All Emerson students complete substantive studies in one field of communication or the arts. This in-depth work is balanced by a Liberal Arts Curriculum, which demands that students pursue breadth and variety in their studies, particularly in the liberal arts.

Students are given a great deal of flexibility to choose individual courses that particularly interest or challenge them to learn, and even to build clusters of courses that promise the greatest degree of integration with their professional studies. The structure of the distribution requirements guarantees that students will discover a variety of liberal arts disciplines beyond their major. Students will work closely with an advisor to maximize the educational benefits of the unique combination of courses that they choose to fulfill the requirements. Students are required to complete one course in each Perspective, but no more than one course in their major field of study may be used to satisfy these requirements.


Aesthetic Perspective (4 credits)

Courses in this perspective foster critical and intellectual engagement with creative works by examining them in historical, aesthetic, philosophical, cultural, and/or socio-political contexts, with a concern for contemporary interpretations. Choose from the following courses:

Course Code Course Information
DA 203 Perspectives in World Dance
MU 137 Listening to Music
MU 139 History of Jazz
MU 201 History of Music: European
MU 202 History of Music: American
MU 203 Perspectives in World Music
MU 233 History of Opera
MU 256 Deconstructing Twentieth-Century Art Music
MU 257 The Musical Premiere
TH 203 Perspectives in World Theatre
TH 204 Theatre into Film
TH 205 Dress Codes: American Clothes in the Twentieth Century
TH 315 Topics in Contemporary Theatre
VM 105 Introduction to Visual Arts
VM 203 History of Photography: 19th Century to the 1970's
VM 205 History of Photography: 1970 to the Present
VM 210 History of Western Art I: Renaissance and Baroque
VM 211 History of Western Art II: 18th- and 19th-Century Art
VM 212 History of Western Art III: Modern
VM 213 History of Western Art IV: Post World War II
VM 214 History of Non-Western Art I: East Asian Arts
VM 215 History of Non-Western Art II: South Asian Arts
VM 216 History of Non-Western Art: Africa and African Diaspora Arts
VM 217 History of Non-Western Art: Arts of the Americas and the Pacific
VM 368 Topics in Art History and Digital Photography (offered at Kasteel Well only)

Ethics and Values Perspective (4 credits)

Courses in this perspective challenge students to articulate the foundations for their beliefs and judgments and subject these value commitments to critical analysis. Choose from the following courses:

Course Code Course Information
HS 202 Sophomore Honors Seminar
PH 105 Introduction to Ethics
PH 110 Ethics and Justice
PH 200 Contemporary Ethics
PH 203 Special Topics in Ethics or Value Theory
PH 204 Environmental Ethics
PH 210 Narrative Ethics
PL 328 Political Thought

Historical Perspective (4 credits)

Courses in this perspective foster an understanding of the context and content of societal actions and events and provide students with insight into the evolution of cultures, people, and countries over time. Choose from the following courses:

Course Code Course Information
HI 102 Western Civilization and Culture
HI 200 Contemporary World History
HI 201 Non-Western World History
HI 203 Social Movements in the U.S.
HI 204 Islam in the World
HI 205 History of England
HI 208 The World Since 1914
HI 211 African-American History
HI 220 Russian and Soviet History
HI 223 Renaissance and Reformation Thought
HI 235 History of the United States
PL 225 American Government and Politics
PL 240 Communication, Politics, and Law
PL 332 Civil Rights
PL 333 The First Amendment

Interdisciplinary Perspective (4 credits)

Studies in this perspective challenge students to understand and appraise the role of interdisciplinary knowledge in the arts, culture, and/or human affairs by exploring how at least two disciplinary approaches can be brought together to address a topic in a given area.

Students choose from any of the IN Interdisciplinary courses offered by the Institute of Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies. All freshmen and all first-year transfer students shall complete one 100-level course in the first year of study at Emerson. Upper-level transfer students shall complete one course at the 200 level or above.

Literary Perspective (4 credits)

Courses in this perspective foster a critical, intellectual, and emotional engagement with literature that stimulates reflection on how literary texts use language to communicate about fundamental human concerns. Choose from the following courses:

Course Code Course Information
CC 264 Oral Presentation of Literature
HS 102 First-Year Honors Seminar
LI 201 Literary Foundations
LI 202 American Literature
LI 203 British Literature
LI 204 Topics in Literature
LI 208 U.S. Multicultural Literatures
LI 209 Topics in U.S. Multicultural Literature
LI 210 American Women Writers
LI 211 Topics in Global Literature
LI 212 Topics in Global Literature
LI 213 Black Revolutionary Thought
LI 214 Latino Literature
LI 215 Slavery and Freedom
LI 216 Literature of the Gothic
LI 217 Literature, Culture, and the Environment

Scientific Perspective (4 credits)

Courses in the perspective explore existing knowledge in particular natural or physical domains, learn that science is an approach to acquiring more reliable knowledge of the natural world, and identify how science pertains to students' own lives. Choose from the following courses:

Course Code Course Information
HS 201 Sophomore Honors Seminar
SC 210 Human Health and Disease
SC 211 Food and Nutrition
SC 212 Evolution of Human Nature
SC 213 The Brain and Behavior
SC 214 Plagues and Pandemics
SC 215 Personal Genetics and Identity
SC 216 DNA and Society
SC 220 Energy and Sustainability
SC 221 Meteorology
SC 222 Earth Science: Natural Disasters
SC 223 Climate Change
SC 224 Ecology and Conservation
SC 225 The Science and Politics of Water
SC 226 Plants and People
SC 232 Physics of Everyday Life
SC 290 Topics in Science
SC 291 Topics in Human Biology and Health
SC 292 Topics in Environmental Science

Social and Psychological Perspective (4 credits)

Courses in this perspective examine the social and/or psychological process and mechanisms that influence human behavior and learn to appreciate that people's actions and thoughts reflect factors intrinsic to the person (such as personality, values, and motives) as well as social influences inherent in situations, groups, institutions, communities, and societies. Choose from the following courses:

Course Code Course Information
CD 153 Images of the Disabled
CD 201 Language Acquisition
EC 203 Principles of Economics
PL 231 Personality, Power, and Politics
PS 101 Introductory Psychology
PS 200 Social Psychology
PS 201 Abnormal Psychology
PS 202 Developmental Psychology
PS 203 Cognitive Psychology
SO 150 Principles of Sociology
SO 200 Communities and Race Relations
SO 206 Gender in a Global Perspective
SO 208 Visual Society
SO 210 Topics in Sociology
SO 220 Humor and Society
SO 303 Culture and Power
SO 310 Advanced Topics in Sociology
SO 360 Deviance and Social Control

Quantitative Reasoning (4 credits)

Courses in this perspective foster the ability to read mathematics with understanding, communicate mathematical ideas with clarity and coherence, and calculate mathematical equations with the appropriate method and formula.

Students who earn an SAT-Math score of 550 or above, an ACT-Math score of 24 or above, or who complete four years of high school math with grades of C or better will have this requirement waived. Students choose from any of the MT Mathematics courses offered.