University Studies Program
The University Studies program at Murray State University grew out of the national movement to establish General Education programs at American colleges and universities, with initiatives from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the U.S. Commissioner of Education, and Harvard University.
Murray State’s University Studies program is based on a interdisciplinary approach that reinforces the Characteristics of the MSU Graduate. The program relies on a thematic structure that places emphasis on the connectedness of learning, rather than on the more traditional discipline-centered approach to knowledge. University Studies, for example, sets the stage for helping students learn how to communicate in the twenty-first century by requiring all students to take COM 161 Public Speaking as well as the newly created four-hour ENG 105 course in Critical Reading, Writing, and Inquiry. In addition, all academic majors have designated writing and technology intensive courses within their programs so that students will continue to write throughout their academic careers.
Courses within the program encourage students to understand the ways in which important ideas straddle many disciplines, and to experience and value the unique lens of each one. Students learn to think independently and creatively while applying sound standards of information gathering, analysis, and evaluation to reach logical decisions. These foundational approaches provide the basis for students to write well and to speak clearly and coherently.
Through a broad array of course selections in mathematics and the physical and life sciences, Murray State University undergraduates will become familiar with the roles and applications of science and technology for imagining solutions of the problems facing a complex and changing world. In addition, students will gain a critical understanding of the world’s historical, literary, philosophical, and artistic traditions. To ensure this dynamic perspective, students will now be required to take a newly designed 200-level World Civilization course to compliment the required sophomore-level Humanities course. To emphasize the importance of developing cross-cultural awareness, knowledge of a second world language holds a key place in all B.A. degrees awarded at Murray State; and taking a course in a foreign language is also an option for the B.S. degrees.
In other thematic categories, students will be able to select from among a number of courses that will help them to better understand the complexity of cultural diversity, of competing economic and political systems, and of complex moral and ethical issues in our increasingly interconnected world. Learning how to live an ethical life and to assume social responsibility are also built into the program through a number of selected courses in another thematic area.
In keeping with the mission of the university, the University Studies program seeks to reflect contemporary concerns in the academic world, but equally to prepare our students for the larger world.
Students seeking teaching certification are required to complete specific University Studies courses. For detailed information concerning University Studies course for teacher certification