2022-2023 Course Catalog

Welcome to Virginia Tech! We are excited that you are here planning your time as a Hokie.

View Undergraduate Course Catalog

Pathways General Education

Pathways Fulfillment Revision

A modification impacting concept 5 fulfillment has been put in place. Program requirements/Checksheets outline concept 5 as being fulfilled when a student completes:

Two courses for Concept 5 – Quantitative and Computational Thinking, Foundational and
One course for Concept 5 – Quantitative and Computational Thinking, Advanced/Applied

A student may now satisfy this requirement by completing:

Credit Hours: 9 credits
6 Foundational + 3 Advanced/Applied or 3 Foundational + 6 Advanced/Applied

What Is Pathways

Approved by University Council on April 2015, the Pathways General Education Curriculum includes core and integrative concepts and student learning outcomes to meet the needs of all students. The curriculum is comprised of courses reflecting best practices in pedagogy and evidence of efficacy.

The Pathways curriculum also offers opportunities for students to complete minors or experiential learning activities, providing a coherent and meaningful general education for undergraduates.

All freshmen entering Fall 2018 and later follow the Pathways to General Education Curriculum. View the guide applicable to your date of entry.

Pathways to General Education Concepts

The Pathways curriculum includes seven core learning concepts and two integrative learning concepts. The concepts reflect broad knowledge areas for study and are supported by student learning outcomes. These outcomes describe the observable behaviors that students will demonstrate as they pursue breadth and/or depth related to particular outcomes.

Core Concepts

1 - Discourse

Exchange of ideas in writing or speaking, adapted to specific contexts and developed through discovery, analysis, creation, presentation, and evaluation. A student who is competent in discourse demonstrates the ability to reason, write, and speak effectively for academic, professional, and public purposes. Students will demonstrate increasing proficiency over the years. All student learning outcomes would be met in all courses, but expectations for proficiency would be heightened for advanced/applied courses.

2 - Critical Thinking in the Humanities

Involves interpretation and analysis of texts and other created artifacts to understand ideas, values, and identities in various spatial, cultural, and temporal contexts.

3 - Reasoning in the Social Sciences

Utilization of quantitative and qualitative methods to explain the behavior and actions of individuals, groups, and institutions with larger social, economic, political, and geographic contexts.

4 - Reasoning in the Natural Sciences

Involves the acquisition of the detailed knowledge of one or more of the natural sciences, hands-on experience with how science is conducted, what science can and cannot tell us about the universe, and the relationship between sciences and society.

5 - Quantitative and Computational Thinking

Creative engagement with the world by the manipulation of precisely defined symbolic representations. Quantitative thinking is the formulation of questions that can be addressed using mathematical principles, leading to answers that include reliable and usable measures of accuracy. Computational thinking is the ability to conceive meaningful, information-based representations of the world that can be effectively manipulated using a computer. Courses or course sequences addressing this concept must meet a majority of the student learning outcomes. Only the combination and integration of quantitative and computational courses will serve to meet this learning concept.

6 - Critique and Practice in Design and the Arts

Involves a hands-on, minds-on approach by which students acquire the intellectual tools for a richer understanding and knowledge of the process, meaning and value of the fine, applied, performing arts and creative design.

7 - Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States

Explores the ways social identities related to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, class, disability status, sexual orientation, religion, veteran status, economic status, age, and other socially salient categories and statuses, influence the human condition and experience, with focus on the United States in particular or in comparative perspective.

It recognizes that people in society have had different experiences and opportunities related to social categories, and challenges students to consider their ethical responsibilities to others in that context and in the context of Ut Prosim, to enhance their capacities to be engaged citizens and visionary leaders in an increasingly diverse society. Students will gain self-awareness of how they are situated relative to those around them based on social identities and foundational knowledge of the interactive dynamics of social identities, power and inequity.

Integrative Concepts

The need for students to have knowledge and skills in Ethical Reasoning and Intercultural and Global Awareness is crucial to all aspects of their lives. Students will develop the capacity to recognize these concepts as they apply to any discipline, thus helping them to consider and connect various perspectives. Every Pathways course must address at least one of the Integrative Concepts.

Ethical Reasoning

In today's complex and diverse world, ethical behavior requires more than just the desire to do the right thing. Foundational learning of ethical theories, issues, and applications provides tools that enable students to deliberate and assess for themselves claims about ethical issues. It will be met in conjunction with Core Concepts. No extra hours will be necessary.

Intercultural and Global Awareness

Supports effective and appropriate interaction with a variety of people and different cultural contexts. An important application of this learning is the critical analysis of global systems and legacies and their implications for people's lives and the earth's sustainability. It will be met in conjunction with Core Concepts. No extra hours will be necessary.