Required 12 credits - 1000 Level
Courses at the foundation level are issue and theme focused with the objective of establishing a foundation of abilities and intellectual standards, which are grounded in the Babson College Core Competencies. The Foundation Level of the curriculum has two components totaling 12 credits. All students take a four-credit AHS Foundation course. They also take a yearlong eight-credit Rhetoric Foundation Experience that may be closely integrated with an AHS course.
AHS: The Arts and Humanities/History and Society Foundation courses engage a combination of perspectives, including aesthetic, ethical, historical and societal, to explore a particular topic or theme. Exploring a topic such as nature, justice, or memory, for example, through a rich array of perspectives aims to develop the ability to see that all interpretations are impacted by the context, values, and attitudes of the interpreter—including, of course, our own. We use course materials from a range of media and genres to explore the topic and learn to use complexity and ambiguity to enrich and deepen our inquiry. This theme-based course aims to establish a foundation of skills that anticipate the more disciplinary and interdisciplinary analytical skills that are introduced at the Intermediate Level of the Liberal Arts Curriculum.
For more detailed information on the Rhetoric Program, see the Introduction to the Babson First-Year Rhetoric Program (pdf).
Required 12 credits - 2000 Level
At the Intermediate Level, the themes, issues, and questions that were introduced and explored at the Foundation Level are now elaborated and subjected to distinct modes of analytical inquiry. Students become familiar with a number of different disciplinary frameworks and learn how the competencies introduced at the Foundation Level are made manifest in disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowing. This study enhances students’ abilities to do close readings of texts and other sources, and to identify patterns and make refined distinctions and connections within the subject matter, all features of the analytical process. All of the courses at this level continue to develop and refine the rhetorical competencies that were introduced in the rhetoric courses and that were practiced in the Arts and Humanities and History and Society Foundation courses.
Students take four 4-credit courses at the Intermediate Level. They are required to take one course in each of three categories History and Social Science, Cultures and Values, and Literary and Visual Arts and a fourth four-credit course from any of these three categories. This distribution reinforces and deepens the general education foundation introduced in the first year of the Liberal Arts curriculum. In its focus on analysis, the Intermediate Level anticipates the Advanced Level that emphasizes the development of critical synthesis and independence of thought.
The three categories of courses at the Intermediate Level share an emphasis on analysis, yet differ in their themes and disciplinary approaches:
History and Social Sciences
Courses in this category focus on frameworks for understanding historical, social, and psychological structures, processes, and patterns of change. These courses introduce different methodologies for understanding how the individual is connected to groups, communities, nations, and other institutional arrangements.
Cultures and Values
Courses in this category focus on frameworks for understanding the cultural construction of meaning and identity and the simultaneous and reciprocal construction of cultural and political contexts by human beings as ethical agents. These courses also cultivate a personal ethical system for interrogating the world, understanding choices, and making decisions.
Literary and Visual Arts
Courses in this category focus on frameworks for understanding and appreciating the practice of representation, the creative process, and diverse modes of aesthetic expression. These courses consider individual, historical, cultural, and formal factors in artistic production and make manifest the multiple vantage points from which art can be interpreted.
Required 20 credits - 3000-4000 Level
The Advanced Level is the capstone of the three-level Liberal Arts curriculum and completes the Liberal Arts requirement. Advanced Level courses challenge students to think with increased confidence, independence, and creativity about the material. They will be expected to synthesize or apply disciplinary approaches or to express their own views in creative ways. For example, they may be asked to bring their own contributions to class, to lead class discussions, to write independent critical research essays, or to carry out creative projects.
Students must take 20 credits to complete the Advanced Level of their Liberal Arts program. They are encouraged to choose or design a concentration for their Advanced Level courses, consisting of three 4-credit courses that are related in terms of a competency or a theme.
Courses for General Credit fall outside the liberal arts required program. These include courses in the fine and performing arts and elementary level language courses.