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The Miami Plan

Our core curriculum is designed to provide transferable skills rooted in The Four Pillars of the Miami Plan. These Four Pillars are an embodiment of our university mission and values, informing our instruction and guiding us in all we do. Anchored by The Four Pillars, each of the unique courses in the Miami Plan core curriculum are designed to broaden perspectives, build global literacy, and provide students with the willpower and expertise required for success in today’s world.

Learning that's Global, Innovative, and Impactful

Miami University was founded in 1809 on the belief that a liberal education provides the best possible experience for life in a changing world. “Liberal,” from the Latin liberalis, means “free” - the kind of education that free and democratic citizens should attain. Miami’s emphasis on global and innovative liberal education continues and is now referred to as the Miami Plan. The Miami Plan enhances specialized studies in any major or professional field and provides contexts for exploring social, academic, and professional choices. It empowers students to creatively transform the future with the tools to question assumptions, design solutions, exchange views with others, and become better global citizens.

Knowledge in Action

Engage and create meaningful culminating experiences that prepare you for the future.

The Four Pillars

Every Miami Plan class you take develops crucial transferable skills in Miami’s “Four Pillars” that embody the values and mission of Miami’s approach to liberal education.

Civic-Mindedness and Social Engagement

Understand and articulate how your research and studies relate to the greater social good; you will understand your education not simply as preparation for a better job but for global civic engagement and service to others.

Collaboration and Innovation

Gain experience in collaborative and innovative research, effective teamwork, adaptability, creativity, entrepreneurship, leadership, and technological literacy.

Communication and Expression

Realize your capacity to communicate research and ideas — and, as applicable, to persuade — with sophistication, force, and clarity, orally, in writing, and through other audio/visual/semiotic means.

Critical and Integrative Thinking

Systematically research and explore complex claims, objects, texts, and problems through the development of questions and hypotheses, collection and analysis of evidence, the formation of sound conclusions or judgments, and a habit of self-scrutiny and revision.

Perspectives Areas

These courses will broaden your intellectual skills by equipping you to examine issues from the perspectives of different academic disciplines and interdisciplinary departments.

Students meeting with their professor working on a math problem

Formal Reasoning and Communication

Execute problem solving, pattern finding, formal reasoning, communication, and advanced writing. (9 credits)

Students reviewing corn plants with professor

Science and Society

Explore the complex connections of our physical, cultural, and biological environments and the multifaceted nature of human behavior and societies. (12+ credits)

Students comparing textile patterns

Arts and Humanities

Critically engage history, cultures, creative works, languages, and the arts that embody the diversity of human experience. (6 credits)

Multicultural students conversing

Global Citizenship

Foster ethical citizenship and an awareness of globalization and the contexts in which diverse identities and social roles are created by focusing on a deeper understanding of ourselves in a multilingual and multicultural world. (12 credits)

Signature Inquiries

Signature Inquiries guide your Perspectives Area course selections with classes that showcase cutting-edge pedagogy and topics. Work alongside classmates and faculty from different academic disciplines and departments to find solutions that address the same urgent needs in today's complex and increasingly interconnected world.

Sustainability and Resilience

Investigate how resources—whether natural, scientific, technological, ecological, creative, educational, artistic, historic, or sociocultural—have been and can be sustained, engineered, and deployed to meet the needs of current and future generations.

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Power, Justice, and Social Change

Consider questions of cultural and linguistic diversity, equity and social justice broadly conceived, and the ways in which dynamics of ecology, power and conflict shape societies across time.

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Technology, Information, and Society

Investigate all the ways in which information, data, and technology impact societies and cultures and influence our understanding of “truth” and reality, in a world that grows increasingly interconnected and fractured at the same time.

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Creativity, Story-Telling, and Design

Explore how people construct narratives or imagine possibilities, experiences, and worlds (internal or external), as ways to make meaning and identity, gain new perspectives, or devise solutions to problems.

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Global Health and Wellness

Study the ways in which health — more than merely the absence of disease — reflects the biological, environmental, individual, social, political-economic, or cultural processes that yield and impact our physical, mental, or social well-being.

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Knowledge in Action

Look to the farther horizons of your future in the world by participating in experiential learning and, as part of the culmination of your Miami education, your Senior Capstone. These experiences place a special emphasis on applying the knowledge and skills you’ve gained to settings beyond the classroom.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning takes a variety of forms, from internships to civic engagement, with the key elements of understanding and employing new ideas and new knowledge from direct experience in a real world or an “out of the traditional classroom” context.

Miami Senior Capstone

In your final year of study, you will join a workshop, research seminar, individual or group project, or creative work in a studio, laboratory, or field study to combine your Miami Plan learning with the specialized knowledge of your major.