Interpretation of contemporary society requires an understanding of how different disciplines in the Western intellectual tradition have organized and constructed knowledge. Perspectives courses have two objectives: to illustrate the evolution and contingent nature of knowledge and what is considered to be knowledge, and to provide students with a broad intellectual framework in which they may locate their major field (s) of study.
Perspectives courses must be introductory in nature and either fundamental to, or otherwise characteristic of, their disciplines. Moreover, they must meet the same pedagogical standards typically required of courses in their respective departments, divisions, and schools. They must be critical in approach and introduce students to primary sources. Where appropriate, they must be writing-intensive. Finally, they must be interactive, a requirement that may be fulfilled in a variety of ways. (See General Rules).
Students will successfully complete one course each from five of the six groups below, ideally by the end of the second year.
Classes marked with an asterisk (*) fulfill the Human Diversity requirement. NOTE: Courses cross-listed with CF, CFA, and CFB courses may not fulfill any of the Perspectives requirements. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) fulfill the Human Diversity requirement including cross-listed sections.
NOTE: section numbers beginning with 5 denote courses taught in the SMU Abroad Program. Likewise, section numbers beginning with 9 represent courses taught at SMU-in-Taos.