General Education

General education is part of a liberal arts tradition that extends back to the ancient Greeks and their study of artes liberales. Today the term “liberal arts education” echoes its original meaning – study that liberates - and the academic disciplines associated with liberal arts include languages, literature, philosophy, history, science and math, and social science. The contemporary labor market highly values the critical thinking and innovation skills associated with liberal arts study. 

Your General Education Program

The AUP General Education program of study represents one third of your courses for the undergraduate degree program and includes five main components of study. One of these is AUP’s FirstBridge program, which is only open to freshmen and takes place in your first semester. 

Throughout your degree program you will be expected to meet the following general education course requirements which cover a wide range of liberal arts topics:

Mapping the World

Mapping the World

Mapping the World draws from the social sciences—and on the metaphor of mapmaking—to explore how human experience has been organized across time and place.  

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Modeling the World

Modeling the World

Modeling the World includes scientific and mathematical investigations. We believe science and math are essential means of learning for informed, ethically aware world citizens. 

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Comparing the World

Comparing the World

Comparing Worlds emphasizes historical and cross-cultural understanding from different global perspectives. The ability to compare is a critical interpretative skill.

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General Education in Your First Year

In FirstBridge, as a freshman, you will explore different academic disciplines singly and in combination with each other and further develop writing and critical thinking skills and prepare for the intellectual rigor demanded by future degree program study. Transfer students, given their demonstrated experience as university students, are exempted from the FirstBridge requirement. All students will be required to meet the requirements for speaking and writing English and French their first year, one of the five general education required components. 

Firstbridge

An interdisciplinary and cross-cultural learning community.

Speaking the World

Explore the links between language and culture.

Professional Success

General education’s purpose is to provide a wide range of core skills and methods of investigation, introduce various contexts from which to examine and solve problems; and to hone your writing, speaking and computer skills in order to effectively communicate your findings. In a world where 70% of employers seek graduates who can think both broadly and deeply about important questions and who can analyze the complex forces driving today’s events, it is important that you take seriously this unique American university approach to intellectual preparation.  It is the cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural approach to general education offered at AUP that will serve you well throughout your life and career by providing you with: 

  • Technical and quantitative expertise 
  • Interpersonal and cultural flexibility  
  • Interdisciplinary, adaptive and creative thinking and problem solving 
  • Integration of work inside and outside the classroom