Fundamental Studies

Fundamental Studies courses ensure students develop crucial skills for success in academic and in professional lives. As students progress through their degree programs faculty are encouraged to build upon these foundational skills and reveal to students how these are essential to all disciplines.

What are the expectations for students?

Students will take 5 courses, a total of 15 credits: 

  • Academic Writing:   3 credits
  • Professional Writing: 3 credits
  • Oral Communication: 3 credits
  • Math:  3 credits
  • Analytic Reasoning:  3 credits
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See Testudo for course offerings

Do you want to teach/design a Fundamental Studies course? 

Check with the hosting departments: Academic Writing and Professional Writing are hosted in the Department of English, and Math in the Department of Mathematics, the majority of Oral Communication courses by the Department of Communication or the Institute of Applied Agriculture, while the other categories include courses from a broader set of departments.

Are you curious about the skills students are learning in Fundamental Studies? Do you want to help students expand skills such as writing and communication in your course?

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  • Review Fundamental Studies curricula and build on that learning. For example, apply research skills students learn in ENGL 101 in your course
  • Use Resources developed in Fundamental Studies courses
  • Use Fundamental Studies rubrics to inform development of activities and provide feedback to students related to fundamental skills in your course. For example, use the Oral Communication Rubric to assess a presentation in your course
  • Collaborate with Fundamental Studies faculty on course design. For example, see MATH135: Discrete Mathematics for Life Sciences, developed from a collaboration between Biological Sciences and Mathematics

Recent Publications

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Where Do You Turn? Student-Identified Resources in the Basic Course Experience, Sources of Information, Feedback, and Help-Seeking Behaviors


This study explored the formal and informal resources students enrolled in a basic communication course use to gather information and receive feedback about their course experience, including presentations and work in the class. 

Ashley Jones-BodieUniversity of Mississippi; Lindsey B. AndersonUniversity of Maryland; Jennifer HallPurdue University

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Measuring Essential Learning Outcomes for Public Speaking


This manuscript compiles dozens of measurement resources, aligned by outcome, and also identifies areas where future assessment measures development is needed.

Melissa A. Broeckelman-PostGeorge Mason University; Karla M. HunterSouth Dakota State University; Joshua N. WestwickSouth Dakota State University; Angela HosekOhio University - Main Campus; Kristina Ruiz-MesaCalifornia State University, Los Angeles; John HookerIllinois State University; Lindsey B. AndersonUniversity of Maryland

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