Jun 25, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education

General Education Course Requirements  


All associate and baccalaureate degree seeking students at the University of Montana Western, exept those seeking an associates of applied science or a specialized associate of arts complete a program called “General Education”. Montana Western’s general education program is based on the Essential Learning Outcomes developed by the Liberal Education for America’s Promise (LEAP) program of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

Philosophy Statement

Through this program and continuing at successively higher levels across their university studies, students should prepare for twenty-first century challenges by gaining:

  • Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World:
    • Through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages and the arts. Focused by engagement with the big questions, both contemporary and enduring.
  • Intellectual and Practical Skills, including:
    • Inquiry and analysis;
    • Critical and creative thinking;
    • Written and oral communication;
    • Quantitative literacy;
    • Information literacy; and
    • Teamwork and problem solving.
      Practiced extensively, across the curriculum in the context of progressively more challenged problems, projects, and standards for performance.
  • Personal and Social Responsibility, including:
    • Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global;
    • Intercultural knowledge and competence;
    • Ethic reasoning and action; and
    • Foundation and skills for lifelong learning
      Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.
  • Integrative and Applied Learning, including:
    • Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies
    • Demonstrated through application of knowledge, skills, and responsibility to new settings and complex problems.

In keeping with its Mission Statement, UMW recognizes and values both the integrity of the individual and membership in an increasingly diverse and global society. Thus, the General Education program is experiential, multidisciplinary, and multicultural. The multidisciplinary program consists of at least two semesters of focused study. Each course in the General Education program presents a breadth of content including a survey of basic information, methods of identifying and solving problems, methods of communicating the result of scholarly endeavors, and a general set of inquiry skills that can be transferred or adapted to other disciplines.

The program is scheduled so that each student with the prerequisite skills can complete the requirements in one academic year, preferably the freshmen year. The intent of the program is to provide a coherent academic experience through selected courses, some interdisciplinary, with the emphasis in each on developing student’s intellectual and communication skills.

Montana Western students are encouraged to work closely with a faculty advisor to select courses that focus on developing their individual qualities and interests.

Articulation agreements among the Montana University System (MUS) institutions ensure that students can transfer from one MUS institution to another with minimal loss of credit time.

The UMW General Education program is consistent with the Montana University System General Education Standards.

Montana University System General Education Core Curriculum

New students transferring to UMW from any of the units of the Montana University System have three options for transferring general education core requirements.

Option 1: Complete a specific campus’s lower-division general education requirements

Students complete all lower division courses of a campus-specific general education program prior to transferring. Students may still be required to take additional general education coursework at the upper-division level at the new campus.

Option 2: Complete the MUS Core general education curriculum

Students can complete a set of courses known as the MUS Core transferable general education curriculum (MUS Core) consisting of 30 lower-division credits distributed across six categories. Students may still be required to take additional general education coursework at the upper-division level.

Option 3: Obtain an AA or AS

An Associate of Arts (AA) or an Associate of Science (AS) degree indicates that students have completed the general education program of their specific two –year campus.

General Education Code in Course Descriptions

Courses whose primary designation is for general education purposes are designated with the following codes in the course description. While other courses can apply towards general education, these courses are generally used to meet these requirements.

Code Category Group Credits Required
Writ/Oral Comm Written & Oral Communication 4
Math Mathematics 4
Behv/Soc Sci Behavioral Social Science 4
Hist History 4
Exp/Art Humanities: Expressive Arts 4
Lit/Art Humanities; Literary and Artistic Studies 4
Nat Sci Natural Sciences 8
General Education Total Credits 32