The Knowledge Domains

Why does the College Curriculum describe knowledge in terms of "domains"? First, it's a necessary part of constructing COLL 200 courses, where you consider the ideas and methods central to one academic discipline while also looking outward to one or both of the other domains. It's also a useful way to describe the content of individual courses – regardless of their home academic departments or programs – for your three electives (one in each knowledge domain).

Here are the official descriptions of the three knowledge domains:

Arts, Letters, and Values (ALV). Courses in this domain examine the expression and evaluation of values and attitudes. Courses may develop the ability of students to express their own values and attitudes or to develop their own evaluations using literature, art, music, performance, or philosophy. Others may examine the expressions and evaluations themselves historically, cross-culturally, or via the social and cognitive processes that produce them.

Cultures, Societies, and the Individual (CSI). Courses in this domain examine the realm of human cultures, societies, and individuals through their development, organization, and interaction. Some courses employ mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and scientific experimentation; some, the analysis of artifacts and texts; and others, observation, inference, and extrapolation. Students learn to describe, theorize, and explain human cultures, societies, and individuals in their variety over time and space.

The Natural World and Quantitative Reasoning (NQR). Courses in this domain examine the natural world and physical universe and the means by which humans observe, measure, model, and interpret it. Courses explore the process of scientific discovery, including the methods required to gather and assess empirical data, investigate the predictions of existing theories, and develop experimentally testable hypotheses. Courses may also focus on mathematical or computational methods as applied to these investigations. Students develop their understanding not only of the foundations, implications, and uses of scientific knowledge but also how scientific approaches can be used to create tangible products.