The General Studies Program is Elon’s core curriculum, the set of courses and experiences that are shared by every undergraduate. The program complements your major, providing the liberal arts and sciences so important to Elon’s mission and so vital for globally engaged citizenship in a democratic society. It is an opportunity to explore ideas and expand your worldview. In the process, you will gain the lifelong benefits of complexity of thought, personal fulfillment, economic opportunity, and global awareness.
Challenge your mind. Success in a rapidly changing, interconnected world requires the ability to think broadly, critically, and creatively across many disciplines.
Find your passion. Through a diversity of experiences, you will discover new opportunities – the beauty of the arts, the joy of culture, the excitement of discovery, and the fulfillment of caring about something bigger than yourself.
Make your way. Surveys of employers and graduate schools routinely show that career training is not enough for success in today’s complex world. The learning goals of the General Studies program reflect the same skills expected in the workplace such as critical thinking, research, and communication.
Engage your world. The General Studies program is preparation for global citizenship and inspired leadership in the service of your community, country, and world.
Elon’s General Studies program has six interrelated parts:
The mission of the General Studies Program is to help students cultivate the intellectual curiosity, abilities, and knowledge required for lifelong learning as global citizens. To fulfill this fundamental mission of a liberal arts education, the General Studies Program is organized around three broad domains—inquiry, knowledge and communication—with specific goals for each. Further, this educational mission is deepened through intellectual reflection and practical engagement and is guided by two fundamental principles. First, ethical reasoning must guide the pursuit and use of knowledge. Second, personal and social responsibility must be fostered to encourage students to commit themselves to an intellectual life in the service of their community, country and the world beyond them.
INQUIRY: The creative and critical processes used to acquire and develop knowledge
1. The identification of significant issues, the framing of questions, and the selection of appropriate modes of inquiry to address those questions
2. The knowledge and application of modes of inquiry within the arts and sciences
3. The integration of different modes of inquiry across disciplines
KNOWLEDGE: Theoretical and applied knowledge as constructed according to diverse epistemologies within contemporary and historical contexts
4. The understanding of theoretical knowledge spanning the social, material and natural worlds
5. The understanding of the multiple dimensions of human experience within and across cultures and environments
6. The integration and application of knowledge to address complex problems in local and global contexts
COMMUNICATION: Expressive and receptive communication in multiple contexts
7. The preparation and presentation of ideas and information orally, visually and in writing
8. The analysis, interpretation, evaluation and synthesis of information from multiple sources: oral, visual and written