Learning Outcomes and Courses

General Education Core

The General Education Core is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop, practice, and demonstrate essential competencies, or learning outcomes, in the areas of: (1) communication, (2) the humanities and/or fine arts, (3) the social and behavioral sciences, (4) history, (5) the natural sciences, and (6) mathematics.


The goal of the communication requirement is to enhance the effective use of the English language essential to students' success in school and in the world by way of learning to read and listen critically and to write and speak thoughtfully, clearly, coherently, and persuasively.

Students satisfying the communication requirement should be able to:

  • analyze and evaluate oral and/or written expression by listening and reading critically for elements that reflect an awareness of situation, audience, purpose, and diverse points of view;
  • distill a primary purpose into a single, compelling statement and order and develop major points in a reasonable and convincing manner based on that purpose;
  • develop appropriate rhetorical patterns (i.e. narration, example, process, comparison/contrast, classification, cause/effect, definition, argumentation) and other special functions (i.e., analysis or research), while demonstrating writing and/or speaking skills from process to product;
  • understand that the writing and/or speaking processes include procedures such as planning, organizing, composing, revising, and editing;
  • make written and/or oral presentations employing correct diction, syntax, usage, grammar, and mechanics;
  • manage and coordinate basic information gathered from multiple sources for the purposes of problem solving and decision-making; and
  • recognize the use of evidence, analysis, and persuasive strategies, including basic distinctions among opinions, facts, and inferences.

Courses meeting these learning outcomes include:

ENGL 1010 (Freshman English I)
ENGL 1020 (Freshman English II)
COMM 2200 (Public Speaking)


The goal of the humanities and/or fine arts requirement is to enhance the understanding of students who, as citizens and educated members of their communities, need to know and appreciate their own human cultural heritage and its development in a historical and global context. Also, through study of humanities and/or fine arts, students will develop an understanding of the present as informed by the past.

Students satisfying the humanities and/or fine arts requirement should be able to:

  • analyze significant primary texts and works of art, ancient, pre-modern, and modern, as forms of cultural and creative expression;
  • explain the ways in which humanistic and/or artistic expression throughout the ages expresses the culture and values of its time and place;
  • explore global/cultural diversity;
  • frame a comparative context through which they can critically assess the ideas, forces, and values that have created the modern world;
  • recognize the ways in which both change and continuity have affected human history; and
  • practice the critical and analytical methodologies of the humanities and/or fine arts.

Courses meeting these learning outcomes include:

AREN 2310 (Architectural History)
ART 1010 (Art Appreciation)
ENGL 2012 (Literary Genres I)
ENGL 2013 (Black Arts and Literature I)
ENGL 2022 (Literary Genres II)
ENGL 2023 (Black Arts and Literature II)
ENGL 2110 (American Literature I)
ENGL 2120 (American Literature II)
ENGL 2210 (Survey of English Literature I)
ENGL 2220 (Survey of English Literature II)
ENGL 2310 (World Literature I)
ENGL 2320 (World Literature II)
HIST 1000 (Global Culture in History)
MUSC 1010 (Music Appreciation)
PHIL 1030 (Introduction to Philosophy)
RELS 2010 (Introduction to Religious Studies)
THTR 1020 (Appreciation of Drama)

3 of the 9 hours required in the humanities and/or fine arts must comprise one of the sophomore literature courses listed above.


The goal of the social/behavioral sciences requirement is: (a) to develop in the student an understanding of self and the world by examining the content and processes used by social and behavioral sciences to discover, describe, explain, and predict human behavior and social systems; (b) to enhance knowledge of social and cultural institutions and the values of this society and other societies and cultures in the world; and (c) to understand the interdependent nature of the individual, family, and society in shaping human behavior and determining quality of life. Students satisfying the social and behavioral sciences requirement should be able to:

  • recognize, describe, and explain social institutions, structures, and processes and the complexities of a global culture and diverse society;
  • think critically about how individuals are influenced by political, geographic, economic, cultural, and family institutions in their own and other diverse cultures and explain how one's own belief system may differ from others;
  • explore the relationship between the individual and society as it affects the personal behavior, social development and quality of life of the individual, the family and the community;
  • examine the impact of behavioral and social scientific research on major contemporary issues and their disciplines' effects on individuals and society;
  • using the most appropriate principles, methods, and technologies, perceptively and objectively gather, analyze, and present social and behavioral science research data, draw logical conclusions, and apply those conclusions to one's life and society;
  • take ethical stands based on appropriate research in the social and behavioral sciences; and
  • analyze and communicate the values and processes that are used to formulate theories regarding the social context of individual human behavior in the social and behavioral sciences.

Courses meeting these learning outcomes include:

AFAS 2010 (Introduction to Africana Studies)
ANTH 2300 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology)
ECON 2010 (Principles of Economics I)
ECON 2020 (Principles of Economics II)
GEOG 1010 (World Regional Geography I)
GEOG 1020 (World Regional Geography II)
HPSS 1510 (Health and Wellness I)
POLI 1010 (Introduction to Political Science)
POLI 2010 (American National Government)
PSYC 2010 (General Psychology)
SOCI 2010 (Introduction to Sociology)
URBS 2010 (Introduction to Urban Studies)
WMST 2000 (Introduction to Women's Studies)

HISTORY (6 hours)

The goal of the History requirement is to develop in students an understanding of the present that is informed by an awareness of past heritages, including the complex and interdependent relationships between cultures and societies.

Students satisfying the history requirement should be able to:

  • analyze historical facts and interpretations;
  • analyze and compare political, geographic, economic, social, cultural, religious and intellectual institutions, structures, and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures;
  • recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience across a range of historical periods and the complexities of a global culture and society;
  • draw on historical perspective to evaluate contemporary problems/issues; and
  • analyze the contributions of past cultures/societies to the contemporary world.

Courses meeting these learning outcomes include:

HIST 2010 (American History I)
HIST 2020 (American History II)
HIST 2030 (Tennessee History)
HIST 2060 (World History I)
HIST 2070 (World History II)
HIST 2700 (The African American Experience)

Note: Students lacking the required one high school unit of United States history must fulfill the General Education History requirement by completing six hours comprising HIST 2010, HIST 2020, and/or HIST 2030.


Issues in today's world require scientific information and a scientific approach to informed decision making. Therefore, the goal of the Natural Science requirement is to guide students toward becoming scientifically literate. This scientific understanding gained in these courses enhances students' ability to define and solve problems, reason with an open mind, think critically and creatively, suspend judgment, and make decisions that may have local or global significance. Students satisfying the natural sciences requirement should be able to:

  • conduct an experiment, collect and analyze data, and interpret results in a laboratory setting;
  • analyze, evaluate, and test a scientific hypothesis;
  • use basic scientific language and processes and be able to distinguish between scientific and non-scientific explanations;
  • identify unifying principles and repeatable patterns in nature, the values of natural diversity, and apply them to problems or issues of a scientific nature; and
  • analyze and discuss the impact of scientific discovery on human thought and behavior.

Courses meeting these learning outcomes include:

AGSC 2400 (Fundamentals of Environmental Science I)
AGSC 2401 (Fundamentals of Environmental Science II)
ASTR 1010 (Introduction to Astronomy I)
ASTR 1020 (Introduction to Astronomy II)BIOL 1010/1011 (Introductory Biology I)
BIOL 1020/1021 (Introductory Biology II)BIOL 1110/1111 (General Biology I)*
BIOL 1120/1121 (General Biology II)*BIOL 2210/2211 (Human Anatomy and Physiology I)**
BIOL 2220/2221 (Human Anatomy and Physiology II)**
CHEM 1030/1031 (General Chemistry I)
CHEM 1040/1041 (General Chemistry II)
CHEM 1110/1111 (General Chemistry I)*
CHEM 1120/1121 (General Chemistry II)*
PHYS 1030 (Conceptual Physics)
PHYS 2010/2011 (College Physics I)
PHYS 2020/2021 (College Physics II)
PHYS 2110/2111 (General Physics I)
PHYS 2120/2121 (General Physics II)

*For science majors.

**BIOL 2210/2211 and BIOL 2220/2221 are approved only for Nursing and Health Sciences majors.


The goal of the Mathematics requirement is to expand students' understanding of mathematics beyond the entry-level requirements for college and to extend their knowledge of mathematics through relevant mathematical modeling with applications, problem solving, critical thinking skills, and the use of appropriate technologies.

Students satisfying the mathematics requirement should be able to:

  • build on (not replicate) the competencies gained through the study of two years of high school algebra and one year of high school geometry;
  • use mathematics to solve problems and determine if the solutions are reasonable;
  • use mathematics to model real world behaviors and apply mathematical concepts to the solution of real-life problems;
  • make meaningful connections between mathematics and other disciplines;
  • use technology for mathematical reasoning and problem solving; and
  • apply mathematical and/or basic statistical reasoning to analyze data and graphs.

Courses meeting these learning outcomes include:

MATH 1013 (Contemporary Mathematics)
MATH 1110 (College Algebra I)
MATH 1120 (College Algebra II)
MATH 1410 (Structure of the Number System I)
MATH 1710 (Pre-Calculus Mathematics)
MATH 1720 (Pre-Calculus Mathematics II)
MATH 1730 (Pre-Calculus Math, Alternate)
MATH 1830 (Basic Calculus I)
MATH 1910 (Calculus I, Alternate)
MATH 1915 (Calculus and Analytical Geometry I)

Honors sections of the courses listed on this page can also be applied toward General Education requirements.

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