Foundation Category Descriptions

Global Miami Plan Foundation Category Descriptions

MPF I - Composition
College Composition focuses especially on helping students learn and apply rhetorical knowledge, methods, and strategies. Students analyze and construct arguments using rhetorical inquiry; understand, refine, and improve their composing practices; develop critically aware strategies for reading and interpretation; and explore and use alternative modes of exploration and expression. A key purpose of this foundation is to teach students to deliver writing in a variety of contexts, including digitally networked environments. The essential skills students develop in composition courses help them in their academic work at the university but also in their civic, social, and professional endeavors. 

MPF IIA - Fine Arts
Offerings in this section prepare students for global engagement as practitioners, creators, advocates, and patrons of the arts. The courses foster the pursuit of creative and scholarly inquiry by extending artistic traditions, while embracing a culture of innovation and change.

MPF IIB - Humanities
Courses in the humanities contribute to the advancement of cultures. These courses engage students through scholarly investigation of ideas, texts, and people who shape or have been seen to shape human cultures. Students develop skills in literary, historical, cinematic, philosophical, and linguistic analyses while exploring their own place and potential influence in the world. Promoting creative thinking, critical reasoning, and ethical understanding, humanities courses enable students to interpret local and global issues from diverse perspectives and develop respectful and effective ways they might respond to these issues. 

MPF IIC - Social Science
Courses categorized as social science investigate human behavior, social relationships, and/or the interactions of people with their cultural, social and political environments. Students in social science courses examine a variety of social phenomena including specialized human communities, political processes and structures, interpersonal and intercultural relationships, economic behaviors, psychological phenomena, and the relationships that discrete human populations have with other subnational, national, or international entities.

MPF IIIB & C - Global Courses and Clusters
These categories comprise courses or a series of courses focused on themes or issues relevant to the globalized society in which we all live, asking us to situate subject matter and skills relevant that subject in terms of their global implications. Through their work in G-Courses or G-Clusters, students develop and exercise the ability to communicate and act respectfully across linguistic and cultural differences; explore and understand their place and influence in the changing world; determine and assess relationships among societies, institutions, and systems in terms of reciprocal – though not necessarily symmetrical – interactions, benefits, and costs; describe the development and construction of differences and similarities among contemporary groups and regions; and identify and analyze the origins and influences of global forces.

All MPF IIIB Global Perspectives courses must meet the goal to devlop and exercise the ability to communicate and act respectfully across linguistic and cultural differences (the A-goal), and at least 2 of the following goals:

b. Explore and understand place and influence in the changing world.  

c. Determine and assess relationships among societies, institutions, and systems in terms of reciprocal – though not necessarily symmetrical – interactions, benefits, and costs.

d. Describe the development and construction of differences and similarities among contemporary groups and regions.

e. Identify and analyze the origins and influences of global forces.  

MPF IVA - Biological Science
Biological sciences involve the study of living organisms, including their origin, compostiion, function (molecular, cellular, and organismal) diversity, classification, ecology, evolution, and behavior. Life forms studied by biologists include Eukarya (animals, plants, fungi, and protists), Bacteria, Archaea, and viruses.

MPF IVB - Physical Science
Physical Science comprise the disciplines that study the nature of energy and the inorganic world. It is traditionally subdivided into four general areas: chemistry, physics, astronomy, and earth sciences.

MPF V - Mathematics, Formal Reasoning, Technology
All courses in this area involve mathematical reasoning. This reasoning could either be problem solving and pattern finding at the inductive level, or formal and abstract reasoning at the deductive level, or a combination of both forms of arguments. In all courses, students’ abilities to develop logical arguments are strengthened and improved. The courses may also provide opportunities for the students to explore the role of formal reasoning in history, society, and the modern world, and to reflect upon its use in formulating well-founded, ethical decisions.

  • Technology Requirement:  Courses in the technology group should introduce the technical professional’s methodology, including the evaluation of empirical data, problem recognition and definition, and the application of scientific principles. Although skills are included, the primary emphasis should be on developing an awareness of technology’s impact on society.
  • Mathematics Requirement: Courses in this group should introduce logical and systemic methodology used by mathematicians to examine and explore concepts, such as quantity, space, probability, structure, and the study of motions and shapes of physical objects. Courses may include theoretical or applied studies of statistics, calculus, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.
  • Formal Reasoning Requirement: Courses in this group should provide a formal introduction to logic and methodologies used in deriving conclusions. Students will explore concepts of truth, proof, meaning, and their role in informing and influencing our perceptions, imagination, thought processes, and learned experience. Courses may also include studies of the use of language and reasoning to develop the “what” and “how” of artificial intelligence.

Cultures Requirement
These courses use the United States  and/or other regions of the world as points of departure to encourage students to view the diversity of societies and the issues raised by their diversity. Diversity is broadly defined and may include disability, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, language or class, but is certainly not limited to these groups. In addition to acquiring knowledge about cultural diversity, students will examine the nature of societies’ ideas concerning others, how ideas about others are developed, the significance of these ideas when interacting with others, and the importance of analysis and evidence when making judgments.

Historical Perspective
Courses that meet this requirement explore particular historical contexts to help students expand their understanding of how we humans have acted and could act, of how we made decisions in different situations, and how we can interpret the same event in different ways.

Miami Plan (prior to Fall 2010) Foundation Category Descriptions


MPF I - Composition

College Composition focuses especially on helping students learn and apply rhetorical knowledge, methods, and strategies. Students analyze and construct arguments using rhetorical inquiry; understand, refine, and improve their composing practices; develop critically aware strategies for reading and interpretation; and explore and use alternative modes of exploration and expression.  A key purpose of this foundation is to teach students to deliver writing in a variety of contexts, including digitally networked environments. The essential skills students develop in composition courses help them in their academic work at the university but also in their civic, social, and professional endeavors.

MPF IIB - Humanities
Courses within this section focus on fostering the development of literary, historical, philosophical, and/or linguistic analysis within the context of the liberal education experience. In these courses students will think about how the human record has been shaped, and why it takes the forms that it does, interpreting cultural artifacts by asking not just what they say but how. Students will explore and critically analyze cultural information from a variety of perspectives.

MPF IIC - Social Science
Courses categorized as social science investigate human behavior, social relationships and/or the interactions of people with their cultural, social and political environments. Students in social science courses examine a variety of social phenomena including specialized human communities, political processes and structures, interpersonal and intercultural relationships, economic behaviors, psychological phenomena and the subnational, national, or international entities.

MPF IIIA - US Cultures
The U.S. Cultures requirement encourages students to view the diversity of society and the issues raised by our diverse society. Diversity is broadly defined and may include disability, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, language or class, but is certainly not limited to these groups. In addition to acquiring knowledge about the cultural diversity within the United States, students will examine the nature of our ideas concerning others, how our ideas about others are developed, the significance of these ideas when interacting with others, and the importance of analysis and evidence when making judgments.

MPF IIIB - World Cultures
Courses fulfilling the World Cultures requirement focus primarily on content and perspectives from either, or both, western or non-western civiliations. Courses make comparisons across the world, within regions of the world, or a single country other than the United States. Courses currently fulfilling Miami Plan for Liberal Education Requirement IIIB are offered by departments and programs including: art, anthropology, foreign languages, geography, history, music, philosophy and various interdisciplinary programs.

MPF IVA - Biological Science
Biological sciences involve the study of living organisms, including their origin, compostiion, function (molecular, cellular and organismal) diversity, classification, ecology, evolution, and behavior. Life forms studied by biologists include Eukarya (animals, plants, fungi, and protists), Bacteria, Archaea, and viruses.

MPF IVB - Physical Science
Physical Science comprise the disciplines that study the nature of energy and the inorganic world. It is traditionally subdivided into four general areas: chemistry, physics, astronomy, and earth sciences.

MPF V - Mathematics, Formal Reasoning, Technology
All courses in this area involve mathematical reasoning. This reasoning could either be problem solving and pattern finding at the inductive level, or formal and abstract reasoning at the deductive level, or a combination of both forms of arguments. In all courses, students' abilities to develop logical arguments are strengthened and improved. The courses may also provide opportunities for the students to explore the role of formal reasoning in history, society, and the modern world, and to reflect upon its use in formulating well-founded, ethical decisions.

Technology Requirement
Courses in the technology group should introduce the technical professional's methodoloy, including the evaluation of empirical data, problem recognition and definition, and he application of scientific principles. Although skills are included, the primary emphasis should be on developing an awareness of technology's impact on society.

Mathematics Requirement
Courses in this group should introduce logical and systemic methodology used by mathematicians to examine and explore concepts, such as quantity, space, probability, structure, and the study of motions and shapes of physical objects. Courses may included theoretical or applied studies of statistics, calculus, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.

Formal Reasoning Requirement
Courses in this group should provide a formal introduction to logic and methodologies used in deriving conclusions. Students will explore concepts of truth, proof, meaning, and their role in informing and influencing our perceptions, imagination, thought processes, and learned experience. Courses may also include studies of the use of language and reasoning to develop the "what" and "how" of artificial intelligence.