University Studies

What is University Studies?

The University Studies component of the Murray State University undergraduate program  provides students with a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences education as a foundation for their academic specialty.  Toward that end, the program is organized around eight learning outcomes:

  • Students will display effective oral and written communication. (1.1)
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to interpret, express, and define questions of naturalphenomena by using the scientific method (1.2)
  • Students will demonstrate use of mathematical reasoning to define and interpret questions and tobuild and express informed conclusions (1.3)
  • Students will display a rich understanding of the process, meaning and value of creativity and creative expression (2.1)
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking in application of ethical and enduring questions. (2.2)
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of diverging perspectives, bothcurrent and historical. (2.3)
  • Students will demonstrate understanding of the interconnectedness of human behavior and thehuman experience. (2.4)
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the importance of participating as well-informedcitizens in a diverse and global society. (2.5)

Each of these outcomes aligns with one thematic category:

  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Scientific Inquiry and Methodologies 
  • Creative Perspectives
  • Historical Perspectives
  • Literary and Philosophical Perspectives
  • Social & Behavioral Perspectives
  • Cultural and Diverse Perspectives and Responsible Citizenship

Murray State University Studies

32 Credit Hours Minimum - One course or lecture/lab set from each category below fulfills the minimum requirements. Requirements for specialized degrees (B.A., B.S., B.A.B., B.S.B., etc.) are found in the Bulletin. 


  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Scientific Inquiry and Methodologies (must include lab)
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • One additional course to fulfill the BA/BS Degree Requirements
    (BS: a natural science or mathematics/statistics course; BA: Up to nine hours; all students must take the language placement exam and complete that language’s sequence through the 201 level )

The Human Experience

  • Literary and Philosophical Perspectives
  • Historical Perspectives
  • Creative Perspectives
  • Social and Behavioral Perspectives
  • Culture and Diverse Perspectives and Responsible Citizenship

University Studies Mission Statement

The Murray State University Studies curriculum prepares students to participate as critical thinkers, effective communicators and discerning citizens within their academic programs and communities. Emphasizing diversity, global awareness and intellectual curiosity, the University Studies curriculum complements our academic programs and fosters scholarship and understanding of the rich human experience.


  • University Studies courses may not “narrowly focus on those skills, techniques and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession.” (SACS-COC)
  • Regarding courses in the new Literary and Philosophical Perspectives category:
    “Courses in basic composition that do not contain a significant literature component, courses in oral communication and introductory foreign language courses are skill courses and not pure humanities courses. Therefore, for purposes of meeting this standard, none of the above may be the one course designated to fulfill the humanities/fine arts requirement.” (SACS-COC)
  • University Studies courses must explicitly and directly meet the category’s Learning Outcomes.
  • All University Studies classes must be published on Canvas (or current LMS).
  • All University Studies classes must provide Learning Outcome assessment artifacts via Canvas (or current LMS).
  • The BA requires a minimum of one global language course at the 201 level. Disciplines are encouraged, but not required to include additional global language coursework as part of the major/area degree requirements. All students must take a language placement exam and complete that language’s sequence through the 201 level (101, 102, 201). If a student places higher than the 101 level and completes the class taken as indicated by the placement exam with a grade of "B" or higher, credit for lower level courses will be given at a reduced fee.

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