Great Books & Ideas Studies

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Q: What is “Great Books & Ideas”?

That’s the question, isn’t it. What makes something “great”—for us, for anyone? How do we really get at the discoveries and innovations that have made the world we live in now? Why is one poem, one novel, one idea so important that people come back to it again and again—and how do our choices about what’s “great” define who we are? Ultimately this Pathway is about asking questions, and exploring the varieties of human expression that start to get at some of the answers. Sometimes such explorations are dangerous..but that’s why it should be fun. Click here for catalog description. 

Q: What kind of courses will I take in this Pathway?

All kinds! The Pathway includes Introductions to Astronomy (GEOS 105), Theater (THEA 110), Philosophy (PHIL 101), American Indian Studies (AIST 170) and Sociology (SOCI 100); or take a more focused look at The American West (GEOG 106), Asian Religions (RELS 110), or Great Compositions and Composers (MUSC 292), and more. For the upper-division, you can take three interdisciplinary courses with content that varies from section to section (“Revolutionary Ideas in the Natural Sciences,” NSCI 300; “Great Books and Ideas: Social Sciences,” SOSC 300; and “Great Books and Ideas: Humanities,” HUMN 300). Click here for a full listing.

Q: Why study Great Books & Ideas?

Simple—this is what education is all about. You’ve all heard (probably way too much) about how competitive the job market is right now, but you may not know that employers wish job candidates had a better foundation in the Liberal Arts! Curiosity, critical thinking, big ideas and a real grasp of a range of knowledge and skills – these are what college education should give you. Let GB&I be your guide to getting the kind of broad and rewarding GE experience that comes from 2,000 years of educational tradition – and that really prepares you for what comes next.

Q: Why get the Minor in Great Books & Ideas?

Make it count—get it on your resume! Just as important, make it real— get the full benefit of GE. This doesn’t have to be just a set of requirements—it can mean a lot more. Getting the GB&I minor shows you’ve pursued pressing questions and revolutionary answers back in time and around the world, and that you can do the same right here and now, too. Plus, it’s easy: pick a Foundation course and any two lower-division classes in the Pathway, finish your GE with the three upper-division courses—and you’ve got a minor! 

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