Miami Plan 2023 Overview

This is a graphic representation of the new Miami Plan.  It shows the three main components of the Plan: Perspectives Areas (39 hours), Signature Inquiries (9 hours) and Knowledge in Action (3 or more hours).  It illustrates how Perspectives Area hours can "double dip" with Signature Inquiries.

[Effective for students enrolling in the university Fall 2023 and after.]

The Miami Plan 2023 builds on the strengths of Miami’s core curriculum by anchoring a student’s exploration of liberal education in three components.  Students gain an introduction to a wide variety of subjects and disciplines found in the Perspectives Area component. These courses are framed and guided through the individually tailored exploration of key themes presented in the Signature Inquiry options. The final component, “Knowledge in Action,” invites students to investigate and create culminating experiences through senior capstones and experiential learning opportunities.

The Four Pillars

While each of the components of the revised Miami Plan 2023 entails specific and measurable outcomes, the overall MP experience will develop transferable skills in Four Pillars that embody the values and mission of a Miami education.  The “Four Pillars” of the MP are the anchors of liberal education at Miami. Each course in the MP will meet each of the Four Pillars in some way.

Civic-Mindedness and Social Engagement

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

Critical and Integrative Thinking

Students will 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.

Communication and Expression

Students have the 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.

Collaboration and Innovation

Students will gain experience in collaborative and innovative research, effective teamwork, adaptability, creativity, entrepreneurship, leadership, and technology literacy.

Perspective Areas

These courses broaden intellectual skills by equipping students to examine issues from the perspectives of different academic disciplines and interdisciplinary departments and to engage with different cultural perspectives. They will be prepared to bring new perspectives to bear on problems addressed in their future professional and civic life.

Science and Society

Understand the complex connections of our physical and biological environment, human behavior, and society.

Formal Reasoning and Communication

Execute problem solving, pattern finding, formal reasoning, communication, and advanced writing.

Global Citizenship

Fosters ethical citizenship and an awareness of the histories and sociocultural contexts in which diverse identities, societies, and institutions are negotiated in a globalized multilingual, multicultural world.

Arts and Humanities

Understand, appreciate, and critically engage creative works and histories of the arts and the diversity of human experience.

Signature Inquiries

Miami Signature Inquiries (9 credit hours) are introductory level and interdisciplinary classes designed around one of five central themes that introduce students to areas of study they might not otherwise encounter. Signature Inquiries are meant to shape and guide students’ selection of Perspectives Area and elective coursework.  They are less a requirement and more a guiding tool to help students and advisors plan coursework in a meaningful and directed way. 

Thus Signature Inquiries are designed to overlap with Perspectives Area courses rather than stand alone because we see these as an opportunity for students to understand fully the benefits of a liberal education.  The Signature Inquiry therefore aims to transform the stale check-box category of the Thematic Sequence into a dynamic, current, and ongoing cross-disciplinary set of conversations that reflect the energy and spirit of inquiry at Miami University.

The inaugural Signature Inquiry themes are:

  • Sustainability & Resilience
  • Power, Justice, & Social Change
  • Technology, Information, & Society
  • Creativity, Storytelling & Design
  • Global Health & Wellness


Learn more about Signature Inquiry Themes and Proposals

Knowledge in Action

Knowledge in Action (total of 3+ credits) includes experiential learning, internships, service learning, and the senior capstone. Throughout our students' education, but especially as they approach graduation, they are encouraged to look to the farther horizons of their future in the world. Students will participate in experiential learning and, as part of the culmination of their Miami education, a Miami Capstone course. These experiences place a special emphasis on applying knowledge and skills students have gained during their time at Miami to settings beyond Miami.

Miami Senior Capstone

In the final year of study, a student must take a minimum of three hours in an approved Capstone course, which serves to meld broad, liberal learning with the specialized knowledge of a major. It could take the form of a workshop, research seminar, individual or group project, or creative work in a studio, laboratory, or field study.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning (0+) 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. Experiential learning opportunities are purposeful and result in either a written reflection or EL based project that highlights these experiences to increase knowledge, develop skills and clarify perspectives or values.

Miami Moments