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General Education Requirements

To foster development of a liberal arts intellectual community through the introduction of intellectual and practical skills and through active student-faculty engagement in course material.

  • Writing for the Liberal Arts (WLA): To learn the general conventions of academic writing, including analysis and argumentation; lay the foundation for learning conventions specific to individual disciplines; practice the writing process, especially revision; develop information literacy and understand research process.
  • Writing Enriched (WE): To develop and improve writing skills through explicit instruction, feedback, and the revision and resubmission of assignments.
  • World Language (WL): To develop proficiency in a single language other than English at the level equivalent to the first full year of college language study.
  • Mathematical/Symbolic Reasoning (MSR): To strengthen students’ ability to formulate abstractions, construct proofs, and utilize symbols in formal systems.
  • Artistic Performance (ARTP): To introduce an understanding of the creative process through individual performance, and demonstrate skill in such activities as composition, theater, dance, studio art, and music.
  • Historical Perspectives (HIST): To increase students’ understanding of the past, the complexity of human affairs, the ways in which various forces—economic, cultural, religious, political, scientific—influence efforts to control events, and the ways historians verify and interpret their findings.
  • Human Behavior, Social Processes, and Institutions (SS): To increase students’ systematic understanding of themselves as functioning humans, their individual similarities to and differences from others, their awareness of the nature and significance of their conscious experience, and the forces that shape their interpersonal attachments and interactions; or to increase students’ understanding of methods of analyzing modern society or some significant legal, political, economic, religious, social, or scientific component of it.
  • Communication, Language, Literature, and Philosophy (HUM): To expand students’ capacity to understand, analyze, discuss, and evaluate discourse concerning the complexity of the human condition through the study of languages and works of thought and imagination.
  • Fine Arts (FA): To develop students’ understanding, analysis, and appreciation of the arts.
  • Physical and Biological Sciences (SCI and SCIL): To increase students’ understanding of the structure and dynamics of the physical and biological worlds, and of the scientific method.
  • The Global Village: To increase students’ understanding of the growing interdependence among nations, peoples, and the natural world.
    • Human Diversity (HDIV): To increase students’ understanding of individual and group differences (e.g., race, gender, class) and their knowledge of the traditions and values of various groups in the United States.
    • People and the Environment (ENVT): To increase students’ understanding of the interrelatedness of human society and the natural world.
    • International Perspective (IP): To increase students’ systematic understanding of national cultures substantially different from those in which they received their prior schooling.
    • Ethical and Civic Responsibility (ECR): To broaden and develop students’ capacity to question and reflect upon their own and society’s values and critical responsibilities, and to understand forces, such as technology, that cause them to modify these views and often mandate creation of new ways to resolve legal, social, and scientific issues.

Details and Specific Provisions of the General Education Requirements

I. Intellectual Community (IC)*—One two-credit course.

II. Skills for the Liberal Arts—One to five courses.**

These requirements emphasize the development of the intellectual skills, the communication skills, and the framework for learning needed for successful advanced work. Because new students need this foundation early, they are expected to complete many of these requirements during their first and second years.

Writing for the Liberal Arts (WLA)—One course.

Writing Enriched (WE)One course.

World Language (WL)—Proficiency in a single language other than English at the level equivalent to the first full year of college language study. This requirement can be met in any one of the following ways:

  • by successfully completing a beginning language II course;
  • by successfully completing a 2xxx- or 3xxx-level language course;
  • by passing a proctored proficiency exam;
  • by achieving appropriate AP, CLEP, or IB examination scores; or
  • through the Scholastic Committee if English is not the student’s first language.

Placement tests in selected languages are given by Morris language disciplines to determine the level of pre-college proficiency of a student with prior coursework. Students who plan to study at Morris in the same language that they studied in high school must take the placement examination and abide by the placement recommendation. If after initial exposure to the recommended course the placement is not appropriate to the student’s level, students may consult their language instructors as to the proper course level of study.

Students who wish to “test out” of a second language based on prior learning in French, German, or Spanish must pass a proctored proficiency exam. The initial online Morris placement examination does not fulfill this requirement.

Students who studied a second language other than German, French, or Spanish may contact the Scholastic Committee for further information.

Mathematical/Symbolic Reasoning (M/SR)—One course.

Artistic Performance (ARTP)—One course.

III. Expanding Perspectives—Eight courses of at least two credits each.

Historical Perspectives (HIST)—One course.

Human Behavior, Social Processes, and Institutions (SS)—One course.

Communication, Language, Literature, and Philosophy (HUM)—One course.

Fine Arts (FA)—One course.

Physical and Biological Sciences (SCI—without lab; SCIL—with lab)—Two courses, at least one with lab.

The Global Village—Two courses from two different areas

  • Human Diversity (HDIV)
  • People and the Environment (ENVT)
  • International Perspective (IP)***
  • Ethical and Civic Responsibility (ECR)


UMM courses designated as appropriate for meeting general education requirements are those which, if passed successfully, demonstrate a student’s competency in a given skill or area.

Students are required to complete a minimum of 60 credits of general education coursework outside the discipline of the major and must meet the specific requirements listed above. The requirements may be met not only through UMM courses, but also by transfer of credit, examinations for proficiency or credit, assessment of prior learning, individual projects, and other means. For details, students should consult their advisers.

In some instances the specific general education requirements may be met using fewer than 60 credits. If this occurs, then introductory or advanced elective courses from any discipline outside the major—with the exception of courses in elementary or secondary education, wellness and sport science, or accounting courses in management—may be used to fulfill the remaining credits of the 60-credit general education requirement.

Goals will be used to match courses to general education requirements (see above).

Only courses of two or more credits will satisfy an Expanding Perspectives requirement.

A course can satisfy only one general education category.
Each major can provide students with a statement about how a student majoring in that area will formally acquire computing and writing skills. Students should contact their faculty advisers for current information.

*Transfer students who have completed 12 credit hours or more of courses at a college or university after receiving their high school diplomas are exempt from the IC requirement.

** If transfer students qualify for the IC exemption with 12 or more post high school matriculation credit hours that include at least four credits of writing instruction and fulfill the writing requirement at their previous institutions, they are exempt from the WLA requirement.

***International students should contact the Scholastic Committee for an exemption.

Important Dates


Fri, Dec 10, 2021 Last day of instruction for full and 2nd-half semester classes
Tue, Dec 14, 2021 Final examinations
Wed, Dec 15, 2021 Final examinations