Jul 13, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Requirements

First Year Seminar

*Open to students who transfer at least 30 hours AND are classified as transfer students by Admissions. The 30 hours must be completed prior to enrollment at ASU. Students using this option will have 41 hours of General Education.

Writing Across the Curriculum (6 Hours Required)

Major Requirements

Hours count in major requirements

  • Junior Writing in the Discipline (“WID” on major program of study)
  • Senior Capstone Experience (“CAP” on major program of study)

Quantitative Literacy (4 Hours Required)

Wellness Literacy (2 Hours)

Choose from the following:

Science Inquiry

Requires 8 semester hours from one theme. Courses in themes marked with an * must be taken sequentially. Check the course descriptions for any pre- and/or co-requisites.

A 1 hour lab option may be available for students who have transferred in a 3 hour science lecture course. Please contact the Office of General Education at (828) 262-2028 or gened@appstate.edu for more information.


3 hours of each required; may be taken in Integrative Learning Experience or Liberal Studies Experience:

Integrative Learning Experience

Complete 9 semester hours from a single theme (underlined). Students must take courses from at least two discipline prefixes in the chosen theme with the exceptions of “Appalachian Mountains: Community, Culture, and Land” and “Experiencing Inquiry: How to Ask Questions.”

American Culture: Past and Present

This theme is a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural approach to investigating & understanding the culture & society of United States. It analyzes changes & continuity in American culture over time. It focuses on American identities, both individual & collective; the changing roles and contributions of women & minorities in American life; and trends in religious & social thought.

Appalachian Mountains: Community, Culture, and Land

This theme examines the social structures, community life, cultural productions, and natural environment of the Appalachian Mountain region. Students investigate the boundaries of the region, including political, economic, cultural, linguistic, geographic, and geological ones through courses that position the region historically and contemporarily in national and international contexts. A central concern among the courses is Appalachian energy resources, especially coal, its history, global significance, current position in national energy debates, and extraction methods including mountaintop removal coal mining.

Cultivating Creative Expression

In this theme, students explore the creative process and the connection it has with cognitive, psychological, emotional, bodily/kinesthetic, aesthetic, and social development of the individual. This theme emphasizes the point of view of the creative individual in relationship to society and culture through the lens of each discipline.

Experiencing Inquiry: How to Ask Questions

A core value, and central teaching method, of Watauga Residential College has always been the nurturing and development of a restless curiosity in students. The courses in this theme will explore how questions are asked across and between disciplines. While each course will examine research methodologies in a given discipline, more important will be the ways in which students individually and collaboratively cultivate an attitude of critical inquiry. Courses blend an atmosphere of sensory discovery, performance, analysis, and creativity. All courses feature inquiry-based learning, experiential and interdisciplinary methods, cultural immersion, and collaboration.

Expressions of Culture

This theme explores the expression of culture through diverse perspectives- language, performance, and forms of communication. Culture and its expression are learned and are reflexive, shaping and shaped by each other. Rituals, both public and private, enact culture and may take the form of performance. Language, spoken and written, expresses and helps define cultural practices. Public, written, and communicative performances enact and reflect culture in myriad ways, serving as cultural markers.

From Empire to Globalization

The formation, growth, and power of empires; their colonial regimes (driven to the far reaches of their worlds by appetites for wealth, resources, and human labor); and globalization are intimately linked. Courses in this theme explore prehistoric, ancient, and/or modern empires; illuminate the cultural lives impacted by colonialism; analyze the hegemony exercised through far reaching colonial practices; and consider post-colonial consequences of globalization.

How We Know What We Know About the Past: Method, Evidence, Knowledge

The humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences-and their varying disciplines-all at times study events, processes, and facts that took place in the past. But each field and discipline, in pursuing knowledge about their past objects of inquiry, employ different methods and search out different kinds of evidence. In addition, each field operates in different time scales, depending on their subject of study. These time scales have an impact on the development of research questions, on the kind of evidence that is available for collection, on the way we develop and advance our methods for studying the past, and on the knowledge we produce. This theme invites students to consider the relations among evidence, method, time-scale, and disciplinary knowledge, and by so doing aims to cultivate in them a sharper understanding of the way in which scholars define and gather evidence, make arguments about their subjects using evidence, and develop new methods for collecting evidence. Students will also learn about the limits of disciplinary knowledge which result from the availability of evidence and the techniques we have to gather that evidence. This theme will prepare students for higher level thinking about methods, evidence, and knowledge in their majors.

How We Tell Stories

What does it mean to tell stories? This theme explores why stories are important to us, how different media present stories, and what happens when artists, writers, filmmakers, and other media producers shift away from narrative and try to do something other than tell a story.

The Human-Animal Bond

Although humans and other animals are bound by a common existence as creatures, modern cultures have the human as exceptional, separate from, rather than bound to, animals. While we bond emotionally and psychologically with our companion animals, we have constructed more one-sided and instrumental relationships with other animals, defining them as food, prey, or pests. The courses in this theme explore human-animal bonds in their complexity and contradiction- the myriad of ways in which our connections, both literal and figurative, tie humans practically, ethically, and even spiritually, to other animals.

Imagination, Innovation, and Meaning

In this theme, students will explore the concepts of imagination, innovation, meaning, interpretation, and aesthetics. Through the collective courses, students will explore these within historical, cultural, theoretical, and/or practical frameworks.

Intersections: Race, Class, and Gender

This theme provides a multidisciplinary examination of the nuances and complexities of social identities across varying social contexts. Particularly, courses will focus on the unique social intersections of race, class, and gender to explore their constructions and variations across local and global cultures. Courses will also question and analyze the multiple systems of privilege, oppression, and discrimination that accompany these various social identities and how they impact human behavior and life chances for individuals.

Social Relations Across Contexts:

Our first social interactions occur within the family (PSY 2100, Psychology of Parenting) and these relationships remain among the most influential throughout our lives (SOC 1110, Sociology of Intimate Relationships). Our relationships are influenced by both the society (PSY 2213, Survey of Social Psychology, and SOC 1110, Sociology of Intimate Relationships) and the time in which we live (HIS 1120, History and Society). Finally, our ability to communicate effectively with the people in our lives (COM 2121, Interpersonal Communication) is key to our success. Students in this theme will improve their critical thinking skills, become effective communicators within the family (COM 2121, Interpersonal Communication, PSY 1100, Psychology of Parenting, SOC 1110, Sociology of Intimate Relationships), and develop a better understanding of our society as a whole through a close examination of the responsibilities of community membership (HIS 1120, History and Society, PSY2213, Survey of Social Psychology).

Sustainability and Global Resources:

Sustainability is the goal of meeting current and future human needs without undermining human communities, cultures, or natural environments. Addressing this goal requires recognition of the complex interrelationships among environmental, economic, and social forces and re-examination of our relationships to technology, natural resources, natural science, human development, and/or local to global politics. Courses within this multidisciplinary theme address topics such as climate change, environmental pollution, economic globalization, resources inequality, agriculture and sustainable food production, environmental ethics and history, and social justice.

Liberal Studies Experience:

Complete 12 semester hours from at least three discipline prefixes.