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The Domains

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.


foundational systems

These courses, among other things, provide the foundations for communication and discourse, for scientific inquiry, and for reasoning itself. The focus of Systems courses is on these foundational concepts, as well as the many rules and principles that govern their systemic relationship and application. Within this domain, students develop an applied, working knowledge of the various relational principles that govern a foundational system (e.g. calculus, math, music theory, logic, modern and classical languages).


creative practices

Courses in this domain engage students’ mastery of techniques and sharpen their aptitude for creative abstraction and its use in the imaginative process. The goals of courses in this domain include instructing students on approaches and techniques used for creating conceptual material for an audience, introducing standards of creative practice, training students on observation and critique of their own and others’ work, and cultivating technical proficiency necessary for the creative discipline (e.g.  computer visualization, entrepreneurship, dance technique, visual arts, music technique, creative writing, theatre).


social analysis of 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.  These courses may also address the implications of social science research for public policy formation (e.g. history, anthropology, religious studies, economics, political science).

The Universe

scientific inquiry into 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. Courses in this domain examine the connections and coherence between the discourse and contexts from which it stems. 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).