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 of the Maryville Curriculum are: 

  • Course groupings that are closely aligned with specified educational goals of the College. 
  • An integrated and sequenced set of first-year courses designed to assist in adjustment to college life, to attend to the developmental and learning issues unique to freshmen, 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, service learning and in 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
  • 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 58 credit hours for the Bachelor of Arts or Science degree and 54 credit hours for the Bachelor of Music degree. 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:

BIB130: Biblical Studies
Hebrew Bible World and Culture

BIB140: Biblical Studies
The New Testament World and Culture

CMP110: Composition
English Composition

CMP130: Composition
Advanced Composition

ETH490: Ethics
Philosophical and Theological Foundations of Ethical Thought

FNA140: Fine Arts
Introduction to the Fine Arts

FYS100: First Year Seminar 100
Introduction to the College

FYS110: First Year Seminar 110
Expectations and practices of a Liberal Arts College

FYS120: First Year Seminar 120
Communications Strategies

LIT270: Literature
The Early Western Literary Tradition

LIT290: Literature
The Modern Western Literary Tradition

ORN120: Orientation
Transfer Orientation


SCI150: Natural Science

Principles in Scientific Investigation

SCI350: Natural Science
Topics in Natural Science

SLS260: Social Sciences
Perspectives on the Social Order

SRS480: Senior Seminar
Senior Seminar

STA120: Statistics
Introductory Statistics

WCV180: Western Civilization
Foundations of Western Civilization

WCV190: Western Civilization
Modern Western Civilization

WRC370: World Cultures
Topics in World Culture

Various: Foreign Language

Various: Experiential Education Requirement
The experiential education requirement may be satisfied in any of the following ways:

  • A 3 credit hour January experiential education course in the sophomore or junior year
  • Three credit hours (15 events) of Mountain Challenge (PHR 125, 126, 127)
  • A period of study abroad approved by the International Programming Committee