The University prides itself in providing a broad foundation in the liberal arts and sciences to all undergraduate students. This esteemed tradition provides the intellectual capacities necessary to develop an inquisitive nature about the natural world and our common humanity, as well as succeed in a career and society.
The paradigms of this educational tradition are embodied in the goals of the Baccalaureate Experience. These goals include teaching students to:
- Communicate effectively
- Examine issues rationally
- Demonstrate a proficiency in the use of computers across fields of learning
- Understand the foundations of science
- Demonstrate proficiency in mathematics
- Synthesize a variety of disciplinary perspectives
- Exhibit aesthetic awareness
- Identify and defend personal values
- Understand both the commonalities and the diversity of human social existence
For many people, the most rewarding career paths require honed academic skills including analytical and systemic thinking, sophisticated communication, intellectual collaboration, working in diverse settings, and problem solving skills. The undergraduate degree programs are designed to provide students with numerous opportunities to develop these skills.
An education beyond the experiences that high school offers is very important in modern society and in the global community. According to the American Association of Colleges and Universities, “College will be in the twenty-first century what high school became in the twentieth... Most jobs in the workplace and most issues in our national civic life now require the intellectual skills associated with a college education.”
The Baccalaureate Experience represents a commitment to the intellectual and personal growth of every undergraduate. Students admitted as freshmen are enrolled in a first-year program that begins their intellectual journey and assists each student in adjusting to and thriving in a University environment. The first-year program for freshmen includes:
- Freshman Registration
- Freshman Orientation
- Gateways 101 and 102
Students can select a major, and any minors of interest, that will become the focus of their studies. The Baccalaureate Experience ensures that their education will include a breadth of courses, in addition to the courses required for their major. All students, both freshman and transfer, must satisfy course requirements in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as course work that develops their writing abilities and exposes them to the arts and non-western cultures. These aspects of the program represent the core curriculum of the Baccalaureate Experience.