AU Core Curriculum Habits of Mind

Preparing students to "Know what to do when they don't know."

Habits of Mind

Habits of Mind courses teach you to develop questions, employ methodologies, and create new knowledge or solutions. The AU Core includes five required Habits of Mind, each one focuses on specific ways of thinking or knowing: Creative-Aesthetic Inquiry, Cultural Inquiry, Ethical Reasoning, Natural-Scientific Inquiry, and Socio-Historical Inquiry. Habits of Mind are typically taken over the course of four years.

AU faculty believe inquiry goes hand-in-hand with the curiosity that characterizes life-long learners. The Habits of Mind help you broaden your knowledge base and prepare you to draw connections between your Core experience, classes in your majors/minors, and lives after AU.

COMPLETING THE HABITS OF MIND

Students* satisfy the Habits of Mind by completing an appropriately designated, in-residence course from each of the five Habits of Mind areas with grades of “C” or better.

  • Choose courses that complement one other and the classes in your majors/minors.
  • Brand new or revised courses get added each semester. Refer to the drop-down menu for the appropriate semester to learn what’s been added or confirm which courses can be used to satisfy a Habit of Mind requirement. Prior iterations of approved courses will not satisfy the requirement.
  • You may count, with permission of the relevant teaching unit, one Habit of Mind course toward each major or minor you pursue.
  • Consult your own degree audit or your academic advisor to verify which courses have been used to satisfy requirements.
  • Up to two courses taken abroad can be used to satisfy AU Core requirements.

*Transfer Students should consult the Academic Regulations for specialized guidance.

Creative-Aesthetic Inquiry

  1. Identify and describe acts, practices, and products of artistic and other creative expressions or of aesthetic interpretations and discuss how they reflect, respond to, or shape their many contexts
  2. Describe and analyze the formal and structural components of artistic and other creative expressions in at least one discipline or domain, or across a range of disciplines or domains
  3. Engage in or with creative processes, which could include constructing meaning through the practices and products of artistic or other creative expressions, interpreting the meaning of artistic or creative expressions, practicing divergent thinking, or assessing the aesthetic value of artistic or other creative expressions
  • ARTH-105 Artist's, Audiences, and Afterlives
  • ARTH-210 How Art Became Modern
  • ARTS-100 Art: The Studio Experience
  • ARTS-215 The Artist's Perspective: Sculpture
  • ARTS-210 The Artist’s Perspective: Painting
  • GDES-270 Design for Understanding
  • LIT-107 Creative Writing Across Genres
  • LIT-121 Rethinking Literature
  • LIT-146 Critical Approach to the Cinema
  • LIT-215 Writers in Print/in Person
  • LIT-225 African Literature
  • LIT-245 The Experience of Poetry
  • LIT-250 Literature, Film, and Globalization
  • PERF-110 Understanding Music
  • PERF-115 Theatre Principles and Practice
  • PERF-205 Masterpieces of Music
  • PERF-231 Introduction to Acting
  • PERF-420 Art, Performance, and Politics
  • WRTG-201 The Art of Persuasion
  • ARTH-105 Artist's, Audiences, and Afterlives
  • ARTH-210 How Art Became Modern
  • ARTS-100 Art: The Studio Experience
  • ARTS-215 The Artist's Perspective: Sculpture
  • ARTS-210 The Artist’s Perspective: Painting
  • LIT-107 Creative Writing Across Genres
  • LIT-121 Rethinking Literature
  • LIT-146 Critical Approach to the Cinema
  • LIT-215 Writers in Print/in Person
  • LIT-225 African Literature
  • LIT-232 Shakespeare
  • LIT-245 The Experience of Poetry
  • LIT-250 Literature, Film, and Globalization
  • PERF-110 Understanding Music
  • PERF-115 Theatre Principles and Practice
  • PERF-205 Masterpieces of Music
  • PERF-231 Introduction to Acting
  • PERF-420 Art, Performance, and Politics
  • WRTG-201 The Art of Persuasion
  • ARTH-105 Artist's, Audiences, and Afterlives
  • ARTH-210 How Art Became Modern
  • ARTS-100 Art: The Studio Experience
  • ARTS-215 The Artist's Perspective: Sculpture
  • LIT-107 Creative Writing Across Genres
  • LIT-121 Rethinking Literature
  • LIT-245 The Experience of Poetry
  • PERF-115 Theatre Principles and Practice
  • PERF-205 Masterpieces of Music
  • ARTH-105 Artist's, Audiences, and Afterlives
  • ARTH-210 How Art Became Modern
  • ARTS-100 Art: The Studio Experience
  • ARTS-215 The Artist's Perspective: Sculpture
  • LIT-107 Creative Writing Across Genres
  • LIT-121 Rethinking Literature
  • LIT-245 The Experience of Poetry
  • PERF-115 Theatre Principles and Practice
  • PERF-205 Masterpieces of Music

Cultural Inquiry

  1. Identify your own or other groups' norms, biases, or forms of representation, and recognize their implications
  2. Examine how culture intersects with power relationships and how this intersection shapes knowledge production, ideas, or behavior
  3. Ask significant questions about a culture or cultures, and seek answers that include multiple perspectives and take into account cultural dynamics
  • AMST-140 Washington, DC: Life Inside a Monument
  • ANTH-215 Sex, Gender, and Culture
  • ANTH-225 Language and Human Experience
  • ARTH-225 Buddhist Arts of Asia
  • ASIA-100 Introduction to Asia
  • AWST-115 Introduction to the Arab World
  • IBUS-300 Fundamentals of International Business
  • GERM-230 The Modernist Explosion: Culture and Ideology in Europe
  • GERM-3XX From Faust to the Berlin Wall
  • GOVT-240 Metropolitan Politics
  • ITAL-120 Italian American Culture and Experience
  • JLC-225 American Legal Culture
  • LIT-235 African American Literature
  • LIT-240 Asian American Literature
  • LIT-265 Literature and Society in Victorian England
  • LIT-281 Power, Discourse, Popular Culture
  • PERF-118 World Music
  • PERF-200 Dance as an Art Form
  • PORT-310 Race and Religion in Brazil
  • PSYC-444 Ethnicity and Psychology
  • RELG-145 Religion Without Borders
  • SISU-218 The World of Islam
  • SPAN-210 Latin America: History, Art, Literature
  • SOCY-100 U.S. Society in a Global Perspective
  • WGSS-225 Gender, Politics, and Power
  • AMST-140 Washington, DC: Life Inside a Monument
  • ANTH-215 Sex, Gender, and Culture
  • ARTH-225 Buddhist Arts of Asia
  • ASIA-100 Introduction to Asia
  • AWST-115 Introduction to the Arab World
  • GERM-230 The Modernist Explosion: Culture and Ideology in Europe
  • PERF-118 World Music
  • PERF-200 Dance as an Art Form
  • RELG-145 Religion Without Borders
  • SPAN-210 Latin America: History, Art, Literature
  • WGSS-225 Gender, Politics, and Power
  • AMST-140 Washington, DC: Life Inside a Monument
  • ANTH-215 Sex, Gender, and Culture
  • ARTH-225 Buddhist Arts of Asia
  • ASIA-100 Introduction to Asia
  • AWST-115 Introduction to the Arab World
  • GERM-230 The Modernist Explosion: Culture and Ideology in Europe
  • PERF-118 World Music
  • PERF-200 Dance as an Art Form
  • RELG-145 Religion Without Borders
  • SPAN-210 Latin America: History, Art, Literature
  • WGSS-225 Gender, Politics, and Power
  • AMST-140 Washington, DC: Life Inside a Monument
  • ANTH-215 Sex, Gender, and Culture
  • ARTH-225 Buddhist Arts of Asia
  • ASIA-100 Introduction to Asia
  • AWST-115 Introduction to the Arab World
  • GERM-230 The Modernist Explosion: Culture and Ideology in Europe
  • PERF-118 World Music
  • RELG-145 Religion Without Borders
  • SPAN-210 Latin America: History, Art, Literature
  • WGSS-225 Gender, Politics, and Power

Ethical Reasoning

  1. Identify and differentiate ethical perspectives or questions
  2. Demonstrate ethical awareness by critically discussing and analyzing moral presuppositions
  3. Recognize the origins or structures of complex ethical issues
  4. Apply ethical concepts and frameworks
  • AMST-240 Poverty and Culture
  • ECON-110 The Global Majority
  • GOVT-208 Justice and Citizenship
  • MGMT-2XX Business Ethics
  • PHIL-120 Do The Right Thing
  • PHIL-220 Moral Philosophy
  • PSYC-356 Ethics in Psychology
  • SOCY-210 Power, Privilege, and Inequality
  • WRTG-2XX The Suspect Art: On the Ethics of Rhetoric
  • AMST-240 Poverty and Culture
  • ECON-110 The Global Majority
  • PHIL-120 Do The Right Thing
  • PHIL-220 Moral Philosophy
  • SOCY-210 Power, Privilege, and Inequality 
  • AMST-240 Poverty and Culture
  • ECON-110 The Global Majority
  • MGMT-296 Business Ethics (Spring 2019 only)
  • PHIL-120 Do The Right Thing
  • PHIL-220 Moral Philosophy
  • SOCY-210 Power, Privilege, and Inequality 
  • AMST-240 Poverty and Culture
  • ECON-110 The Global Majority
  • PHIL-120 Do The Right Thing
  • PHIL-220 Moral Philosophy
  • SOCY-210 Power, Privilege, and Inequality 

Natural-Scientific Inquiry

  1. Describe, evaluate, and communicate experimental results using appropriate technical, qualitative, and quantitative skills
  2. Analyze and interpret data or theories about natural phenomena, using pertinent scientific terminology, principles, and theories
  3. Synthesize theory, observation, and experimentation to understand the natural world through laboratory, simulation, or field experience
  4. Assess science-related content in popular discourse, daily life, or scholarly research
  • BIO-100 Essential Biology for the Modern World
  • BIO-120 Structure and Function of the Human Body
  • CHEM-100 Chemistry in Everyday Life
  • CHEM-150 Chemistry of Cooking
  • CHEM-250 Criminalistics, Crime, and Society
  • ENVS-150 Nature of Earth
  • PHYS-100 Physics for the Modern World
  • PHYS-110 Principles of Physics
  • PHYS-160 Astronomy with Laboratory
  • PSYC-115/116 Psychology as a Natural Science
  • PSYC-240/241 Drugs and Behavior
  • BIO-100 Essential Biology for the Modern World
  • CHEM-150 Chemistry of Cooking
  • ENVS-150 Nature of Earth
  • PHYS-100 Physics for the Modern World
  • PHYS-110 Principles of Physics
  • PHYS-160 Astronomy with Laboratory
  • BIO-100 Essential Biology for the Modern World
  • CHEM-150 Chemistry of Cooking
  • ENVS-150 Nature of Earth
  • PHYS-100 Physics for the Modern World
  • PHYS-110 Principles of Physics
  • PHYS-160 Astronomy with Laboratory
  • CHEM-150 Chemistry of Cooking
  • ENVS-150 Nature of Earth
  • PHYS-100 Physics for the Modern World
  • PHYS-110 Principles of Physics
  • PHYS-160 Astronomy with Laboratory

Socio-Historical Inquiry

  1. Examine an idea, problem, policy, or institution over a defined period of time
  2. Employ a critical or systematic method to analyze the relationship between human values, ideas, institutions, policies, or perspectives and their social and historical contexts or conditions
  3. Analyze and evaluate evidence and sources to develop an argument, or other student work product, that takes into account social and historical contexts or conditions
  • ANTH-235 Early America: The Buried Past
  • ARTH-205 Art of the Renaissance
  • ASIA-200 Modern East Asia
  • ECON-120 Social Problems in Context
  • GOVT-235 Political Conflict
  • GOVT-322 American Political Parties
  • GOVT-335 Democratization
  • GOVT-439 Politics of Peace in Northern Ireland
  • HIST-100 History, Memory, and the Changeable Past
  • HIST-120 Imperialism in History
  • HIST-140 Modern European History: 1750 to the Present
  • HIST-215 Social Forces that Shaped America
  • HIST-225 Russia and the Origins of Contemporary Eurasia
  • HIST-265 History of Archeological Expeditions
  • HIST-285 Understanding Africa: Conquests, Protests, and Post-Independence Struggles
  • JLC-245 Cities and Crime
  • LIT-267 Literature of the Global South
  • PHYS-230 Changing Views of the Universe
  • PUAD-300 Space Exploration Policy
  • SISU-211 Civilizations of Africa
  • SISU-212 China, Japan, and U.S.
  • SISU-215 Contemporary Middle East
  • SOCY-215 Critical Social Thought
  • ARTH-205 Art of the Renaissance
  • GOVT-235 Political Conflict
  • GOVT-335 Democratization
  • HIST-100 History, Memory, and the Changeable Past
  • HIST-120 Imperialism in History
  • HIST-140 Modern European History: 1750 to the Present
  • HIST-215 Social Forces that Shaped America
  • HIST-285 Understanding Africa: Conquests, Protests, and Post-Independence Struggles
  • JLC-245 Cities and Crime
  • LIT-267 Literature of the Global South
  • SISU-211 Civilizations of Africa
  • SISU-212 China, Japan, and U.S.
  • SISU-215 Contemporary Middle East
  • ARTH-205 Art of the Renaissance
  • GOVT-235 Political Conflict
  • GOVT-335 Democratization
  • HIST-100 History, Memory, and the Changeable Past
  • HIST-120 Imperialism in History
  • HIST-140 Modern European History: 1750 to the Present
  • HIST-215 Social Forces that Shaped America
  • HIST-285 Understanding Africa: Conquests, Protests, and Post-Independence Struggles
  • JLC-245 Cities and Crime
  • LIT-267 Literature of the Global South
  • SISU-211 Civilizations of Africa
  • SISU-212 China, Japan, and U.S.
  • SISU-215 Contemporary Middle East
  • ARTH-205 Art of the Renaissance
  • GOVT-235 Political Conflict
  • GOVT-335 Democratization
  • HIST-100 History, Memory, and the Changeable Past
  • HIST-120 Imperialism in History
  • HIST-140 Modern European History: 1750 to the Present
  • HIST-215 Social Forces that Shaped America
  • HIST-285 Understanding Africa: Conquests, Protests, and Post-Independence Struggles
  • JLC-245 Cities and Crime
  • LIT-267 Literature of the Global South
  • SISU-211 Civilizations of Africa
  • SISU-212 China, Japan, and U.S.
  • SISU-215 Contemporary Middle East