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Undergraduate Programs, General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements

Students must complete all general education requirements, as outlined below. Courses designated on WhitNet as fulfilling a general education requirement are valid for that semester only. The list of courses fulfilling general education requirements evolves and changes over time; therefore, it is important for students to check the listings on WhitNet when planning their class schedules. An approved general education list can be found at the Registrar’s Office page (Whitworth log-in required) at https://www.whitworth.edu/Administration/RegistrarsOffice/Forms/PDF_SSL/ApprovedGenedList.pdf.

Note: A student may not use the same course to satisfy more than one of the general education requirements.
 

A. First-Year Program (1 credit)

The First-Year Program (GE 125/GE 325) is designed to assist students in connecting quickly with the Whitworth community. This program will facilitate the formation of faculty-student relationships that are centered primarily in academic context (in class and beyond the classroom) and the advising function (academic and vocational).

B. Worldview Studies (12 credits)

A worldview is a personal set of basic assumptions about humanity, God, the nature of material reality, and the place of humans in that reality. A person’s worldview also includes assumptions about how humans gain knowledge as well as prescriptions regarding all forms of human activity: political, social, creative, economic, religious and otherwise. A person’s worldview is the way in which s/he makes sense of life experiences. Every individual possesses this set of basic assumptions whether or not s/he is consciously aware of what the assumptions are.

The worldview studies curriculum at Whitworth exists to engage the student in the active examination of presuppositional thinking that forms the basis of all human meaning. Its intent is to explore the origins of human thinking at this foundational level, particularly emphasizing the Western way of answering questions of meaning.

Western Civilization I: Christian Worldview Perspective
Western Civilization II: The Rationalist Worldview
Western Civilization III: Applied Ethics, Public Policy and Worldviews
C. Biblical Literature: Biblical Foundations for Faith and Practice (3 credits)

Courses in this area emphasize understanding the scriptures and their theological teachings from the perspective of the Reformed and Evangelical traditions. Courses also focus on understanding the implications of scripture, as well as the hermeneutics of interpretation. Courses that satisfy this requirement will be found in the theology department.

D. World languages, American Diversity Studies, Global Perspectives: Community, Diversity and Justice (10 credits)

Courses in this area introduce students to domestic and international diversity, including linguistic, political, religious, racial, ethnic, gender and other differences. They emphasize the role of diversity in determining perspective and communication patterns, as well as in applying this understanding to community living in an increasingly diverse U.S. and world. To satisfy this requirement, students must complete 3-4 credits in each of three areas:

  • World Languages - 4 credits

    Students must demonstrate proficiency through the first-year level. They may accomplish this by passing a proctored proficiency exam in a language (tests are available in French, German, Russian, and Spanish and, by special arrangement, for Chinese and Japanese), completing the 101-102 sequence in a language, or completing a one-semester intensive course (e.g. SN 111 or FR 111).

  • American Diversity Studies - 3 credits

    Courses that meet this requirement include substantial work that reflects thoughtfully on diverse viewpoints within American society. These courses emphasize the role of diversity in an increasingly diverse U.S. Students completing education certification will meet this requirement by fulfilling the requirements in the education program. Students who take ASL 102 may apply it to the American diversity requirement.

  • Global Perspective - 3 credits

    Courses that meet this requirement include substantial work that reflects thoughtfully on viewpoints developed beyond American society. Students who take the 102 course in a world language may apply that course to this requirement, as 102 courses provide extensive content in cultural differences. Off-campus study is highly recommended.

E. The Fine Arts: Creative Expression and Appreciation (3 credits)

Courses in this area provide opportunities for students to understand aesthetic traditions and to develop the capacity for artistic expression. Courses that satisfy this requirement will usually be found in the departments of art, English, music and theatre.

F. Oral and Written Communication Studies: Effective Communication and Social Responsibility (6 credits)

Courses in this area equip students to create, organize, share and receive clear oral and written messages.

Oral Communication - 3 credits

Courses that satisfy this requirement will usually be found in the areas of speech communication and theatre. Students completing education certification will meet this requirement by fulfilling the requirements of the education program.

Written Communication - 3 credits

Courses that satisfy this requirement will usually be found in the areas of English and journalism. Each student is also required to complete one designated writing-intensive course that must be taken within the major program. Courses labeled with a “W” after the number meet the writing-intensive requirement, but not necessarily the written communication requirement.

G. Fitness and Wellness for Life (3 credits)

Courses in this area emphasize responsible stewardship of God’s creation through maintenance of personal health; students develop skills and establish habits that prepare them for a lifetime of healthy living and physical well-being. Courses that satisfy this requirement will be found in kinesiology. Three activity courses (FW or PE) are required, one of which must be from among the following: FW 118 (for students with physical disability) FW 132, FW 134, FW 141, FW 149FW 166, FW 175 (for continuing studies students only), or FW 219.

Note: A maximum of eight semester credits of physical education/fitness wellness/varsity athletic (ATH) courses may be counted toward the total credits required (126).

H. The Social Sciences: Human Nature and Civic Responsibility (3 credits)

Courses in this area seek to describe, primarily from the perspective of human sciences, how and why humans behave as they do individually and corporately. Courses that satisfy this requirement will usually be found in the areas of economics, history, political science, psychology and sociology, although courses in other disciplines may also be included.

I. The Humanities: Human Thought and Values (3 credits)

Courses in this area introduce students to the rich tradition of the humanities. Study focuses on the embodiment of human experience, thought and values through the scrutiny of text and symbol. Courses that satisfy this requirement will usually be found in the departments of art, English, history, world languages & cultures, music, philosophy, theology and theatre.

J. Mathematics and Statistics: Mathematical Reasoning and Social Applications (3-4 credits)

Courses in this area provide an overview of topics in quantitative thinking, analysis, and problem-solving. Special attention is devoted to mathematical concepts reflecting broader social concerns, patterns of occurrence and behavior and related issues. Courses satisfying the requirement are MA 107, MA 108, MA 150, MA 158MA 171, MA 221, and MA 256. A few courses, such as PO 310 and SO 338, found in other disciplines, may apply toward fulfilling this requirement.

Initial placement is based on SAT scores. A score of 600 will allow entrance into any course for which the student has the prerequisites. A score of 500-600 will not meet entrance requirements into MA 171. Below 500 will allow entrance into MA 107 only.

K. The Natural Sciences: The Natural World and Human Responsibility (3-4 credits)

Courses in this area provide opportunities for students to understand and apply the scientific method as an analytical, problem-solving tool via coursework that emphasizes both theoretical and experiential components. They expose students to the strengths and weaknesses of scientific methodology and the relationship between scientific inquiry and faith. Courses that satisfy this requirement will usually be found in the areas of astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology and physics.