirements, the necessary coursework may be offered directly within the academic major or, alternatively, the academic major may require that students complete an appropriate course or courses offered in a different department.
Technology Requirement: The technology requirement is satisfied through the completion of coursework required within the context of individual academic majors. This approach recognizes that the definition of “technological competence” differs across academic disciplines and fields of specialization; thus each department is responsible for documenting that students enrolled in their programs as majors have demonstrated an acceptable level of academic performance in regard to their ability to: (1) engage in data searches and data organization, (2) engage in data analysis, and (3) engage in data presentation and communication.
Oral Presentation: The oral presentation requirement is satisfied through coursework required within the context of individual academic majors or through the completion of a course designated by the department as satisfying this requirement. Each department is responsible for documenting that students enrolled in their programs as majors have demonstrated an acceptable level of academic performance in regard to their ability to: (1) employ basic skills of good public speaking, (2) conduct an audience analysis, (3) use logic, and (4) demonstrate credibility through the presentation of evidence and the use of proper delivery techniques, including the use of audio-visual materials and appropriate technologies.
Information Literacy Requirement: The information literacy requirement is satisfied through the completion of coursework required within the context of individual academic majors. Each department is responsible for documenting that students enrolled in their programs as majors have demonstrated an acceptable level of academic performance in regard to their ability to: (1) frame a research question, (2) access and evaluate sources, (3) evaluate content, (4) use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and (5) understand the economic, legal and social issues of information use.