General Education

Program Structure

We expect students to achieve proficiency in the seven learning outcomes by completing general education requirements in three overlapping categories. We named these categories core skills, thematic areas, and designations. These categories help students, faculty, and other stakeholders understand and navigate the curriculum.

This curriculum exposes students to a breadth of knowledge, transdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary methods, and tools to see and work through problems using many disciplinary lenses. A critically important feature of the curriculum is the First-Year Experience designation, which will take the form of courses on the Black experience that incorporate both service-learning and some of the Crown Forum requirements.

General education consists of a maximum of 48 credit hours. Students must also earn 40 points of Crown Forum credit, explained below. Except for the Crown Forum requirement, we expect students to complete their general education curriculum within their first two years.

Writing Core Skill - 6 Credit Hours

Educating students in writing has a long and important history at HBCUs and Morehouse in particular. Former Morehouse president Hugh Gloster ‘31 founded of College Language Association when Black people were not permitted to participate fully in MLA activities. The CLA is one example of our rich and complex writing tradition. It builds upon past work and recognizes that every discipline and every path students take after Morehouse requires college-level proficiency in writing. There are four principal learning objectives for students in writing courses.

  • Clearly and effectively communicate through writing
  • Critically analyze problems
  • Apply research tools
  • Integrate material, ideas, and texts from the African diaspora
Criteria

You must complete a set of courses designed to prepare you for more advanced writing. We assess first-year students to place and track their progress over time. We use portfolios and Blackboard to archive student work, measure their writing quality, and inform them of their progress.

Students fulfill general education writing requirements through:

  • One three-credit-hour composition course
  • One three-credit critical writing course introducing students to more advanced writing, higher-levels of critical analysis, and research-based writing. Composition is a prerequisite for critical writing.
  • First-year experience courses with intentional writing modules
  • Students can transfer approved courses but cannot use exams to waive this requirement
  • Advanced students may fulfill their composition and critical writing requirements by taking ENG 103 English Composition III.
Language Core Skill - 0-9 Credit Hours

Learning a foreign language is a critical step for our students to become global citizens. The Partnership for 21st Century Learning and the National Education Association stress how important it is for students to develop global competence by learning languages. At Morehouse, learning languages requires that students:

  • Communicate effectively in a variety of situations
  • Develop intercultural competence
  • Make connections with other disciplines and perspectives
  • Apply foreign language skills to academic and real-world settings
  • Participate in a broader world of multilingual communities in the United States and abroad
Criteria

To fulfill the general education requirement, students must reach the level of Intermediate Low in a foreign language, as established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. All students must take a mandatory assessment upon admission to determine their placement and how many courses they need to fulfill the language requirement. Students can demonstrate the required level of language proficiency a number of ways:

  • Taking modern foreign language or another foreign language through the 201 level.
  • Completing a foreign language course at the 201 level or higher. Students may complete these courses on campus or through study abroad. In taking a series of language courses, students cannot skip the sequence.
  • Taking the ACTFL oral proficiency examination and earn a minimum score of Intermediate Low.
  • Earning a score of four on the AP Spanish, French, or German examination.
  • Passing a CLEP Level two examination with a score of 63 or higher.
  • Graduating from a high school with a Seal of Biliteracy.
  • Holding an International Baccalaureate high school diploma.
  • Transferring appropriate, approved work from another accredited institution.
Mathematical and Quantitative Literacy Skill - 3-6 Credit Hours 

In today’s world, there is a growing need for people with the ability to work with numbers, quantities, and data sets in systematic ways. This is an essential skill, and fulfillment of this requirement will equip students to:

  • Concisely and coherently communicate quantitative information, analysis, and conclusions
  • Use the tools of mathematics to represent, analyze, and solve problems involving quantitative information
  • Estimate, deduce, and infer quantitative conclusions using the systems, ideas, and theories of mathematics or statistics
  • Understand the limits of quantitative evidence to draw conclusions
Criteria

Students must show competence in mathematics or statistics above the level of college algebra. We will assess students to determine their placement. Students fulfill the mathematical and quantitative reasoning requirement through:

  • Math at or below College Algebra I (two to four credit hours). Earned either by placement or by coursework. At most three credit hours of mathematics at or below the level of College Algebra I will count toward fulfillment of the general education requirement. You may earn this by placement into a course at a level higher than college algebra.
  • Math or statistics above College Algebra I (three to four credit hours). This can be a statistics course provided that the math department qualifies the course as being above this level of rigor. This cannot be earned by placement/ examination, but can be earned by approved transfer of credit.
Health and Wellness Skill - 1-2 Credit Hours

There is a critically important relationship between intellectual development and physical health. As such, we want to ensure that students understand what it means to be in good health, to know how to do so, and to engage in practices that ensure personal wellness. This will necessarily mean both physical activity and learning across areas ranging from food and sleep to understanding data and science around one’s body, particularly as it relates to black men’s health. Through this skill students will:

  • Understand research-based, optimal life skills for personal wellness
  • Recognize the importance of maintaining personal health and wellness throughout their lives
  • Apply the seven dimensions of wellness: physical, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, environmental, occupational, and social
Criteria

Students must show competency in both the practical and theoretical aspects of health and wellness. They must engage in physical activity under appropriate supervision and will complete this requirement through the following:

  • Physical activity course or equivalent, e.g., serving in the ROTC, or one year as a varsity athlete
  • Completing a wellness course
Arts and Literature Area - 3 Credit Hours

Artistic expression is an integral part of the human experience. In this area, students explore how artistic expression and the creative process bring about disruptive and innovative solutions. Art has the power to express ideas, feelings, and conditions of humanity in ways that are deeply moving. It captures the history and culture of a people. And it is one of the most fundamental creative acts that has utility but is certainly not bound by function. As a result of taking these courses, students will:

  • Communicate effectively about the arts and literature
  • Identify artistic, cultural and literary traditions and movements
  • Understand theses and the contexts of creative production
  • Understand principles of storytelling and artistic composition
  • Critique various modes of human creative expression
Criteria

Students are required to complete: 

  • One three credit hour course in the area
  • Students may also fulfill one of thier FYE requirements through designated courses in this area.
  • This cannot be earned by placement/examination, but can be earned by approved transfer of credit if it can be reasonably determined that the course fits the rubric for the area.
Ideas and Ethics Area - 6 Credit Hours

President Benjamin E. Mays claimed that Morehouse provided “education with a social conscience, a social concern; science has made the world a neighborhood, it is up to us—leaders in education and religion—to make it a brotherhood.” Similarly, Martin Luther King, Jr. insisted “intelligence plus character, that is the purpose of education.” Taking courses and seminars in this area critically examines existential questions and ethical systems, whether philosophical or religious, within a global context. As a result of taking courses in this area, students will be able to: 

  • Communicate about models of social responsibility, justice and ethical leadership
  • Recollect ethical systems, sacred writings, and/or wisdom traditions in a larger global context
  • Understand perennial questions including the meaning and purpose of life, the limits of knowledge, the nature of existence, the human condition, and human mortality
  • Evaluate arguments using philosophical, religious, and/or ethical reasoning
Criteria

Students are required to complete:

  • Two courses in different disciplines and focus on the area of ideas and ethics articulated in the previous section.
  • Students may also fulfill their FYE requirements through designated courses in this area.
  • This cannot be earned by placement/examination, but can be earned by approved transfer of credit if it can be reasonably determined that the course fits the rubric for the area.
Society and Culture Area - 6 Credit Hours

To be human is to live within larger social and community contexts. We designed the courses in this area are designed to help students develop a greater sense of their connection to the larger social world. Courses in society and culture help students explain how social forces shape the human experience. Students will examine key social theories, 20 study methods of investigating social problems, and apply these theories and methods to specific social, cultural, or historical contexts. Taking these courses, students will:

  • Communicate effectively about the social world
  • Understand peoples, social relations, and politics within a global context
  • Analyze social problems using social science theories and methodologies
  • Interpret social inequity as it relates to race, gender, class, sexuality, nationality, and/or other forms of difference
Criteria

Students are required to complete:

  • Two courses in different disciplines in the area of society and culture as articulated in the previous section.
  • Students may also fulfill one of their FYE requirements through designated courses in this area.
  • This cannot be earned by placement/examination, but can be earned by approved transfer of credit if it can be reasonably determined that the course fits the rubric for the area.
Scientific Discovery Area - 8 Credit Hours

Students will be required to take two discovery-based science courses as an introductory level or upper- division course, engaging in ways that both cover content material and demonstrate how scientists work. The courses that fulfill this requirement provide students with an authentic scientific discovery and research immersion experience in a laboratory or studio format. Students will:

  • Communicate findings in writing, visually, and orally
  • Recall key information about the natural world
  • Analyze data and draw conclusions from raw data
  • Apply scientific concepts to real-world problems
  • Perform the experimental scientific process by designing and conducting experiments
Criteria

You must complete:

  • Two four credit hour courses in two distinct disciplines that have the scientific discovery designation
  • You may fulfill one of your FYE requirements through designated courses in this area
  • This cannot be earned by placement/examination, but can be earned by approved transfer of credit if it can be reasonably determined that the course fits the rubric for the area
  • Students may need to take specific courses to meet the general education scientific discovery requirement for the B.S. degree
Crown Forum - 40 Points

Howard Thurman stated that “over the heads of her students, Morehouse holds a crown that she challenges them to grow tall enough to wear.” We designed Crown Forum to inspire students to grow tall enough to wear this crown. The mission of Crown Forum is to create a learning community that evokes our mission of character development, social justice, leadership, and teaching black history and culture.

From participating in Crown Forum, students will gain a greater understanding of self, a deeper appreciation of the Morehouse experience, and a deeper commitment to servant leadership and global citizenship. To honor Morehouse’s rich traditions, students must attend official college ceremonies. We expose students to thought leaders and Black culture through a Drum Major Instinct Distinguished Crown Forum Series and Crown Forum After Dark events. Furthermore, students will explore common readings pertaining to Africa and the African diaspora.

Criteria

Students complete general education Crown Forum requirements by passing First-Year experience courses and accumulating an additional 40 points for Crown Forum. Students will be automatically enrolled in Crown Forum until they have accumulate at least 40 points. Students will gain points through:

  • Ceremonial Crown Forum
  • Founder's Day Crown Forum
  • Major Crown Forums: Howard Thurman, MLK, Scholars Day, and Senior Day
  • Free Elective Crown Forum
First-Year Experience

Consistent with our mission, you are required to take courses in Black history and culture that will prepare you for leadership on the African diaspora and the world. You will learn about the major peoples, cultures, themes, and intellectual traditions in Africa and its diaspora. To get there, students take two thematic courses on Black life, history, and culture with the First-Year Experience designation.

In courses with this designation, you will explore thematic areas while also gaining a greater sense of self, a deeper appreciation of the Morehouse experience, and a deeper commitment to servant leadership. Students will enhance their intellectual skills through reading, writing, and discussion-based learning. As part of this course, students will also attend Crown Forum as a unit, conduct service-learning projects, and engage common sets of readings on Africa and its diaspora.

All incoming students are required to complete two three-hour general education thematic area courses with the FYE designation. Students will select from a list of FYE designated courses in different disciplines. The first two seminars are taken in the first and second terms of enrollment.

In addition to meeting other program-level learning outcomes, students taking courses with the FYE designation are able to:

  • Draw upon Africana traditions to inform and inspire a lifelong commitment to leadership, equity, social justice, and global citizenship
  • Apply the habits of academic success, scholarship, professionalism, service, and accountability
  • Identify and explore problems through service- learning experiences developed in partnership with communities in Africa and its diaspora
Criteria
  • Students must pass two courses with the FYE designation from different disciplines.
  • This cannot be earned by placement/examination. All incoming students must complete this requirement.