Core Humanities courses

Core Humanities courses are challenging. Students engage in extensive reading and analysis of primary sources to develop a sense of the ideas and events that influenced human development over time.

The courses are writing-intensive so that students can practice presenting persuasive arguments supported by evidence from the texts. There is also a discussion component that provides opportunities for practicing oral expression skills through thoughtful dialogue with other students. The focus on critical thinking and effective communication provides the foundation that students need to succeed in more advanced classes in their majors and in their careers beyond the University of Nevada, Reno.

All Core Humanities courses satisfy Core Objective 5 (History and Culture) of the Silver Core Curriculum. In addition, CH 212 satisfies Core Objective 9 (Science, Technology and Society) and CH 203 satisfies Core Objective 8 (Constitution).

Course overview

CH 201

CH 201: Ancient and Medieval Cultures surveys the cultures of the Near East, Greece, Rome and the European Middle Ages. Students learn about the cultural and historical origins of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and explore the roots of philosophy and science. Core themes that are examined through the assigned texts and images include concepts like heroism, justice and romantic love. (CO5)

Learning outcomes

Students successfully completing CH 201 will be able to:

  • Express ideas clearly and persuasively, using relevant evidence to support their arguments. (CO1)
  • Analyze primary source texts with attention to content, historical and cultural context and rhetorical techniques. (CO3, CO5)
  • Trace the sources and development of ancient and medieval traditions and cultural institutions, with attention to the diversity of experiences and voices that shaped them. (CO5)
  • Identify how arts, technologies, scientific knowledge, political ideologies and religious beliefs contributed to ancient and medieval identities. (CO5)
  • Recognize ways in which ancient and medieval ideas provide the foundation for the modern world. (CO5)
  • Compare the ethical principles and notions of morality or justice in varying systems of belief, religions and philosophies of ancient and medieval cultures. (CO5)
CH 202

CH 202: The Modern World uses texts, images and music to trace Europe's interactions with other parts of the world and the legacy of those interactions in shaping ideas, institutions and cultures from the early modern era to the present. Cultural artifacts of the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the period of revolution and romanticism, and the 20th century are examined and discussed. Core themes include the impact of science and industry, political revolutions, colonialism, postcolonialism and globalization. (CO5)

Learning outcomes

Students successfully completing CH 202 will be able to:

  • Express ideas clearly and persuasively, using relevant evidence to support their arguments. (CO1)
  • Analyze primary source texts with attention to content, historical and cultural context, and rhetorical techniques. (CO3, CO5)
  • Trace the sources and development of European intellectual traditions and cultural institutions, with attention to the diversity of global experiences and voices that shaped them. (CO5)
  • Identify how arts, technologies, scientific discoveries, political ideologies and globalization contributed to modern and contemporary identities. (CO5)
  • Connect the beliefs, values and actions of past generations to contemporary conditions.
  • Describe European interactions with other parts of the world and explain how interregional cultural connections, economic ties, and military conflicts shaped ideas, beliefs and values in the modern and contemporary world.
CH 212

CH 212: Science, Technology and Society in the Modern Era may be taken as an alternative to CH 202 (students may take either CH 202 or CH 212, but not both). This courses examines the same time period and intellectual and cultural movements as CH 202 with an emphasis on how scientific and technological developments have affected modern societies. (CO5, CO9)

Learning outcomes

Students successfully completing CH 212 will be able to:

  • Express ideas clearly and persuasively, using relevant evidence to support their arguments. (CO1)
  • Analyze primary source texts with attention to content, historical and cultural context, and rhetorical techniques. (CO3, CO5)
  • Trace the sources and development of European intellectual, scientific and technological traditions and institutions, as well as their social, cultural and historical impacts, with attention to the diversity of global experiences and voices that shaped them. (CO5, CO9)
  • Identify how arts, technologies, scientific discoveries, political ideologies and globalization contributed to modern and contemporary identities. (CO5, CO9)
  • Connect the beliefs, values and actions of past generations to contemporary conditions.
  • Describe European interactions with other parts of the world and explain how interregional cultural connections, economic ties, military conflicts and scientific and technological developments shaped ideas, beliefs and values in the modern and contemporary world. (CO5, CO9)
CH 203

CH 203: American Experiences and Constitutional Change provides an overview of ideas, institutions and identities in America from the colonial period to the present. The course incorporates material from a variety of disciplines to explore concepts such as liberty, democracy, individualism, federalism, civil rights, environmentalism, industrialization, urbanization and cultural diversity. This course satisfies the U.S. and Nevada constitution requirements. (CO5, CO8)

Learning outcomes

Students successfully completing CH 203 at the University of Nevada, Reno will be able to:

  • Express ideas clearly and persuasively, using relevant evidence to support their arguments. (CO1)
  • Analyze primary source texts with attention to content, historical and cultural context and rhetorical techniques. (CO3, CO5).
  • Trace the sources and development of American intellectual traditions and cultural institutions, with attention to the diversity of experiences and voices that shaped the nation. (CO5, CO8)
  • Identify how significant artistic and cultural movements, as well as scientific and technological developments influenced Americans' changing sense of themselves and their society. (CO5, CO8)
  • Connect the beliefs, values and actions of past generations of Americans to contemporary conditions in the United States. (CO5, CO8)
  • Identify the historical origins, philosophical foundations, core principles and evolution of the United States and Nevada Constitutions. (CO5, CO8)

Assessment

The Core Humanities Program measures its effectiveness and strives for self-improvement through regular assessment of courses and the program as a whole. Indirect assessment measures include student course evaluations and surveys of all students taking Core Humanities courses each semester. Direct assessment measures take various forms depending on the student learning outcome being assessed and may include faculty meetings or surveys to discuss how well students are performing certain tasks, standardized assignments graded according to common rubrics and quizzes or exams that test students' knowledge of key concepts. Assessment data is reported to the core curriculum board according to the assessment schedule for the core curriculum.

For a copy of the assessment reports, contact the Core Humanities Office.