Distribution blocks

You must take courses in each of the four distribution blocks.

  • Aesthetic and Humanistic Inquiry (AHI) - 6 credits
  • Cultural Understanding (CU) - 6 credits
  • Science and Applied Science (LAB/SAS) - 7 credits (must include at least one lab science)
  • Social and Political Worlds (SPW) - 6 credits

You must also take up to 3 or 4 credits from any distribution block to fulfill your credit requirements.

The First Year Seminar is an option approved for credit within one of the distribution blocks, or as the Liberal Studies Elective. This option is recommended if you have fewer than 30 units, and is only available to first year students.

If your academic catalog is prior to 2014-2015, courses used for liberal studies may share the same prefix as a student's minor discipline but not their major discipline.

If your academic catalog is 2014-2015 ( or a subsequent catalog), up to 9 units of the liberal studies distributions requirements can have the same prefix as the student's major. Courses used for the liberal studies distribution requirements can have the same prefix as a student's minor.

The distribution blocks

The liberal studies distribution blocks are described below.

Aesthetic and Humanistic Inquiry

Study the human condition through philosophical inquiry and the analysis of creative expression.

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Courses in this block involve students in the study of the human condition through philosophical inquiry and analysis of the various forms of creative expression. These courses help students develop an understanding of the relationship between context and human creative expression, major conceptual frameworks utilized to make sense of the creative arts, and how human experience and values are expressed through creative endeavors. Students will also develop their capacities for analysis and ethical reasoning along with an understanding of the multiple facets of the human condition.

You will develop an understanding of:

  • human creative expression
  • the major frameworks used to study creative arts
  • how creative endeavors express human experience
  • ethical reasoning

Search courses that satisfy the Aesthetic and Humanistic Inquiry requirement.

Cultural Understanding

Enhance your understanding of different cultures of the world through the study of language, literature, religion, and artistic creation.

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Courses in this block enhance students’ understanding of different cultures of the world through the study of language, literature, religion and artistic creations or other disciplines. These courses provide students with an experience of diverse cultures (different from their own), and an analytic framework that facilitates awareness of how cultures vary and shape human experience. Students will become more familiar with cultures of the world and develop an appreciation for the unique features and perspectives of varied cultural traditions.

In these courses you will learn about various cultures and traditions to help you understand how they shape human experience.

Search courses that satisfy the Cultural Understanding requirement.

Science and Applied Science

Increase your knowledge about the natural world, and learn how technological advancements to address human needs.

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Courses in which students apply knowledge derived from scientific inquiry to address human needs through technological advancements. Students learn practical skills in the creation and application of various technologies. Courses in this block also address the impact of technology on the human condition and the natural world. Courses in Laboratory Science will increase student’s knowledge about the natural world. Understanding a variety of physical and biological phenomena is developed through the application of the scientific method. Students will learn to employ the logic and techniques of scientific inquiry and thereby develop an understanding of the basis and limits of contemporary scientific knowledge. These courses will also familiarize students with important theories, concepts, and taxonomies that are central to the various science disciplines.

You will:

  • learn the logic and techniques of scientific inquiry
  • develop an understanding of the basis and limits of scientific knowledge
  • become familiar with important theories, concepts, and taxonomies that are central to various scientific disciplines

Search courses that satisfy the Science and Applied Science requirement and the lab science requirement

Social and Political Worlds

Explore how different empirical and theoretical strategies are used to study human behavior and social, political, and cultural systems.

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Courses that engage students in the study of the patterns that characterize the history of human communities, the relationships between the psychological, social, cultural and political components of human communities and dynamics of human behavior in varied context. Students will learn how different empirical and theoretical strategies are employed to study human behavior and social, political, and cultural systems. These courses enhance student understanding of the dynamic relationships between human communities and their ecological context, the systematic components and dynamic of contemporary human societies, relationships between human societies in the global community, and the major dimensions of variation in contemporary human experience.

You will learn:

  • the relationships among the psychological, social, and political components of human communities
  • the dynamics of human behavior in varied contexts
  • the patterns that characterize the history of human communities

These courses also enhance your understanding of:

  • the dynamic relationships between human communities and their ecological context
  • the components and dynamics of contemporary societies
  • the relationships between societies and the global community
  • the major variations in the human experience

Search courses that satisfy the Social and Political Worlds requirement.