General Education Curriculum

This general education curriculum integrates an interrelated set of principles that emphasizes intellectual and practical skills, transferable tools for integrative learning, and disciplinary perspectives designed to enhance the framing of students' management education. It recognizes writing, oral communication and information literacy as central tools for learning and disseminating new knowledge that permeate the entirety of the learning experience. The curriculum is intended to help students understand the synergistic and complementary relationships among academic disciplines and their varied approaches to describing, analyzing, comprehending, interpreting and critiquing a range of phenomena in both human cultures and the physical and natural world. In doing so, it will prepare students to apply the skills, knowledge and sense of responsibility they have gained to new settings and complex problems as engaged citizens in an interconnected world.

Although students across the college will satisfy their graduation requirements with different courses, each student must select those courses in accordance with the college General Education Curriculum requirement, the BSBA core requirements and the University Writing Requirement.

Components of the Freeman College of Management General Education Curriculum

Intellectual Skills

  • Foundation Seminar
  • Lab Science
  • Foreign Language

Tools for Critical Engagement

  • Diversity in the U.S.
  • Environmental Connections
  • Global Connections

Disciplinary Perspectives

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Natural Sciences & Mathematics
  • Social Sciences/Management

Disciplinary Depth

  • The Freeman College Core
  • The Major(s)
  • Academic Conventions of Writing, Speaking and Information Literacy
  • Culminating Experience

One course from each of the Tools for Critical Engagement categories may also count as a course within the Disciplinary Perspectives categories. Advanced Placement (AP) courses, International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, and courses taken elsewhere for Bucknell credit may be used to fulfill General Education requirements only when approved by the appropriate department chair and the coordinator of the General Education. Any course that fulfills the Freeman College General Education Curriculum requirement and/or a University Writing requirement may also count toward a major or a minor.

The following descriptions articulate the requirements for each of the components of the Freeman College General Education Curriculum.

Intellectual Skills

Transferable knowledge and a range of intellectual abilities drawn from different modes of inquiry across disciplines are essential components of any liberal education. These courses help students develop important academic capacities for use during their undergraduate career and in the rapidly changing world they will enter after college.

  • Foundation Seminar: one writing-intensive W1 course in the fall of the first year.
  • Lab Science: one course from the list of designated courses. Also counts as a Natural Science & Mathematics disciplinary perspective requirement.
  • Foreign Language: one course from the list of designated courses.

Tools for Critical Engagement

Courses in this category provide students with an opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to problems and issues that challenge us today or have done so throughout history.

  • Diversity in the United States: one course from the designated list of courses.
  • Environmental Connections: one course from the designated list of courses.
  • Global Connections: one course from the designated list of courses.

Disciplinary Perspectives

Courses in this category expose students to a wide range of modes of intellectual inquiry. To ensure that students sample broadly from Bucknell’s curricular offerings, they are required to take two courses from each of the following areas: Arts & Humanities, Natural Sciences & Mathematics, and Social Sciences/Management. One course from the Natural Sciences & Mathematics area will be satisfied by the Lab Science requirement.

Disciplinary Depth

The disciplinary depth component of the curriculum provides students with the opportunity for sustained study in an academic discipline. Students learn to think deeply about a set of linked topics and the methodology of academic investigation in a specific field or a set of subfields, and within these categories they extend and develop their own ideas with more sophisticated and informed analysis. They acquire the intellectual confidence that comes from mastery of a body of knowledge and develop the skills to apply their learning beyond their coursework.

The Freeman College Core

The Freeman College Core requirements comprise those management courses that all candidates for the BSBA degree must complete regardless of major. It is designed to cultivate three forms of literacy relevant to managerial thought: foundational, managerial and integrative. All BSBA graduates must acquire these literacies, as they are the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary for managers, regardless of organization, industry, function or sector.

The Major(s)

The academic major provides students with a framework for focused disciplinary study. Through a set of linked courses defined by faculty in departments and programs, students develop expertise in their discipline. Students in major courses have common academic backgrounds and therefore upper-level major courses can address academic material at a sophisticated level.

Academic Conventions of Writing, Speaking and Information Literacy

The College faculty has identified writing, speaking and information literacy as essential intellectual competencies that need to be mastered by competent graduates. In-depth and discipline-specific study affords students an opportunity to practice these activities at a high level; therefore the curriculum of each major helps students meet the learning goals of speaking, information literacy and writing through a variety of means.

Writing: Students will develop their writing abilities through coursework in the University Writing Program. Courses in the major will allow students to apply their writing ability to address and investigate issues at a more sophisticated level due to their mastery of the subject matter. These courses will allow students to write about topics they know best.

Speaking: Students will develop skills in formal presentation at a level reasonable for a college graduate in the particular major. Ways in which this skill can be obtained and practiced include but are not restricted to a course with student presentations, honors thesis defense, talk in a student colloquium series, presentation at a conference, or presentation of significant course projects.

Information Literacy: In the Foundation Seminar and in many other courses, students have achieved basic competency in finding, analyzing, evaluating and effectively using various sources of information. Courses in the major will build on these skills and introduce students to field-specific information retrieval techniques and to critical evaluation of content as customary in the field.

Culminating Experience

In addition to completing a body of specialized coursework, students in each major will complete an approved Culminating Experience usually in their senior year. Second-semester juniors may complete a Culminating Experience in a major with permission of the adviser and the department chair or program coordinator. The successful Culminating Experience will draw together a student’s disciplinary experiences and provide a more coherent appreciation of the major’s academic discipline. The structure of the Culminating Experience is left to the discretion of the faculty in the department or program offering the major (subject to the review of the Freeman College of Management Curriculum Committee). Types of Culminating Experiences will vary by major, but they may include a senior seminar, interdisciplinary course, independent study project, service learning or an honors thesis.