Spartan Studies reimagines and revamps the robust liberal arts foundation University of Tampa students already receive and will exist throughout each student’s entire academic career. The roughly 14-course curriculum is spread over four years, culminating in a multimodal, senior-year project that ties together both the general education experience and acquired expertise in a major area of study.
To accomplish the Spartan Studies goals, students will encounter opportunities to cultivate, create, communicate and contribute to both the local and global communities.
- Students begin with an innovative first-year experience program that introduces them to UT, the local community, campus resources, digital and financial literacy, critical thinking and an understanding of diversity and inclusion. It provides an opportunity for students to build self-awareness and to understand how they fit within a variety of communities. It also introduces students to the importance of developing their Spartan Ready® skills to aid in their academic, career and life success.
- Students take a critical reading course that develops skills that allow them to engage within their courses more effectively, to interpret the information they are inundated with daily and to communicate their understanding of what they are reading.
- Students also take a mathematics course that provides a solid background for utilizing and interpreting quantitative information. Many majors require a specific math course that can be used to meet this requirement.
- Students take a writing and research course that will provide them the skills they need to conduct effective academic research and to be able to communicate their findings. This course prepares students for success in other core courses and in their majors.
- Students take a core humanities course that focuses on an area of the world outside of the United States and ways to use written texts, images and other cultural expressions to understand the complexities of the human experience. This course allows students to analyze experiences other than their own, to view the world from different perspectives and to articulate their analysis through writing and other media.
- Students also take a core course in the social sciences that focuses on local actions and the impact those actions have on the broader community. Students will use empirical data and evidence-based approaches to understand society. Similar to the core humanities course, students will articulate their analysis through writing and other media.
- Students take a digital literacy course, which provides basic knowledge of how to use computer coding to solve problems.
- Students are encouraged to take their career readiness course the semester after completing their first-year experience course. This course will help them explore career options and will emphasize how developing their Spartan Ready® skills benefits them as they pursue their goals after graduation. It will also provide resources that they can refer to as they look for internships or begin their job search. This course won Best Faculty Program for its collaboration between faculty and career services staff at the 2023 Global Career Services Summit held in London.
- The final core course is the Culminating Experience course. This could overlap with a capstone course within their major or be an interdisciplinary course that was designed specifically for Spartan Studies. Students will apply what they have learned in their Spartan Studies courses to solve a relevant problem and then articulate their solution in written and other forms of media. This course is taken after all first-year and core courses have been successfully completed.
The purpose of the distribution requirements is to give students a wider range of courses from which to choose within the following four areas. These courses allow students to explore areas of interest and give them additional opportunities to practice different ways of approaching problems. Courses from one of these areas may be used as part of a student's major if applicable.
- One course in the natural sciences. For natural science majors, this is typically their introductory lecture course plus lab within their major. Several courses are available for non-natural science majors that will provide them with scientific reasoning skills, which will help them interpret the scientific information and misinformation that they are exposed to on a daily basis.
- One course in the social or behavioral sciences. These courses expose students to additional opportunities to explore the social world of humans using empirical data and theory.
- One course in text-based humanities. These courses use critical reading to analyze a variety of perspectives from the human experience.
- A minimum of three credits in the visual and performing arts. This requirement can be met by taking a three or four-credit course or by taking a series of one or two-credit courses that combined meet the three-credit requirement. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in aesthetic expression and to produce or analyze creative works in the visual or performing arts.