Intermediate Curriculum

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.

General Credit

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.