Modes of Inquiry Credits

Students are required to complete work (with a minimum grade of C-) in six broadly defined Modes of Inquiry; although these six experiences can be acquired in a variety of contexts, the Willamette faculty believes they can best be learned in general education courses that are explicitly designed for all students. The range of courses available allows students a great deal of choice and flexibility in constructing their general education program. Courses satisfying the Modes of Inquiry may be confined to a single discipline, or may be interdisciplinary in their approaches as well as content. Modes of Inquiry courses may be designed and designated to satisfy one or possibly two of the six categories, but not more than two. Those designated for two categories must meet the full requirements and conditions of both Modes. Even though courses may be designated to satisfy two categories, each student must take at least five courses in satisfying the six requirements. In addition, students will not be allowed to satisfy more than two of the Modes with courses from any single department.

Following are brief descriptions of the six Modes of Inquiry. Please note that courses from a variety of disciplines will be designated to fulfill each Mode.

Understanding the Natural World (NW)

Courses satisfying this requirement apply the methodology of science to examine the natural world. These courses include a laboratory or field component in which students investigate natural phenomena. Students in these courses should:

  • learn and apply the scientific method;
  • recognize science as a creative enterprise;
  • experience science as an investigative, inquiry-driven activity;
  • acquire the skills to operate the instrumentation of laboratory and/or field;
  • understand the power of theory, models, and prediction.

The following courses are currently approved by the faculty to meet the Understanding the Natural World requirement:

  • BIOL 110 (NW) Principles of Biology
  • BIOL 125 (NW) Ecology, Evolution and Diversity
  • CHEM 110 (NW) Chemical Concepts and Applications
  • CHEM 115 (NW) Introductory Chemistry I
  • CHEM 116 (NW; QA) Introductory Chemistry II
  • ERTH 121 (NW; QA) Earth System Science
  • IDS 220 (NW; EV) The Body in Science and Society
  • IDS 222 (NW) Fundamentals of Neuroscience
  • IDS 224 (NW) Disease Prevention
  • PHYS 110 (NW; QA) Astronomy
  • PHYS 221 (NW; QA) Introductory Physics I
  • PHYS 222 (NW; QA) Introductory Physics II

Creating in the Arts (CA)

Courses satisfying this requirement develop students' understanding of creative expression through practices of making or methods of analysis of art forms.

Students in these courses should:

  • acquire skills in the creation and/or critical interpretation of an artistic form or forms;
  • develop an understanding of process in creative expression;
  • develop an understanding of how art contributes to public discourse and how and why audiences respond to art in different ways.

Approved 12/10/13

The following courses are currently approved by the faculty to meet the Creating in the Arts requirement:

  • ANTH 243 (CA) Listening to the World: Introduction to Ethnomusicology
  • ARTS 110 (CA) Introduction to Sculpture
  • ARTS 116 (CA) Introduction to Drawing
  • ARTS 121 (CA) Introduction to New Media
  • ARTS 132 (CA) Introduction to Experimental Photography
  • ARTS 135 (CA) Introduction to Painting
  • ARTS 152 (CA) Introduction to Printmaking
  • ARTS 216 (CA) Video Art
  • ARTS 231 (CA) Etching: Processes and Themes in the Printed Age
  • ARTS 232 (CA) Black and White Photography
  • ARTS 239 (CA) Drawing Concepts
  • ARTS 254 (CA) Material Exploration in Sculpture
  • ARTS 331 (CA) New Media, Historical Themes
  • ARTS 336 (CA) Painting: Contemporary and Conceptual Practices
  • ARTS 340 (CA) Concepts in Sculpture
  • ARTS 342 (CA) Topics in Sculpture
  • ARTS 343 (CA) Printmaking: Monoprints and Mixed-Media
  • CCM 202 (CA) Designing Persuasive Campaigns
  • ENGL 135 (CA) Creative Writing
  • ENGL 331 (CA) Imaginative Writing I
  • ENGL 332 (CA) Imaginative Writing II
  • FILM 245 (CA) Minor Cinema: The Case of Spain
  • IDS 123 (CA) Performance of Literature
  • IDS 171 (CA) Exploring Contemporary Sculpture
  • IDS 208 (CA) Sustainability and Design
  • IDS 252 (CA) 3D Animation
  • LAS 380 (CA) Latin American Cinema
  • MUSC 029X (CA) University Chamber Orchestra (.25)*
  • MUSC 031X (CA) Jazz Ensemble (.25)*
  • MUSC 032X (CA) Wind Ensemble (.25)*
  • MUSC 034X (CA) Dramatic Vocal Arts (.25)*
  • MUSC 036X (CA) Chamber Music (.25)*
  • MUSC 037X (CA) Willamette Singers (.25)*
  • MUSC 040X (CA) Chamber Choir (.25)*
  • MUSC 041X (CA) Willamette Master Chorus (.25)*
  • MUSC 043X (CA) Voce Femminile (.25)*
  • MUSC 044X (CA) Male Ensemble Willamette (.25)*
  • MUSC 115 (CA) Song Composition
  • MUSC 121 (CA) Creating Music with Technology
  • MUSC 129 (CA) Uniting the Ear, Mind, and Body Through Music
  • MUSC 207 (CA) Improvisation
  • MUSC 210 (CA) Music of America
  • MUSC 212 (CA, IT) Jazz: America and Beyond
  • MUSC 236 (CA) Elementary Music Composition I (.5)
  • MUSC 237 (CA) Elementary Music Composition II (.5)
  • RHET 125 (CA) Creating Visual Rhetoric
  • RUSS 235 (CA; 4th Sem Lang) Russian and Soviet Cinema
  • SPAN 380 (CA) Latin American Cinema
  • THTR 010X (CA) Theatre Practicum (.25-1)
  • THTR 011X (CA) Theatre Practicum - Atypical Performance (.25 - 1)
  • THTR 020X (CA) Dance Practicum (.25-1)
  • THTR 110 (CA) The Theatre: A Contemporary Introduction
  • THTR 145 (CA) Acting for Non-Majors
  • THTR 155 (CA) Stagecraft I
  • THTR 157 (CA) Introduction to Design for the Stage
  • THTR 175 (CA) Introduction to Dance Technique (.5)**
  • THTR 181 (CA) Fundamentals of Ballet (.5)**
  • THTR 182 (CA) Fundamentals of Modern Dance (.5)**
  • THTR 213 (CA) Introduction to Dance (.5)
  • THTR 233 (CA) Fundamentals of Costume Design
  • THTR 234 (CA) Dance Composition
  • THTR 251 (CA) Introduction to Computer Aided Design/Drafting
  • THTR 260 (CA) Stage Combat
  • THTR 282 (CA) Modern Dance II
  • THTR 284 (CA) Intermediate Ballet (.5)**
  • THTR 318W (CA) Theatre and Culture
  • THTR 320W (CA) Playwriting Workshop
  • THTR 356 (CA) Fundamentals of Stage Lighting
  • THTR 491 (CA) Special Topics in Theatre (.5-1)

* To receive Creating in the Arts credit in Music Ensemble courses, students must take four compatible Music Ensemble courses.

** To complete the Creating in the Arts credit in dance classes, students must satisfactorily complete two of THTR 175, 181, 182, 282, and 284 OR a student may repeat any one of these classes in order to fulfill the CA requirement.

Examining Values (EV)

Courses satisfying this requirement will focus on values and the roles they play in human life. These courses will uncover and evaluate, in one or more of the following ways, the assumptions and principles upon which normative claims and commitments depend. Students in these courses should:

  • articulate their own assumptions, reasons and arguments for adopting particular values or ethical stance over others;
  • examine critically the values expressed both in the personal choices of individuals and in historically shifting institutions, societies and civilizations as a whole;
  • critique value and ethical claims made within religious, philosophical, aesthetic, political or scientific discourse and practice;
  • analyze conflicts between particular norms or values, exploring their significance, and assessing the possibility of their resolution.

Approved 4/30/14

The following courses are currently approved by the faculty to meet the Examining Values requirement:

  • ANTH 351 (EV) Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights, and the Environment
  • CCM 101 (EV) Public Speaking
  • CCM 102 (EV) Argumentation, Advocacy, and Debate
  • CCM 201 (EV) Arguing About the Right Thing to Do
  • CCM 202 (EV) Designing Persuasive Campaigns
  • CCM 241 (EV) US Public Discourse in the Print Age
  • CCM 242 (EV) US Public Discourse in the Broadcast Age
  • CCM 243 (EV) US Public Discourse in the Internet Age
  • CCM 260W (EV, IT) Media and the Environment
  • CCM 261 (EV) Persuasion and Mass Media
  • IDS 062X (EV) Intercollegiate Debate (.25)
  • IDS 142W (EV) What Is a Just Society?
  • IDS 220 (EV, NW) The Body in Science and Society
  • IDS 327W (EV) The American Story and the Legacy of Vietnam
  • PHIL 110 (EV) Philosophical Problems
  • PHIL 111W (EV) Philosophical Problems
  • PHIL 242 (EV) What is Art?
  • POLI 121 (EV) Colloquium: Transnational Labor Politics
  • POLI 203 (EV) Themes in Political Theory
  • POLI 303 (EV) Topics in Political Theory
  • POLI 304W (EV) Politics of Environmental Ethics
  • POLI 314 (EV) Politics in Religion in the United States
  • POLI 318 (EV) Death in America
  • POLI 386 (EV) Political Ecology
  • POLI 388W (EV) Democracy and Nazism
  • REL 115 (EV) Introduction to the Study of Religion
  • REL 334 (EV) Liberation Theology and Social Change
  • REL 370 (EV) Ethics and Vocation
  • RHET 231 (EV) Classical Rhetoric
  • RHET 242 (EV) Rhetoric and Leadership
  • RHET 319W (EV) Filming Conflict and Identity
  • WGS 134 (EV) Thinking Sex

Thinking Historically (TH)

Courses satisfying this requirement develop students' understanding of the temporal dimension of human social existence. By studying historical periods and cultures, students in these courses should:

  • understand how human consciousness, action and agency are historically embedded;
  • perceive the relation of change and continuity in human experience;
  • experience how the study of the past helps one to make sense of the present and to anticipate the future.

The following courses are currently approved by the faculty to meet the Thinking Historically requirement:

  • ANTH 231 (TH, US) Native North American Cultures
  • ARTH 243 (TH) Contemporary Art: 1970-Present
  • ARTH 246 (TH) Modern Art [Europe and America] 1890-1945
  • ARTH 247 (TH) 18th & 19th Century Art
  • ARTH 259W (TH) Western Medieval Art and Architecture
  • ARTH 263 (TH) Baroque and Neoclassical Visual Culture
  • ARTH 267 (TH) Renaissance Visual Culture
  • ARTH 270 (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Roman Art and Architecture
  • ARTH 339W (TH) Post-War Art: 1945-1970
  • ARTH 376W (TH) History of Photography
  • CLAS 250W (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians
  • ENVR 326 (TH) Environmental History
  • FREN 336 (TH) French and Francophone Studies I
  • FREN 438 (TH) Topics in Cinema
  • GERM 431 (TH) Changing German Realities Since the Congress of Vienna
  • GREEK 350W (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians: Readings in Greek
  • HIST 113 (TH) Topics in United States History: Early Period
  • HIST 114 (TH) Topics in U.S. History: Later Period
  • HIST 115 (TH) Western Civilization to 1650
  • HIST 116 (TH) Western Civilization since 1650
  • HIST 118 (TH) East Asian Civilization since 1800
  • HIST 119 (TH) Introduction to Modern African History (1800-Present)
  • HIST 131 (TH) Historical Inquiry
  • HIST 231 (TH) Greek History From Homer to Alexander
  • HIST 233 (TH) Asian Empires on the Silk Road
  • HIST 251 (TH) Rome: From Republic to Empire
  • HIST 254 (TH) 20th-Century Europe
  • HIST 255 (TH) Cities and the Making of Modern Europe: 1750 to Present
  • HIST 256 (TH) Colonial Latin America
  • HIST 265 (TH) Late Imperial China
  • HIST 282 (TH) China in Revolution, 1911 - 1949
  • HIST 315 (TH) Western Civilization and Sustainability: Beginnings to 1600
  • HIST 377 (TH) Chinese Microcosms
  • HIST 381 (TH) History of Modern Japan
  • HIST 440W (TH) History of Modern Socialism
  • LATIN 350W (TH) Readings in Caesar and Tacitus: Greeks, Romans, and Barbarians
  • MUSC 241 (TH) Music History I
  • POLI 212 (TH) History of Western Political Philosophy
  • POLI 372 (TH) American Foreign Policy
  • REL 113 (TH) Introduction to Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
  • REL 214 (TH) Religion in America
  • REL 227 (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Ancient Cults and Creeds: The Religions of Greece and Rome
  • REL 233 (TH) Religions Along the Silk Road
  • REL 322 (TH) In Search of the Historical Jesus
  • RUSS 233W (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Russian Culture: Russian Ways and Views of Russia
  • SPAN 333 (TH) Hispanic Civilization
  • SPAN 335 (TH) Cultural Institutions of Spain
  • THTR 212 (TH) Costume History
  • THTR 217W (TH) Theatre History I
  • WGS 258 (TH) Women in the Arts

Interpreting Texts (IT)

Courses satisfying this requirement develop students' skills in analyzing and understanding textual representations of human experience. These criteria construe the notion of "text" broadly. The texts being analyzed might include literary works, films, music compositions, rituals, performances, or ethnographies. A text for these purposes is one that reveals its meaning to or intelligibly challenges a coherent practice of interpretation. Of course, a given text may do both. Furthermore, courses that satisfy this requirement should encourage students to consider the relationship between texts discussed and particular form/s of culture they may express or help constitute. In studying these texts and the process of their interpretation, students in these courses should:

  • consider the form " for example, the various styles or genres " of textual communication;
  • study various interpretive strategies and problems;
  • examine dynamic relations among author, reader and text;
  • explore whether " and if so, in what ways " texts embody cultural values.

The following courses are currently approved by the faculty to meet the Interpreting Texts requirement:

  • ARTH 112 (IT) Introduction to South Asian Art History
  • ARTH 113 (IT) Introduction to Chinese Art History
  • ARTH 114 (IT) Introduction to Japanese Art History
  • ARTH 115 (IT) Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Art History
  • ARTH 116 (IT) Introduction to Renaissance and Early Modern Art History
  • ARTH 117 (IT) Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art
  • ARTH 271 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greek Art and Architecture
  • ARTH 275W (IT) Art Literature and Criticism
  • ARTH 351W (IT) Christian Art and Iconography
  • CCM 260W (IT, EV) Media and the Environment
  • CHNSE 331 (IT) Third Year Chinese I
  • CHNSE 332 (IT) Third Year Chinese II
  • CLAS 171 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Love and War, Gods and Heroes: Greek and Roman Epic Poetry
  • CLAS 244W (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) The Greek and Roman Stage
  • CLAS 247 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Women in Roman Literature and Life
  • CLAS 260 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Gender and Sexuality in Greek Society
  • CLHI 250 (IT) Introduction to Comparative Literature and History of Ideas
  • ENGL 116W (IT) Topics in American Literature
  • ENGL 117W (IT) Topics in British Literature
  • ENGL 118W (IT) Topics in World Literature
  • ENGL 119 (IT) The Forms of Literature: The Art of Reading Poetry, Drama, Fiction
  • ENGL 202W (IT) Introduction to Literary Theory
  • ENGL 319 (IT) Literary Genre and Literary Interpretation
  • FILM 235 (IT) Cinematic Approaches to Revolution
  • FREN 337 (IT) French and Francophone Studies II
  • FREN 340 (IT) Introduction to French Literature
  • FREN 341 (IT) Oral Tradition and Performance in African Literature
  • FREN 430 (IT) Civilization and Its Critics
  • FREN 437 (IT) Female Voices in African Literature and Film
  • FREN 439 (IT) Advanced Topics in French Literature
  • GERM 241 (IT, 4th Sem Lang Req) Nineteenth Century German Literature in Translation
  • GERM 340 (IT) Introduction to German Literature
  • HIST 374 (IT) Love and Reason in the Middle Ages: European Intellectual History 400-1500
  • IDS 322 (IT) The Idea of Europe
  • JAPN 314W (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Japanese Literature in Translation
  • LATIN 353 (IT) Latin Sources on Roman Women
  • MUSC 212 (IT; CA) Jazz: America and Beyond
  • MUSC 462 (IT) History and Literature of Art Song
  • POLI 213W (IT) Writing Political Philosophy: Individuality and Community
  • REL 114 (IT) Early Christian Literature
  • REL 116 (IT) Introduction to Major Religious Texts
  • REL 135 (IT) Religions of Asia
  • REL 150 (IT) Introduction to Islam
  • REL 225 (IT) Forgotten Scriptures: Apocryphal Literature and the Origins of Christianity
  • REL 256 (IT) Goddesses and Ghosts: Images of Women in Chinese Tradition
  • REL 323 (IT) The Bible and American Culture
  • REL 335W (IT) Race, Class, and Gender in the Life and Letters of Paul
  • REL 352 (IT) Shamanism
  • REL 354 (IT) Topics in Asian Religions
  • RUSS 150 (IT) Tolstoy's War and Peace
  • RUSS 242W (IT) Great Short Stories from Russia
  • RUSS 245W (IT) From Russia with Love: Family and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature
  • RUSS 320W (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Introduction to Russian Literature in Translation
  • RUSS 325 (IT) Topics in Russian Literature
  • SPAN 340 (IT) Introduction to Spanish Literature
  • SPAN 352 (IT) Peninsular Literature I: Medieval and Early Modern
  • SPAN 353 (IT) Peninsular Literature II: Modern and Contemporary
  • SPAN 355 (IT) Latin American Literature: Conquest to Independence
  • SPAN 356 (IT) Latin American Literature: Modernismo to the Present
  • THTR 219 (IT) Theater History II

Understanding Society (US)

Courses satisfying this requirement develop students' understanding of social phenomena by analyzing and explaining human behavior and social institutions and practices. Students in these courses should:

  • recognize the dynamic interplay between human agency and social structure;
  • analyze the social processes that underlie or result in specific social institutions, events or outcomes;
  • develop models or theories to explain social phenomena and evaluate them through analysis of evidence;
  • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the methods and theories employed.

Approved 12/10/13

The following courses are currently approved by the faculty to meet the Understanding Society requirement:

  • ANTH 150 (US) Controversies and Issues in Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 231 (US, TH) Native North American Cultures
  • ANTH 232 (US) Peoples and Cultures in Africa
  • ANTH 233 (US) Peoples and Cultures of Asia
  • ANTH 258 (US) Selected Area Studies
  • CCM 365 (US) Rhetorics of Sex and Gender
  • CHNSE 252 (US) Rites of Passage in Chinese Societies
  • CHNSE 258 (US) Gender and Mass Communication in China
  • ECON 132 (US) Introduction to Economic Inquiry
  • FREN 432 (US) Language in Society
  • IDS 230 (US) Rites of Passage in Japan and the United States
  • IDS 311 (US) Perspectives in Sustainable Agriculture
  • IDS 334 (US) Field Studies: Environmental Studies and Sustainability in Japan
  • POLI 210 (US) American Politics
  • POLI 214 (US) International Politics
  • POLI 216 (US) Comparative Democratic Systems
  • POLI 218 (US) Political Change in the Third World
  • POLI 382 (US) Capitalism and Democracy
  • PSYC 121 (US) Psychology for Sustainability
  • PSYC 210 (US) Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC 354 (US) Psychology of Women and Gender
  • SOC 114 (US) Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC 121 (US) Gender in Society
  • SOC 131 (US) Sociological Inquiry
  • SOC 132W (US) Sport and Society
  • SOC 134 (US) Crime, Delinquency and the Criminal Justice System
  • SOC 145 (US) Latina/o Sociology

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