General Education

Associate Professor Mary Turner, Chair, Core Curriculum

The Maryville Curriculum, a core program of general education, is based on the conviction that liberal learning is the best preparation for a satisfying and successful life, whatever one’s vocation. While many aspects of the college experience, including major-field requirements, allow students to prepare for a variety of careers and professions, general education emphasizes the cultivation of those intellectual and personal qualities that mark the educated person. Through the enhancement of skills and knowledge, the deepening of sensitivities, and the clarification of personal purpose, students learn to deal responsibly with a world of uncertainty and accelerating change.

General education is the centerpiece of any liberal arts degree; it provides curricular definition to the mission of a liberal arts college. The Maryville Curriculum follows directly and consciously from the College’s Statement of Purpose and Educational Goals.

The Maryville Curriculum, often called the “core” curriculum, consists of 51 credit hours. Some general education requirements are met by virtue of the student’s major; others may be met by demonstration of competence.

Distinctive Features

  • Course groupings that are closely aligned with specified educational goals of the College
  • An integrated and sequenced set of foundational courses designed to assist in adjustment to college life, to attend to the developmental and learning issues unique to first year students, and to develop the basic communication, quantitative, and critical thinking skills needed for success in college
  • A range of coursework that provides grounding in the various modes of inquiry and all aspects of the liberal arts
  • A range of choices for students among courses that fulfill common curricular goals
  • Required groupings of courses designed to extend the college learning experience beyond the major and provide integration of liberal learning using various modes of inquiry
  • Recognition that knowledge in certain domains is fulfilled by courses within the major
  • A strong global and cross-cultural dimension
  • Attention to values and ethical decision-making throughout the curriculum, with a capstone course focusing on these matters
  • A curricular structure built upon groups of courses focusing on shared student learning outcomes that result in a broad liberal arts experience
  • An integrated and sequenced set of vocational development activities and experiences

Core Curriculum Requirements

Requirements in General Education are based on the four overarching educational goals of Maryville College. Each student must satisfy requirements for courses in each of the following instructional categories. Courses within domains share common student learning outcomes that guide teaching and learning within the group of courses. For more information, please consult the most current catalog

Foundations (12 Credit Hours)

First Year Seminar (3)
English (6) a
Quantitative Literacy (3) a 

Category I Domains of Knowledge (15 Credit Hours)

A critical knowledge of self and informed understanding of other

  1. Religion, Spirituality and Critical Thought (3 Credit Hours)
  2. Literary Studies (3 Credit Hours)
  3. Historical Reasoning (3 Credit Hours)
  4. Empirical Study of Person and Society (3 Credit Hours)
  5. Culture and Intercultural Dynamics (3 Credit Hours
  6. U.S. Pluralism (Completion of a course that carries a “U.S. Pluralism” designation) 

Category II Domains of Knowledge (10-11 credit hours)

Proficiency in the use of evidence, empirical data, and quantitative analysis

  1. Scientific Reasoning (7 Credit Hours)
    One physical science course from a selected group of courses
    One life science course from a selected group of courses
    One of the above courses must have a laboratory component
  2. Mathematical Reasoning (3-4 Credit Hours)

Category III Domains of Knowledge (11 Credit Hours)

Skill and discernment in producing and interpreting forms of human expression

  1. Second Language (8 Credit Hours) a b
    Completion of a two semester introductory sequence of courses in a second language
  2. Creative Arts (3 Credit Hours)
    Completion of one of a selection of courses or three semesters of participation in a musical ensemble or three semesters of participation in theatre productions

Category IV Domain of Knowledge (3 Credit Hours)

  1. Ethical Citizenship in the World (3 Credit Hours) - The judgment and knowledge required for ethical citizenship of nation and world 


Notes on special conditions:
  •  Placement examination results may result in exemption from the requirement.
  • b  Not required of students for whom English is a second language. For these students, study in a third language is recommended as an elective, but is not required.  

Dual Degree Programs

The Senior Year in Absentia


B.A./B.S. - Engineering

The cooperative, dual-degree in engineering program normally involves three years at Maryville College before transfer to the cooperating institution. Further information is available in the course listings section of this catalog under Engineering. Maryville College maintains formal agreements with several universities.

B.A./M.S.N. - Health Care/Nursing

A cooperative, dual-degree program in nursing is also available. In five years, a student may earn the B.A. in Health Care from Maryville and the M.S. in Nursing from Vanderbilt University. Further information on the nursing program is available in the course listing section of this catalog under Health Care/Nursing.

B.A./Pharm.D. – Biopharmaceutical Sciences/Pharmacy

The cooperative, dual-degree in pharmacy normally involves three years at Maryville College and four years at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Centers in Knoxville and Memphis.  The B.A. in Biopharmaceutical Sciences is received from Maryville College after successful completion of the first year of pharmacy school.  Further information is available in the course listings section of this catalog under Biopharmaceutical Sciences/Pharmacy. 


Core Curriculum Courses

The Maryville Curriculum, often called the “core” curriculum, consists of 51 credit hours. Some general education requirements are completed by virtue of the student’s major; others may be met by demonstration of competence. Note that some courses meet requirements in more than one domain.

Core Domain
Approved Existing Classes for New Core
(Other Courses to be added)
First Year Seminar FYS110
Composition & Speech ENG110 & ENG120
Quantitative Literacy MTH110
Second Language Completion of a 120 course in second language (e.g., SPN120, etc.)
Creative Arts (CA) ART102, ART121*, ART124, ART125ART126, ART140, FNA140*, MUS140, THT101, THT140,
or 3 Hours credit in any one of the following:
MUSE12, MUSE13, MUSE14, MUSE15MUSE16, or THT204
Culture and Intercultural Dynamics (CD) WRC370 or an approved study abroad program
Ethical Citizenship in the World (EC) ETH490
Historical Reasoning (HR) ART212, ART311, HIS149, WCV180* or WCV190*
Literary Studies (LS) ENG160, ENG170, ENG180, ENG181, LIT270* or LIT290*
Mathematical Reasoning (MR) STA120, CSC111, or MTH125
Empirical Study of Person and Society (PS) ECN101, ECN201, ECN221, PLS211, PSY101, SLS260*, or SOC101
 Religion, Spirituality and Critical Thought (RS)  BIB130*, BIB140*, PHL149, REL130, REL140, or REL149
Scientific Reasoning
[Students must complete 2 courses: 1 life science (SL) and 1 physical science (SP). One of the 2 courses must include a lab]
(SL) BIO111, BIO112, BIO113, BIO115, BIO149 or BIO217
(SP) CHM111, CHM121, CHM149, PHY101, PHY149, PHY201
(Check code in Self-Service for SCI150* and SCI350*
 U.S. Pluralism(US) ASL307, ENG180, ENG181, GWS101, HIS112, HIS203, HIS303, PSY228, PSY334, SOC101 (If taken at MC only), SOC271, SOC315 or one of the following courses:

EXP200: Sounds of Appalachia
HIS149: Latin Americans in the United States
HIS149: The American Civil War, Emancipation and Reconstruction
PSY249: Diversity in America: San Francisco Case Study
REL211: The American Religious Experience (The Past, Present, and Future of Evangelicalism in America)
SOC: The Road to Justice

 *Not offered 2016-17 and thereafter