Silver Core General Education Requirements
The Silver Core Curriculum took effect Fall 2016
SILVER CORE GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
Students must complete the following 24 minimum credits of specific General Education course requirements. All courses meeting these General Education requirements must be verified by the Core Curriculum Board, and student learning outcomes must be assessed:
- Core Writing & Math (6 credits). NSHE requires students to complete ENG 102 and at least 3 credits of an approved college math course. These 2 courses may require additional prerequisites, and majors may specify which college math course is required for their students. These 2 courses will build a foundation for the 3 objectives in Silver Vein I.
- Core Natural Sciences (6 credits). NSHE requires 6 credits or more of approved Natural Science courses, and at least 1 of these courses must include a substantial laboratory experience. Technology courses that include significant study of the natural sciences may be considered. These courses usually require completion of the Core Math requirement, and majors may specify which Natural Science courses are required for their students. These 2 courses will satisfy Core Objective 4 in Silver Vein II, while developing competency in 2 objectives of Silver Vein I.
- Core Social Science, Humanities, & Fine Arts (12 credits). Building on the NSHE requirements for social science, humanities, and fine arts, UNR requires students to take the following:
- Core Humanities (6 credits). 2 Core Humanities courses will satisfy Core Objective 5, while developing competency in 2 objectives of Silver Vein I.
- Core Social Science (3 credits). The Core Social Science course will satisfy Core Objective 6, while developing competency in 2 objectives of Silver Vein I.
- Core Fine Arts (3 credits). The Core Fine Arts course will satisfy Core Objective 7, while developing competency in at least 1 objective of Silver Vein I.
- Constitution. NSHE requires that instruction must be given in the essentials of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Nevada, including the origin and history of the Constitutions and the study of and devotion to American institutions and ideals, pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes 396.500. Courses which fulfill this requirement will satisfy Core Objective 8, and students may take them in their Core Humanities requirement, their Core Social Science requirement, or elsewhere in their major requirements.
The Core General Education requirements will build a foundation for the objectives in Silver Vein I and satisfy the objectives in Silver Vein II. Discipline-specific competency should be further developed for the objectives in Silver Vein I within the major, and these objectives will also be integrated into the Core Capstone course.
Core Writing Requirement
In Core Writing courses, students will learn to:
- compose and communicate effectively in a range of media for a variety of rhetorical and creative purposes
- demonstrate an ability to frame and analyze a problem, find and interpret relevant information, develop and evaluate possible solutions, come to well-grounded conclusions, and craft an appropriate argument, report, application, or other expression of such inquiry.
Students who complete ENG 102 will satisfy the Core Writing requirement. This course may have prerequisites, and each student's initial placement in first-year English courses will be based on their ACT or SAT test scores. Placement is explained at http://www.unr.edu/cla/engl/core_writing/cw_course_placement.html.
It is common for students to take ENG 101 as freshmen in their Fall semester, and ENG 102 in the Spring. All degree-seeking students must be continuously enrolled in appropriate writing courses until the Core Writing requirement is completed. International students must complete ENG 114 and any prerequisite.
Core Mathematics Requirement
Core Math provides students with a basic understanding of math skills and concepts. Familiarity with math is essential for success in other Core areas and is a foundational skill for most careers.
Students will be placed in their first math course based upon ACT or SAT scores. For more information on placement visit Math Center - Placement Info webpage. All degree-seeking students must be continuously enrolled in appropriate math courses until the Core Mathematics requirement is completed.
Students must satisfy the Core Mathematics requirement by taking the specific Core Math course required by their major, along with any prerequisites. Mathematics courses verified by the Core Curriculum Board are listed in the University Catalog.
The Core Mathematics requirement builds a foundation for CO2.
Core Natural Science Requirement
The Core Natural Science requirement assists students in gaining a practical understanding of scientific methods and applying them in the laboratory. Students are required to take 6 credits of natural science, and major programs may require specific courses. At least 3 of these credits must be for a course with a substantive laboratory experience (Natural Science A). Other natural science courses are not required to have a laboratory experience (Natural Science B).
To meet the definition of a Natural Science A course, the following conditions must be met for the laboratory experience:
- The laboratory must either be part of or a companion to a class that specifically addresses a natural science discipline (i.e., a course that explores the natural/physical world through scientific methods/processes).
- At least 4 dedicated in-class investigations or experiences must be undertaken over the course of the semester where a specific scientific problem (or a set of related problems) is investigated. The length of the laboratory investigations must be appropriate in length to study a phenomenon so that a student approaches the task as a scientist would. Although a specific time may not be outlined, an investigation should include the ability to ask a question, collect evidence and / or data, support a claim based upon the evidence and / or data, and to communicate those findings through argumentation. It is reasonable to think that this could be accomplished in up to 4 hours of lab time with appropriate homework support.
- "Hands-on" activities are to be undertaken with the instructor acting as a guide that are representative of and appropriate for the field being studied. (Hands-on activities could be, for example: performing laboratory experiments involving the manipulation of scientific apparatus, running computer simulations, examining rock samples, collecting published data concerning weather patterns, etc.)
- Scientific methods or processes specific to the natural science disciplines will be used in completion of the experience. Broadly these should involve:
- generating a researchable question
- collecting evidence that relates to the question being explored
- formulating a logical claim based on the evidence collected
- defending the claim based on the evidence through the use of argumentation that can be either written or presented in various formats relevant to the field.
Core Natural Science A and Natural Science B courses verified by the Core Curriculum Board are listed in the University Catalog. For many of the Core Natural Science courses, completion of the Core Mathematics requirement is a prerequisite. Individual exceptions to this rule may be made at the discretion of the instructor.
Core Humanities Requirement
Faculty and graduate assistants from 5 different disciplines (English, History, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Philosophy, and Political Science) participate in teaching the Core Humanities courses. These interdisciplinary courses examine the history, philosophy, cultural values, political systems, literature, and artistic works that have shaped societies in every continent from ancient times to the present. After completing these courses, students have a solid grounding in the knowledge and skills they need to navigate a complex and fast-changing world, including:
- an understanding of the historical forces that created modern, diverse human cultures and the ways these cultures are interconnected both within the United States and across nations
- the ability to read, understand, summarize, analyze, and synthesize information drawn from a variety of written and cultural sources
- the ability to formulate interpretations and arguments, support them with evidence, and present them clearly and persuasively in both written and oral expression
- informed perspectives on the major political and ideological debates of our times and the ability to participate in those debates as American and global citizens.
To satisfy the Core Humanities requirement, students may choose any 2 of the following courses:
- CH 201: Ancient and Medieval Cultures
- CH 202: The Modern World
- CH 203: American Experiences and Constitutional Change
Because CH 203 satisfies the U.S. and Nevada Constitution requirements, students who choose to take CH 201 and CH 202 must satisfy the Constitution requirement with other available alternatives.
Students must first complete the Core Writing requirement before taking their Core Humanities courses. After admission to and matriculation at UNR, only Core Humanities courses taken here or at another NSHE institution will satisfy the requirement.
Core Social Science Requirement
Core Social Science provides students with an understanding of human behavior from a scientific perspective. This enables students to appreciate the relevance of social science to their own lives and to contemporary social issues.
The social sciences apply the scientific method to developing a body of theory for the understanding of human behavior and social phenomena in the interaction among cultures, societies, and individuals. Methods of social science inquiry include the use of theory and/or models to develop refutable hypotheses, the design of experiments, surveys, or other methods of collecting data to observe behavior, and the interpretation of observed data to test hypotheses and improve theory.
Although there is no precise consensus on which subjects or disciplines belong among the social sciences, courses in fields that have not historically been considered one of the social sciences on the UNR Campus have the burden of demonstrating that they meet all the expectations of the Core social science. A Core social science course must:
- Rely on the principles of a social science discipline through systematic analysis or investigation of human behavior in societies.
- Focus on both theory and observation (as described above) to help understand and explain society, human behavior, or social condition.
- Demonstrate how the scientific method is used to better understand social and human behavior.
- Analyze or study human behavior or societies in terms of individuals, groups, communities, or cultures.
Students are required to take 3 credits of Social Science, and major programs may require specific courses. Social Science courses verified by the Core Curriculum Board are listed in the University Catalog. There is a math prerequisite for some Core Social Science courses, and individual exceptions to this rule may be made at the discretion of the instructor.
Core Fine Arts Requirement
Core Fine Arts equips students to recognize the crucial role the arts play in shaping our experiences in and understandings of the world. The array of offerings in this area enables students to investigate either academic or practical approaches to the various forms and meanings of artistic expression.
Students are required to take 3 credits of fine arts, and some major programs may require specific courses. Fine Arts courses verified by the Core Curriculum Board are listed in the University Catalog.