Current General Education Curriculum Statement
For a complete listing
of the General Education Curriculum, please visit http://smu.edu/gened/.
Matriculation Fall 2008
The following statement is found in the current SMU General Education Curriculum pamphlet, pages 2-3.
Since the founding of the University, the philosophical foundation for the undergraduate curriculum at Southern Methodist University has been the deep belief that the liberal arts are central to the goal of graduating educated women and men.
The Master Plan of 1963 articulated the University’s educational commitment as follows: “The essence of the educational philosophy which undergirds the Master Plan is that professional studies must rise from the solid foundation of a basic liberal education. The aim of this University, in other words, is to educate its students as worthy human beings and as citizens, first, and as teachers, lawyers, ministers, research scientists, businessmen, engineers and so on, second. These two aims—basic and professional education, general and special, cultural and vocational (in the best sense)—will not be separated in the program of this University.
It is this University’s belief that they should not be, for the well-educated person is indeed a whole human being. His or her intelligence and practical interest interact in all of his or her major activities. The courses and teaching of Southern Methodist University will be so designed that these general and special aims are carried out concurrently and in relation to each other. In this way, SMU’s aim is that every graduate be truly a well-educated person.”
The University believes that the General Education Curriculum will guide all of our students in their pursuit of these time-honored goals. This booklet includes descriptions of the categories of courses, course requirements, and individual courses that make up the General Education Curriculum and maps out many ways to achieve the lofty objectives described in the preceding paragraph. This guide also explains in concrete ways how the types of courses outlined here will expand and enrich the lives and minds of our students during their years at SMU.
In keeping with the University’s educational mission, the General Education Curriculum emphasizes the values of what historically has been known as a liberal education – namely, learning to read, write, and think critically and acquiring a basic understanding of human society in all its dimensions. These courses provide a solid and broad education that will equip students to compete and adapt to the rapidly changing contemporary world and complement more focused study in the major. Undergraduate students who enter the University in the 2008–2009 academic year will complete 41 term hours of academic coursework that will include a two-credit Wellness Program.
The five components of the GEC are listed on the next page. Rather than a checklist of requirements, they should be viewed as individual parts of the larger project of becoming a broadly educated person. Please take time to consider how each of these components contributes to that objective.