Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

General Education Program



THIS PROGRAM IS IN EFFECT FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE ADMITTED TO NMU AS OF THE FALL 2017 SEMESTER OR LATER. Students admitted to NMU and begin taking classes prior to Fall of 2017 should follow the requirements in the Liberal Studies section of previous bulletins. Students who have specific questions about these requirements should contact their adviser.

Mission and Goals of the General Education Program

Through the general education program, the faculty of Northern Michigan University seeks to help our students develop the skills necessary for becoming independent lifelong learners and effective citizens of a challenging and rapidly changing world. The General Education Program is designed to complement a student’s academic major by promoting the integration of knowledge derived from multiple perspectives and stresses the development of problem-solving skills and intellectual creativity through the exploration of a broad range of disciplines and fields. In pursuit of these goals, we encourage our students to be rigorous and systematic in their thought and reflective about their learning, their lives and their world. The General Education Program for a bachelor’s degree will provide students with eight learning outcomes based on critically important skills and knowledge. These include:

  • demonstrates critical thinking;
  • demonstrates communication skills that express and convey ideas clearly and effectively;
  • demonstrates interpretation of quantitative data leading to conclusions;
  • demonstrates engagement with cultural and ethnic diversity;
  • demonstrates integrative thinking by synthesizing disciplinary knowledge and applying this synthesis to new contexts;
  • demonstrates analysis and evaluation of artistic, literary or rhetorical expression;
  • demonstrates synthesis and analysis of major social structures and processes or events; and
  • demonstrates use of scientific processes to investigate and report knowledge about natural or social phenomena.

To successfully complete the bachelor’s degree General Education Program, students must complete ten (10) courses from the components listed below. Students must achieve a grade point average of “C” (2.0) or better across all ten courses to meet the bachelor’s degree General Education Program requirement. All courses in this program are at least three credits. The number of courses that are required to meet each component are indicated in parentheses following the component title. Courses in the program may be used in the student’s major or minor programs.

Substitute Courses

Transfer students wishing to substitute a course with no specific NMU equivalent to meet a specific general education component should consult their academic adviser. If the adviser supports the request, a written recommendation justifying the request should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. In special cases, the Registrar’s Office will confer with the General Education Committee. NMU courses not designated as general education courses cannot normally be used to meet the general education components. All exceptions to this rule must be thoroughly justified by the adviser, have the support of the department offering that course, and be approved by the Registrar. Students should get approval of the substitution before they register for the course.

Advanced Placement Examinations

Examinations are available in most divisions of the general education program through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the advance placement program of the College Entrance Examination Board (APP-CEEB). The university awards credit for higher level international baccalaureate courses with a score of 5. If these courses are the equivalent of NMU general education courses, credit will be awarded. A list of exams accepted and required scores can be found at NMU Advanced Placement Policy.

Graduation Requirements

There are four baccalaureate graduation requirements that students must complete. They are: (1) a laboratory science course; (2) a world cultures course; (3) written English competency; and (4) mathematics competency. While the baccalaureate graduation requirements are not, strictly speaking, part of the general education program, they often can be fulfilled by courses that meet the various general education components.

 

Effective Communication (EFFC)


Students select two courses from this component.


Students select two courses from this component. Students who complete the Effective Communication component will demonstrate communication skills that express and convey ideas clearly and effectively.

Notes:


EN 109  (minimum grade of “B”) and EN 111  (minimum grade of “C”) count toward the first year composition requirement.

EN 211  (minimum grade of “C”) counts toward the intermediate composition requirement.

 

 

Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis (QUAR)


Notes:


All mathematics courses in the component meet the Mathematics Competency University Requirement if completed with a grade of “C” or better.

Transfer courses designated as MA 1001 will also count toward the Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis component, as well as the Mathematics Competency University Requirement.

Students must achieve a grade point average of “C” (2.0) or better across all ten courses to count toward the General Education Program requirements. Courses in the program may be used in the student’s major or minor programs.

 

 

Social Responsibility in a Diverse World (SOCR)


Students select one course from this component.


Students select one course from this component. Students who complete the Social Responsibility in a Diverse World component will demonstrate engagement with cultural and ethnic diversity.

Notes:


Students must achieve a grade point average of “C” (2.0) or better across all ten courses to count toward the General Education Program requirements.

Courses in the program may be used in the student’s major or minor programs.

 

 

Integrative Thinking (INTT)


Students select one course from this component. 


Students select one course from this component. Students who complete the Integrative Thinking component will demonstrate integrative thinking by synthesizing disciplinary knowledge and applying this synthesis to new contexts.

Notes:


HON 211  is open to honors program students only.

Students must achieve a grade point average of “C” (2.0) or better across all ten courses to count toward the General Education Program requirements. Courses in the program may be used in the student’s major or minor programs.

 

 

Human Expression (HUME)


Students select one course from this component.


Students select one course from this component. Students who complete the Human Expression component will demonstrate analysis and evaluation of artistic, literary or rhetorical expression.

Notes:


Students must achieve a grade point average of “C” (2.0) or better across all ten courses to count toward the General Education Program requirements. Courses in the program may be used in the student’s major or minor programs.

 

 

Perspectives on Society (PERS)


Students select two courses from this component.


Students select two courses from this component. Students who complete the Perspectives on Society component will demonstrate synthesis and analysis of major social structures and processes or events.

Notes:


General psychology transfer courses (PY 100G or PY 1001) will also count toward the Perspectives in Society component.

GR 310  and SN 314 are taught in English. SN 310  is taught in Spanish. HON 101  and HON 201  are open to honors program students only.

Students must achieve a grade point average of “C” (2.0) or better across all ten courses to count toward the General Education Program requirements. Courses in the program may be used in the student’s major or minor programs.

 

 

Scientific Inquiry (SCII)


Notes:


Students must achieve a grade point average of “C” (2.0) or better across all ten courses to count toward the General Education Program requirements. Courses in the program may be used in the student’s major or minor programs.

 

 

Laboratory Science University Requirement (LAB)


Each baccalaureate student must take at least one course of three credits or more designated to meet the Laboratory Science University Requirement. These courses must meet the following requirements:

The course must have been approved for inclusion in the General Education program.

The course must have a designated laboratory as approved by the Committee on Undergraduate Programs (CUP).

At least two-thirds of the content must focus on a natural science discipline or combination of disciplines.

The natural science disciplines are astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, meteorology, oceanography, and physics. Courses which do not originate in a department which is home to these disciplines must have the approval of the appropriate department(s) that the two-thirds of content requirement is met.

Below are the approved list of courses that may be applied toward the Laboratory Science University Requirement as outlined above:

 

 

World Cultures University Requirement (WC)


Each baccalaureate student must take at least one course of three credits or more designated to meet the world cultures requirement. These courses deal primarily with living cultures of Asia, Africa and the non-Anglo-Saxon Americas. They may include such topics as literary, artistic and other cultural achievements; religious and ethical values; social, economic and political systems; or intellectual and historical trends. At least two-thirds of the content of each course concentrates on patterns of thought and action that account for the distinctive ethos of the world culture(s) being studied. Transfer students seeking approval of a substitute course to meet this requirement should contact the Registrar’s Office and provide a course syllabus for the course they wish reviewed. Students completing the world cultures requirement should be able to:

  1. Comprehend and articulate the distinctive world view (e.g., values, norms and beliefs) of at least one culture that varies significantly from Anglo-American and Western European cultures;
  2. Understand how culture is expressed in terms of artifacts, artistic accomplishments, technology, customs and texts;
  3. Understand and respect social and cultural diversity and complexity in a global context;
  4. Understand how factors such as racial, ethnic, gender and class differences affect how groups within a culture relate to each other; and
  5. Articulate the important achievements and contributions of other cultures in such areas as the arts, literature, philosophy, ethical values, religion and science.

Below are the approved list of courses that may be applied toward the World Cultures University Requirement as outlined above:

Approved Courses


 

 

Written English Competency University Requirement (COMP)


A. First-Year Composition

Students should satisfy this requirement during their first or second semester in college. Students can satisfy this requirement in one of three ways:

  1. Earning a B (3.0) in EN 109 - Intensive College Composition [EFFC] [COMP] , and its co-requisite, EN 109W - Intensive College Composition Workshop [COMP]  (counts toward Effective Communication  component); or
  2. Earning a C (2.0) or better in EN 111 - College Composition I [EFFC] [COMP]  (counts toward Effective Communication  component); or
  3. Successfully completing one of the following:
    1. CLEP - CLEP English Composition General Examination with Essay with a score of 50 or higher (counts toward Effective Communication  component as EN 111 - College Composition I [EFFC] [COMP] );
    2. AP - English Literature and Composition or English Language and Composition with a score of 3 or higher (counts toward Effective Communication  component as EN 111 - College Composition I [EFFC] [COMP] );
    3. IB - International Baccalaureate English Language Examination in English with a score of 5 or higher (counts toward Effective Communication  component as EN 111 - College Composition I [EFFC] [COMP] );
    4. Accuplacer WritePlacer Exam score of 7 (Serves as a placement exam; students still need two courses from Effective Communication  component);
    5. An equivalent or higher level composition course from another accredited college or university with a grade of C (2.0) or higher.

Note: If a student has already satisfied Intermediate Composition requirement, this also serves to meet the First Year Composition requirement.

B. Intermediate Composition

Students should satisfy this requirement soon after completing the First-Year Composition requirement. Students can satisfy this requirement in one of three ways:

  1. Earning a “C” (2.0) or better in EN 211 - College Composition II [EFFC] [COMP]  (counts toward Effective Communication  component); or
  2. Earning a “C” (2.0) or better in an equivalent course to EN 211  transferred from an accredited college or university (counts toward Effective Communication  component as EN 211 - College Composition II [EFFC] [COMP] ); or
  3. Earning a “B” (3.0) or better in HON 101  and HON 111  (Students still need two courses from Effective Communication  component.).

Below are the approved list of courses that may be applied toward the Written English Competency University Requirement as outlined above:

 

 

Mathematics Competency University Requirement (MATH)


Students may satisfy this requirement in one of three ways:

  1. Earning a “C” (2.0) in MA 100  or higher level math course (excluding middle digit 5 courses); or
  2. Earning a “C” (2.0) in quantitatively-oriented courses as approved by the Mathematics and Computer Science Department; or
  3. Successfully completing one of the following:
    1. CLEP Calculus or Precalculus score of 50 or greater;
    2. CLEP College Algebra or Mathematics score of 63 or greater;
    3. AP Calculus (AB or BC) score of 3 or greater;
    4. IB Mathematics Studies or Mathematics (SL or HL) score of 5 or greater;
    5. ACT mathematics score of 25 or greater;
    6. SAT Mathematics score of 600 or greater;
    7. SAT subject test in Mathematics (Level 1 or 2) score of 650 or greater;
    8. Proctored Math Placement Exam placement into MA 111 , MA 115 , MA 161 , or MA 163 ; or
    9. Successful completion of the math portion of the Professional Readiness Exam taken by education majors.

Below are the approved list of courses that may be applied toward the Mathematics Competency University Requirement as outlined above:

 

Liberal Studies

Information Students admitted to NMU and having taken classes prior to the Fall of 2017 should follow the requirements in the Liberal Studies section of this bulletin. To find the Liberal Studies section that would apply to a particular student, first select the bulletin edition that applies to this student and then follow the Liberal Studies link in the General Education menu at the top of all bulletin pages.

General Education Information

Students admitted to NMU as of the fall 2017 semester or later will use NMU’s General Education Program. This program will apply to most students currently enrolled at NMU. Use the navigation at the top of this page to navigate through the different sections of the General Education Program. Please note: the General Education Program did not exist prior to 2017 and those navigation items will direct users to this page.

Questions

Students who have specific questions about these requirements should contact their adviser.