Global Miami Plan

Students in a tai-chi class in McGuffey.

Academic Foundations (27-28 credits)

Each Foundation course incorporates written communication and advances critical thinking as well as at least two additional competencies. The Foundation component enables students to gain a breadth of knowledge across multiple domains of learning.

Foundation I - English Composition (3 credits)

1. Rhetorical Knowledge

Demonstrate an ability to write effectively for different contexts, audiences, purposes, and genres, while in the meantime, develop an understanding of how rhetorical devices and moves work to enhance writings on specific communicative situations.

2. Composing Processes

Develop effective strategies for developing ideas, researching topics, producing drafts, revising, peer responding, editing, and proofreading. Practice delivering writing via both print and digital media.

3. Inquiry, Invention, and Research

Ask critical questions, conduct research-based inquiries, and use invention techniques effectively to explore ideas, engage differing perspectives, and synthesize findings into sustained arguments or narratives. Learn to locate, evaluate, integrate, and cite secondary sources of information effectively and ethically.

4. Writing Technologies

Demonstrate a critical awareness of the affordances and limitations of the diverse writing technologies and modalities of communication, both digital and non-digital. Learn to effectively produce, share, and publish your writing by using appropriate technologies of production, editing, commenting, delivery, and sharing.

5. Reflection and Mega-Cognitive Awareness

Apply concepts and terms from the field of rhetoric and composition to reflect critically on composing practices and rhetorical decisions, especially writing are shaped by and shaping your communities/identities, audiences, and the writing technologies in use.

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Foundation II - Creative Arts, Humanities, Social Science (9 credits)

IIA. Creative Arts (3 credits minimum)

Courses in this area help students understand, appreciate, and critically engage creative works and histories of the arts. In addition, these courses emphasize the comprehensive role of the arts as expressions of the cultural values of a society and the need to preserve them for the benefit of future generations. Courses from the following disciplines are examples of this distribution area: dance, drama, music, and visual arts. Creative Arts courses must meet all three of the following student learning outcomes:

  1. Describes and reflects critically on a breadth of contexts, meanings, expressions, and values of the arts, in visual art and design, music, multimedia, and/or dramatic performance.
  2. Creates or reinterprets artistic works, as performer or as critic, through the development of skills of analysis and criticism.
  3. Compares prior and current aesthetic and cultural frameworks and examines the reasons for artistic change. 

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IIB. Humanities (3 credits minimum)

The humanities open up an expansive, critical, and sustained inquiry into the diversity of human experience. Marked by an unbounded, courageous commitment to questioning, the humanities encourage us to explore - and potentially remake - the categories that define our lives. Whether through the study and creative engagement with literature, history, language, religion, art, philosophy, or other aspects of culture, the humanities join the present with the past to help us reimagine our place in the world

  1. Apply creative thinking, critical reasoning, and/or ethical understanding in the scholarly investigation of ideas, texts, and people who shape human cultures.
  2. Develop literary, historical, cinematic, cultural, philosophical, and/or linguistic analyses.
  3. Interpret local and global issues from diverse perspectives, with consideration of one's own place and potential influence in the world.

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IIC. Social Science (3 credits minimum)

This requirement helps students to understand the complex connections individuals have to one another and to society more broadly. The social sciences are the systematic study of how people behave and interact at the individual and group level, including communities, institutions, and larger cultural groups. These courses prepare students to engage more thoughtfully with others in all aspects of life and equip students with the analytical tools necessary to understand and confront important problems in a globalized world.

  1. Investigate human behavior, social relationships, and/or the interactions of people with their cultural, social and political environments.
  2. Examine social phenomena including distinct 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.
  3. Explain the primary theoretical approaches used in the social science discipline.
  4. Analyze the primary quantitative and/or qualitative research methods used in social science discipline.
  5. Discuss the primary ethical issues raised by the practices and findings of the social science discipline.

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Foundation III - Global Perspectives (6 credits)

IIIA. Study Abroad (6 credits)

Six hours of Foundation credit from any Miami-approved Study Abroad program.

IIIB. Global Courses (6 credits)

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 these courses, students begin to 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 III Global Perspectives courses must meet the goal:to develop and exercise the ability to communicate and act respectfully across linguistic and cultural differences,and at least 2 of the following goals.

  1. Explore and understand place and influence in the changing world.
  2. Determine and assess relationships among societies, institutions, and systems in terms of reciprocal – though not necessarily symmetrical – interactions, benefits, and costs.
  3. Describe the development and construction of differences and similarities among contemporary groups and regions.
  4. Identify and analyze the origins and influences of global forces.

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Global Miami Plan Foundation III for International Students

International (non-immigrant visa-carrying) students may complete the Global Miami Plan’s Foundation III through 6 hours of Global Miami Plan course work. This exception acknowledges that international students at Miami are, at the very least, matching intercultural and transnational experiences of U.S. students who meet Foundation III through study abroad. In addition, this exception is designed to allow international students some flexibility in the choice of courses while still ensuring that these courses include liberal education experiences.

Specifically, this exception allows international students to satisfy Foundation III by counting any 6-credits from any course in the Global Miami Plan that is not being applied to any of the other liberal education requirements. The courses selected to meet Foundation III, in other words, can be approved Foundation courses, courses from a Thematic Sequence, or a Capstone, so long as those courses are not being used to complete other Foundation, Thematic Sequence, or Capstone requirements. Courses used to meet this requirement must be Miami University courses approved as liberal education courses.

Submit the designation form after you have declared your Thematic Sequence (or after you have declared a minor outside your department of major or a second major in another department if you are planning to complete the Thematic Sequence in these ways). Also, we advise you submit this form after the courses you list have begun and appear on your DAR as completed or in progress. Following this process helps us assure that there is no overlap between requirements and helps to reduce the need to make substitutions at a later date.

Foundation III Designation Form for International Students

Foundation IV - Natural Science (6 credits, must include one laboratory course)

IVA. Biological Science (3 credits minimum)

Biological sciences involve the study of living organisms, including their origin, composition, 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.

  1. Understand the basic facts, principals, theories and methods of modern science.
  2. Explain how scientific principals are formulated, evaluated, and either modified or validated.
  3. Critically evaluate current models and ideas in order to describe, explain, or predict natural phenomena.
  4. Apply scientific methods of inquiry appropriate to the discipline to gather data and draw evidence-based conclusions.
  5. Distinguish between science and technology and recognize the role of science in everyday life.
  6. Recognize that new advances can change scientific understanding and that it is critical to constantly evaluate information from a variety of sources.

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IVB. Physical Science (3 credits minimum)

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.

  1. Understand the basic facts, principals, theories and methods of modern science.
  2. Explain how scientific principals are formulated, evaluated, and either modified or validated.
  3. Critically evaluate current models and ideas in order to describe, explain, or predict natural phenomena.
  4. Apply scientific methods of inquiry appropriate to the discipline to gather data and draw evidence-based conclusions.
  5. Distinguish between science and technology and recognize the role of science in everyday life.
  6. Recognize that new advances can change scientific understanding and that it is critical to constantly evaluate information from a variety of sources.

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Foundation V - Mathematics, Formal Reasoning, Technology (3 credits minimum)

After completing the courses in this area, the students should be able to apply mathematical reasoning to 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. Students will also 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.

  1. Learn to improve in the ability to develop logical arguments.
  2. Explore the 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.
  3. Begin a formal introduction to logic and methodolgies used in deriving conclusions.
  4. Investigate concepts of truth, proof, meaning, and their role in informing and influencing our perceptions, imagination, thought processes, and learned experience.
  5. Apply the technical professional's methodology, including the evaluation of empirical data, problem recognition and definition, and the application of scientific principles.

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Intercultural Perspectives (3 credits)

The Intercultural Perspectives requirement expands on the learning outcomes of the Global Miami Plan foundation requirements. These courses prepare students for effective citizenship in a diverse multicultural society in the U.S. or beyond. In these courses, students will recognize new perspectives about cultural rules and biases by:

  • Demonstrating an understanding of the ways marginalized and dominant groups define and express themselves, and the contexts in which these definitions are constructed, and/or
  • Demonstrating an understanding of how such global forces as imperialism, colonialism, religion, globalization, capitalism and socialism have shaped ideas, groups, institutions, and/or the natural environment, and/or
  • Demonstrating an understanding of theories addressing notions of race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, ethnicity, nationalism, and/or other socially constructed categories.

Experiential Learning (EL) Requirement (0 or more credits)

Experiential learning is the process of making meaning from direct experience in a real world or an “out of the traditional classroom” context. It offers students the opportunity to initiate lifelong learning through the development and application of academic knowledge and skills in new or different settings.

The EL requirement can be met through a Global Miami Plan course or course in the major (at the lower or upper-division level) that has been approved for this requirement. Some of the approved courses include designated service-learning sections, credit- and non-credit-bearing internships, independent studies (numbered 177, 277, 377 or 477) that involve significant independent work focusing on research and including a presentation, lab, or archive component (carrying the “R” modifier), and student teaching.


Advanced Writing Course (3 credits)

Advanced writing courses (200 or 300 level) are offered by instructors in disciplines, departments, and programs across the university and feature student writing as the central focus, frequent opportunities to write with instructor feedback on multiple drafts of major projects, and substantial writing projects.

Students are advised to take an advanced writing course in their second or third year.


Thematic Sequence (9 credits)

The thematic sequence is met by completing related courses (at least nine hours) in an approved Thematic Sequence outside the student’s department of major. One foundation course may also apply to the thematic sequence.

Each sequence will collectively include opportunities for written communication & critical thinking plus advance at least three other competencies. The department(s) that propose and offer the Thematic Sequence may select those outcomes that best align with the objectives of the Thematic Sequence.

A second major, co-major, or minor outside of the student’s department of first major can count for the Thematic Sequence.

Students may propose self-designed sequences.


Senior Capstone (3 credits)

The capstone course requirement is met by completing three hours in an approved capstone course during a student’s senior year. Capstone courses feature a substantial written student-initiated project that encourages students to integrate knowledge gained throughout their undergraduate experience.