Breadth of Knowledge (BOK)

Students are required to fulfill the following Breadth of Knowledge requirements from courses outside of their major department, with no more than two courses from a single discipline applied to the same criterion. Students may use up to two courses from their minor to also satisfy the Breadth of Knowledge. The Breadth of Knowledge requirement is designed to familiarize the student with different perspectives on knowledge. Students satisfy this requirement with a minimum of 36 credits in total, distributed as follows:

  • 3 Social Sciences Perspective (SS) - 9 credits
  • 3 Arts and Humanities Perspective (AH) - 9 credits
  • 2 Sciences with Lab Perspective (SCL) - 6 credits minimum
  • 1 STEM Perspective (STEM) - 3 credits
  • College Writing I and II (CW) - 6 credits
  • Math Perspective (MATH) - 3 credits minimum

To find upcoming courses that meet any of these requirements, scroll to the bottom of the Course Finder to search Core Curriculum options.

Breadth of Knowledge Designations and Perspective Statements 

Courses offered to the general university population by the appropriate departments automatically receive the designations listed below. Departments may request exceptions for offered courses that are cross-disciplinary. The perspective statements provided are intended to be shared with students to help them develop a coherent sense of the methods and approaches of the disciplines across the courses they will take.

SS - The Social Sciences perspective draws upon empirical study of behavior, society and social relationships. All courses offered by Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Education, and Sociology, by definition, carry this perspective.

AH - The Arts and Humanities perspective is characterized by the interpretive analysis, critique, and creative and aesthetic expression of ideas and values. All courses offered by Art, Graphic Design, English, History, Music, Philosophy, and World Languages and Cultures (including language courses)1, by definition, carry this perspective.

1Students using AH courses to fulfill the language requirement in the College of FAHSS may not use those same courses to meet the Core Breadth of Knowledge requirement.

SCL - The Science with Lab Perspective represents the systematic, organized, and evidence-based empirical study of the natural and physical world. All courses in the natural and physical sciences with accompanying laboratory work offered by Biology; Chemistry; Earth, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences; and Physics, by definition, carry this perspective.

STEM - The STEM Perspective removes traditional disciplinary boundaries to integrate approaches to analysis and problem solving, drawing from all fields of the sciences, technology, engineering and math.  Science courses without labs, math courses, courses offered by Computer Science and Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, and courses offered by engineering departments, by definition, carry this perspective.

CW - The College Writing requirement helps students integrate their learning across the BOK areas and prepares them to write and research in their major discipline. College Writing I and II and their equivalent courses fulfill this Breadth of Knowledge area.

MATH - The Mathematics Perspective is characterized by the logical analysis of quantity, structure, space, and change in applied and theoretical contexts. All courses offered by the Mathematics & Statistics department, by definition, carry this perspective.

Interdisciplinary and Cross-Disciplinary Courses Seeking Breadth of Knowledge Designations

Interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary courses which do not fall neatly into the disciplines specified above may apply to the Core Curriculum Committee of the Faculty Senate for the SS, AH, SCL, STEM, or MATH designation. An interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary course may carry more than one BOK Designation, but can be used by students to fulfill only one BOK requirement.