Exploration and Discovery is a yearlong program divided into two semesters.
In the fall, students explore enduring questions and ideas in the liberal arts tradition through reading, discussing, and writing on provocative works drawn from such fields as philosophy, literature, religion, and science. Each section is unique, exploring its own theme and reading its own additional materials. Students compose four or more essays (totaling 20 pages) on these and other course readings, and take a midterm and a final exam. Students are also invited to attend an evening series of E&D Lectures and/or films related to the common readings.
The spring semester focuses on multidisciplinary approaches to studying the human condition across centuries and in a diverse world. Seminar topics vary depending upon each instructor’s interest and expertise, and range from war to the environment and from human rights to travel, and studying vampires or the Mayas.
In every section, students write at least twenty pages of formal writing, including two short papers and a research project that leads to the production of a major essay. Students thereby increase their competency in the fundamentals of academic research, including information literacy. In addition, all students take a midterm exam and give at least one formal oral presentation, often based upon the research project. Students thereby build upon the skills honed in the fall, adding to them formal speaking, research methods, and information literacy.
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