Miami Plan (2023)

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.

Complementary to the specialized courses in their majors, all Miami students complete the Miami Plan 2023 (MP) for Liberal Education. The Miami Plan 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.

While each of these components 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.

Perspective Areas

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

Formal Reasoning and Communication

Includes (9 credits) Composition, Advanced Writing, Math/Logic/Formal Reasoning

Mathematics and Formal Reasoning (PA1A - 3 hours)

Courses in this area teach students to explore the logical and systematic methodologies used by philosophers, mathematicians, linguists and other scientists to examine and explore the world around us.  They apply logical, formal, or mathematical reasoning to problem solving and pattern finding at the inductive level; 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 and logic in history, society, and the modern world and their application in formulating well-founded, ethical decisions.

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English Composition (PA1B - 3 hours)

Students must compose a substantial amount and variety of work in order to demonstrate that they have met the first four outcomes. Learning to write and writing to learn are often discrete activities, but both should be part of the writing class.

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Advanced Writing (PA1C - 3 hours)

These are 200- or 300-level courses or course sequences that included not just many writing experiences but also extensive writing instruction. All advanced writing courses should include extensive drafting and revising with instructor feedback followed by revision.

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Science and Society

Includes (12+ credits) Natural and Social Sciences. At least one additional lab credit hour required in Natural science.

Social Sciences (PA2A - 6 hours)

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.

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Natural Sciences (PA2B - 6+ hours)

The Natural Science Perspective Area provides students with an appreciation of how science relates to everyday life by learning how scientific principles are developed, evaluated, and studied over the course of time. Students have the opportunity and flexibility to complete courses in biological or physical science, or a combination.   Biological Sciences involve the study of living organisms, including their origin, composition, function (molecular, cellular, and organismal) diversity, classification, ecology, evolution, and behavior. Physical Sciences comprise the disciplines that study the nature of energy and the inorganic world such as the areas of chemistry, physics, astronomy, and earth sciences.

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Arts and Humanities

Includes (6 credits) Creative Arts, Humanities

Creative Arts (PA3A - 3 hours)

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:

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Humanities (PA3B - 3 hours)

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.

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Global Citizenship

Includes (12 credits) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Intercultural Consciousness, Global Inquiry

This Perspectives Area sets the Miami liberal education experience apart from general education programs at other universities. Miami’s liberal education program will include more intensive focus on global inquiry and intercultural consciousness than general education programs at other institutions. This 12-credit component will include three separate areas that are both distinct and complementary.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (PA4A - 3 hours)

These courses foster ethical citizenship and an awareness of the histories and sociocultural contexts in which diverse identities and social roles are created. These Foundational Area courses provide the knowledge and capacity for empathy and encourage further inquiry. DEI courses investigate identities, histories, and global processes as they relate to the US (broadly conceived).

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Intercultural Consciousness (PA4B - 3-6 hours)

The Intercultural Consciousness requirement facilitates self-reflection and continued intercultural learning by focusing on a deeper understanding of self and others (e.g. biases, norms) in a multilingual and multicultural world. Students develop skills for human engagement and an openness to diverse cultural values. These courses build Foundational Area knowledge.

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Global Inquiry (PA4C - 3-6 hours)

Global Inquiry courses foster critical thinking about global power relations, international systems, and their consequences (e.g. migration effects, biodiversity, inequities) that stem from different types of forces and processes (e.g. historical, sociocultural, biological, political-economic). 

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Signature Inquiries

These courses encourage faculty and students working in different academic disciplines and interdisciplinary departments to connect with one another in addressing the same urgent needs in today's world that require understanding and solutions.

Sustainability and Resilience

Courses in this area 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

Courses in this area ask students to 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

Courses in this area investigate the myriad ways in which information, data, and technology impact societies and cultures, including influencing our understanding of “truth” and reality, among other interrelated issues critical to our world.

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Creativity, Storytelling and Design

Courses in this area 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

Courses in this area explore health as not merely the absence of disease, but as the results of biological, environmental, individual, social, political-economic, or cultural processes that yield and impact physical, mental, or social well-being.

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Knowledge in Action

Knowledge in Action (total of 3+ credits) includes Experiential Learning and Senior Capstones: Throughout their education, but especially as they approach graduation, students are encouraged to look to the farther horizons of their future in the world. Students 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 they’ve gained during their time at Miami to settings beyond Miami.

Miami Senior Capstone

In your final year of study, you must take a minimum of three hours in an approved Capstone course, which serves to meld your broad, liberal learning with the specialized knowledge of your 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.

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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.

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The Four Pillars

Civic-Mindedness and Social Engagement

Students understand and articulate how their research and studies relate to the greater social good; they 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 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.

Collaboration and Innovation

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

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.

Miami Moments