General Studies

Albright College is strongly committed to the philosophy of a general studies program that insures both breadth of educational experience and mastery of skills essential to all well-educated individuals.

The objective of the general studies program is to educate students to:

• Think and analyze critically
• Organize and communicate effectively, both in writing and speaking
• Appreciate the human historical record
• Appreciate and express themselves through aesthetic and creative experience
• Understand the physical environment and their relationship to it
• Understand and function in the social, economic and political environment
• Appreciate other cultures
• Understand and appreciate the diversity of religious beliefs and practices
• See and use interrelationships between various fields of knowledge
• Understand and use ethical principles in developing their own natural capabilities—psychological, physical and moral

General Studies Requirements:

Each student must successfully complete the general studies courses and programs listed below. Independent studies and internships may not be used to fulfill general studies requirements.

First-Year Seminar (1 course)
The First-Year Seminar is a special academic seminar taken in the student’s first year. This course introduces students to academic study in the liberal arts at the college level and provides first-year students with the opportunity to become active, integrated members of the Albright community and to develop skills needed for academic success. Successful completion of the course is a requirement for graduation. Transfer students who enter as sophomores or juniors are not required to complete a First-Year Seminar. (Students who matriculated before the 2009 fall semester are required to complete the Freshmen Forum, a special non-credit seminar).

English Composition (1-2 courses)
Competency in written English is a basic goal of general studies requirements. Two semesters of English composition are offered. Students whose test scores and writing background indicate a need for both composition courses will begin with Composition (ENG 101); students who can demonstrate competence as determined by test scores and past performance will schedule only Writing about Literature (ENG 102).

Foreign Language (1-3 courses)
Students are expected to achieve competency at the intermediate level of a language. Students may complete the language requirement in one of the following ways, depending on background and interest:

  Elementary I and II (101 and 102), and Intermediate I (201)
  Elementary II (102) and Intermediate I (201)
  Intermediate I and II (201 and 202)
  Advanced (301)
  For international students, American English I and II (SPI 101 and 102), unless exempted by the English Department

Humanities (4 courses)
Four courses from at least three of the following areas:

 History or Advanced Foreign Language Culture
 Religious Studies

Natural Science (1 course)
One laboratory-oriented course in natural science.

Quantitative Reasoning (1 course)
One course that includes a significant quantitative reasoning component.

Social Science (2 courses)
Two courses, one in each of two social sciences (economics, political science, psychology or sociology/anthropology). Computational courses such as statistics will not satisfy this requirement.

The Fine Arts (1 course)
One approved course in art, music or theatre (not all art, music and theatre courses satisfy this requirement). Four semesters of credited participation in Concert Band, Chamber Winds, Concert Choir, Women's Chorale or String Orchestra will satisfy this requirement. Applied Music Lessons (MUS 109) will not satisfy this requirement.

Interdisciplinary Course (1 course)
A course that synthesizes multiple academic disciplines around a common subject.

The Cultural Experience
This requirement promotes ongoing participation in the rich cultural and intellectual life available outside the classroom. Students attend lectures, plays, concerts, panel discussions, art exhibits and other cultural events. In general, full-time day students must attend 16 events by the end of the sophomore year. Students must complete this requirement to graduate. (See "The Albright Cultural Experience" for more information.)