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Undergraduate Core Curricula

The RMU Core for All Bachelor Degrees:
For all bachelor degree programs, the Robert Morris University Core of 39 credits is a requirement. Courses in quantitative and natural sciences, social sciences (including economics), the humanities (including communications) and other courses beyond these liberal arts fields considered to be part of students' general education (e.g., fundamentals of computing) are part of this core.

The goal of the RMU faculty in developing the core was to identify the characteristics, abilities, and skills needed for each graduating RMU student. Thus, all courses in the core should contribute to:

  1. Furthering a commitment to pursue lifelong learning.
  2. Developing the ability to effectively use the tools, techniques, and skills appropriate and necessary for the practice of one's profession.
  3. Learning to incorporate a variety of technological and informational resources to gather and synthesize information and to create, communicate and manage knowledge.
  4. Developing analytical and critical thinking skills.
  5. Learning to act with integrity and honesty and choosing ethical and socially responsible courses of action.

Additionally, objectives representative of each of the required content areas of the core are as follows:

Communications Skills (12 Credits)

  1. Develop the ability to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  2. Learn and employ effective listening skills.
  3. Develop the ability to work effectively in small groups including the ability to manage conflict.
  4. Develop an awareness of multi-cultural issues including religion, gender and ethnicity and develop the ability to function effectively within diverse environments.

Economics (3 credits)

  1. Develop a knowledge of issues as appropriate to a good citizen.
    1. understand how the U.S. economy is integrated into the world economy
    2. identify key issues in microeconomic policy debates and analyze those issues within the context of economic theories
    3. identify key issues in macroeconomic policy debates (including the use of fiscal and monetary policies) and analyze those issues within the context of economic theories
    4. understand the operation and relative efficiency of the market system in allocating economic resources
  2. To develop a knowledge of individual and group behavior and use economic analysis to explain human behavior.

Math/Statistics (3 credits)

  1. Develop an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics to solve problems in our personal and professional lives.
  2. Develop an ability to construct mathematical and/or statistical models to describe real-world data and phenomena.
  3. Learn to represent and communicate mathematical ideas.
  4. Learn critical thinking, quantitative analysis for decision making and deductive reasoning skills.

Science (3 credits)

  1. Develop a knowledge of:
    1. at least one of the physical, biological or earth sciences;
    2. the scientific method.
  2. Learn to examine, analyze, and compare information from various sources in order to evaluate validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias.
  3. Develop an ability to identify, formulate and solve techno/scientific problems.

Computer Information Systems (3 credits)

  1. Develop an understanding of information systems technology and how this technology can be applied to our business and personal lives.
  2. Develop an understanding of the processes for designing a system to meet desired needs.
  3. Learn to examine, analyze, and compare information from various sources in order to evaluate validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias.
  4. Develop an ability to identify, formulate and solve techno/scientific problems.

Psychology (3 credits)

  1. Develop a knowledge of the principles of psychology including individual and group behavior, conflict management, change management, motivation and learning theory.
  2. Develop an awareness of multi-cultural issues including religion, gender and ethnicity and develop the ability to function effectively within diverse environments.

Sociology (3 credits)

  1. Develop a knowledge of principles of sociology including social theories, family behaviors and ethnocentric behaviors.
  2. Develop an awareness of multi-cultural issues including religion, gender and ethnicity and develop the ability to function effectively within diverse environments.

Literature (3 credits)

  1. Develop a knowledge and appreciation of literature.
  2. Develop the ability to read carefully for both style and substance.
  3. Learn to examine, analyze, and compare information from various sources in order to evaluate validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias.
  4. Develop an awareness of multi-cultural issues including religion, gender and ethnicity and develop the ability to function effectively within diverse environments.

History / Political Science (3 credits)

  1. Develop a general knowledge of history.
    OR
    Develop a general knowledge of politics and political systems.
  2. Develop the ability to use history / political science to create a context for understanding current issues.
  3. Explore interrelationships among historical events, and intellectual, artistic, literary, philosophical, scientific, and/or religious movements and works.
  4. Learn to examine, analyze, and compare information from various sources in order to evaluate validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias.
  5. Develop an awareness of international issues, including cultural and religious differences.
  6. Develop an awareness of multi-cultural issues including religion, gender and ethnicity and develop the ability to function effectively within diverse environments.

ARTS / HUMANITIES (3 credits)

  1. Develop a knowledge and appreciation of fine arts including aesthetics, creativity and artistic production.
  2. Explore interrelationships among historical events, and intellectual, artistic, literary, philosophical, scientific, and/or religious movements and works.
  3. Learn to examine, analyze, and compare information from various sources in order to evaluate validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias.
  4. Develop an awareness of international issues, including cultural and religious differences.
  5. Develop an awareness of multi-cultural issues including religion, gender and ethnicity and develop the ability to function effectively within diverse environments.

Note: The three credit courses indicated above are a minimum number of credits in each area. Individual departments or schools may substitute courses consisting of more than three credits for their own cores but cannot require that these courses of more than three credits be included in the cores for majors outside of the department or school.


Communications Skills Core for All Bachelor Degrees:
Beginning with the Fall 1995 semester, Robert Morris University implemented a Communications Skills Program to enhance the employability and advancement of its graduates in a competitive job market by improving their communications skills. With this program the University is strengthening its mission to provide excellent theoretical and practical education that prepares students for success in business and professional careers. Graduates who communicate effectively advance in business and the professions.

As part of the Robert Morris Core required of all students enrolled at the University, the Communications Skills Program has as its goal the mastery by all graduates of a wide range of communications skills, strategies, and principles. This 24-credit hour program, comprised of four courses within the first 63 credit hours of study and four designated courses in the disciplines during the remaining years of study, emphasizes these areas: reading and interpreting a variety of texts, writing, speaking and making presentations using appropriate software support, listening, developing skills in cross-cultural and multicultural group dynamics, and applying rhetorical skills to the discourse of each discipline. The program rests on three principles: (1) strategies for developing communications skills can be taught and can be learned, (2) these strategies find applications in disciplines across the curriculum, and (3) students must spend "time-on-task" throughout their college education to develop proficiency in communications at a level necessary for success in business and the professions. Students are required to be competent in word processing for COSK1221 Argument & Research and in presentation software for COSK2230 Business and Professional Communications.

In this program, the term "communication" means transmitting and receiving information by listening, presenting, reading, speaking, and writing, and includes nonverbal behavior as well as the use of computers and other electronic media as ways to communicate. All the goals and objectives of the program are interrelated and interdependent, and all communications skills objectives are taught within ethical contexts. The goals, or outcomes, for the Communications Skills Program center on these key areas: communication principles, skills, and strategies; written, oral, and nonverbal language; collaborative, interpersonal, and intercultural skills; support technologies; and affective behaviors. While students are expected to reach a minimal level of proficiency for each goal at graduation, the intention of the program is to equip students to continue developing their abilities throughout their professional lives.

For each of the comprehensive goals for the Communications Skills Program, students will demonstrate their comprehension and ability in the following:

Communications Principles, Skills, Strategies

  • apply, analyze, and evaluate communication principles, including those of cross-cultural communications, that underlie group problem solving, decision making, and conflict resolution.
  • apply, analyze, and evaluate communications skills for varied audiences, purposes, and situations appropriate to business and the professions.
  • employ appropriate comprehensive strategies through writing, speaking, listening, and presenting in managing and coordinating various communications tasks.

Written, Oral, Nonverbal Language

  • employ appropriate written and oral language to solve problems, resolve conflicts, and reach decisions.
  • employ dress, etiquette, and speech appropriate to culturally diverse work and social interactions in business and the professions.

Collaborative, Interpersonal, Intercultural Skills

  • incorporate effective collaborative, interpersonal, and intercultural skills in planning, preparing, and presenting information.

Support Technologies

  • use appropriate support technologies such as word processing, text editing software, mixed media, and graphics in communications presentations.

Affective Behaviors

  • develop and display self-confidence and appropriate behaviors as related to the communication skills embodied in the other goals.


Communications Skills Program COSK1220-2230
The Core Curriculum Communications Skills course approach communications as subject matter to be studied; enhances the communications skills through structured and sequenced practice; and explores the importance and practice of adapting communications to the expectations of various audiences. In each course, the issue of audience is presented in greater complexity. Communications is treated as a process of discovering, organizing, adapting, and revising; and communications is explained as a system of interrelated skills, including reading, writing, speaking, listening, presenting, and computer literacy.

Effective Fall 2003, the University Core Curriculum requirement is 12 credits of Communications Skills. Currently, there are five Communications Skills courses, but students are required to take only four of them.

Entering first-year students will be placed in one of two four-course tracks based upon their ACT/ASSET placement scores, SAT scores, and other multi-measures that the University has in place. Students will be placed in either COSK1220 Reading & Writing Strategies or COSK1221 Argument & Research.

If placed in COSK1220 Reading & Writing Strategies, the Core requirements are COSK1220, 1221, 2220, and 2230. COSK2221 Intercultural Communication may be an elective or required elsewhere in one's program, but it is not required as part of the University Core Requirements.

If placed in COSK1221 Argument & Research, the Core requirements are COSK1221, 2220, 2221, and 2230.

The five courses in the Communications Skills Sequence are as follows:

 COSK1220Reading & Writing Strategies
COSK1221Argument & Research
COSK2220Public Speaking & Persuasion
COSK2221Intercultural Communications
COSK2230Business & Professional Communications

All students should complete the Communications Skills Program courses according to the following schedule:

If placed in COSK1220
Year One:Fall--COSK1220Spring--COSK1221
Year Two:Fall--COSK2220Spring--COSK2230
Year Three:Fall--Course VISpring--Course VII
Year Four:Fall--Course VIIISpring--Course IX
 
If placed in COSK1221:
Year One:Fall--COSK 1221Spring-COSK2220
Year Two:Fall--COSK2221Spring--COSK 2230
Year Three:Fall--Course VISpring--Course VII
Year Four:Fall--Course VIIISpring--Course IX

Note: Courses VI-IX are not sequential, but students must observe the prerequisites for the courses. Also, students may take more than one in a term and may take more than the four required courses, if they are available.

Communications Skills in the Major (The Communications Skills Intensive Program)
Upon completion of COSK courses required as part of the RMU Core, students must then complete additional course work in their major, as prescribed by the faculty of each degree-granting School. This course work may include from one to four specified "Communications Skills Intensive" sections of courses in the major. Further, the faculty of the School may require additional focused instruction and application of Communications Skills principles distributed across a number of other upper-division courses. Courses designated as Communications Skills Intensive are integrated into the degree as part of the "Major" section of the student's academic checksheet.

For More Information,
Contact:

Admissions Office
Nicholson Center
3rd Floor

admissions@rmu.edu
800.762.0097 phone
412.397.5200 phone
412.397.2425 fax

Peggy M. Brallier
Academic Services Specialist
 
Academic Services

brallier@rmu.edu
412-397-6230 phone
412-397-2528 fax
Patrick Henry 202
More Info

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