Beloit’s curricular breadth requirements encompass the five domains. These domains are categories that outline the focus of the courses within them. Students enjoy a tremendous amount of freedom to explore areas of interest while completing their five required courses – one in each of the five domains - during their first four semesters.
conceptual and foundational systems
This domain concerns the systems that provide the foundations for communication and discourse, scientific inquiry, and reasoning itself. Through regular practice, students begin to learn the rules of the system and how they can use them as tools. In these courses, students will recognize 1) the coherence of the system they are studying, 2) that they are working in a system that is one among many, 3) that they work with an incomplete understanding of the system that can be extended through further study and practice, and 4) that the rules of the system have a purpose as tools and the system as a whole has a purpose that allows for higher level thinking (e.g. mathematics, music theory, logic, and introductory modern and classical languages).
artistic and creative practices
This domain concerns the intellectual processes and techniques used to generate a creative product. The learning goals of courses in this domain include 1) understanding and practicing basic skills, including technique and research, that allow students to participate in their chosen medium, 2) recognizing the productive discomforts of creative risk-taking and experimentation, 3) considering the complex relationship between audiences and artistic work, 4) engaging new processes for the generation and development of work, and 5) developing and practicing self-assessment and peer critique through reflection and engagement with the classroom community (e.g. computer visualization, entrepreneurship, dance technique, visual arts, music technique, creative writing, and theatre).
social analysis of human behavior
This domain concerns social analysis as a way of understanding human behavior. Students explore approaches and models that enhance our understanding of human behavior within a variety of cultural and social contexts, both contemporary and historical. This domain encompasses a range of methodological approaches, both qualitative and quantitative. Typically, courses offer theoretical/analytical approaches to the study of human behavior that relate to empirical data. These courses may also address the implications of social science research for public policy formation (e.g. history, anthropology, religious studies, economics, political science).
scientific inquiry into the physical and biological universe
This domain concerns scientific inquiry as an approach to comprehending the physical and biological universe. In these courses, students formulate and test hypotheses about the physical and biological universe by gathering, analyzing, and interpreting empirical data in laboratory and/or field settings. Students develop abilities to evaluate scientific evidence and may also develop an understanding of the applications of science for local, national, and global issues (e.g. physical and biological sciences, biologically oriented anthropology and psychology).
textual cultures and analysis
This domain concerns the study and critical analysis of texts, examining the connections and coherence among their parts and the cultural, social, philosophical, and/or historical contexts from which they stem. Students learn how to engage texts, both as reader and respondent, and they develop the interpretative and analytic skills necessary for responsible engagement with texts (e.g. literature, philosophy, history, social sciences).