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.

For more information please see the requirements page.


Distinctive features of the MC Curriculum are: 

  • 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 Courses

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

Core Domain
Approved Existing Classes for New Core
(Other Courses to be added)
First Year Seminar FYS110
Composition & Speech ENG110 & ENG120
Quantitative Literacy MTH110
Religion, Spirituality and Critical Thought BIB130 or BIB140
Literary Studies LIT270 or LIT290
Historical Reasoning WCV180 or WCV190
Empirical Study of Person and Society PSY101, SOC101, PLS211, ECN221, ECN201
Culture and Intercultural Dynamics WRC370
Scientific Reasoning
[Students must complete 2 courses: 1 life science and 1 physical science. One of the 2 must include a lab]
SCI150, SCI350, BIO113, BIO115, BIO217, CHM111, CHM121, PHY101, PHY201
Mathematical Reasoning STA120, CSC111, MTH125
Second Language Completion of a 120 course in second language (e.g., SPN120, etc.)
Creative Arts FNA140, ART102, ART121, THT101, THT204,
3 HRS in any one of:
MUSE12, MUSE13, MUSE14, MUSE15, MUSE16, ART124, ART125, ART126
Ethical Citizenship in the World ETH490
U.S. Pluralism Designated Courses TBD