Liberal Arts

Major

The interdisciplinary liberal arts major provides an opportunity to design a custom program unique to your interests and career goals while still gaining a broad understanding and appreciation of the full spectrum of liberal arts subject areas.

Program Locations

Available Majors

  • Liberal Arts

Select courses to meet your interests and goals through option A, B, or C.

Available Minors

  • N/A

Additional Study Options

Study at NDMU Online

Courses

  • Drawing I: ART-101 (3 credits)

    Introduces the fundamentals of free-hand drawing and explores a variety of materials, techniques and subject matter such as still life, landscape and the human form as students identify individual areas of interest and artistic expression. Informal slide presentations and class critiques will expose students to the diversity of drawing and its manifestations in contemporary art and culture. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts. [3 credits]
  • Color and Design: ART-102 (3 credits)

    Introduces the fundamental elements and principles of color and design as a communicative tool. The course is designed for students with limited studio background and explores a wide variety of mediums and techniques as students develop technical virtuosity and personal aesthetic. The concepts and design strategies explored in this course can be applied in related areas of computer design, interior design and fashion design. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts. [3 credits]
  • Three-Dimensional Design: ART-103 (3 credits)

    Explores the sculptural organization of form in three dimensions through the use of a wide variety of materials such as found objects, paper, wire, wood, clay and metals. Projects are developed that consider the relationship of the sculptural object to its perception in time and space. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts. [3 credits]
  • Basic Photography: ART-109 (3 credits)

    Provides hands-on experience with the fundamental controls of the photographic process for black and white photography. Students learn the use of the camera, film development, darkroom printing and the presentation of mounted photographs. Includes lectures and presentations on photographic technique, illustrated lectures on the history and aesthetics of photography, assistance in the darkroom and critiques of work in progress. Lecture plus lab. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts. [3 credits]
  • Art of Europe and the Near East From Prehistory to the Renaissance: ART-120 (3 credits)

    Introduces seminal contributions to Western culture made by painters, sculptors and architects working from prehistoric times to 1400 A.D. Students will examine significant original artwork from this period firsthand in area museums, including ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman statuary; Egyptian painted relief; Medieval manuscripts, stained glass, jewelry and metalwork; and paintings depicting early Christian imagery. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts. [3 credits]
  • Art of Europe and the United States From the Renaissance to the 1950s: ART-121 (3 credits)

    Surveys art created in Europe and the United States from 1400 A.D. to the mid-twentieth century. Artwork by European artists such as Rembrandt, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Cassatt, Monet, Renoir, van Gogh and Picasso, among others, will be explored, as well as art stemming from the emergence of American artists such as Pollack and O'Keefe. Students will examine significant original artwork from this period firsthand in area museums. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts. [3 credits]
  • Painting I: ART-142 (3 credits)

    Introduces the fundamentals of oil and acrylic painting. Through an exploration of traditional and contemporary techniques of painting, students will develop their powers of observation and artistic expression. Informal slide presentations and class critiques will expose students to the diversity of painting and its manifestations in contemporary art and culture. Fulfills the general education requirement in fine arts. [3 credits]
  • Fundamentals of Biology: BIO-111 (4 credits)

    Focuses on the structure and function of the fundamental unit of life, the cell. Examines basic biological molecules, membrane structure and function, basic metabolism, photosynthesis, cellular reproduction, evolution, genetics and introductory systematics. In weekly laboratory exercises, students design and conduct experiments to answer scenario-based questions. Includes independent small-group laboratory research project that culminates in a student research symposium. Three hours lecture and four hours laboratory. Designed for students with a strong high school background in biology, chemistry and mathematics. Prerequisite: MSAT greater than department-designated value or BIO-110 with minimum grade of C+, or permission of chair. Fulfills general education requirement in natural sciences. [4 credits]
  • Ecology: BIO-307 (4 credits)

    Examines the relationships between living organisms and their environment. Emphasizes the physical and biological factors that influence evolution; the distribution, abundance and diversity of species; and the structure of communities and ecosystem function. Applies ecological knowledge to current topics in global issues. Laboratory focuses on field experiences and the practical use of field techniques. An independently designed and executed field project is completed in the laboratory and culminates in a student research symposium. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO-230 Unity and Diversity of Life and CHM-111, each with a minimum grade of C or permission of instructor; completion of mathematics requirement strongly recommended. [ 4 credits ]

  • Evolution: BIO-311 (4 credits)

    Examines the basic processes of organic evolution, including the production of genetic variation, mechanisms and levels of selection, adaptive radiation and speciation. Readings in the course focus on macroevolution and the fossil record and on microevolution and molecular evolution. Films and websites featuring evolutionary themes are examined and critiqued. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO-230 Unity and Diversity of Life and CHM-111, each with a minimum grade of C or permission of instructor. [ 4 credits ]
  • General Chemistry I: CHM-110 (4 credits)

    Focuses on fundamental chemical concepts and principles with emphasis on inorganic compounds. Guided inquiry methods are used to explore descriptive and quantitative aspects of chemistry, including atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, states of matter, solutions, basic thermodynamics, electrochemistry, equilibrium, acids and bases, and kinetics. Laboratory is coordinated with lecture and emphasizes basic techniques such as titration, spectroscopy, and quantitative and qualitative analysis, along with inorganic synthesis and calculator-based experiments. Three lectures, one discussion period and one laboratory each week. High school algebra strongly recommended. Satisfies the general education requirement in natural science. [4 credits]
  • Organic Chemistry I: CHM-210 (4 credits)

    Focuses on functional group classification, nomenclature, synthesis, reactions, and spectroscopic analysis with a strong emphasis on reaction mechanisms of organic compounds. Laboratory is coordinated with lecture material and stresses basic techniques such as distillation, recrystallization, extraction, and chromatography, along with organic synthesis using both macroscale and microscale applications. Laboratory also includes an introduction to organic structure determination using a variety of spectral methods, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Three lectures, one discussion and one laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: CHM-110, 111. [4 credits]
  • Physical Chemistry I: CHM-301 (4 credits)

    Provides a detailed view and in-depth analysis of the following topics: physicochemical properties of matter in the gaseous, liquid, and solid states; kinetics and thermodynamics of chemical reactions; behavior of solutions; phase equilibria; electrochemistry; introductory-level quantum mechanics; computational chemistry; atomic and molecular structure; and spectroscopy. The relationship between microscopic structure and macroscopic behavior of matter is explored in laboratory activities and characterized in mathematical terms. Three lectures, one four-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisites: CHM-211, MAT-211 and 212 with minimum grade of C. Permission of instructor if prerequisites are not satisfied. [4 credits]
  • Analytical Chemistry: CHM-303 (4 credits)

    Examines principles and practices of quantitative analysis as applied to gravimetric, volumetric, electrochemical and instrumental methods. Emphasizes acid-base, precipitation, redox and complexation chemistry. Statistical methods are used to evaluate the precision and accuracy of data and results. Covers laboratory determinations of representative chemical compounds and use of proper techniques and laboratory practices. Three lectures, one four-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisite: CHM-110, 111 or equivalent with a minimum of C or permission of instructor. [4 credits]
  • Instrumental Analysis: CHM-305 (4 credits)

    Examines principles and practices of analytical chemistry using instrumentation. Includes spectroscopic, chromatographic and electrometric techniques. Topics covered include visible, ultraviolet, infrared and atomic spectroscopies; gas and liquid chromatographies; potentiometric, voltammetric and polarographic methods; nuclear magnetic and mass spectrometries; and computer simulations. Analysis of data and presentation of results in journal article format are important features of the course. (Analysis graphics and spreadsheet software are used for this activity.) Three lectures and one four-hour laboratory each week. Prerequisites: CHM-210 and CHM-303 with a minimum grade of C or permission of instructor. [4 credits]
  • Chemical Literature: CHM-350 (1 credits)

    Designed to familiarize the student with technical writings, peer-review of publications, the major reference works and journals of chemistry, and to develop skills in effective use of the literature. The course covers effective use of chemistry reference works, databases, abstracts and journals; strategies for online searches; construction and use of bibliographies; proficient use of computer technology and software; analysis and evaluation of chemistry literature. Students use online searching of Chemical Abstracts and other electronic databases via computer and engage in information retrieval using a variety of sources and the Internet. One meeting per week; significant number of out-of-class task-oriented assignments. Co-requisite: 300- or 400-level CHM course or permission of instructor. [1 credit]
  • Biochemistry I: CHM-425 (4 credits)

    Focuses on biomolecules, enzyme kinetics, the biochemistry of energy production, nucleic acids, and a description of basic metabolic pathways and their integration in functioning organisms. Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory each week. Prerequisites: BIO-111, CHM-211 with minimum grade of C or permission of instructor. [4 credits]
  • Introduction to Criminology: CRM-101 (3 credits)

    Provides an examination of the nature, causes and social significance of crime. Emphasizes the major explanations of criminal behavior and typologies of crime and examines crime and crime prevention strategies as they relate to theory, policy and practice. Serves as a gateway course for students interested in the field of criminology. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. [3 credits]
  • Programming Concepts: CST-171 (3 credits)

    Introduces computer programming using a common small business language such as Microsoft Visual Basic. Emphasizes programming structures such as decisions, repetitions, sub procedures, functions, and arrays using structured program design with object-oriented concepts. Students learn to write a variety of program types to meet various business needs. [3 credits]
  • Introduction to Macroeconomics: ECO-211 (3 credits)

    Focuses on the United States economy and its relations with the world. Examines how interactions among consumers, businesses, government and the rest of the world impact economic growth, inflation, unemployment and business cycles. Investigates the impact of monetary and fiscal policies on the overall performance of the economy. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. [3 credits]
  • Introduction to Microeconomics: ECO-212 (3 credits)

    Examines the manner in which prices are determined and limited resources are allocated efficiently through mastery of basic supply and demand. Considers the behavior of producers and consumers under various competitive conditions. Assesses the role of government in responding to market failures. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. [3 credits]
  • American Education in Historical Perspective: EDU-402 (3 credits)

    Surveys major developments in the history of American education from colonial times to the present. Examines influential persons, ideas and institutions in the context of American society. Education and public policy, legal issues, priorities and innovations in American education reviewed from a critical perspective. [3 credits]
  • Geography of the Major Regions Of the World: GEO-206 (3 credits)

    Surveys the different regions of the world with a focus on the dynamic relationships among them. Considers physical, demographic, ethnic and economic differences. A requirement for elementary education/liberal studies students. [ 3 credits ]
  • Spanish for Oral Proficiency: LSP-233 (3 credits)

    Offers intensive oral-aural practice, with emphasis on the language used in daily life and cultural studies. Serves those who wish to perfect pronunciation and increase fluency in Spanish through extensive use of multimedia materials and interaction with native speakers. Independent on-line work required. Fulfills the general education language requirement. Prerequisite: LSP-103 or placement test. [3 credits ] (Offered fall 2016)

  • Spanish for Written Proficiency: LSP-234 (3 credits)

    Increases proficiency in the written use of the language. Provides a review of grammar and extensive practice based on cultural themes of the Hispanic world. Uses authentic, multimedia materials and reading selections from contemporary Latin American authors and publications. Focuses on various issues such as women’s roles and human rights. Fulfills the general education language requirement. Prerequisite: LSP-103 or placement test. [3 credits ] (Offered spring 2017)

  • Calculus II: MAT-212 (4 credits)

    Studies trigonometric functions, integration by parts and tables, improper integrals, functions of two variables, partial derivatives, double integrals, differential equations, geometric and power series, basic convergence tests, Taylor polynomials and series, and Fourier polynomials and series. Applications are considered throughout the course with an emphasis on the life sciences. Weekly laboratory is an integral part of the course. Graphing calculator is used to explore topics covered. Prerequisite: Calculus I or placement into MAT-212. [4 credits]

  • Music and Culture I: Timeless Threads: MUS-106 (3 credits)

    Considers the unadorned transparency of Gregorian Chant through to the complex textures of music during the Baroque era. Includes an overview of music in the context of social and political issues; music as function and entertainment. Develops an understanding of how they meld or counter each other to reflect and define changing styles and artistic tastes. Fulfills general education requirement in fine arts. [3 credits]
  • Music and Culture II: Lasting Legacies: MUS-107 (3 credits)

    Studies the music of the Rococo Period through to the onset decade of the 21st century. Examines the confluence of art, philosophy and literature influencing styles that reflect a kaleidoscope of intellect, emotion and experimentation. Affords the opportunity to understand music as integral to the fabric of everyday life. Fulfills general education requirement in fine arts. [3 credits]
  • Fundamentals of Music: Theoretical Studies I: MUS-148 (3 credits)

    Introduces students to the foundation of music theory: major and minor scales; intervals, chords and inversions. Includes ear-training, dictation, and vocal and piano sight-reading. Fulfills general education requirement in fine arts. [3 credits]
  • Philosophy of Human Nature: PHL-302 (3 credits)

    Explores the meaning and nature of human existence. Investigates both classic and contemporary answers to the following questions: Is the person a body or a mind? Are we free or determined? What grounds do we have for belief in God? On what principles do we judge things right or wrong? Why should citizens obey the law? What things do we call art? When can I say "I know"? What is the meaning of life? Prerequisite: 200-level philosophy course. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level course. [ 3 credits ]
  • Ancient Philosophy: PHL-303 (3 credits)

    Explores the major philosophical thinkers and movements in Western philosophy from the pre-Socratics to the works of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Prerequisites: 200-level philosophy course. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level course. [ 3 credits ]
  • Medieval Philosophy: PHL-304 (3 credits)

    Examines the major philosophical thinkers and movements in Western philosophy from St. Augustine in the fifth century to responses to Thomas Aquinas in the 14th and 15th centuries. Prerequisites: 200-level philosophy course. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level course. [ 3 credits ]
  • Philosophy of Religion: PHL-305 (3 credits)

    Investigates major thinkers and issues in the history of philosophy of religion, including: the attributes and existence of God, the problem of evil, the nature of miracles, survival after death, and other issues. Prerequisites: 200-level philosophy course. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level course. [ 3 credits ]
  • History of Modern Philosophy: PHL-307 (3 credits)

    Explores Western philosophic thought from the 17th and 19th centuries through the works of select Continental Rationalists and British Empiricists. Special emphasis is placed on their metaphysical and epistemological views. Prerequisite: 200-level philosophy course. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level course. [ 3 credits ]
  • History of Contemporary Philosophy: PHL-309 (3 credits)

    Considers the questions (and answers) that dominate 19th and 20th century Western philosophy. Investigates the origins and themes of American pragmatism, Anglo-American philosophy of language, existential-phenomenology, critical theory and postmodernism. Offers an opportunity to make sense of emerging issues and debates in 21st century philosophy. Prerequisite: 200-level philosophy course. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level course. [ 3 credits ]
  • Epistemology: PHL-321 (3 credits)

    Analyzes the nature and scope of human knowledge. Focuses on the ways in which knowing, believing and having an opinion differ, and investigates the limitations of reason and the boundaries of human understanding. Prerequisite: 200-level philosophy course. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level course. [ 3 credits ]
  • General Physics I: PHY-101 (4 credits)

    Studies the fundamental physical laws of nature and their use in understanding natural phenomena. Course provides a knowledge base for study in all areas of science and mathematics. Topics include kinematics, dynamics of motion, Newton's laws, rotational mechanics and conservation of energy and momentum. Development of the concepts of vector algebra and calculus are provided as needed. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory weekly. Fulfills general education requirement in natural science. [4 credits]

  • General Physics II: PHY-102 (4 credits)

    Continues studies of the fundamental physical laws of nature and their use in understanding natural phenomena. Topics include classical wave motion, acoustics, optics, electricity and magnetism. Development of the concepts of vector algebra and calculus are provided as needed. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory weekly. [4 credits]

  • Introduction to Politics: POL-101 (3 credits)

    Introduces students to major historical and contemporary belief systems and ideologies as well as major aspects of political systems. Fulfills general education requirement in social science and cross cultural studies. [3 credits]
  • Research Methods: PSY-210 (4 credits)

    Introduces the basic methods of research design and report writing in the behavioral sciences. Descriptive, correlational and experimental research strategies will be discussed. Students design original research and select appropriate data analyses. Ethical issues in each type of research design will be explored. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: MAT-215 and PSY-101. [4 credits]
  • Practicum I: PSY-461 (4 credits)

    Provides opportunities for field experience for qualified students under professional supervision. Allows for consultative meeting with practicum coordinator concerning career goals and aspirations, which then determine the nature of a placement most consistent with student abilities and interests. Offers students an additional opportunity for advanced training and increased levels of professional responsibility through Practicum II. Requires students to meet academic and background requirements for chosen placement and to attend an academic seminar in addition to fieldwork. Prerequisite: junior psychology major status and conference with coordinator. Not open to liberal arts majors or psychology minors. Prerequisites: Technical Standards as evaluated by the department. Cannot retake if student receives a failing grade. [4 credits] Students will not be permitted to repeat PSY 461 or PSY 462 if they receive a failing grade (D or F) or are removed from their practicum site due to an ethical violation. Ethical violations are defined by the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Ethical violations may include plagiarism. The practicum requirement cannot be waived or completed through another institution.
  • Introduction to Biblical Studies: RST-201 (3 credits)

    Introduces the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures of the Judeo-Christian tradition, exploring their historical and literary contexts, as well as interpretations of religious meaning. Presents modern methods of biblical study, including Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish scholarship. Fulfills general education requirement for 200-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • Old Testament: RST-315 (3 credits)

    Explores the origin of the books of the Hebrew scriptures, also known as the Old Testament, in light of the history and culture of the people who produced them. Students will be able to identify major themes and characters and will become familiar with the relevant scholarly methodology. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • New Testament: RST-317 (3 credits)

    Examines the literature of the early Christian church with an emphasis on content and composition in light of the history and culture of the people who produced them. Students will be able to identify major themes and characters and will become familiar with relevant scholarly methodology. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • Introductory Sociology: SOC-101 (3 credits)

    Uses the sociological imagination to help explain what sociology is and how it is relevant to everyday life. Examines culture, social structure, socialization, social institutions, social inequality and social change. Topics include gender roles, deviance and social control, class, race and ethnic inequality, family, and work. Serves as a foundation course for students interested in the field of sociology and criminology. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. [3 credits]
  • Race, Class and Gender: SOC-209 (3 credits)

    Explores the intersecting systems of inequality, race, ethnicity, social class and gender. Examines the construction of identity categorizations and links them to our current experiences and conceptions of self. Covers the nature of privilege and its reproduction in social institutions such as the workplace, education, and the criminal justice system. Fulfills general education requirements in social science and cross-cultural studies. Prerequisite: SOC-101 or permission of instructor. [3 credits]
  • Sociological Theory: SOC-350 (3 credits)

    Provides an overview of the theoretical founda- tions of the discipline. First exposes students to the works of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber-the "fathers" of sociology-and then provides current theoretical considerations. Analyzes various sociological perspectives in explaining social phenomena, such as structural functionalism, conflict theory, symbolic interaction, and feminist sociology. Explores every day applications of sociological paradigms. Prerequisites: SOC-101. [3 credits]

Option A - Tracks

Women's College Tracks

  • Art 
  • Economics 
  • Philosophy
  • Biology 
  • Education 
  • Physics
  • Business 
  • English 
  • Political Science
  • Chemistry 
  • History 
  • Psychology
  • Classics 
  • Mathematics 
  • Sociology/Criminology
  • Computer Studies 
  • Communication Arts/Digital Media Arts
  • Modern Languages 
  • Music
  • Religious Studies

Adult Undergraduate Studies Tracks

  • Art (supporting track only) 
  • Education 
  • Computer Studies
  • History
  • Sociology/Criminology
  • Business 
  • English 
  • Religious Studies

Option B - Students Pursuing an MA in Leadership in Teaching

This option is open to any student, but is recommended for those who plan to continue to the Master of Arts in Teaching.

With the help of an advisor, you will choose two courses from each of the following:

  • English;
  • Science;
  • Mathematics;
  • Art or Music;
  • History or Social Sciences;

Plus two elective courses in liberal arts and EDU-402.

Option C - Area of Emphasis

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Social Sciences

  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Criminology

Arts and Humanities

  • Art
  • Classical and Modern Foreign Languages
  • English
  • History
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies

Professional Studies

  • Business
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Communication Arts
  • Digital Media Arts
  • Education

What to Expect Studying at Notre Dame of Maryland University

Small classes, lectures and seminars provide a climate for individualized learning while study abroad opportunities offer a global perspective.

Research & Internship Opportunities

Examples of internship and employment opportunities include:

Study Abroad

Through the School Sisters of Notre Dame and partnerships with universities around the world, language students can choose to study, intern, work, teach, or complete service projects abroad in short-term or semster-long programs.

Learn More

Liberal Arts Careers

  • Management
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Public Service
  • Medicine
  • Law