Core Curriculum

Courses Approved to Satisfy USM Core Requirements

Lists of courses that satisfy the requirements appear below by requirement area. Please consult with your advisor or use Class Search in Maine Street to determine the availability of these courses in any given semester.

Entry Year Experience

Entry Year Experience courses engage students in exploration of significant questions about human culture and the natural world. The courses facilitate the students’ transition to college by engaging them in active and collaborative learning that enhances their inclination and ability to view complex issues from multiple perspectives.

     EYE 102 Sustainability, Culture and the Environment
     EYE 103 Shopping: American Consumerism
     EYE 105 Life is a Matrix
     EYE 107 HIV/AIDS: Science, Society and Politics
     EYE 108 Culture, Identity and Education
     EYE 109 Gender, Representation and Resistance
     EYE 110 Literature and Medicine
     EYE 111 A World of Words
     EYE 112 The Built Environment: Energy
     EYE 113 The Pleasure of Eating/Animals
     EYE 114 Globalization
     EYE 115 What is Sex?
     EYE 116 Nature-Nurture
     EYE 117 Nature, Society, and Self
     EYE 118 Musician’s Health: A Path to Peak Performance
     EYE 121 The Studio Experience: Art and Community
     EYE 122 Creation Stories
     EYE 124 Birth of a Language in Nicaragua
     EYE 125 Getting Down to More Sustainable Business    
     EYE 126 What is Race?
     EYE 127 Friendship
     EYE 129 The Chicken Course
     EYE 130 The Business of Sport
     EYE 180 Create; Innovation Engineering I
     EYE 199 Topics
     HON 101 Honors Entry Year Experience
     RSP 103 Culture, Community and the Environment
     LCC 123 College and Community

College Writing (back to top)

College Writing introduces students to practices and conventions of expository academic writing. Students read expository writing and use the ideas they encounter to develop and refine their own arguments and perspectives. Students learn how thinking and writing change through processes of reading, drafting, rereading, revision, editing, and proofreading. At the end of the semester, students in College Writing demonstrate an understanding of sentence structure and syntax as central to meaning. Students can compose, in coherent and correct written English, essays that reflect a point of view, engage with readings, and focus on a central thesis or project.

     ENG 100 College Writing
     ENG 101 Independent Writing
     ESL 100 College Writing
     HON 100 Thinking and Writing in Honors
     LCC 110 Language and Literacies in a 21st Century World
     RSP 100 Russell Scholars Writing I

Quantitative Reasoning (back to top)

Students in quantitative reasoning courses will acquire introductory mathematical concepts and skills that are necessary for everyday life and to successfully complete their chosen field of study. In quantitative reasoning courses students will gain an awareness of the utility of mathematics in life and an appreciation of the scope and nature of its decision making potential. These skills include critical thinking, mathematical reasoning, the use of technological tools, computation, interpretation, inquiry, and application of mathematical concepts to issues and problems in the contemporary world.

     ECO 120 Lying with Graphs
     GYA 202 Research Methods
     HON 105 An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Logic and Mathematics
     LCC 150 Statistics for Informed Decision Making
     MAT 105 Mathematics for Quantitative Decision Making
     MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics
     MAT 140 Pre-Calculus Mathematics
     MAT 148 Applied Calculus
     MAT 152 Calculus A
     MAT 210 Business Statistics
     PSY 105 Statistics in Psychology
     SOC 307 Quantitative Research Methods

Creative Expression (back to top)

Creative Expression courses engage students in learning the value of creative process, using it for developing talents and interests in the arts, and learning a set of skills that will enable them to engage in creative thinking in non-arts aspects of their lives.

     ART 141 2-D Design
     ART 151 Drawing I
     CMS 150 The Writing Process
     ENG 201 Creative Writing
     ENG 202 Memoir and Autobiography
     HON 207 Illuminated Autobiography
     HUM 105 Basic Photography
     HUM 307 Creative Nonfiction
     LCC 250 Thinking about Art
     MUS 110 Music Fundamentals
     MUT 201 Music Theory and Aural Skills
     RSP 101 Russell Scholars Creative Writing
     RSP 105 Acting and Performance
     THE 102 Acting for Non-majors
     THE 103 Contemporary Dance I
     THE 134 Production Management
     THE 135 Stagecraft
     THE 170 Public Speaking
     THE 175 Oral Interpretation
     THE 203 Musical Theatre Dance
     THE 275 Readers Theatre
     THE 334 Costuming

Cultural Interpretation (back to top)

Cultural Interpretation courses engage students in the close analysis and interpretation of cultural representations to learn how people make sense of themselves and their world. Students critically evaluate and develop arguments about cultural representations or the contexts that produce them or give them meaning.

     ARH 111 Art History: Prehistoric through Medieval
     ARH 112 Art History: Renaissance to the Present
     ASL 102 Beginning American Sign Language II
     ASL 201 Intermediate Sign Language I
     ASL 202 Intermediate Sign Language II
     CLA 283 Epic Hero in Ancient Literature
     ECO 105 A Novel Approach to Economics
     ENG 120 Introduction to Literature (no longer offered)
     ENG 145 Literature and History
     ENG 150 Topics in Literature (no longer offered)
     ENG 244 Introduction to Cultural Studies
     FRE 102 Beginning French II
     FRE 107 Intensive Beginning French
     FRE 201 Intermediate French I
     FRE 202 Intermediate French II
     FRE 207 Intensive Intermediate French
     FRE 293 Topics in French/Francophone Cinema
     HON 102 Confrontation and Cross-Fertilization among Medieval Cultures
     HON 202 Progress, Process, or Permanence: All that is Solid Melts into Air
     HUM 120 Introduction to Literature
     HUM 213 Metaphor in Literature, Science, and Religion
     HUM 250 Song as Literature
     LCC 200 Creative Critical Inquiry into Modern Life
     LCC 350 Global Past and Present
     MUH 105 Multicultural Perspectives of American Popular Music and Jazz
     MUH 222 Music until 1900
     MUS 100 Music Appreciation and History
     MUS 102 Music of the Portland Symphony
     MUS 103 Introduction to Jazz
     PHI 102 Introduction to Philosophy: Quest for Certainty
     PHI 103 Introduction to Philosophy: Human Alienation
     PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy through its History
     PHI 106 Introduction to Philosophy: Why Philosophize?
     PHI 107 Introduction to Philosophy: World Philosophy
     PHI 109 Introduction to Philosophy: Law, Politics, and Society
     PHI 110 Introduction to Philosophy: Sex, Gender, and Society
     PHI 111 Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophical Reading (and Writing)
     PHI 112 Introduction to Philosophy: Feminist Perspectives
     PHI 310 History of Ancient Philosophy
     PHI 312 Women Philosophers from Africa and the Diaspora
     PHI 320 History of Medieval Philosophy
     PHI 330 History of Early Modern Philosophy
     PHI 360 Existentialism
     PHI 370 Analytic Philosophy
     PHI 390 Hermeneutics
     RSP 250 Russell Scholars Seminar: Songs and Society
     RUS 102 Beginning Russian II
     RUS 201 Intermediate Russian I
     RUS 202 Intermediate Russian II
     SPA 102 Beginning Spanish II
     SPA 107 Intensive Beginning Spanish and Laboratory
     SPA 201 Intermediate Spanish I
     SPA 202 Intermediate Spanish II
     SPA 207 Intensive Intermediate Spanish
     SPA 281 Masterpieces of Spanish American and Brazilian Literature (in English translation)
     SPA 351 Readings in Contemporary Spanish Literature
     SPA 352 Readings in Modern Latin American Literature
     THE 101 Introduction to Theatre
     THE 109 The Art of Dance
     THE 150 Play Analysis
     THE 201 Cultural History of Theatre
     THE 204 Dress and Self Image
     WST 201 Women, Knowledge, and Power

Science Exploration (back to top)

To think like a scientist, students must know how science knowledge is created and interpreted. In a Science Exploration course, content should serve as a vehicle to illustrate how experiment, observation and critical evaluation drive scientific understanding and progress. Science literacy and quantitative reasoning skills will be developed as tools to interpret and apply to natural processes. The Science Exploration course should give the student an appreciation of the applications and limitations of a science that investigates natural processes. To satisfy the Science Exploration requirement the student must successfully complete the lecture and corresponding lab.

     ANT 102 Biological Anthropology (with ANT 102 Lab)
     AST 100 Astronomy
     AST 103 Astronomy: Activities and Experiments
     BIO 101 Biological Foundations
     BIO 102 Biological Experiences
     BIO 103 Introduction to Marine Biology
     BIO 104 Marine Biology Laboratory
     BIO 107 Biological Principles II: Evolution, Biodiversity, Ecology
     CHY 101 Introduction to Chemistry
     CHY 102 Introduction to Laboratory Measurement
     CHY 110 Chemistry, Life, and the Environment
     CHY 113 Principles of Chemistry I
     CHY 114 Laboratory Techniques I
     ESP 101 Fundamentals of Environmental Science
     ESP 102 Fundamentals of Environmental Science Laboratory
     ESP 125 Introduction to Environmental Ecology
     ESP 126 Introduction to Environmental Ecology Lab
     GEO 102 Physical Geography
     GEY 100 Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Moving Plates
     GEY 101 Lab Experiences in Geology
     GEY 102 Field Lab in Physical Geology
     GEY 103 Floods, Glaciers, and Changing Climates
     GEY 105 Ocean Planet
     GEY 106 Ocean Planet Laboratory
     GEY 110 Field Studies in Environmental Geology on the Island of Lesvos, Greece
     HON 200/201 Interdisciplinary Inquiry in the Sciences of the Human Body/lab
     LCC 130 The Biology of Human Health with Lab
     LCC 230 Environmental Science, Policy, and Sustainability with Lab
     PHY 101 Introduction to Physics
     PHY 102 Introduction to Physics Laboratory
     PHY 111 Elements of Physics I
     PHY 114 Introductory Physics Laboratory I
     PHY 121 General Physics I
     SCI 250 Applied Physics

Socio-cultural Analysis (back to top)

Socio-cultural Analysis courses engage students in examination of socio-cultural systems and phenomena over time and across cultures. Students learn to use conceptual frameworks that shed light on human behavior in social contexts. This includes examination of influences on and effects of behavior associated with public and private roles students may experience.

     ANT 101 Anthropology: The Cultural View
     ANT 201 Human Origins
     ANT 202 Origins of Civilization
     ANT 220 North American Indians
     ANT 230 Hunters and Gatherers
     ANT 232 The Anthropology of Sex and Gender
     ANT 233 Food and Culture
     CLA 285 Classical Mythology
     CLA 291 The Golden Age of Greece
     CLA 292 Rome, from Republic to Empire
     CMS 102 Introduction to Communication
     COR 142 Baseball and American Society
     CRM 100 Introduction to Criminology
     ECO 100 Introduction to Economics
     ECO 101 Introduction to Macroeconomics
     ECO 102 Introduction to Microeconomics
     ECO 103 Critical Thinking about Economic Issues
     ECO 104 U.S. in the World Economy
     ECO 106 Economic, Social, and Cultural Change
     ECO 108 Economic Journalism
     ENG 230 Literacy Studies
     FRE 283 Contemporary French Thinkers
     FRE 292 French Civilization II
     GEO 101 Human Geography
     GEO 103 Human-Environmental Geography
     GEO 104 World Regional Geography
     GEO 120 Geography of Maine
     GEO 203 Urban and Regional Development
     GEO 207 Maps: Knowledge, Technology, Society, Culture
     GER 102 Beginning German II
     GER 107 Intensive Beginning German
     GER 201 Intermediate German I
     GER 202 Intermediate German II
     HON 103 Religious and Scientific Perspectives on Human Origins and the Human Body
     HRD 200 Human Growth and Development
     HTY 101 Western Civilization I
     HTY 102 Western Civilization II
     HTY 121 U.S. History to 1800
     HTY 122 U.S. History to 1900
     HTY 123 U.S. History since 1900
     HTY 141 African-American History to 1865
     HTY 142 African-American History from 1865
     HTY 152 The Islamic Near East
     HTY 171 Traditional East Asia
     HTY 172 Modern East Asia
     HTY 181 Latin America I
     HTY 182 Latin America II
     HUM 136 United States Studies II
     HUM 246 The Viet Nam Era
     HUM 260 Themes of Popular Culture
     HUM 301 French North American Studies
     HUM 310 French Settlement in the Northeast
     HUM 325 Issues in World History and Geography I
     HUM 326 Issues in World History and Geography II
     HUM 330 Labor, Literature, and the Arts
     HUM 340 World Native and Indigenous Studies
     HUM 350 Cultural Fieldwork
     LAC/SBS 340 - Language Acquisition & Literacy Development
     LCC 220 US Democracy: Origins and Development
     LCC 310 Science, Technology, and Society
     LIN 112 Analyzing Language
     LIN 185 Language, Mind, and Society
     LIN 201 Child Language
     LIN 203 Introduction to the Deaf World
     POS 101 Introduction to American Government
     POS 102 People and Politics
     POS 104 Introduction to International Relations
     POS 205 Introduction to Comparative Politics
     RSP 102 Russell Scholars Seminar: Self and Communication
     RUS 102 Beginning Russian II
     RUS 201 Intermediate Russian I
     RUS 202 Intermediate Russian II
     RUS 291 Russian and Soviet Culture and Civilization
     SBS 200 Human Growth and Development
     SCI 153 AIDS: Biology, Social Policy, and the Law
     SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
     SOC 210 Critical Thinking about Social Issues
     SPA 270 The Culture and Civilization of Spain
     SWO 250 Introduction to Social Welfare
     THE 201 Cultural History of Theatre
     WST 101 Introduction to Women and Gender Studies

Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship (back to top)

Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship courses focus on a theme that engages students in critical reflection on their responsibilities for informed decision making and action in their public and private roles. They require students to frame, analyze, and evaluate ethical issues, as well as to articulate and evaluate their own viewpoints and actions in relation to the ethical frameworks introduced.  Examples of Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship courses are listed below. Full information on courses that satisfy the Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship requirement may be found online in MaineStreet by using the general education drop-down menu in class search. Some majors may require students to complete specific courses to satisfy this requirement. See the relevant department section of the catalog for more information.    

     ADS 300 Ethics and Youth with Exceptionalities
     ARH 312 Art as Social Action                                                                                                
     BUS 347 Triple Bottom Line Business                                                                              
     CLA 384 What Would Antigone Do?                                                                                      
     CMS 323 Understanding Technology                                                                                   
     COR 301 Thoughtful Giving: Philanthropy and American Culture                              
     EDU 310 What is the Purpose of Education in a Democracy?                                   
     ENG 348 Empire, Ethics and Globalization                                                                         
     ESP 200 Environmental Planning                                                                                            
     ESP 308 Global Environmental Problems and Sustainability                                       
     GEO 209 Introduction to Land Use Planning                                                                      
     HON 310 Honors Global Ethical Inquiry
     HTY 394 The Civil Rights Movement (this title only)                                                 
     LCC 370 Toward a Global Ethics                                                                                               
     LIN 410 Ethical Decision Making in ASL/English Interpreting                                       
     MUE 310 Proseminar 5 Internship                                                                                         
     MUH 329 Devils, Dwarfs, and Dragons                                                                                
     PHI 211 Media Ethics                                                                                                                   
     PHI 212 Environmental Ethics                                                                                                  
     PHI 235 Philosophy of Social Media                                                                                      
     PHI 240 Political Philosophy                                                                                                      
     PHI 241 Work, Society, and Subjectivity                                                                              
     PHI 245 Africa, Social Justice, and Exile                                                                                
     PHI 275 Compassion                                                                                                                    
     PHI 291 Death and Dying                                                                                                           
     PHI 285 Genetics and Society                                                                                                  
     PHI 295 Medicine, Madness, and Disease
     POS 280 Issues Before the United Nations                                                                        
     REL 300 Religion and the Creation of the Human                  
     THE 375 Performance Art                                                                                                          
     WST 380 Politics of Difference                                                                                                 

 Thematic Clusters (back to top)

Thematic clusters provide students with opportunities to explore an issue, theme or topic from a variety of perspectives. The clusters encourage students to integrate their learning by juxtaposing competing and complementary ways of framing complex issues and problems at a more advanced level. To satisfy the Thematic Cluster requirement students complete three courses in the cluster of their choice.  Only one of these three courses may overlap with the student's major requirements. See class search in Maine Street or the USM Core website for details on cluster courses and prerequisites.

     Aging Well
     American Society and Culture
     Applied Science and Technology
     Casco Bay Region
     Early Childhood Education
     Education in a Democratic Society
     Environment and Society
     Film and Society
     Geospatial Technologies
     Health and Wellness
     Humans and Animals
     Law
     Leadership
     Media Arts, Technology and Design
     Modernism
     Professional Practices
     Public Health
     Religious Experience and Human Culture
     Resilience and Vulnerability
     Resource Use and Global Change
     Theory, Culture and Politics
     Things French
     War and Peace
     Working Class Studies

Diversity (back to top)

Courses that satisfy the diversity requirement engage students in critical examination of and self-reflection on issues of difference and diversity. In the context of the course topic, the diversity requirement will enhance students’ analytic sophistication about issues related to difference and diversity and will foster the interpersonal skills necessary for engaging with diverse populations within the U.S. or in other parts of the world.

     ANT 232 Sex and Gender
     ARH 310 Art History: Cross Cultural Perspectives
     EDU 305 Foundations of Cultural and Linguistic Relativity
     ENG 383 Harlem Renaissance
     EYE 109 Gender, Representation and Resistance
     GEO 402 Urban Geography
     HON 102 Confrontation and Cross-fertilization among Medieval Cultures
     HON 351 Virtual Sunset vs Real Sunset
     MUH 105 Multi-cultural Perspectives on American Popular Music and Jazz
     LIN 185 Language, Mind and Society
     LIN 203 Introduction to Deaf World
     NUR 326 Dominican Republic Community Nursing
     NUR 327 Dominican Republic Community Nursing
     NUR 339 Community Nursing Partnerships I
     NUR 341 Community Nursing Partnerships II
     NUR 419 Community Nursing Partnership
     NUR 436 Community Nursing Partnership I
     NUR 437 Community Nursing Partnership II
     PHI 312 Gender in African Film and Literature
     PHI 245 Africa, Social Justice, and Exile
     POS 104 Introduction to International Relations
     POS 280 Issues Before the United Nations
     SBS 345 Race, Class, Gender: Diversity
     SED 335 Students with Exceptionalities in General Education
     SOC 150 Social Networks
     SOC 371 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
     SWO 365 Examining Oppression and Valuing Diversity
     THE 201 Cultural History of Theatre
     THE 360 Butches, Bitches, and Buggers
     WST 101 Introduction to Women Studies
     WST 201 Women, Knowledge and Power
     WST 380 Politics of Difference
     WST 390 Contemporary Feminist Theories

International (back to top)

Courses that satisfy the international requirement help students become world-minded learners who are knowledgeable about and have a comparative understanding of international social, political, economic or cultural issues in context. Courses that satisfy this requirement develop students’ knowledge and skills in relation to international issues of relevance to the course topic and focus. Study abroad involving an academic experience may be used to satisfy the International requirement. Advanced submission or syllabi or other documentation to the Office of International Programs is required to confirm that the program in question satisfies this requirement.

     ANT 232 Sex and Gender
     ANT 255 Cultures of Africa
     ARH 111 Art History: Prehistoric through Medieval
     ARH 112 Art History: Renaissance to the Present
     BUS 335 International Business
     BUS 361 International Marketing
     CMS 286 History of International Cinema to 1945
     EDU 310 What is the Purpose of Education in a Democracy?
     ENG 326 Women and Islam
     ENG 397 Irish Film
     ESP 308 Global Environmental Problems and Sustainability
     FRE 202 Intermediate French II
     GEO 101 Human Geography’
     GEO 103 Human-Environment Geography
     GEO 104 World Regional Geography
     GEO 203 Urban and Regional Development
     GEO 285 Global Environmental Issues and Sustainability
     GEO 481 Megacities and Global Planning
     HON 310 Honors Global Ethical Inquiry
     HTY 171 Traditional East Asia
     HTY 172 Modern East Asia
     HTY 181 Latin America I
     HTY 182 Latin America II
     HTY 377 Chinese Thought
     HTY 388 Revolutions of Modern China
     HTY 390 Traditional Japan: Court and Warriers
     ITP 230 Project Management
     MUH 222 Music History Survey I
     PHI 312 Gender in African Film and Literature
     PHI 245 Africa, Social Justice, and Exile
     POS 104 Introduction to International Relations
     POS 280 Issues Before the United Nations
     REC 373 Belize
     REC 374 New Foundland
     SWO 322 Culture and Community Services in Belize
     THE 201 Cultural History of Theatre

Capstone (back to top)

The capstone experience engages students with a significant theme, issue, topic, or problem. The capstone requires the development of a substantial oral, written, creative or applied final project that integrates disciplinary learning with general education and the perspectives of other disciplines. As the concluding experience, the capstone provides opportunities for students to think about how their education at USM, especially in the major, informs their future academic, professional and personal lives. See the section of this catalog pertaining to your declared major for information on capstone courses.