Liberal arts and sciences
Bluffton University is a liberal arts institution. The liberal arts and sciences program provides an integrated program of general education for all undergraduate students that complements and supports the courses in their major field of study. This core program strives to place students in an ever-expanding context from individual identity in the first-year course, Becoming a Scholar, to global citizenship in the senior capstone course, Christian Values in a Global Community.
The program is designed to acquaint students with current thought and advances in all the traditional academic disciplines. The liberal arts and sciences program models how an Anabaptist-Mennonite vision of community can be used to develop responses to issues and concerns. The courses listed below are designed to give students the knowledge and basis for life-long learning needed for the challenges of the 21st century.
The general sequence of courses is outlined below, but the precise sequence of general education and major courses will be determined by each student in consultation with the academic advisor.
- LAS 105 Becoming a Scholar (3)
LAS 105 is taken the first semester of the first year.
- ENG 110 College English (3)
or ENG 120 Advanced College English (3)
or HON 110 Honors Seminar in Composition and Literature (3)
College English is taken during the first year. Students must take the English level into which they were placed.
- One fine arts course from the Visual Arts, Music or Theatre (3)
- MAT 105 Understanding Numerical Data (2)
or COM 185 Public Speaking and Persuasion (3)
Understanding Numerical Data may be taken by any student who places into College Algebra or higher or who completes Basic Math. This requirement is also met by BUS/PSY 284 General Statistics or PHY 211 Physics for Science and Engineering 1.
- *REL 100 Introduction to Biblical Worldview (3)
This course is a prerequisite for the upper level religion requirement.
- Two natural sciences from different areas (including one lab science) (7)
Natural Science courses with an NSC prefix are open to all students. Lab science courses may have prerequisites including a minimum math placement.
- Two social science courses from different disciplines (6)
- *Two courses in the Humanities, history or literature (6)
College English is the prerequisite for either Humanities 1 or Humanities 2.
- One upper level religion course (3)
The upper level religion courses are open to all students who have completed Introduction to Biblical
- *LAS 301 Issues in Modern America (3)
or *EDU 332 Social and Philosophical Issues in Education (3)
or *NRS 408 Current Trends and Issues in Nursing (3)
Issues in Modern America is generally taken by juniors. Students must have completed 15 hours of general education credit before enrolling.
- LAS 342 Cross-cultural Experience (3) OR 6 hours of one foreign language taken at college level (6) OR participation in an approved semester abroad program.
- *LAS 400 Christian Values in a Global Community (3)
Christian Values in the Global Community is open to seniors. Students must have completed LAS 301 Issues in Modern America, EDU 332 Social & Philosophical Issues in Education or NRS 408 Current Trends and Issues in Nursing and their cross-cultural requirement prior to taking this course.
* indicates Liberal Arts and Sciences requirements that must be taken at Bluffton University.
Choose one course:
ART 135 Introduction to Visual Art (3)
ART 136 Exploring Visual Art (3)
ART 204 Drawing (3)
ART 207 Design 2 (3)
ART 214 Watercolor (3)
ART 217 Ceramics 1 (3)
ART 329 Art History 3 (3)
ART 225 Printmaking 1 (3)
ART 226 Printmaking 2 (3)
Students are required to take at least seven hours (2 courses) of natural science by choosing one course from two of the four columns below. At least one course must have a laboratory component.
The Biological World (4)
The Physical World (4)
Invert. Zoology (4)
Anat. & Phys. (4)
Human Biology (3)
Students are required to take two social science courses with two different prefixes. They can do this either by taking two courses from group A, or by taking one course from Group A and one course from group B.
ECN 141 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
GEO 111 Principles of Geography (3)
PLS 100 Introduction to Political Science (3)
PSY 110 Introduction to Psychology (3)
SOC 152 Introduction to Sociology (3)
SOC 162 Anthropology (3)
Students must take either Humanities 1 or 2 (3 hours each). For their second course, they may take the other Humanities course or a history or literature course from the lists below. This option is available to students in any major.
Recommended history options:
HIS 200 Foundations of American Civilization (3)
HIS 201 Making of Contemporary America (3)
HIS 210 World History 1 [note: can only be paired with Humanities 2] (3)
HIS 212 World History 2 [note: can only be paired with Humanities 1] (3)
HIS 252 Ohio & the Old Northwest (3)
Upper-level history options:
HIS 301 Studies in American History (3)
HIS 302 Studies in European History (3)
HIS 305 African American History (3)
HIS 310 U.S. Women's History (3)
HIS 320 Civil War & Reconstruction (3) (history majors are given registration priority for this course)
HIS 325 The Great Depression and World War II (3)
HIS 329 World War I and the Rise of Extremism (3)
HIS 331 Nazi Germany and the Holocaust (3)
HIS 332 Cold-War Germany and Europe (3)
HIS 340 Regional & National Studies (3)
HIS 345 Food: A History (3)
HIS/REL 359 Mennonite History & Thought (3)
Recommended literature options:
ENG 160 Approaches to Literature
ENG 240 Survey of American Literature
ENG 243 Studies in American Literature
ENG 256 Survey of English Literature 1
ENG 257 Survey of English Literature 2
ENG 261 Studies in English Literature
ENG 265 Studies in Modern Literature
ENG 282 Studies in the Novel
ENG 367 Shakespeare
Choose one of the following:
REL 242 Spiritual Disciplines in the Life of the Church (3)
REL 250 Introduction to Old Testament (3)
REL 252 Introduction to New Testament (3)
REL 273 Christian Theology (3)
REL 274 Christian Ethics (3)
REL 276 War, Peace and Nonviolence (3)
REL 275 History of Christianity (3)
Students meet this requirement in one of four ways: (1) completing LAS 342 Cross-cultural Experience; (2) participating in the Washington Community Scholars' Center (WCSC) semester program or the Guatemala semester program; (3) participating in an approved semester abroad program; or (4) electing a minimum
of six hours of one foreign language. International students may complete the requirement
by completing SOC 162 Anthropology.
The majority of students meet their cross-cultural requirement through experiences offered during the May term. These experiences take place in international locations (e.g., Central America, Europe, Israel/Palestine, China, Trinidad, Botswana) and in domestic settings (Chicago, San Antonio, New York and Native American communities in the Southwest). The experiences available each May are announced on the Bluffton website or in the course listing found on my.bluffton.edu.
Please note: a cross-cultural experience will not fulfill the foreign language entrance requirement.
Students who have matriculated at Bluffton and plan to use a language to meet the cross-cultural requirement are required to take the language at Bluffton because of the unique experiential component as part of the language class. If students wish to seek permission to take a language course unavailable at Bluffton to meet the cross-cultural requirement, the student must bring a proposal to the cross-cultural committee, explaining how the experiential component will be met, before the course is taken at another location. Following the completion of the language course and experiential component, a two page summary of the experiential component must be submitted to and approved by the cross-cultural committee before transfer credit will be accepted.
Foreign language course options:
SPA 111 Beginning Spanish 1 (3)
SPA 121 Beginning Spanish 2 (3)
SPA 225 Intermediate Spanish (3)
SPA 307 Advanced Grammar and Composition (3)
SPA 311 Survey of Peninsular Spanish Literature (3)
SPA 312 Survey of Spanish American Literature (3)
SPA 240 Spanish Conversation: Story of the Spanish Speaking World (3)
SPA 242 Spanish Conversation: Music, Film, and Popular Culture in the Spanish Speaking World (3)
SPA 244 Spanish Conversation: Conflict and Social Change in the Spanish Speaking World (3)
Arts and Lecture Credit requirement
The Bluffton University Arts and Lecture program provides an opportunity for shared academic and cultural experiences among faculty, staff and students across departments and disciplines. Lectures present ideas, issues and problems significant for general education and society at large.
All undergraduate students are expected to earn a total of 2 credits by graduation. Students earn 0.5 of an academic credit for every 15 unique Arts and Lecture events they attend. At least one-third of the Arts and Lecture credit earned must be from attendance at Tuesday morning Forums.
Students do not register for Arts and Lecture credit, nor will they be charged for this credit. Students accumulate event credit by scanning into and out of an event with their own student I.D. cards.
Seniors need to complete this requirement two weeks before graduation in order to receive their diploma at graduation.
LAS 101, 102, 103, 104 Arts and Lecture Credit (.5 each)
This credit is awarded to students who attend 15 unique events approved for arts and lecture credit. Five of the events must be part of the forum series. Students are not billed for arts and lecture credit.
Bluffton University requires all students to have a minimum exposure to a language other than English. This requirement may be met in several ways. Students who have completed a minimum of two years of high school language with grades of C- or higher (even if they have studied two different languages) have met the language study requirement. Students who have taken no high school language are required to take six semester hours of a foreign language at the college level. Students who have taken one year of high school language are required to take three semester hours of a foreign language at the college level.
Students may enroll in Spanish without taking a placement test, using these guidelines:
- Students who have taken high school Spanish 1 or 2 may enroll in Spanish 111 Beginning Spanish 1.
- Students who have taken Spanish 3 in high school with a grade of C- or above may enroll in Spanish 121 Beginning Spanish 2.
- Students who have taken Spanish 4 in high school with a grade of C- or above may enroll in Spanish 121 Beginning Spanish 2or Spanish 225 Intermediate Spanish.
Students who would like to attempt to place into a higher level of Spanish may take a Spanish placement exam (free, online, ungraded, and not recorded on the transcript). Performance on the placement exam will not lower the entry level course.