Liberal Education

Liberal Education

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Liberal Education credit is NOT applied retroactively. For example, if a student took a non-liberal education course, in Fall 2021, and the course was subsequently approved for liberal education credit in Fall 2022, the student DOES NOT receive liberal education credit retroactively. Petitions requesting approval will be denied. Students do have the option of changing their liberal education catalog year, if they choose, upon the advice of their advisor.


Mission Statement: The Goals of a Liberal Education

A liberal education prepares individuals to lead productive and socially responsible lives in a diverse and rapidly changing world. The Liberal Education Program at UMD helps students develop competencies that can be adapted for use in any occupation and by virtually any individual. Liberal education at UMD is not restricted to any particular part of the curriculum but is woven through each student’s course of study, including core requirements and requirements for the major.

The program includes detailed criteria that bind courses together and help to create a common experience across the disciplines. It promotes greater integration of liberal education throughout the student’s undergraduate education by encouraging the incorporation of liberal education courses into the major and in upper division courses.

Total Credit Requirement for the Liberal Education Core

The Liberal Education Core requires completion of all 10 categories (39 credits); however, a single course can be used to satisfy multiple requirements, reducing the total number of credits.

Part I. Language and Reasoning Skills (9 credits)

a. Writing and Information Literacy - WRIT 1120 (3 credits)
b. Oral Communication and Languages (3 credits)
c. Logic and Quantitative Reasoning (3 credits)

Part II. Knowledge Domains (21 credits)

a. Natural Sciences (6 credits, 2 course subjects*, 1 lab)
b. Social Sciences (6 credits, 2 course subjects*)
c. Humanities (6 credits, 2 course subjects*)
d. Fine Arts (3 credits)

*Course subject simply means the designator area or prefix.  For example, taking two different course subject in the Natural Science category could be a Biology (BIOL) course and a Chemistry (CHEM) course. 

Part III. Key Topics (9 credits)

a. Global Perspectives (3 credits)
b. Cultural Diversity in the US (3 credits)
c. Sustainability (3 credits)

  • An LE Core course that meets the criteria for part II (Knowledge Domains) and part III (Key Topics) may be used to fulfill both requirements. A course in the major that meets the criteria for parts Ib, Ic, II and/or III may be used to satisfy both major and LE Core requirements