Nov 19, 2019  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Liberal Studies Curriculum

Goals of a Saint Michael’s College Education

Saint Michael’s College embodies the tradition of a liberal arts education in light of the Catholic faith, which emphasizes a concern with ultimate questions within a diverse world, and an attention to the full human and spiritual development of the student. A Saint Michael’s education, consisting of at least one major, the Liberal Studies Curriculum, elective courses, and co-curricular activities, equips students with the ability to express their thoughts with clarity and accuracy, enables them to test the validity of different approaches to reality, and assists them in framing coherent and persuasive discourse.  It prepares them for global citizenship, stewardship of the earth, and a productive career. An individual’s education is not completed in four years, but lasts a lifetime; therefore our curriculum is designed to graduate students with a passion for the intellectual life, a commitment to moral responsibility, and a desire to improve the human condition through socially conscious citizenship. 

Enduring Understandings

Graduates will understand:

  1. The value of intellectual inquiry and the search for truth as a life-long habit 
  2. The varieties of knowledge, perspectives, traditions, and experiences of the human condition
  3. The worthiness of imaginative and creative exploration
  4. The power of ideas to shape the worlds in which they live
  5. The responsibility of each person to contribute to the common good
  6. The value of communities characterized by freedom, social justice, mutual respect, and inclusion
  7. The need to relate responsibly to the natural world and develop habits for sustainable living
  8. The imperative to act ethically and to be morally responsible and civically engaged
  9. The significance and impact of globalization on every facet of society.

Outcomes of the General Education Curriculum

A Saint Michael’s liberal arts education is transformative in many ways, providing the following essential outcomes.

Areas of Knowledge

Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  1. The ways artists, writers, and thinkers from the past and present, in both one’s own culture and others, have found and created meaning, value, conflict, and beauty in the world
  2. Texts and beliefs that shape the Catholic and wider Christian traditions, and the importance of religion and spirituality in human experience
  3. Key concepts and theories underlying different modes of thought as well as the assumptions on which they are based
  4. The ways that societies have developed through complex socio-economic, religious, political, cultural, or other factors
  5. The physical and natural world and modes of inquiry utilized by the sciences
  6. Theories that explain human behavior, institutions, or social systems
  7. Methods, approaches, and tools for making ethical decisions in personal, professional and social contexts
  8. Global issues that impact the common good.

Intellectual and Practical Skills

Students will be able to:

  1. Think critically, analytically, and creatively, integrating demanding texts and other media within and across disciplines
  2. Communicate ideas clearly and effectively in oral and in written form
  3. Use quantitative reasoning to evaluate and solve problems
  4. Demonstrate skill in a second language
  5. Engage in artistic expression
  6. Conduct research by identifying, evaluating, documenting, and synthesizing information from diverse and reliable sources
  7. Work collaboratively as a member of a team to advance the understanding of a topic or to solve problems
  8. Critically reflect upon their personal and cultural assumptions and examine how these affect their values and behavior
  9. Participate intelligently and respectfully in written and spoken discourse with people of similar and differing beliefs.

Liberal Studies Curriculum

The specific minimum requirements of the Liberal Studies Curriculum (LSC) are:

First Year Seminar (one course)

Fundamental Philosophical Questions (one course)

Study of Christian Traditions and Thought (one 100-level course)

First Semester of Second Language (zero to one course depending on placement)

Students will complete at least 8 of the following 9 requirements:

Study of Christian Traditions and Thought (one upper level course)

Global Issues that Impact the Common Good (one course)

Historical Studies (one course)

Literary Studies (one course)

Processes of Scientific Reasoning (one course)

Quantitative Reasoning (one course)

Second Semester of Second Language (one course)

Social and Institutional Dimensions of Human Behavior (one course)

Artistic Experience (one half-course or full course)

Additional Core Competencies:

Ethical Decision-Making (fulfilled by a course in the major; every major is designed to fulfill this automatically)

Oral Communication (included throughout the curriculum; each major is designed so that the student fulfills this requirement automatically)

Written Communication (included in courses throughout the curriculum, especially in First Year Seminars and in at least one designated course in each major)

All Saint Michael’s students must demonstrate entry-level writing proficiency, which we define as the ability to write a short essay with a well-defined point, logical organization, and a minimum of surface errors that interfere with comprehension. This requirement ensures that you have the writing skills necessary to succeed in all your courses at Saint Michael’s.  Toward that end, faculty will review your writing for entry-level proficiency primarily through First-Year Seminar. Students who do not meet the requirement will need to develop proficiency by taking EN 101: College Writing.

List of LSC courses by category:

First Year Seminar:

FS 102 - The Afterlife 

FS 112 - Drama and Culture 
FS 114 - A River Runs Through It: The Literature and Craft of Fly Fishing 
FS 118 - Theatre and Social Justice 
FS 120 - Living Digitally 
FS 122 - Music and the Human Experience  
FS 123 - On Memory 
FS 124 - Human Rights in China  
FS 126 - Sports Stories  
FS 149 - Africa and Its Peoples  
FS 150 - Black Voices of Democracy  
FS 154 - Race, Gender, & Ethnicity in Media  
FS 156 - Memoirs of Race, Gender, & Sexuality 
FS 158 - Society, Identity, & Race  
FS 159 - God, Sex, Violence  
FS 162 - Science and Technology that Changed History and You  
FS 182 - The Social Construction of Humanness  
FS 184 - Robotics, Technology and the Evolving Self  

Fundamental Philosophical Questions:


Study of Christian Traditions and Thought:
   First course:


  Second course:

PH 205 - Philosophy of Society  
RS 220 - Modern Christian Thought  
RS 326 - Work, Capital and God 

Global Issues that Impact the Common Good:

AN 335 - Media Nomads: Youth, Television and Trekking in the Buddhist Himalayas 
BI 242 - Community Ecology  
CH 308 - Environmental Chemistry 
EC 110 Economic Issues in a Global World   
ES 244 - Environmental Study of Sustainable Places - Wales Field Trip  
FR 297 - Voices of Resistance in the Francophone World  
GL 320 - Globalization and Latin America 
HI 338 - Rebels with a Cause: Tiananmen in History and Memory  
HI 363 - Race, Class, and Gender in the Atlantic World  
HI 390 - Empires: 1492—Present 
MU 352 - World Music 
PJ 207 - Conflict Resolution: Non-Violent Communication 
PJ 208 - Conflict Resolution: Non-Violent Action 

Historical Studies:

CL 118 - Ancient Medicine and the Greek and Latin Roots of Scientific Terminology  
HU 207 - The Nineteenth Century  
MA 304 - History of Mathematics  
MU 222 - Medieval and Renaissance Music 
MU 243 - History of Gospel  

Literary Studies:

CL 211 - Classical Mythology: The Divinities of Greece and Rome  
HU 207 - The Nineteenth Century  

Processes of Scientific Reasoning:

BI 255 Human Evolution  
CH 210 - Accelerated General Chemistry II 
PY 102 - Physical Science 
PY 104 - Physics and Robotics  

Quantitative Reasoning:

BU 110 - Personal Financial Planning  

MA 110 - Mathematics for Social Justice 
MA 112 - Finite Math   
MA 115 - Mathematics for Teachers   
MA 140 - Biological Data & Statistics  
PS 213 - Psychological Statistics  
PS 216 - Statistics and Research Methods II  

Second Language:

All students are required to achieve the low-intermediate level of a second-language in order to graduate from the College. 

Fulfillment of this second language requirement may be demonstrated by:

a) placing above the second-semester language course level on the college’s language test;
b) passing a second semester language course level at Saint Michael’s College;
c) passing a second semester language course level at another institution (the course has to be pre-approved); 
d) passing an Advanced Placement test offered by the College Board with a score of three or higher (four or higher for Latin);
e) passing an SAT II language test at the level specified by the College for that language;
f) submitting a record showing that the student received at least partial secondary education outside the United States in a language other than English 

Students who choose option a), b), or c) and studied Spanish or French in high school or learned it at home and want to continue these languages at SMC will be asked to take an on-line language placement test at home early in the summer.  Then, during a summer registration day, students will take the written portion of this language placement test. 

All other students who want to take a test in a language other than Spanish or French and want to continue the same language and want to choose a), b), or c) will take a different placement test during a summer registration day.  Further information on the second language requirement is available from the program’s coordinator, Qian “Lucy” Dong at 802-654-2457.


Social and Institutional Dimensions of Human Behavior:

EC 110 - Economic Issues in a Global World   
ED 357 - Early Childhood Education: Investing in the Future   

Artistic Experience:

AR 201 - Foundations in Art  
AR 214 - Digital Animation and Motion Graphics   
EG 101 - Graphical Communication  
ES 244 - Environmental Study of Sustainable Places - Wales Field Trip  
MU 352 - World Music 
MU 364 - Advanced Performance Studies