All Emerson students complete substantive studies in one field of communication or the arts. This in-depth work is balanced by a General Education 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 thinking, feeling, and knowing through artistic expression and analysis of the evolution of artistic forms. Choose form the following courses:

Course Code Course Information
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
VM1 05 Introduction to Visual Arts
VM 203 History of Photography
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: Asia and the Mideast
VM 215 History of Non-Western Art II: Africa, the Pacific, and the Americas
VM 218 The Artist and the Making of Meaning
VM 368 Topics in Art History and Digital Photography (offered at Kasteel Well only)
VM 409 Seminar in Western Art
VM 410 Seminar in Non-Western Art

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 Age of Liberalism
HI 204 Islam in the World
HI 205 History of England
HI 208 The World Since 1914
HI 211 African-American History
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
PL 334 Development of the U.S. Welfare State

Interdisciplinary Perspective (4 credits)

Courses in this perspective integrate two or more disciplines, emphasizing connections between theory and practice, and providing a basis for understanding and appraising the role of interdisciplinary knowledge in human affairs. 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
HS 102 First-Year Honors Seminar
CC 264 Oral Presentation of Literature
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

Scientific Perspective (4 credits)

Courses in the perspective encourage students to appreciate science as both content and process, to explore existing knowledge in particular natural or physical domains, and to identify how science pertains to their 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 Watershed Science
SC 226 Plants and People
SC 290 Topics in Science
SC 310 Science in Translation: Health and Genetics
SC 311 Sensation and Perception
SC 320 Science in Translation: Environmental Science
SC 390 Advanced Topics in Science

Social and Psychological Perspective (4 credits)

Courses in this perspective examine how human behavior is shaped by psychological and social processes and how people’s actions and thoughts reflect personal motivations as well as broader influences of groups, institutions, communities, and societies. Choose from the following courses:

Course Code Course Information
CC 343 Rhetorical Theory: Audience Analysis
CD 153 Images of the Disabled
EC 203 Principles of Economics
PL 231 Personality, Power, and Politics
PL 300 Campaigns and Elections
PS 101 Introductory Psychology
PS 200 Social Psychology
PS 201 Abnormal Psychology
PS 202 Developmental Psychology
PS 203 Cognitive Psychology
PS 301 Personal Growth and Adjustment
PS 306 Gender, Race, and Ethnicity
PS 380 Topics in Psychology
SO 150 Principles of Sociology
SO 200 Communities and Race Relations
SO 206 Gender in a Global Perspective
SO 207 Dance, Ritual, and Society
SO 208 Visual Society
SO 303 Culture and Power
SO 320 Sociology of Everyday Life
SO 360 Deviance and Social Control