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Undergraduate General Education

Statement of Philosophy

Why the need for General Education courses?

The Azusa Pacific University mission statement affirms that we are dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts to help students develop a Christian perspective of truth and life. The General Education program is essential in reaching that Christian perspective. How so? A general education aims to develop the whole person; by participating in a range of liberal arts courses, the student will:

The various disciplines that are part of the GE curriculum are thus intended to broaden the students’ understanding of their place in God’s Kingdom and to equip them for advancing that Kingdom.

Why this General Education Program?

First, the General Education program at APU has been carefully cultivated to provide each student with a range of practical skills, including competence in communication, quantitative reasoning, and an awareness of our physical condition. The required courses will also expand the students’ knowledge of a wide variety of disciplines, and the courses are organized so students will see the interconnectedness of these various fields of study. Throughout the GE experience, because of a commitment to faith application and integration that permeates the program, students will be reminded that God is the author of all truth and beauty. Finally, the General Education curriculum will prepare students for and enrich the learning that will take place in their specific majors.

The Essential Outcomes
(with Rationale and Explanation)

Because of the complexities of the modern age, students graduating from Azusa Pacific University will most likely change jobs and possibly even careers several times during their lives. If, therefore, they focus their education on a specialized skill or profession only, they will have more difficulty adapting to the changing realities of society in general and the job market in particular. This is one reason why a liberal education, encompassed in APU’s General Education program, is so crucial to the success of our students. Rather than having students wanting to “get their GE requirements out of the way,” we desire that students embrace the life of the mind and become lifelong learners for the cause of Christ. Most importantly, the intellectual and practical skills that are part of the APU educational experience, including critical thinking, communication, knowledge of the world, personal and social responsibility, and biblical and theological equipping, will prepare our graduates to bring salt and light to a world in desperate need of hope and regeneration.

Building on the Essential Learning Outcomes of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the General Education program at Azusa Pacific University recognizes the following five outcomes as the heart of a liberal education:

  1. Knowledge of Human Cultures
    and the Physical and Natural World
  2. Through study in:

    • Sciences and Mathematics
    • Social Sciences
    • Humanities
    • History
    • Languages
    • The Arts

    Focused by engagement with important questions, both contemporary and enduring.

    We believe that studying human accomplishments and exploring fundamental questions regarding the physical universe, human values, aesthetics, and literary expression will introduce students to different ways of analyzing and understanding the natural and cultural environment. Such study will stimulate reflective thinking, imagination, and creativity, increase civic and global responsibility, and cultivate moral and ethical action.

  3. Intellectual and Practical Skills
    • Inquiry and analysis
    • Critical and creative thinking
    • Written and oral communication
    • Quantitative literacy
    • Information literacy
    • Teamwork and problem solving

    Practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance.

    We believe that obtaining a particular set of skills—how to think, write, speak, solve problems, research, and work with others—will enable students to deepen their higher education experience by increasing their understanding of and success in the many disciplines and courses they will encounter. These types of critical, scientific, communication, and analytic skills will give them confidence and competency to succeed in the many spheres of experience they will encounter in their post-college lives.

  4. Personal and Social Responsibility
  5. Including:

    • Civic knowledge and engagement–local and global
    • Intercultural knowledge and competence
    • Ethical reasoning and action
    • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning

    Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.

    We believe that while education is intrinsically valuable, education should also produce responsible persons and citizens. Students should be self-aware and self-reflective in order to make wise personal decisions. They should be knowledgeable of individual and cultural differences, in order to engage respectfully with others as they seek ethical solutions to societal problems.

  6. Biblical and Theological Equipping
  7. Including:

    • Interpretation, analysis, and application of Scriptural principles

    Incorporated in Bible, theology, and ministry courses and through faith integration practices across the curriculum.

    We believe that the Christian worldview incorporates all truth and that the knowledge and practices embedded within the Christian story are transformational in a variety of ways, and that scholarly engagement with Christian perspectives enriches learning (particularly regarding the activity of God within the academic concepts under consideration), supports the development of faith-oriented critical thinking, encourages engagement in service, emphasizes the necessity of Christian virtue, and provides students with a conceptual framework that supports an overall integrative Christian education.

  8. Integrative and Applied Learning
  9. Including:

    • Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies

    Demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, faith, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.

    We believe that knowledge within all disciplines is interrelated and that discipline-specific knowledge achieves its greatest significance in larger context. Moreover, if knowledge is not integrated, it is much less likely to be transferrable outside the classroom. Therefore, students should be prompted to integrate their knowledge whenever possible. Integration of knowledge is a skill that requires explicit instruction. We believe that tasks that require application of knowledge are particularly beneficial in helping students integrate their knowledge.

Methodology of the GE Program

The General Education program of Azusa Pacific University also endorses and encourages the adoption/increased practice of all the High-Impact Educational Practices of the AAC&U and already incorporates some of these practices in the GE curriculum.

Practices utilized at Azusa Pacific University

Writing-intensive Courses

These courses emphasize writing at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum, including final-year projects. Students are encouraged to produce and revise various forms of writing for different audiences in different disciplines.

Collaborative Assignments and Projects

Collaborative learning combines two key goals: learning to work and solve problems in the company of others, and sharpening one’s own understanding by listening seriously to the insights of others, especially those with different backgrounds and life experiences. Approaches range from study groups within a course to team-based assignments and writing to cooperative projects and research.

Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research allows students the exciting opportunity to explore unforeseen possibilities in their particular fields of study and to present their scholarship in various academic venues, including local or national academic conferences. In addition, students benefit by working closely with professors on individual or collaborative research projects and increasing the chances of acceptance into graduate school.

Diversity/Global Learning

Azusa Pacific University emphasizes courses and programs that help students explore cultures, life experiences, and worldviews different from their own. These studies—which may address U.S. diversity, world cultures, or both—often explore “difficult differences” such as racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, or continuing struggles around the globe for human rights, freedom, and power. Frequently, intercultural studies are augmented by “experiential learning” (see below) in the community and/or by study abroad.

Service-learning and Community-based Learning

In these programs, field-based experiential learning with community partners is an instructional strategy—and often a required part of the course. The idea is to give students direct experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element in these programs is the opportunity students have to apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. These programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outcome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life.

Internships

Internships are another increasingly common form of experiential learning. The idea is to provide students with direct experience in a work setting—usually related to their career interests—and to give them the benefit of supervision and coaching from professionals in the field. If the internship is taken for course credit, students complete a project or paper that is approved by a faculty member.

Capstone Courses and Projects

These culminating experiences require students nearing the end of their college years to create a project of some sort that integrates and applies what they’ve learned. Besides the Senior Seminar required of all students as part of the General Education program, some disciplines also require a performance, a portfolio of “best work,” or an exhibit of artwork.

Practices we would like to see adopted
or expanded at Azusa Pacific University

First-year Seminars and Experiences

Many schools now build into the curriculum first-year seminars or other programs that bring small groups of students together with faculty or staff on a regular basis. The highest-quality first-year experiences place a strong emphasis on critical inquiry, frequent writing, information literacy, collaborative learning, and other skills that develop students’ intellectual and practical competencies. First-year seminars can also involve students with cutting-edge questions in scholarship and with faculty members’ own research.

Common Intellectual Experiences

The older idea of a “core” curriculum has evolved into a variety of modern forms, such as a set of required common courses or a vertically organized General Education program that includes advanced integrative studies and/or required participation in a learning community (see below). These programs often combine broad themes—e.g., technology and society, global interdependence–with a variety of curricular and co-curricular options for students.

Learning Communities

The key goals for learning communities are to encourage integration of learning across courses and to involve students with “big questions” that matter beyond the classroom. Students take two or more linked courses as a group and work closely with one another and with their professors. Many learning communities explore a common topic and/or common readings through the lenses of different disciplines. Some deliberately link “liberal arts” and “professional courses”; others feature service-learning.

Requirements

About the Program

APU’s general education requirements include Skills and University Requirements and six Integrative Core Requirements. All of these requirements must be met by approved classes.

All courses approved to satisfy General Education requirements are identified in the class schedule and are included on the list of approved General Education courses. This list is found in One Stop: Undergraduate Enrollment Services Center and in the Office of Academic Advising and Retention. Additional courses may be approved in the future. Students are encouraged to take their General Education courses throughout all their years at APU.

Even though students work closely with a faculty advisor in determining their General Education requirements, the responsibility of fulfilling these requirements is solely that of the student. For further information, please consult One Stop and/or the Office of Academic Advising and Retention.

Note: Biology, biochemistry, applied health, and nursing majors are not required to take health education.

Note: Bachelor of Music majors are not required to take health education, fitness for life, foreign language, math, or the aesthetics core. This statement does NOT apply to Bachelor of Arts music majors.

All students are required to access their Web-based degree audit (through home.apu.edu) for information regarding their major and General Education requirements (and fulfillment of these requirements). Any questions about the application of transfer classes for course requirements should be directed to One Stop.

Skills and University Requirements

LDRS 100
Beginnings: Personal Development and the College Experience (required first semester)
1
ENGL 110
Freshman Writing Seminar* (required first semester)
3
COMM 111
Public Communication
3
PE XXX Fitness for Life or Varsity Sport (enroll concurrently with PE 240†**) 1
PE 240
Health Education (F, S)† (enroll concurrently with Fitness for Life)
2

*Placement into the above math and English courses is determined by transfer work, SAT/ACT scores, or diagnostic exams. Scoring below the minimum proficiency on any or all of these exams will result in required enrollment in ENGL 099 (for Reading), ENGL 100 (for Writing), and/or the appropriate prerequisite math course(s). It is strongly recommended that the math requirement be completed by the beginning of the student’s junior year.

**Note: TFT 121 and PE 315 also fulfill the Fitness for Life requirement.

†Not required for certain Bachelor of Music programs

Foreign Language†
(two semesters of the same language)
8 units required
Choose from the following:
ASL 101/102 American Sign Language 4,4
CHIN 101/102 Elementary Chinese 4,4
FREN 101/102 Elementary French 4,4
GERM 101/102 Elementary German 4,4
GLBL 101/102 Self-directed Language Learning 4,4
GRKB 200/201 Elementary Greek 4,4
GRKC 200/201 Elementary Classical Greek 4,4
HEBB 200/201 Elementary Hebrew 4,4
JAPA 101/102 Elementary Japanese 4,4
LTN 200/201 Elementary Latin 4,4
MODL 101/102 Modern Language 4,4
SPAN 101/102 Elementary Spanish 4,4

Note: Foreign language proficiency may be validated by APU’s Department of Modern Languages’ placement test (through the Learning Enrichment Center) or AP/CLEP scores. International students are able to fulfill this requirement by enrolling in and successfully passing the TESL 101 and TESL 102 classes.

APU will accept transfer units for the foreign language requirement if those courses qualify for transfer credit and if they constitute a full collegiate academic year of language study. All language transfer courses must entail a minimum of 3 units per semester and be completed at an accredited institution of higher education. Correspondence courses do not fulfill the foreign language requirement.

†Not required for certain Bachelor of Music programs

Math†* 3 units required
Choose one of the following:
MATH 110
College Algebra
3
MATH 115
Analytical Inquiry
3
MATH 120
Contemporary Mathematics
3

*Placement into the above math and English courses is determined by transfer work, SAT/ACT scores, or diagnostic exams. Scoring below the minimum proficiency on any or all of these exams will result in required enrollment in ENGL 099 (for Reading), ENGL 100 (for Writing), and/or the appropriate prerequisite math course(s). It is strongly recommended that the math requirement be completed by the beginning of the student’s junior year.

†Not required for certain Bachelor of Music programs

Upper-Division Writing Intensive 3 units required
Choose one of the following:
ART 356
History of Modern Art
3
AT 490
Research Methods (F)
4
BIOL 320
Ecology
4
BIOL 465
Clinical Research/Practicum in Applied Health
4
BUSI 370
International Business
3
BUSI 405
Business Report Writing
3
CHEM 320/330 Instrumental Analysis Theory and Lab 3,1
COMM 420
Conflict Management
3
EDLS 405
Diversity in the Classroom
3
ENGL 377
Shakespeare
3
ENGL 406
Advanced Composition
3
GLBL 301
Anthropology for Everyday Life
3
JOUR 430
Public Affairs Reporting
3
MATH 480
Mathematical Reading, Writing, and Presentation
3
MIN 300
Culture and Ministry
3
MUS 352
Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic Music Literature
3
PE 320
History and Principles of Physical Education
3
PHIL 340
Concepts of Human Nature
3
POLI 300
Research and Writing
3
PSYC 362
Research Methods in Psychology
4
SOC 471
Qualitative Social Research Methods
3
SOCW 351
Child Welfare
3
SOCW 479
Social Work Research Project
3
TFT 375
Screenwriting
3
TFT 387
Nonfiction Writing for Visual Media
3
THEO 420
Christian Apologetics
3
UBBL 430
Johannine Literature
3
UBBL 450
Ancient Near Eastern History
3
UBBL 476
Women in the Biblical Tradition
3
UNRS 306
Theoretical Frameworks for Nursing
3
UNRS 400
Advanced Practice: Professional Studies and Communication Skills (for ADN to MSN program students only)
3

Integrative Core Requirements

The following subheadings list the core subject areas, the number of units required for the area, and the course options. Additional courses may be approved at a later date.

Aesthetics and the Creative Arts 3 units required
Choose one of the following:
ART 150
Introduction to Art
3
ART 310
Fundamental Art Experiences
3
ART 354
Ancient Art History
3
ART 356
History of Modern Art
3
ART 357
Contemporary Art Trends
3
ART 361
Early Christian and Medieval Art
3
ART 362
Renaissance to Rococo Art
3
ART 403
Multicultural Art
3
HUM 223/323 Humanities Seminar III: Aesthetics^ 3,4
MUS 120
Music Fundamentals
3
MUS 121
Music Theory I
3
MUS 201
Introduction to World Music
3
MUS 204
Music of Latin America
3
MUS 205
Music of Asia
3
MUS 250
Music and Civilization
3
TFT 101
Christianity and the Creative Process
3

^Note: The Humanities Seminars are in a 3-unit format on the APU campus, and a 4-unit format in the High Sierra Semester.

Heritage and Institutions 6 units required
Philosophy Component 3 units
Choose one of the following:
HUM 224/324 Humanities Seminar IV: Great Ideas^ 3,4
PHIL 220
Introduction to Philosophy
3
History and Political Science Component 3 units
Choose one of the following:
HIST 120
World Civilizations to 1648
3
HIST 121
World Civilizations Since 1648
3
HIST 151
United States History to 1865
3
HIST 152
United States History Since 1865
3
HUM 221/321 Humanities Seminar I: Great Works^ 3,4
POLI 150
American Government
3

^Note: The Humanities Seminars are in a 3-unit format on the APU campus, and a 4-unit format in the High Sierra Semester.

Identity and Relationships 3 units
Choose one of the following:
PSYC 110
General Psychology
3
PSYC 290
Human Growth and Development
3
SOC 120
Introduction to Sociology
3
Language and Literature 3 units
ENGL 111
Introduction to Literature
3
ENGL 112
Introduction to Literary Analysis
3
ENGL 324
World Literature to the Renaissance
3
ENGL 334
World Literature Since the Renaissance
3
ENGL 344
American Literature to 1865
3
ENGL 354
American Literature Since 1865
3
HUM 222/322 Humanities Seminar II: Literary Masterpieces^ 3,4

^Note: The Humanities Seminars are in a 3-unit format on the APU campus, and a 4-unit format in the High Sierra Semester.

Nature 4 units (including lab) required
BIOL 101
Fundamentals of Biology
4
BIOL 151
General Biology I
4
BIOL 325
Humans and the Environment
4
CHEM 101
Introduction to Chemistry
4
CHEM 105
Citizen Chemistry
4
CHEM 111/112/114 Chemistry for the Health Sciences (all three courses needed to fulfill requirement) 4
CHEM 151
General Chemistry
4
PHYC 110/111 Principles of Physical Science (both courses needed to fulfill requirement) 4
PHYC 130
Earth Science
4
PHYC 140
Introduction to Astronomy
4
PHYC 151
Physics for Life Sciences I
4
PHYC 161
Physics for Science and Engineering I
5
God’s Word and the Christian Response 18 units
Bible Course Requirements (both classes required)^^
UBBL 100
Introduction to Biblical Literature: Exodus/Deuteronomy
3
UBBL 230
Luke/Acts
3

^^UBBL 100 is the prerequisite course for all other UBBL courses, and UBBL 230 is the prerequisite course for all 300–400 level UBBL courses.

Additional Bible Courses
Choose one of the following:
UBBL 310
I and II Samuel
3
UBBL 311
Hebrew Prophets I
3
UBBL 312
Hebrew Prophets II
3
UBBL 320
Hebrew Poetical and Wisdom Literature
3
UBBL 330
Life and Teachings of Jesus
3
UBBL 340
Romans and Galatians
3
UBBL 341
Thessalonian and Corinthian Epistles
3
UBBL 343
The General Epistles
3
UBBL 350
Geographical and Historical Setting of the Bible
3
UBBL 460
Theology of the Old Testament
3
UBBL 461
Theology of the New Testament
3
Ministry Requirement
MIN 108
Christian Life, Faith, and Ministry*
3

*MIN 108 is waived as a prerequisite for students transferring 60 or more units. All other prerequisites apply.

Doctrine Requirement
Choose one of the following:
HUM 325
Humanities Seminar V: Christian Classics^
3, 4
THEO 303
Theology and the Christian Life^^
3
THEO 352
Church History: Apostolic Era to 1517^^
3
THEO 354
Church History from 1517 to Present^^
3
THEO 363
Contemporary Christian Thought^^
3
^The Humanities Seminars are in a 3-unit format on the APU campus, and a 4-unit format in the High Sierra Semester.
Senior Seminar
Choose one of the following:
ART 496
Senior Seminar: Art Ethics
3
BIOL 496
Senior Seminar: Ethics and the Sciences
3
BUSI 496
Senior Seminar: Business Ethics
3
MIN 496
Senior Seminar: Church and Society
3
COMM 496
Senior Seminar: Ethics in Human Communication
3
CS 496
Senior Seminar: Ethics in Computer Science
3
EDLS 496
Senior Seminar: Education and Professional Ethics
3
ENGL 496
Senior Seminar: Ethics in the Professions
3
GLBL 496
Senior Seminar: Global Issues and Prospects
3
MATH 496
Senior Seminar
3
MIN 496
Senior Seminar: Church and Society
3
MUS 496
Senior Seminar: Music and Ethics
3
PE 496
Senior Seminar: Ethics in Physical Education and Sport (F, S)
3
PHIL 496
Senior Seminar**
3
POLI 496
Senior Seminar: Religion and Politics
3
SOC 496
Senior Seminar: Faith and Social Issues
3
SOCW 496
Senior Seminar: Ethics in the Helping Professions
3
TFT 496
Senior Seminar: Ethics in Theater, Film, and Television
3
THEO 496
Senior Seminar: Theology and Social Issues
3
UBBL 496
Senior Seminar: Biblical Theology and Ethics
3
UNRS 496
Senior Seminar: Ethics and Issues in Health Care
4

** PHIL 496 offers a senior seminar in professional ethics, social ethics, or worldviews.

Total General Education Units 61

General Education Information for Transfer Students

Adjusted requirements based on initial units at the point of first enrollment at APU.

Units
Transferred In
Class Standing Course Adjustments
28-45 First-Semester Sophomore Upper Division Writing Intensive, MIN 108, UBBL 100, UBBL 230, Doctrine, Senior Seminar
46-59 Second-Semester Sophomore Upper Division Writing Intensive, MIN 108, UBBL 100, Doctrine, Senior Seminar
60-89* First- or Second-Semester Junior Upper Division Writing Intensive, Senior Seminar, 6 units chosen from God’s Word and the Christian Response* (NOTE: The 6 units must be met in two separate disciplines: UBBL, MIN, THEO; you may not have all 6 units in a single discipline)
90+*
(not including correspondence units)
Senior Status 3 units of UBBL, MIN, or THEO (chosen from God’s Word and the Christian Response), Senior Seminar

*For students transferring in 60+ units: The prerequisite for UBBL 230 is waived, and MIN 108 is waived as a prerequisite for THEO classes. All other prerequisites are required. LDRS 100 is not required for students who transfer in 28+ units.

Humanities Classes at the High Sierra Semester

Several of the General Education requirements may be met through participation in the High Sierra Semester. The following outlines the information:

HUM 221/321 Humanities Seminar I: Great Works^
(Meets the core requirement in Heritage and Institutions)
4
HUM 222/322 Humanities Seminar II: Literary Masterpieces^
(Meets the core requirement in Language and Literature)
4
HUM 223/323 Humanities Seminar III: Aesthetics^
(Meets the core requirement in Aesthetics and the Creative Arts)
4
HUM 224/324 Humanities Seminar IV: Great Ideas^
(Meets the core philosophy requirement in Heritage and Institutions)
4
HUM 325 Humanities Seminar V: Christian Classics^
(Meets the doctrine requirement in God’s Word and the Christian Response)
4

^The Humanities Seminars are in a 3-unit format on the APU campus, and a 4-unit format in the High Sierra Semester.

Note: Students may elect to take the 300-level courses for their core requirements. For more information, please see the High Sierra Semester advisor.

Diversity Courses

Azusa Pacific University recognizes that diversity is an expression of God’s image and boundless creativity. In an effort to integrate diversity studies into the curriculum, pertinent issues are addressed within General Education courses, and specific courses focus on diverse perspectives. APU also offers an ethnic studies minor through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The following is a list of courses designed to examine diversity-related topics:

ART 403
Multicultural Art*
3
COMM 495
Special Topics in Communication
3
CCSD 567
Diversity in Student Affairs^
3
EDLS 405
Diversity in the Classroom**
3
EDUC 504
Teaching and Cultural Diversity^
3
ENGL 364
American Ethnic Literature
3
ENGL 487
Literary Movements
3
ENGL 488
Significant Authors
3
ENGL 489
Literary Topics
3
ETHN 150
Introduction to Ethnic Studies
3
ETHN 355
The Asian American Experience
3
ETHN 356
The African American Experience
3
ETHN 357
The Chicano(a)/Latino(a) Experience
3
GLBL 301
Anthropology for Everyday Life**
3
GLBL 305
Peoples and Places
3
GLBL 310
Intercultural Communication
3
GLBL 315
Urban Culture
3
GMIN 509
Urban Anthropology and Christian Ministry^
4
GMIN 558
Women and Men in Ministry^
4
GMIN 559
Urban Cross-Cultural Ministry^
4
GNRS 503
Cultural Competency in Health Care^
2
MINC 486
Urban Ministry Practicum
6
MUS 201
Introduction to World Music*
3
MUS 204
Music of Latin America*
3
MUS 205
Music of Asia*
3
MUS 301
Music of Africa
3
MUS 302
Soul Music
3
PHIL 370
Comparative Religions
3
PSYC 400
Cultural Psychology
3
SOC 358
Human Diversity**
3
SOC 359
Immigrant L.A.
3
SOC 405
The Sociology of Gender
3
SOC 464
Social Stratification
3
TESL 530
Intercultural Communication and Language Teaching^
3
TESL 535
Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching^
3
THEO 480
Theologies of Liberation
3
UBBL 462
Global Biblical Interpretation
3
UNRS 380
Transcultural Health Care Outreach
2
*Meets a General Education core requirement
**Meets the Upper-Division Writing Intensive requirement
^These are graduate-level courses; refer to the Graduate Catalog for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a General Education program?

This educational program provides courses in the liberal arts that develop skills, cultivate understanding, and provide experiences that lead to moral, intellectual, social, civic, and spiritual maturity.

What is a liberal education?

A liberal education cultivates the mind—open to new perspectives, appreciative of the past, able to effectively communicate with others—so students will make a significant contribution in our world.

What are the liberal arts?

In ancient Greece, the Trivium, meaning “the meeting of three ways,” brought together grammar, logic, and rhetoric studies from the literary and verbal arts. Another major component in Greece was the Quadrivium, meaning “the meeting of the four ways,” as found in mathematics and the wisdom arts. Greek students studied arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.

How do various courses today align with the Greek liberal arts?

Today’s courses that follow the Trivium are language, literature, foreign language, communication, logic, history, ethics, and politics; these courses make up a major portion of the skills and integrative core of the General Education program. In alignment with the Quadrivium, today we study music and art, algebra, geography, psychology, and the natural sciences, including physics, astronomy, geology, biology, and chemistry.

Why are General Education courses in the liberal arts important for my education?

Jesus understood that knowing the truth was foundational to freedom (John 8:32). In a similar way, the liberal arts serve to free the mind by liberating us from prejudice, small-mindedness, and limited perspectives. The liberal arts support the aim of the Christian tradition, in preparing us to serve, lead, and live a meaningful life.

How do the liberal arts relate to professional studies?

In ancient times, the liberal arts were known as leisure arts because they were pursued for intellectual development, not due to necessity of war or for making a career. So although these studies do enhance one’s abilities for successful careers, they do not teach directly to one’s major professional development. They do, however, teach critical thinking and other skills that are valuable in all walks of life.

What skills are central to APU’s General Education program?

We seek to develop academic skills in rhetoric—that is, in writing and public speaking. Information competency and analytical and critical thinking are foundational to sound rhetorical skills. Math serves to develop quantitative reasoning, and foreign language skills enhance cultural and grammar skills. In addition, because we are so fearfully and wonderfully made, we promote knowledge and experience of physical and emotional health as part of the education of the whole person.

In addition to skills, APU’s General Education program includes an “Integrative Core.” What is an Integrative Core?

The Integrative Core brings together six core areas of study to cultivate understanding and provide experience that lead to moral, intellectual, social, civic, and spiritual maturity. These areas work together to provide a structure for developing a Christian perspective of truth and life.

What are the six emphases of the Integrative Core? What courses are to be selected for each area?

  1. Aesthetics and the Creative Arts: one approved class in art, music, or theater
  2. Heritage and Institutions: two classes—philosophy, and history or political science
  3. Identity and Relationships: one class in psychology or sociology
  4. Language and Literature: one class in world or American literature
  5. Nature: one class with lab in biology, chemistry, or physics
  6. God’s Word and the Christian Response: six classes in Bible, ministry, and doctrine

Why aren’t all classes in liberal arts subject areas counted toward General Education requirements?

Courses approved for General Education credit must meet the objectives for each area, providing depth and breadth in the subject area. Not all liberal arts courses fulfill these objectives.

How are classes approved for General Education credit?

Courses are proposed by an academic department and submitted to the General Education Council for approval.

What should incoming students do about their General Education courses?

First-year students should schedule 100-level Skills and God’s Word courses into their first two semesters as much as possible. These courses are foundational to an APU education. Transfer students should schedule General Education courses as early as possible, adding them to the courses required by the chosen major.

How do I know whether classes I’ve taken at another university will fulfill APU’s General Education requirements?

You can check online for transferable courses.

Note: Please refer to the General Education requirements at APU for more specific expectations from this program of education.

Note: This information is current for the 2013-14 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.