MSU-Northern General Education Core

The general education core allows you (the student) to reaffirm your common experiences, to redefine your common goals, and to provide a foundation for confronting your common problems. The courses selected for inclusion in the general education core emphasize communication and techniques of creative inquiry that are used in all disciplines.

Montana State University-Northern defines seven (7) categories within the general education core. The categories and the outcomes for each category are defined below.

Category I – Communication

You (the student), upon successful completion of course(s) within this category, should be able to:

Writing: (3 credits)

  1. Write clear, accurate sentences and paragraphs in Standard American English.
  2. Write extended papers which effectively develop and support theses, tell stories, describe events, and/or express feelings, insights and personal values.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively through the forms of writing most common in the student's chosen career area.
  4. Identify and incorporate research materials into informative and analytical writing.
  5. Demonstrate understanding and recognition of plagiarism.

Human Interaction: (3 credits)

1. Recognize the importance of communication in human interactions.

2. Recognize and articulate the components of human communication.

3. Identify verbal and nonverbal aspects of message creation.

4. Demonstrate how listening skills and other variables affect how we interpret both the verbal and non-verbal messages sent by others.

5. Describe the environmental factors that influence the outcomes of communication.

Category II - Mathematics

You (the student), upon successful completion of course(s) within this category, should be able to:

  1. Solve problems through mathematical reasoning.
  2. Describe or demonstrate how mathematical models or statistical designs are used to obtain knowledge in several disciplines.
  3. Perform mathematical applications beyond intermediate algebra.

Category III - Natural Sciences

You (the student), upon successful completion of course(s) within this category, should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate basic foundational competence in the principles and theories used in the natural sciences.
  2. Define, describe, and apply the scientific method.
  3. Convey ideas using language and presentation skills specific appropriate to the natural sciences.
  4. Use critical thinking to synthesize information, evaluate assumptions and claims, and draw evidence based conclusions.

Category IV - Social Sciences/History

You (the student), upon successful completion of course(s) within this category, should be able to:

  1. Describe processes of continuity and change which have shaped events up to the present.
  2. Identify and describe the characteristics of major era in world history or international relations, or a distinct social movement, thereby providing a framework for comprehending aspects of human experience.
  3. Explain how human experiences give rise to movements, institutions, traditions, and ideas which have a subsequent influence.
  4. Analyze factors leading to the dominance, suppression, or acceptance of selected racial, gender, ethnic, class and/or religious groups.
  5. Use factual and interpretive information to analyze and draw conclusions on historical or political hypotheses in selected areas of the social sciences.

Category V - Cultural Diversity

You (the student), upon successful completion of course(s) within this category, should be able to:

  1.  Compare and contrast, identify and understand cultural worldviews.
  2. Analyze social issues, social structures, behavior of cultures and subcultures.
  3. Examine how generalizations, stereotyping and prejudices develop, and how they impact culture.
  4. Recognize and/or demonstrate an appreciation of and respect for different cultures through language and communication.

Category VI- Humanities Appreciation/Creative Arts

You (the student), upon successful completion of course(s) within this category, should be able to:

Humanities Appreciation sub-category

  1. Discuss great works of literature, drama or visual art.
  2. Ascertains the aesthetic, entertainment, and historical value of works within the humanities.
  3. Recognize the expression of cultural values in works of literature, music, theatre, and visual art, and the ways the arts shape culture.

Creative Arts sub-category

  1. Demonstrate skills in practice of a fine art, such as visual art, performing art, or literary art.
  2. Describe the basic elements and practices of a fine art.
  3. Demonstrate an appreciation for the creative process as it is express in master work of a fine art.

Category VII - Technology

You (the student), upon successful completion of course(s) within this category, should be able to:

  1. Explain the impact of technology on society and how society impacts technology.
  2. Understand technology's role in problem solving and communications.
  3. Discuss the ethical, legal and social concerns stemming from advances in technology.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to use technology within a discipline.
  5. Demonstrate an introductory level of technical literacy.

Students planning to transfer to another institution before completing Northern’s General Education Core would be well advised to take courses from the MUS Transferable Core found on page 15 of this catalog.

General Education Transfer Policy

The Montana University System is committed to facilitating the ease of undergraduate student transfer to its campuses. Therefore, all campuses in the Montana University System will recognize the integrity of general education programs offered by units of the Montana University System and the three publicly supported community colleges in Montana, the seven tribal colleges and regionally accredited independent colleges in the State of Montana.

Block Transfer Policy

Undergraduate students who have completed an approved general education program of between 30 and 45 lower division credit hours at one of the institutions noted above and who transfer to another of those institutions will be deemed to have met the lower division general education requirements of the campus to which the students have transferred. The student may be required to take additional coursework at the upper division level that is part of an approved general education program at the new campus.

The Montana University System Core

Students that have completed less than 20 general education credits will be required to complete the approved general education program at the campus to which they transfer.  All general education transfer credits that are part of the MUS Core will be reviewed for possible application in the approved general education program at the campus.

Students who have completed 20 or more MUS core credits, but do not satisfy the block transfer policy described in the preceding section may choose to complete either the MUS core or the approved general education program at the campus to which they transfer.  The student should make that decision in consultation with a faculty advisor.

The Montana Transferable Core Curriculum represents an agreement among community, tribal, and publicly funded colleges and universities in the State of Montana. It assures the transfer of up to 30 semester credits for those students enrolled in courses prescribed within each of eight discipline areas at a participating host institution. The eight discipline areas are:

Communications 6 semester credits maximum
Cultural Diversity 3 semester credits maximum
Humanities Appreciation/Creative Arts 6 semester credits maximum
Mathematics 3 semester credits maximum
Natural Sciences (with labs) 6 semester credits maximum
Social Sciences/History 6 semester credits maximum
Total Semester Credits Maximum 30

Satisfactory completion of the courses listed in the Transferable Core Curriculum will permit the student to receive credit equivalent to the lower-division degree requirements of the receiving college or university. When transferred as a core of 30 semester credits, nearly half of the receiving institution’s general education core requirements may be satisfied.

Please Note This Important Limitation

Depending upon the major program into which the student transfers, additional lower division requirements may still be necessary for the transfer student to complete as part of the published programmatic prerequisites. This limitation means that, even though a transfer student may satisfy the basic requirements of the Montana University System general education transfer policy, his/her specific program of study may require additional and specialized courses in one or some of the six (6) disciplines listed above. To earn the degree, transfer students will have to complete those specialized courses.

The following Montana State University-Northern courses will satisfy the Montana University System Statewide Core Curriculum. Consequently, in selecting general education coursework for transfer, a student may wish to use the following guide:

The Montana University System Core Course List from Montana State University-Northern

In order to satisfy the MUS core, students must successfully complete at least one course that includes significant content related to the cultural heritage of American Indians. These courses are designated with an asterisk (*) following the title. “OL” after the course number indicates that the course is offered On-Line. Courses which carry a college-level pre-requisite and/or require permission of the instructor have a (#) after the course title.

Natural Science - 6 Credits

(Students must successfully complete at least one lab course.)

BIOB 160Principles of Living Systems4
BIOB 161Principles Living Systems Lab1
BIOB 101Discover Biology4
BIOB 102Discover Biology Laboratory0
BIOB 272Genetics & Evolution4
BIOB 290Undergraduate Research3
BIOH 104Basic Human Biology4
BIOH 201Human Anat Phys I4
BIOH 202Human Anat & Phys I Lab0
BIOM 250Microbiology for Hlth Sciences3
BIOM 251Microbiology Hlth Sciences Lab1
BIOO 220General Botany3
BIOO 221Gen Botany Lab2
CHMY 121Intro to General Chemistry3
CHMY 122Intro to Gen Chem Lab1
CHMY 123Intro to Organic & Biochem3
CHMY 124Intro to Organic & Biochem Lab1
CHMY 141College Chemistry I3
CHMY 142College Chemistry Lab I1
ENSC 245Soils4
GEO 101Intro to Physical Geology4
GEO 102Intro to Physical Geology Lab0
GEO 206Dinosaur Paleobiology4
GEO 211Earth History and Evolution4
GEO 212Earth History & Evolution Lab0
GEO 314Intro to Paleontology3
GPHY 111Intro to Physical Geography4
PHSX 105Fund of Physical Science3
PHSX 106Fund of Physical Science Lab0
PHSX 205College Physics I3
PHSX 206College Physics I Laboratory1
BIOE 110Intro to Environmental Health3
TSCI 304Fuels and Lubricants3

Humanities Appreciation/Creative Arts – 6  Credits

Creative Arts

ARTZ 231Ceramics I3
ARTZ 105Visual Language - Drawing3
ARTZ 106Visual Language - 2-D Fndtns3
ARTZ 284Photo I-Techs and Processes3
THTR 101Introduction to Theatre3
THTR 105Theatre Workshop I3
THTR 120Introduction to Acting I3
THTR 208Studies in Drama3
CRWR 240Intro to Creative Writing Wksp3

Humanities Appreciation

ARTH 160Global Visual Culture3
ARTH 330Art Hist of Western Civ I3
ARTH 340Art History of Western Civ II3
LSH 201Intro to Humanities The Art of3
LIT 110Intro to Lit3
LIT 210American Lit I3
LIT 211American Lit II3
LIT 223British Lit I3
LIT 224British Lit II3
LIT 230World Lit Survey3
LIT 270Film and Literature3
LIT 285World Mythologies3
LIT 382Lit for Children/Adolescents3
LIT 309Popular Genres3
MUSI 201Introduction to Music History3
NRSG 305Nursing/Health Care Ethics3
PHIL 200Introduction to Philosophy3
PHIL 210Ethics3
FILM 160Intro to World Cinema3
GRMN 101Introduction to German4
MUSI 105Orchestra Ensemble1
MUSI 132History of Rock and Roll3

Cultural Diversity - 3 credits

NASX 105Intro Native Amer Studies *3
NASX 304Native American Beliefs/Philos *3
NASX 310Native Cultures of North Amer *3
NASX 235Oral/Written Trads Native Amer *3
NASX 340Native American Literature3
NASX 120Native American Language I *3
NASX 232MT Ind Cltrs/Hstry/Iss3
SOCI 315Race, Gndr, & Ethnic Relations3
COMX 212Intro to Intercultural Comm3
SPNS 101Elementary Spanish I4
FILM 160Intro to World Cinema3
LIT 285World Mythologies3
GRMN 101Introduction to German4
BGEN 360International Business3
LIT 230World Lit Survey3
NRSG 361Global Nursing/Healthcare3

Social Sciences/History - 6 credits

CMLD 101Intro to Community Leadership3
ECNS 201Principles of Microeconomics3
ECNS 202Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECNS 372Economic History of the US3
HSTA 101American History I3
HSTA 102American History II3
HSTR 101Western Civilization I3
HSTR 102Western Civilization II3
HSTA 255Montana History3
PSCI 210Intro to American Government3
PSCI 250Intro to Political Theory3
PSCI 260Intro to State and Local Govt3
PSYX 100Intro to Psychology3
PSYX 230Developmental Psychology3
SOCI 101Introduction to Sociology3
SOCI 241Intro to Social Psychology3
SOSC 201Introduction to Social Science3
SOCI 211Introduction to Criminology3

Mathematics - 3 credits

M 105Contemporary Mathematics3
M 112Trigonometry & Complex Numbers2
M 121College Algebra3
M 130Math for Elementary Teachers I3
M 131Math for Elementary Teacher II3
M 151Precalculus4
M 162Applied Calculus3
M 171Calculus I5
M 172Calculus II5
STAT 216Introduction to Statistics3

Communication - 6 credits

(Students must successfully complete coursework in written and oral communications.)

COMX 111Intro to Public Speaking3
COMX 115Intro to Interpersonal Communc3
WRIT 101College Writing I3
WRIT 122Business Writing3
WRIT 218Journalism3

Technology - 3 credits

AOT 301Global Positioning Systems3
CAPP 120Introduction to Computers3
CAPP 151MS Office3
IT 100Introduction to Technology3
EDU 270Integrating Tech in Education3
GDSN 231Graphic Design Applications3
NRSG 320Nursing/Healthcare Informatics3

Time-To-Degree Assurance Policy

The course requirements for each degree program offered by Montana State University-Northern are set out in this catalog.

The University makes reasonable efforts to accommodate the reasonable scheduling needs of its students. However, it is unlikely that the University will be able to schedule classes for the personal convenience of students, and it is under no obligation to do so. Students who wish to graduate within the two- and four-year time frames contemplated by this assurance are expected to devise a written plan of study with their advisor. This written plan of study must be on file in the advisor’s and the Registrar’s Office.

Both the student and the University must meet certain obligations in order to assure completion of degree programs within the specified time frame. The student must meet the prerequisites for all required courses and register for these courses within the prescribed time frame. If the student is unable to register for a prescribed course within the prescribed time frame due to failure of the University to schedule the course at the specified time, or due to a scheduling conflict between required courses at the specified time, it is the student’s responsibility to bring this problem to the attention of the Registrar or Dean of the academic college which administers the student’s major. It is the University’s responsibility in these cases to create an accommodation that enables the student to meet the specified requirement at the specified time.

Any deviation of the student from the course requirements or sequences specified for his/her initially declared course of study will nullify the University’s responsibility to ensure the student’s graduation within the two- or four-year time frame. Failure of the student to notify the University of a course-scheduling problem prior to the beginning of the course deprives the University of the opportunity to accommodate the student, and nullifies the University’s responsibility under this assurance.

Montana State University-Northern extends this time-to-degree assurance to transfer students within the Montana University System as follows: Students who are admitted to another unit of the system with the ultimate objective of transferring to Montana State University-Northern and receiving a degree from this unit may be jointly admitted to Northern when starting at the other unit.

In addition, certain two-year associate degree programs within the Montana University System are fully articulated with corresponding four-year baccalaureate degree programs at Northern. Jointly admitted students who are in such programs at two-year degree-granting institutions will receive information and faculty advising from Northern concurrent with their enrollment at the originating institutions. Jointly admitted students who follow the program specified by the articulation agreement for their Northern program will receive a full two years of credit toward their graduation program at Northern. When they begin their study at Northern, they can take advantage of the time-to-degree assurances set out above for students who begin their study at Northern, and they have the same responsibilities. Further information about joint admissions agreements is available from the Office of Admissions.