Academics

700.B0 Liberal Arts 2016


This profile is for students who began the program in Fall 2016 or prior. It will be replaced by a General Profile and a Math Profile in Fall 2017.

Do you…
Wonder where today’s ideas come from?
Find yourself fascinated by the intellectual and cultural heritage of our civilization?
Want to explore a variety of disciplines like History, Philosophy, Religion, Art History, Literature, and Science?
Love to read, write and think?


Download Program Brochure

PREREQUISITES

Math 416 or 568416 or 563404, CST Level 4

THE PROGRAM

The Liberal Arts Program is intended to give students an integrated education within the humanities and related disciplines in order to prepare them adequately for university studies in all programs in the fields of social science, literature, law and administration, and in most programs in the fields of education and the arts (excluding the visual arts, music and dance).

The Liberal Arts program has been designed to foster coherence. There is a harmonization of the content of courses within each semester, and a clear developmental principle connecting one semester with the next. Since Liberal Arts instructors will be dealing with relatively homogeneous groups of students they are able to plan their teaching with an understanding of what the students are taught in their other courses.

OBJECTIVES

Students will achieve the general objectives of the Liberal Arts program across all of the components of the curriculum. These objectives are to enable students to:

  • situate the development of Western civilization since ancient times within its historical context;
  • understand and appreciate major themes and forms of imaginative or artistic expression, and the aesthetic sensibility, in the arts and in literature in the language of instruction;
  • understand and evaluate important ideas in Western religious, philosophical and scientific thought, and their character and influence in Western and other societies;
  • communicate clearly and coherently;
  • use the work and research methods specific to various fields of learning as an independent learner;
  • use appropriate information processing technologies;
  • take responsibility for their intellectual and personal development.

THE COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT

The Liberal Arts Integrative Course occupies an important place in the Liberal Arts curriculum. In addition to giving students the opportunity to work in depth in an area that has special interest to them, their research project serves as the basis of their Comprehensive Assessment; the purpose of which is to ensure that students have integrated the knowledge and skills required of the Liberal Arts Program. The Comprehensive Assessment consists of an oral presentation to a forum of students and faculty in the Liberal Arts program, as well as other interested observers, including family members. The presentation amounts to a summary of the student’s research project in the Liberal Arts Integrative Course.

Total courses : 30

Total credits : 56 2/3 - 58

Semester 1

Physical Education 101 or 102 109-10?-MQ
College English 603-101-MQ
French – General 602-10?-MQ
Liberal Arts Methodology 300-312-LE
Ancient Philosophy 340-910-LE
Thinking About Religion 370-121-LE
Approaches to Greco-Roman Heritage 502-110-LE
Optional Course

Semester 2

Physical Education 101 or 102 109-10?-MQ
French - Specific 602-BE?-LE
Humanities - Knowledge 345-101-MQ
English for Social Science 603-BEK-LE
Middle Ages in Europe 330-254-LE
Principles of Logic and Mathematics 360-124-LE
Themes in Art 520-903-RE

Semester 3

Physical Education 109-103-MQ
Humanities - World Views 345-102-MQ
English 102 or 103 603-10?-MQ
Liberal Arts Seminar Course 300-303-LE
Birth of the Modern World 330-113-LE
Making of the Modern Mind 340-912-LE
History & Methodolgy of Science 360-125-LE
Optional Course

Semester 4

Humanities - Ethics 345-BEL-LE
English 102 or 103 603-10?-MQ
The World Today 330-984-LE
Social and Political Philosophy 340-913-LE
Integrative Project 360-126-LE
Optional Course
Optional Course

ART HISTORY

520-203-LE THEMES IN ART (3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

This course is a general introduction to the study of art and aesthetics. In this course students will approach art history through the analysis of artistic achievements in Western culture. Students will trace the development of specific themes throughout Greek and Roman antiquity into Christian developments (early Christian, Byzantine, medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods), as well as the later transformation of these selected themes in the modern and contemporary periods.

ANCIENT CIVILIZATION

(502-110-LE) 332-110-LE (GRECO-ROMAN HERITAGE) GRECO-ROMAN FOUNDATIONS (2-1-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

This course will examine the key contributions of Greek and Roman cultures to the development of Western civilization. We will start with the 6th century B.C.E., the start of Ancient Greece, up to the 6th century C.E. with the Fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476. A cultural and interdisciplinary approach will be taken. Greco-Roman cultures will be defined in the first part of the course by inter-relating political, social, economic, and cultural developments. Through the students’ engagement with a wide variety of textual and visual sources, students will gain an understanding of the term “classical antiquity.” In the second half of the course, students will apply their knowledge of the Greco-Roman heritage to later developments and contexts from post-classical to contemporary times.

HISTORY

330-113-LE BIRTH OF THE MODERN WORLD (3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

Birth of the Modern World familiarizes students with the forces and events that shaped the world from around 1450 until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, and reflects a chronological continuation of the material studied in The Middle Ages. This course takes students on a global journey from the Age of Western Exploration to the eve of the “war to end all wars.” The material focuses on both Western and non-Western societies, and the increasing interaction between the two.

330-254-LE THE MIDDLE AGES IN EUROPE (3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

In this course, students will apply the skills they acquired in Approaches to the Greco‐Roman Heritage to an analysis of the rise of Western Europe from approximately 800 to the Age of Discovery. The major topics to be covered include: the triumph of the Catholic Church; the Feudal Era (knighthood, chivalry, the courtly romance, marriage, family, and social status); the evolution of the nation-state; the effects of plague and pestilence; the Renaissance (humanism, secularization, and the re-emergence of the individual); the Reformation; and the expansion into new worlds. In this course students will apply their knowledge of the principles and methods of historical work to examine the medieval period in order to become more familiar with the methods employed by historians to study the past.
(Prerequisite: 332-110-LE, or permission of the instructor)

330-984-LE THE WORLD TODAY (3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

The World Today familiarizes students with the forces and events that have shaped and changed the world since 1914 and reflects a chronological continuation of the material studied in The Birth of the Modern World. This course traces a dynamic and winding path from the outbreak of the First World War to the world as we know it in the twenty-first century. The course will focus on the Western and non-Western societies, and the interaction between the two.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY

(300-312-LE) 360-141-LE LIBERAL ARTS METHODOLOGY (1-2-1) 45 HRS / 1 1⁄3 CR

This course is designed to introduce students to the principles and methods of valid research, critical analysis and effective writing in the general area of the Liberal Arts. Guiding students from the first steps in research work to the finished written product, the course will not only provide students with the skills they need to develop and master at each level, but will also help them to understand the underlying ideas, issues and problems involved in research and writing in the different fields and disciplines included in the Liberal Arts. Above all, the course aspires to generate among students the abiding enthusiasm for learning that comes from scholarly research and writing in the Liberal Arts.

(300-303-LE) 360-341-LE LIBERAL ARTS SEMINAR COURSE (1-2-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

In this course students will build on the skills they learned in the Methodology course, and their experience of their first year in the program, to develop a greater mastery of the principles of valid research, critical analysis and effective writing (in both research and argumentative essays) in the Liberal Arts disciplines. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able: 1) to explain the different kinds of research done in Liberal Arts; 2) to explain the concepts governing validity of research in the Liberal Arts disciplines; 3) to evaluate critically the different kinds and sources of information, and the different kinds of research approaches or methods, required to explore topics in the individual Liberal Arts disciplines, and in interdisciplinary projects; 4) to identify the different types of evidence relevant to a research project in the individual Liberal Arts disciplines, and to gather and organize the evidence relevant to such a research project, including interdisciplinary projects; and 5) to demonstrate articulately and effectively the coherent connection of different kinds of evidence to valid observations and conclusions, and to present a logical, analytical and coherent written argument that draws conclusions supported by evidence and research findings.
(Prerequisite: 360-141-LE)

(360-126-RE) 360-441-LE LIBERAL ARTS INTEGRATIVE PROJECT (1-2-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

This course gives students an opportunity to explore in some depth a topic of their own choosing. They work under the guidance of teachers from at least two different disciplines and their approach to the subject should be multi-disciplinary. For example, a student might investigate ideas about personal identity in literary works and philosophical theories. Or, Anthropology, History and English could provide sources for a study of attitudes towards nature. While some proposals may not be appropriate for this course, students should feel free to propose any theme they would be interested in probing.
(Prerequisite: 360-341-LE)

PHILOSOPHY

(360-124-LE) 340-200-LE (PRINCIPLES OF LOGIC AND MATH.) PRINCIPALS OF LOGIC (2-2-2) 60 HRS / 2 CR

In this course students will gain an understanding of the structure of arguments, both deductive and inductive, and will practice evaluating such arguments. The exercises done in all modules of the course will emphasize the mastery of written language, and the clear articulation of thoughts.

(340-912-LE) 340-321-LE (MAKING OF THE MODERN MIND) MODERN PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

This course will examine the central doctrines of 17th through 19th century philosophical thought, in the context of the major institutions (scientific, religious and political) which influenced their development, and upon which, in turn, they exerted influence. Among the major figures covered are Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzche, Darwin, Spencer, Bentham and Mill. Twentieth century developments examined will include Pragmatism, Process Philosophy, Analytic Philosophy (including the “Linguistic Turn”) and Phenomenology.

(360-125-LE) 340-322-LE (HISTORY & METHODOLOGY OF SCIENCE) PHILOSOPHY AND HISTORY OF SCIENCE (2-2-2) 60 HRS / 2 CR

The focus of the course will be on the turning points in the history of science. Although the course will look at the history of science from ancient times, the key period studied will be the modern era. The story of the modern emergence of empirical science begins with Copernicus, and culminates with Newton’s formulations of the Universal Law of Gravity and the Three Laws of Motion and the aftermath of these. Special attention will be given to the work and method of Galileo as the key pioneer in the development of what we today refer to as the scientific method. The story of the subsequent development of science will be traced, followed by the beginnings of a new revolution which characterizes the twentieth century.

340-910-LE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

In this course, students will focus on the philosophers of ancient Greece: the pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle. The process of acquiring a critical understanding of some of the specific theories put forward by these thinkers will be guided by a number of general aims. First, the concern will be to understand the birth and early development of Western philosophy in its own historical context. The second general goal will be to develop an appreciation of the importance of ancient Greek philosophers for determining the subsequent shape of Western civilization. Third, the value of studying ancient philosophy is not merely historical. As many of the ideas developed then are still quite relevant, students will also examine what ancient philosophy can offer to the analysis of contemporary society and its problems. Finally, the study of these ancient philosophers will provide a vehicle for helping students develop basic skills in thinking philosophically.

340-913-LE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

Aristotle defined humans as rational animals, but also as social and political animals. In doing so, he conceived himself to be defining the essence of humanity. What does this entail? That is, what is then required of us? What are our responsibilities as political ‘animals’? Plato’s Republic set out to determine the essence of justice. Is his definition helpful, or must we look elsewhere for clarity in this matter? Foremost in our minds at the present time is the issue of economic justice. What principles would be respected in an economically just state? How are we to define democracy? Is it the best possible form of government, or not? And what conditions need to pertain and initiatives taken for it to work? We will explore these and other questions using our own resources, but will also study philosophers and a selection of 20th Century and contemporary writers/thinkers. We will also examine some key historical documents.

RELIGION

370-121-LE THINKING ABOUT RELIGION (3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to: (1) distinguish between a variety of different approaches to the study of religion (e.g., historical, sociological, psychological, and philosophical); (2) outline the origins, historical development, interactions and contemporary expressions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; (3) explain the interplay between philosophical and religious thought (e.g., contributions of ancient Greek philosophy to the development of Western religious traditions); (4) assess tensions between religious and secular trajectories in the modern world; (5) evaluate the “re-emergence of the religious” in the post-modern world (e.g., religious fundamentalism, New Age religions, and alternatives to the traditional monotheistic forms of religious expression); (6) analyze religion as a mode of cultural expression; and (7) use and critically evaluate the distinction between popular and elite forms of religious expression.

OPTIONAL COURSES

Liberal Arts students are required to complete four Optional Courses. The Optional Courses may be chosen from the following disciplines:

  • Art, Art History, Theatre, Music, Cinema;
  • Classical History, History, Philosophy, Religion;
  • French, Spanish, German;
  • Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology;
  • Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics.

Students may choose their Optional Courses within the Liberal Arts disciplines, pursue an area of interest outside the program, or fulfill pre-requisites for specific university programs. The course objectives of the four Optional Courses must be different.

A complete list of Optional Courses is available from the Liberal Arts Department or from an Academic Advisor.


Apply here