May 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

The Core Curriculum

Location(s): Main Campus


The University holds that professional and applied studies, and later success in careers, require a sophisticated and learned grasp of the artistic, communicative, cultural, social, historical and scientific achievements of the world; and that all learners and professionals should be able to interpret these domains and to communicate about them clearly and persuasively. All colleges and universities in the State of Connecticut are required by the Office of Higher Education to mandate that General Education courses compose “33 percent of the minimum requirements for the baccalaureate degree.” The University of Bridgeport fully supports the educational philosophy behind this mandate.

The University of Bridgeport also believes that General Education should reflect the University’s educational mission. The Gener­al Education’s Core Curriculum draws upon the best traditions of American education and seeks to stimulate creativity, intellec­tual growth, and development of analytical thinking; but it also advances UB’s distinc­tive educational outlook, which is interna­tional in character and commitment. Thus the University requires that a large majority of the forty required credit hours of Gen­eral Education be distributed within its Core Curriculum and allows the remaining to be taken as Liberal Arts electives. “Liberal Arts” encompass any course that is not de­signed primarily for skill or knowledge ac­quisition in a specific profession or field of work and generally includes the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and math­ematics. The total number of General Education credit hours on a student’s record must be forty or higher and must satisfy the Core requirements.

The required distribution of Core courses through a range of disciplines reflects the mission of the University of Bridgeport. In particular, courses from disciplines are cho­sen because they encourage reflection upon the interdependent nature of the world, con­tribute to global awareness, and encourage interdisciplinary modes of integrative learn­ing. All classes in this curriculum contrib­ute to academic development and lay the groundwork for success in graduate schools or students’ chosen professions. The Core Curriculum represents what is best and dis­tinctive about the University of Bridgeport.

The University’s Core Curriculum Has Three Dimensions:


  1. Skills
  2. Heritage
  3. Seminars

I. The Skills Section


Skills classes help students learn how to think clearly, write effectively, and communicate accurately and persuasively. These courses, normally taken in the first semester, lay the foundation for all further study. The Univer­sity of Bridgeport requires competency for such skills through successful completion or placement out of two such courses: one in composition, the other in mathematics. (Note: Placement out of any course requires an equal number of credits to be completed in other approved liberal arts coursework toward the minimum forty required credit hours of General Education.)

II. The Heritage Section


Heritage classes introduce students to the ar­tistic, communicative, cultural, social, histori­cal and scientific achievements of the world. The courses below have been selected for inclusion in the Core Curriculum because they contribute to forming an interdisciplin­ary perspective about these achievements. These courses aim to help students see the world in a distinctive way: as a plural but increasingly interdependent reality. Upper-level courses are suggested to students who are completing Core General Education re­quirements as juniors or seniors, or who have focused academic interests in a particu­lar area of enquiry. Enrolling in these upper-level courses requires the instructor’s permis­sion. Full course descriptions and any course prerequisites can be found in Undergraduate Courses of Instruction section of the Catalog.

Six Hours of Humanities:


Two of the following courses. Courses from different disciplines are recommended.

Six Hours of Natural Science:


Six hours met by any combination of the following courses and/or upper-level lab science courses for which students meet the prerequisites.

Six Hours of Social Science:


Two of the following courses. Courses from different disciplines are recommended.

III. Seminars: First Year Seminar and Capstone 390


The thematically focused First Year Semi­nar (FYS 101 ), taught with common student learning outcomes to all freshmen, is taken during the first semester of study. This semi­nar introduces students to the academic val­ues of a university education while inculcat­ing habits of learning that will serve them throughout their undergraduate education and beyond. Through this seminar experi­ence, students establish a foundation upon which the rest of their university education stands.

The Capstone Seminars, CAPS 390  , provide an academic context in which the skills and content of the other courses in the General Education Curriculum can be synthesized and integrated. The Capstone is the “crown­ing achievement” of the General Education Curriculum. As such, the seminars are lim­ited to juniors and seniors who have com­pleted at least 75 semester credit hours and all required hours within in the Skills and Heritage sections of the Core Curriculum. No exceptions will be granted to this policy.

Core Curriculum Outcomes

The following lists of student learning out­comes contains the common elements for any course that fulfills the University of Bridgeport’s First Year Seminar, Capstone, Humanities, Fine Arts, Social Science, or Natural Science requirement in the General Education Curriculum.

FYS

  1. Students will demonstrate ability to communicate at a first-year college level, in both oral and written language.
  2. Students will demonstrate ability to use reasoning in assessing ideas, values, and beliefs of oneself and others.
  3. Students will demonstrate understanding of core information literacy knowledge practices, including standards of academic integrity, by conducting effective research to locate quality sources that fit their specific research needs.
  4. Students will demonstrate understanding of the tools necessary for succeeding in college-level academic courses.
  5. Students will demonstrate ability to locate and use academic and student support services of the University such as advising, tutoring, counseling, career development, and other related services.
  6. Students will demonstrate understanding of the processes and requirements for successful completion of a degree.
  7. Students will demonstrate engagement in activities that promote a sense of community as well as of individual purpose in developing personal, civic, and/or professional identity.

Capstone

Students will identify and complete individ­ual or group projects focused on something relevant to their major programs or career goals (such as case studies, business plans, research papers, artwork, design concepts, engineered products, policy proposals, com­munity organizing, poems/stories, or the like).

  1. Students will demonstrate qualitative and quantitative research methods, as the topics allow, in their projects.
  2. Students will present their substantive projects to an identified audience, using appropriate media (audio, visual, demonstrative, written, oral, etc.)
  3. Students will use multidisciplinary sources to provide contextual significance of their projects within broader political, industrial, or social frames.
  4. Students will gather quality information sources that establish their authority over the content of their presented projects.

Humanities

Upon completing a 6-credit requirement in the Humanities (two HU-designated cours­es), students will be able to understand and appreciate the role of literature, philosophy, religion, and/or history in shaping human culture and helping us make sense of our world. Students will demonstrate this by be­ing able to:

  1. Apply historical, interpretive and/or analytical methods to explore the human condition.
  2. Demonstrate in speaking and writing the ability to present well-grounded interpretations of complex literary, historical, cultural and philosophical bodies of knowledge.
  3. Reflect upon human life, experience, existence, value, purpose and meaning in a globalized world.
  4. Conduct scholarly research to identify and evaluate authoritative sources that identify significant literary, historical, cultural, and/or philosophical aspects of the human experience.

Fine Arts

Upon completing a 3-credit requirement in the Fine Arts (FA-designated courses), stu­dents will develop a basic appreciation for creative and performing arts, including visual art, music, theater, or film and be able to:

  1. Analyze critically and interpret objects of art for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content.
  2. Analyze creative art forms to explore human experience and critique, challenge and consider the effect on the nature of society.
  3. Apply learned theory through creative work, practice, performance, or other practical applications.

Social Sciences

Upon completing a 6-credit requirement in Social Science (two SS-designated courses) students will understand and be able to evaluate the theoretical foundations that un­derpin the disciplines of economics, history, political science, psychology, or sociology and demonstrate that understanding by be­ing able to:

  1. Apply empirical methods, including quantitative and qualitative designs, to investigate and explain social phenomena in the pursuit of producing new knowledge.
  2. Evaluate larger social problems challenging contemporary society as well as the policies and action designed to address these challenges.
  3. Research, identify and evaluate authoritative sources that utilize social scientific methods and/or theoretical perspectives.

Natural Sciences

Upon completing a 6-credit requirement in Natural Sciences (two NS-designated courses) students will demonstrate competence in the following two areas:

  1. Knowledge of factual content and major concepts in at least one scientific discipline - Students will be able to:
    1. Make connections between scientific concepts and everyday phenomena, real life applications and contempo­rary global issues.
    2. Identify and interpret scientific infor­mation presented in a credible media source or an article of scientific jour­nalism.
  2. Implementation of key attributes of the scientific method of inquiry - Students will be able to:
    1. Design, conduct and interpret labora­tory experiments to test a hypothesis and reach conclusions.
    2. Interpret and manipulate quantitative information to arrive at appropriate conclusions.

Note On Course Transfer Policy

The University allows twenty-seven hours of the General Education Curriculum distri­bution hours to be transferred from other universities. The Capstone Seminar and at least one additional General Education elective course must be taken at the University of Bridgeport. The University of Bridgeport First Year Seminar is not required of transfer students who enter with 30 or more credits.

Liberal Arts Electives


A minimum of 7 Liberal Arts electives are required for General Education. Specific Liberal Arts electives may be determined by degree programs. A course may count as a Liberal Art elective if that course is designed primarily to promote multidisciplinary skills or knowledge, broad-based academic development, or any of the following:   

  • A course fulfills the Learning Outcomes for any of the Skills Courses (such as Math or Writing) or Heritage (FA, NS, SS or HU courses);  
  • The course Learning Outcomes fulfil the criteria for multiple categories listed above, but do not fit completely into to only one category;  
  • The main course Learning Outcomes foster creativity, communication, analysis, or critical thinking.