BG Perspective (general education curriculum)

The BG Perspective curriculum provides a liberal studies foundation, preparing BGSU students for self-reliant learning throughout life and effective participation in a democratic society. BG Perspective classes, taken by all students at BGSU, reflect a deep conviction by the BGSU learning community and leaders in all professions that successful, satisfying lives require a wide range of skills and knowledge. Ethical integrity, reflective thinking, and social responsibility are characteristics of a liberally educated person. Through active learning experiences, the BG Perspective curriculum provides students a solid foundation in both vital intellectual skills and breadth of knowledge to be successful in their major areas of study and, later, in their chosen professions. These intellectual skills include the ability to think critically and communicate effectively; the ability to understand different cultures and modes of thought; and the ability to investigate forces that shape the social, artistic, scientific, and technological complexities of our contemporary culture and society.

The BG Perspective curriculum is defined by particular intellectual skills integral to all courses: critical thinking and effective communication, investigating and problem solving, and participation and leadership through active learning and engagement. Achievement of these skills is central to all courses in the following domains: general studies writing, mathematics/quantitative literacy, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, humanities and the arts, as well as cultural diversity in the United States and expanded perspectives.

Intellectual Skills: Learning Outcomes for all BG Perspective courses

  • Communicate effectively by gaining proficiency in reading, writing, and presenting.
  • Think critically about values through investigating and creative problem solving.
  • Participate and lead effectively through active engagement with diverse groups and teams of individuals.

All candidates for a baccalaureate degree at Bowling Green State University must take at least ten courses drawn from the BG Perspective curriculum, distributed as follows:

  • Two from the natural sciences;
  • Two from the social and behavioral sciences (note the International Perspective requirement below);
  • Two from the humanities and the arts (note the International Perspective requirement below);
  • One from cultural diversity in the United States;
  • One additional course from any of the four knowledge domains listed above or from the expanded perspectives domain.
  • One from quantitative literacy [Note: Academic majors may recommend a specific Quantitative Literacy course; students should contact their academic advisor for specific information about fulfilling this requirement.]
  • General Studies Writing 1120 (and GSW 1100 or GSW 1110, if needed, as indicated by placement tests)

International Perspectives requirement: In addition to the requirements listed above, one of the social and behavioral sciences or humanities and the arts courses must be approved to foster student achievement of an international perspective (such courses are marked with an asterisk in the course list which follows).

BG Perspective Learning Outcomes for each Knowledge and Skill Domain


  • Develop the skills and practice of using quantitative and qualitative approaches to study scientific concepts.
  • Learn to understand the nature of scientific evidence, how it is obtained, and how it is used in the scientific process.
  • Solve problems using logical approach of science.


  • Identify issues and problems and formulate and frame these in ways that contribute to their solution.
  • Learn how theory is applied to events to produce knowledge.
  • Examine the nature of decision making in society from the perspectives of the social sciences and how values impact on that decision-making.
  • Construct and present an argument, identifying the evidence that supports it and the reasoning process by which a conclusion is reached.
  • Articulate the bases of evidence in this discipline, how it is used and the assumptions on which it rests.


Depending on whether a course is in the arts or humanities, students will:

  • Utilize modes of inquiry appropriate to the disciplines in question and explore the subject's connection to human values.
  • Develop fluency in verbal and/or non-verbal communication through reading, writing, and listening.
  • Critically understand the role of language and media: their rhetorical, artistic, and symbolic expression and the ways in which these expressions both reflect and influence culture and society.
  • Examine the social and cultural context of art works arising over a variety of historical periods.


  • Utilize modes of inquiry into the ways ethnic cultures have shaped American life.
  • Identify issues and problems in cultural diversity from the perspectives of diverse cultures and locate yourself in your own culture.
  • Engage in critical inquiry into the problems, challenges, and possibilities inherent in a multicultural democracy.
  • Develop skills of communication, analysis, and problem solving in a format requiring active participation.


  • Interpret mathematical and statistical models such as formulas, graphs, tables, and schematics, and draw inferences from them.
  • Represent mathematical and statistical information symbolically, visually, numerically, and verbally.
  • Use arithmetical, algebraic, geometric and statistical methods to solve problems.
  • Estimate and check answers to mathematical programs in order to determine reasonableness, identify alternatives, and select optimal results.
  • Recognize that mathematical and statistical methods are based on assumptions and have limits.


  • Demonstrate rhetorical knowledge through writing in a variety of academic genres and to a variety of academic audiences.
  • Develop critical thinking, reading, and writing skills through approaching academic writing assignments as a series of cognitive tasks, engaging in multiple modes of inquiry, synthesizing multiple points of view, critiquing student and professional writing, and assessing source materials.
  • Understand the processes entailed in academic writing including recursive processes for drafting texts, collaborative activities, the development of personalized strategies, and strategies for identifying and locating source materials.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the conventions of academic writing including format and documentation systems, coherence devices, conventional syntax, and control over surface features such as grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.
  • Understand the importance of values systems in academic writing including the abilities to write effectively to audiences with opposing viewpoints, to participate in an active learning community which values academic honesty, and to value the place of writing within learning processes.


  • Articulate the significance of diverse cultures and their modes of thought; and/or
  • describe how world issues and international connections impact all our lives/ways of life; and/or
  • identify problems and possibilities inherent in global economic, ecological, political, social, and technological systems.


Recognizing that the ability to communicate in writing is a valuable skill and a hallmark of an educated person, each student enrolled in a baccalaureate or associate degree program must satisfactorily complete GSW 1120 or give evidence of proficiency in written expression equivalent to that attained by the student who completes this course. No student can be excused from meeting this requirement, nor can the requirement be postponed.

The courses and services designed to aid students in meeting the writing requirement are coordinated through the General Studies Writing Program. The Writing Placement Test, administered through this program, assesses the writing skills of entering students. On the basis of this test, students are placed in GSW 1100 (Intensive Introduction to Academic Writing), GSW 1110 (Introduction to Academic Writing), or GSW 1120 (Academic Writing). A student may be required to take two or three of these courses, but no more than six hours of credit earned in these courses may be applied toward graduation. The writing proficiency of students is evaluated at the end of each course until students have reached the University proficiency requirement expected upon completion of GSW 1120. Students who receive transfer credit for English composition and communication courses taken elsewhere may be tested for writing proficiency if it is not clear that they have completed a course equivalent to GSW 1120. Students who wish to be exempted altogether from English composition are also tested for writing proficiency.

Special courses and services designed to aid international students in improving their English proficiency are coordinated through the program in English for Speakers of Other Languages. Upon reporting to the University and before registering for classes, all entering international students admitted through the Office of International Programs and the Office of Admissions, except those whose native language is English, are required to take on-campus proficiency tests; international students transferring from other colleges and universities in the United States as well as students from Puerto Rico are also required to take these tests. On the basis of these tests, the University reserves the right to place students in ESOL1000 (Academic Composition I), ESOL 1010 (Academic Composition II) or courses designed to develop the students' speaking and listening skills in English. A student may be required to take one or all of these courses, but no more than four semester hours of credit may be applied toward graduation. The English proficiency of students is evaluated at the end of each course until the students have reached the level of English language proficiency expected for admission into GSW 1100. The University also reserves the right to require enrollment in a special section of GSW 1100 which is offered for non-native speakers of English.

To encourage all students to pass GSW 1120 prior to the beginning of the junior year, three credit hours are added to the graduation requirements of students who pass GSW 1120 after accumulating 60 credit hours; four hours to the graduation requirements of those with 90 or more credit hours.

The following students are exempt from this penalty:

  1. Students transferring to BGSU with 31 or more credit hours, provided that GSW 1120 is passed within the first 30 credit hours earned at BGSU after the transfer.
  2. International students who transfer to BGSU with 21 or more credit hours and for whom English  is a second language. Exemption from the penalty must be recommended by the director of  international programs, and GSW 1120 must be passed within the first 40 credit hours earned at  BGSU.


The BG Perspective general education program requires students to complete an international perspective theme that facilitates student exploration of the significance of diverse international cultures within their own lives and promotes exploring the role of international issues and connections in our increasingly interconnected global society. Students are required to satisfactorily complete at least one approved course, generally from either the social and behavioral sciences or the humanities and the arts domains, that addresses an international perspective. Courses approved to satisfy this international perspective requirement are marked with an asterisk (*) in the general education course lists and online catalog.

An international experience, defined as an academic study abroad experience bearing three or more credits or a documented international military deployment of at least 30 consecutive or 60 nonconsecutive days, also will fulfill that International Perspective requirement. Fulfilling the International Perspective requirement using a credit bearing study abroad experience or international military deployment must be documented by submission of the International Perspective approval form to Registration and Records. The student is responsible for filling out the approval form for a credit bearing study abroad experience taken at another university or for an international military deployment. The instructor is responsible for filling out the form for a credit bearing student abroad experience take at BGSU. The IP approval form must include signatures from the following:

  • the student with a documented international military deployment or study abroad experience from another university,
  • the instructor of a BGSU academic study abroad experience,
  • the student's college office
  • the International Programs office
  • the Director of BG Perspective, and
  • the Provost's Office

verifying that an international experience (i.e., academic study abroad or international military deployment) has been completed.


* Courses which fulfill the International Perspectives requirement.
+ Courses co-requisite, taken together in GeoJourney field experience program.
Courses with Q suffixes: Inquiry Courses with are grounded in inquiry-based, signature pedagogy, allowing students to actively discover and construct knowledge within a certain discipline while achieving the overarching general education inquiry learning outcomes.

Note: All courses are worth 3 credit hours except as indicated ().

Online Course Descriptions

Natural Sciences - Take at least two courses

ASTR 1940Q Inquiry into Astronomy
  2010 Modern Astronomy
  2120 The Solar System
  3050 Life in the Universe
  3070 Understanding the Cosmo
BIOL 1010 Environment of Life
  1040 Introduction to Biology (4)
  1080 Life in the Sea
  1090 Life in Extreme Environments
  1940Q Inquiry in Science and Technology
  2040 Concepts of Biology I (5)
  2050 Concepts of Biology II (5)
CHEM 1000 Introduction to Chemistry
  1090 Elementary Chemistry (3) &
  1100 Elementary Chemistry Lab (1)
  1170 Elementary Organic Chemistry & Biochemistry (4)
  1250 General Chemistry (5)
  1270 General Chemistry (4) &
  1280 General Chemistry Lab (1)
  1350 General Chemistry (5)
  1370 General Chemistry (4) &
  1380 General Chemistry Lab (1)
  1770 Introduction to Forensic Science
  1940Q Chemistry and the Environment
CONS 1940Q Inquiry in Science and Technology
ECET 1940Q Inquiry in Science and Technology
ENGT 1940Q Inquiry in Science and Technology
ENVH 1050 Environmental Health Science
ENVS 1940Q Changing Environment, Changing World
FN 2070 Introduction to Human Nutrition
GEOG 1250 Weather and Climate
  1940Q Inquiry in Science and Technology
GEOL 1000 Introduction to Geology
  1040 Earth Environments (4)
  1050 Life Through Time (4)
  1060 Climate Change and the Frozen Earth (4)
  1200 Geological Hazards
  1940Q Geology and Society
  2050 Geologic History of Man
  2150 Geologic History of Dinosaurs
  2500 Field-based Physical Geology (5)+
  2510 Field-based Historical Geo (5)+
  3220 Environmental Geology
HNRS 2500 Honors Seminar: Nat Sciences (3-5)
MATS 1000 Materials in the Service of Society
PHYS 1000 Physics of the Natural World
  1010 Basics Physics
  1940Q Inquiry in Physics
  2010 College Physics I (5)
  2020 College Physics II (5)
  2110 University Physics I (5)
  2120 University Physics II (5)
QS 1940Q Inquiry in Science and Technology
TECH 1940Q Inquiry in Science and Technology


Social and Behavioral Sciences - Take at least two courses

ACS 1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
ASIA 1800 Asian Civilizations*
CAST 2010 Introduction to Canadian Studies*
CDIS 1230 Intro to Communication Disorders
CS 1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
DHS 1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
ECON 1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
  2000 Introduction to Economics
  2020 Principles of Microeconomics
  2030 Principles of Macroeconomics
EIEC 2210 Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood Education
ENVH 2100 The Global Commons*
ENVS 1010 Intro to Environmental Studies
  1930Q The Next Fifty Years: A Sustainable Future?
  2530 Environments in Contexts* +
  3010 Environmental Problems
ETHN 1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
  4300 National and Global Perspectives on Race & Ethnicity*
GEOG 1210 World Geog: Eurasia & Africa*
  1220 World Geog: Americas & Pacific*
  2250 Economic Globalization*
  2300 Cultural Geography*
  3250 Population Geography*
  3310 Principles of Conservation Ecology*
  3490 Latin America*
  4260 Urban Geography
GERO 1010 Aging, the Individual and Society
  4050 Cross-Cultural Aging*
HDFS 1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
  2020 Contemporary Marriages & Families
HIST 1510 World Civilizations*
  1520 The Modern World*
  1800 Asian Civilizations*
  2050 Early America
  2060 Modern America
  3100 Modern Latin America*
  3110 U.S./Latin American Relations, 1810-Present
  3770 20th Century Europe*
  3820 Chinese Civilization*
  4110 Modern Mexico*
  4290 America Comes of Age: 1917-1945
  4700 20th Century Russia*
HNRS 2010 Intro to Critical Thinking (4)
  2400 Honors Seminar: Social Science (3-5)
INST 1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
  2000 Intro to International Studies
MC 1930Q Media and Communication Literacy
POLS 1100 American Gov Process/Structure
  1710 Intro to Comparative Government*
  1720 Intro to International Relations*
  1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
  3010 Modern Political Ideologies*
  3350 Global Resource Politics
  3510 Western European Politics*
  3720 Contemporary World Politics*
  4020 Western Political Thought I
  4030 Western Political Thought II
PSYC 1010 General Psychology (4)
PUBH 1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
  3010 International Health*
  3200 Introduction to Public Health
SOC 1010 Principles of Sociology
  1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
  2020 Social Problems
  2310 Cultural Anthropology*
  3010 Social Psychology
  3120 Population and Society
  3400 Deviance & Social Control
  3610 The Family
TECH 3020 Technology Systems in Societies*
WS 1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society


Humanities and the Arts - Take at least two courses

ACS 2000 Intro to American Culture Studies
  3000 Interpretations of American Culture
AFRS 2000 Introduction to Africana Studies*
ARCH 2330 History of Architecture I*
  2340 History of Architecture II*
ART 1010 Introduction to Art
  1920Q Art: Culture and Community
ARTH 1450 Western Art I
  1460 Western Art II
  1920Q Inquiry in Humanities & the Creative Arts
  3710 Art of India and S.E. Asia
  3730 Art of China and Japan*
  3750 Art of Western Africa*
  3770 Meso-American Art*
  3790 Oceanic Art*
AS 1100 Arts BG
  1920Q Arts BG: Experiencing the Arts in Contexts
  2500 Great Ideas
CHIN 2160 Contemporary Chinese Culture*
CLCV 2410 Great Greek Minds
  2420 Great Roman Minds
  3800 Classical Mythology
ENG 1500 Response to Literature
  2000 Writing About Literature (2-3)
  2010 Introduction to Literature
  2040 Imaginative Writing
  2610 World Lit: Ancient Times to 1700*
  2620 World Lit: 1700 to Present*
  2640 British Lit Survey to 1660
  2650 British Lit Survey, 1660-1945
  2690 Canadian Fiction*
  2740 Survey of American Lit to 1865
  2750 Survey of American Lit, 1865-1945
  2900 Language Study
ETHN 1920Q Inquiry in Humanities & the Creative Arts
  2200 African Literature*
  3100 Mexican Cultures*
  3400 Afro-American Cinematic Experience
  4250 Discourses of Empire and Nation*
  4600 Third World Cinema*
FREN, ITAL, SPAN 1010 Elementary I (4)*
  1020 Elementary II (4)*
  2010 Intermediate Language I*
  2020 Intermediate Language II*
FREN 1920Q Inquiry in Humanities & the Creative Arts
  2120 Reading French*
  2220 French Culture*
GERM, RUSN, JAPN, CHIN 1010 Elementary Lang & Culture I (4)*
  1020 Elementary Lang & Culture II (4)*
  2010 Intermediate Language I (3-4)*
  2020 Intermediate Language (3-4)*
GERM 2600 Mod German Lit in Translation*
GREA 1920Q Inquiry in Asian & European Cultures
GRK, LAT 2010 Intermediate Language I*
  2020 Intermediate Language II*
HNRS 2020 Critical Thinking About Great Ideas
  2600 Interdisciplinary Humanities Seminar (3-5)
HUM 1010 Introduction to the Humanities
JAPN 2150 Japanese Culture*
MUCT 1010 Exploring Music (2)
  1250 Music of World Cultures*
  1920Q Inquiry in Humanities & the Creative Arts
  2210 Masterpieces of Music (2)
  2360 Area Studies in World Music*
MUED 2220 Global Music Traditions (2)*
PHIL 1010 Introduction to Philosophy (2)*
  1020 Introduction to Ethics
  1030 Introduction to Logic
  1250 Contemporary Moral Issues
  1920Q Inquiry in Humanities & the Creative Arts
  2040 Aesthetics
  2110 History of Ancient Philosophy
  2190 Phil of Death and Dying
  2240 Socialism, Capitalism & Democracy
  2270 Philosophy of Punishment
  2300 Scientific Reasoning
  2320 Environmental Ethics
  2420 Medical Ethics
  2450 Philosophy of Feminism
  3000 Life, Death, Law & Mortality
  3210 Indian and Chinese Philosophy*
POPC 1600 Introduction to Popular Culture
  1650 Popular Culture and Media
  1920Q Inquiry in Humanities & the Creative Arts
  2200 Introduction to Folklore/Folk Life
RESC 2100 Journeys of the Imagination
ROCS 2200 African Literature*
RUSN 2150 Russian Culture*
  2160 Post-Communist Russia*
SPAN 2120 Spanish Cultural Readings IV*
THFM 1410 The Theatre Experience
  1610 Introduction to Film
  2020 Performance Studies I
  3470 Theatre History & Literature: Origins-1700
  3480 Theatre History & Literature: 1700-Present
WS 1920Q Inquiry in Humanities & the Creative Arts


Cultural Diversity in the United States - Take at least one course

ACS 2500 Cultural Pluralism in U.S.
  2520 Indigenous Cultures of North America+
EDFI 4080 Education in a Pluralistic Society
ENG 2110 African American Literature
  2120 Native American Literature
ETHN 1010 Introduction to Ethnic Studies
  1100 Introduction to Latina/o Studies
  1200 Introduction to African American Studies
  1300 Introduction to Asian American Studies
  1600 Introduction to Native American Studies
  2010 Ethnicity and Social Movements
  2110 History of Mexican Americans
  2600 Contemporary Issues in Native America
  3010 Ethnicity in the U.S.
  3050 Women of Color in the U.S.
  3120 Chicanos in the U.S.
  3300 Race and Labor in the U.S.
  4100 Mexican-American Social Thought
  4500 Racial Discourses & U.S. Policies
GEOG 3370 Aboriginal People of U.S. and Canada
  3420 United States and Canada
GERO 1930Q Inquiry in Individuals and Society
  3010 Diversity in the Experience of Aging
HDFS 1070 Black Families in America
  2080 Family Diversity
HIST 3190 Indian in American History
  4320 Aspects of African American History
MUCT 2370 Jazz
  4310 Aesthetics of Black Music
POPC 1700 Black Popular Culture
SOC 3160 Minority Groups
TCOM 2700 Topics in Minorities Film/Video
  4670 Gender, Media and Culture
THFM 2150 Exploring Cultural Diversity Through Performance
WS 2000 Introduction to Women's Studies
  4670 Gender, Media and Culture

Quantitative Literacy - Take at least one course
Academic majors may recommend a specific Quantitative Literacy course or group; students should contact their academic advisor for specific information about fulfilling this requirement.

Group A – Introductory Statistics

MATH 1150 Introduction to Statistics
PSYC 2700 Quantitative Methods I (4)
SOC 2690 Introductory Statistics
STAT 2000 Using Statistics
STAT 2110 Elementary Statistical Methods I
STAT 2200 Elementary Business Statistics

Group B – Business Calculus

MATH 1260 Basic Calculus
MATH 1310 Calculus and Analytic Geometry (5)
MATH 1340 Calculus and Analytic Geometry IA &
MATH 1350 Calculus and Analytic Geometry IB

Group C – Calculus I

MATH 1310 Calculus and Analytic Geometry (5)
MATH 1340 Calculus and Analytic Geometry IA &
MATH 1350 Calculus and Analytic Geometry IB

Group D – Algebra

MATH 1200 College Algebra (5)
MATH 1220 College Algebra II
MATH 1280 Precalculus Mathematics (5)
MATH 1300 Precalculus Mathematics
MATH 1310 Calculus and Analytic Geometry (5)
MATH 1340 Calculus and Analytic Geometry IA

Group E – Pre-Calculus

MATH 1280 Precalculus Mathematics (5)
MATH 1300 Precalculus Mathematics
MATH 1310 Calculus and Analytic Geometry (5)
MATH 1340 Calculus and Analytic Geometry IA

Group F – Technical Mathematics

MATH 1230 Mathematics for Architecture/Construct

Group G – Mathematics for the Liberal Arts

MATH 1180 Mathematical Ways of Thinking

Expanded Perspectives - Courses in the Expanded Perspectives category meet the BG Perspective general learning outcomes but come from disciplines outside the traditional domains. Expanded Perspectives courses may be used to fulfill the ninth elective course requirement.

BA 1500 Overview of Business Administration
BGSU 1000 University Seminar
FIN 2000 Personal Finance
LIB 2250 Information Seeking and Management in Contemporary Society
TECH 4210 Technological Forecasting
TECH 4220 Information Policy Analysis
TECH 4230 Digital Rights Management Perspectives

Updated: 02/14/2019 09:22AM