Coordinator: Peter McCormick
Fort Lewis College’s commitment to the liberal arts is embodied in its general education program and in its majors in the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Liberal in liberal arts means “free,” freedom from ignorance. A liberal arts education is intended to impart the capacities and values required for responsible citizenship and advancement in the professions and help students develop a commitment to life-long learning. These capacities include breadth of knowledge, the ability to analyze and weigh evidence, open-mindedness, understanding of different cultural perspectives, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and communication.
The Liberal Arts Core is designed to complement the specialization provided by the majors. Exploration of different areas of knowledge and ways of understanding the world combined with the development of competencies in communication, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning is the primary focus of the lower-division courses in general education.
- Students apply intellectual and practical skills to think critically and communicate effectively
- Students demonstrate knowledge of the a) diversity of past and present human cultures and b) physical and natural world
- Students gain skills necessary to be engaged and contributing members of a local and global society
- Students reflect critically on ethical issues and make reasoned, intelligent judgments about complex problems
- Students integrate knowledge and skills and apply them to new settings and complex problems
Click here for a printable, one-page summary of the Liberal Arts Core Requirements
The curricular components of the Liberal Arts Core at Fort Lewis College are:
- Communications (two courses)
- Mathematics (one course)
- Arts and Humanities, History, and Social and Behavioral Sciences (minimum of 15 credits)
- Natural and Physical Sciences (two courses, one with an associated laboratory)
Communication (CO1 and CO2 or CO2 and CO3):
The ability to write effectively and read critically underlies professional projects, civic actions, and academic endeavors. Analyzing whom and what to vote for, reading with an open mind about social, economic, and philosophical issues, and developing the competencies to contribute to the world of ideas in the academy and in the workplace are important. Lower division communication courses provide the foundational work necessary for students to begin to think, read, and write at advanced levels.
Students are required to complete either one CO1 course and one CO2 course or one CO2 course and one CO3 course. Students’ options for CO1, CO2, and CO3 are governed by placement policies developed by the Writing Program. Students should consult the requirements of their degree programs before selecting a CO2 course because some programs require completion of a specific CO2 course.
Completion of CO1 with a C- or higher is required to enroll in a CO2 course.
Completion of CO2 with a C- or higher and Sophomore standing is required to enroll in a CO3 course.
Mathematics underlies modern technology, is essential to understanding and critically examining public policy, and is a powerful tool for many disciplines. Pattern recognition, generalization, abstraction, problem solving, careful analysis, and rigorous quantitative argument are important to all well-educated citizens and are the foundation of many professions.
Students are required to complete one MA1 course. Students’ options for this requirement are determined by placement policies developed by the departments that offer MA1 courses. Students should consult the requirements of their degree programs before selecting a MA1 course because some programs require completion of a specific MA1 course.
MA1 Courses - One course required:
Arts and Humanities, History, and Social and Behavioral Sciences (AH, HI, and SS):
Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities courses (AH) help students recognize the different ways in which humans have perceived their world, deepen their understanding of how social, cultural, linguistic, religious, philosophical, and historical circumstances shape the human environment, and explore fundamental questions of value, meaning, and modes of expression. There are four types of Arts and Humanities courses: Arts and Expression (AH1); Literature and Humanities (AH2); Ways of Thinking (AH3); and Foreign Languages (AH4).
History courses (HI1) involve students in analytical, chronological study of significant human experiences. Through the study of a specific aspect of the human experience, students will learn the interpretive and analytical methods necessary to build accounts of the past and explore how alternative analytical perspectives can create different narratives of the past.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Social and Behavioral Science courses (SS) help students acquire a foundational understanding of the social sciences while gaining insight into contemporary issues and problems. There are three types of Social and Behavioral Sciences courses: Economic or Political Systems (SS1); Geography (SS2); and Human Behavior, Culture, or Social Frameworks (SS3).
Students are required to complete two Arts and Humanities courses, one History course, and one Social and Behavioral Science course. If, after completing the four required courses, students have not earned a minimum of 15 credits, they must take an additional course from the Arts and Humanities, History, or Social Science categories. Students’ options to take modern language courses to fulfill the Arts and Humanities requirements are determined by placement policies developed by the Modern Languages Department. Students should consult the requirements of their degree programs before selecting Arts and Humanities, History, and Social and Behavioral Science courses because some programs may require completion of specific courses.
AH Courses – Minimum of two (2) courses required (Any combination of AH1, AH2, AH3, or AH4):
HI Courses - Minimum of one (1) course required:
SS Courses - Minimum of one (1) course required (SS1, SS2, or SS3):
Natural and Physical Sciences (SC1 and SC2):
Through Natural and Physical Science courses students will gain an understanding of the scientific viewpoint and method and gain insights into the impacts of science and technology on society.
Students are required to complete two Natural and Physical Science courses. One of these courses must be a science with an associated laboratory (SC1). The second course may be from either the SC1 (science with a lab) or SC2 (science without a lab) list. Students’ options for this requirement are determined by placement policies developed by the departments that offer SC1 and SC2 courses. Students should consult the requirements of their degree programs before selecting their Natural and Physical Science courses because some programs require completion of specific SC1 and SC2 courses.
SC1 Courses - Minimum of one (1) course with associated laboratory required:
SC2 Courses – Minimum of one (1) course is required if a second SC1 course is not taken:
State of Colorado gtPathways System
All courses that fulfill lower-division general education requirements that have been completed with a minimum grade of C- or better, are guaranteed to transfer to other Colorado public institutions of higher education under the State of Colorado gtPathways system. These courses were approved for gtP as of publication date. Changes can be made to approved gtP courses at any time; they are not catalog specific. The most accurate listing of courses approved for gtP can be found by searching by attribute on the schedule on WebOPUS. Some of the courses that fulfill lower-division general education requirements may also count for major or minor requirements. See specific programs for more information.