Earn your degree with the solid foundation of the Dearborn Discovery Core.
The Dearborn Discovery Core (DDC) is our campus-wide general education program designed to complement the coursework you’ll do in your area of study. It’s a combination of lower- and upper-level courses across many academic disciplines. With this base, you’ll uncover potential new areas of interest and graduate with a strong toolkit for success, no matter the field you pursue.
DDC requirements incorporate the six goals for undergraduate student learning and experience to help ensure that you master the tools and techniques necessary to succeed in college—and throughout your life and career.
All freshmen who start Fall 2015 or later, and all transfer students admitted Fall 2017 or later, will follow the DDC.
Dearborn Discovery Core Classes
At UM-Dearborn, you will take classes in each of the following nine DDC categories. (Some classes count for more than one category, but you cannot use any class to count for more than three categories.)
(6 credits) Develop the fundamentals of expressing yourself in writing and speaking, including the effective communication of a research-based argument.
Goals for Written and Oral Communication Courses
- Students are able to compose, revise, and edit their own writing for clarity and fluency of expression.
- Students are able to demonstrate how to prepare and adapt written and oral communication to the needs of multiple audiences across professional, academic, and interpersonal contexts.
- Students are able to demonstrate an understanding of academic integrity and use research skills including evaluating information, writing from sources, and correctly citing works.
- Students are able to critically evaluate and use readings and ideas in composing written or oral work.
(3 credits) Develop your math, logical reasoning, data analysis, and problem-solving abilities.
Goals for Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving Courses
- Students are able to interpret information presented in mathematical form (e.g. with functions, equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words, geometric figures).
- Students are able to represent information/data in mathematical form as appropriate (e.g. with functions, equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words, geometric figures).
- Students are able to carry out mathematical (e.g. algebraic, geometric, logical, statistical) procedures flexibly, accurately, and efficiently to solve problems.
- Students are able to evaluate the validity of logical or quantitative arguments.
(9 credits) Understand the fundamental concepts and theories of a field in the social or behavioral sciences while also learning how those concepts affect human behavior and societal change.
Goals for Social and Behavioral Analysis Courses
- Students are able to demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental concepts of a specific discipline in the behavioral or social sciences and the impact of those fundamental concepts on actions, perceptions or values.
- Students are able to apply disciplinary knowledge in the behavioral or social sciences to contemporary or historical issues.
- Students are able to demonstrate understanding of the methods, models or theories that produce knowledge in a specific field in the behavioral or social sciences.
(6 credits) Learn tools to interpret literature, philosophy, religion, and arts in order to understand and analyze the creative expression of the human condition.
Goals for Humanities and the Arts Courses
- Students are able to demonstrate foundational knowledge of the subject area including the use of specialized vocabulary relevant to the area of study
- Students are able to demonstrate the ability for close reading of primary sources, whether works of literature, philosophical discourses, works of art, film, music, media studies, and/or digital arts.
- Students are able to think critically and to demonstrate in writing well-reasoned or argued essays/exercises/papers.
- Students are able to contextualize selected texts, works of art, music and/or film in relation to their production and reception (May include historical, geographical, cultural and cross-cultural context).
(7 credits) Understand the basic concepts in the physical and natural sciences while also developing the ability to explain the relationship of evidence, assumptions, method, and theory in scientific analysis.
Goals for Natural Sciences Courses
- Students are able to demonstrate an understanding of the nature of the scientific method including hands-on practice.
- Students are able to formulate and interpret testable questions that result in qualitative and quantitative data.
- Students are able to apply unifying theories and laws to natural science disciplines and are able to explain examples.
- Students are able to demonstrate the ability to interpret and communicate science and apply its relevance.
(3 credits) Formulate questions and articulate problems; gather and interpret material toward reasoned conclusions; work within alternative methods and perspectives; and communicate effectively with others in solving complex problems.
Goals for Critical and Creative Thinking Courses
- Students are able to identify, summarize, and understand the problem, question, and/or issue.
- Students are able to identify, locate, and critically or creatively evaluate evidence using appropriate sources or technology.
- Students are able to consider and interpret alternative perspectives to support analysis.
- Students are able to develop and communicate conclusions and implications by synthesizing technical, aesthetic, conceptual knowledge or supporting evidence.
(6 upper-level credits) Understand plural societies and cultural differences, as well as synthesize multiple sources of information across disciplinary and experiential learning to develop new insights and creative problem-solving approaches.
Goals for Intersections Courses
- Students are able to describe how ways of knowing and creating knowledge differ across disciplines and cultures.
- Students are able to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and attributes needed to understand diverse local or global contexts.
- Students are able to critically evaluate the narratives, values, artifacts, processes, technologies or structures that may create a just and sustainable society.
- Students are able to creatively integrate theory and practice from across disciplines or from experiences outside of the classroom to address complex questions.
(3 upper-level credits) Critically engage with advanced content material by intensively practicing the writing conventions of a particular discipline.
Goals for Upper-Level Writing Intensive Courses
- Students are able to demonstrate advanced competency by writing for a specific audience and integrating disciplinary ideas and concepts.
- Students are able to effectively evaluate and use research methods, sources or technology appropriate to the field.
- Students are able to engage in critical inquiry and thinking to synthesize or create a new rendering or perspective.
(3 upper-level credits) Engage in a culminating experience in which you apply knowledge to a research or experiential project that requires you to think critically and creatively and communicate your results in research products or reflective writings.
Goals for Capstone Experience Courses
- Students are able to identify, obtain, research, and describe major issues associated with a specific topic of inquiry.
- Students are able to identify and discuss critical questions leading to a deeper engagement in the study of a specific topic of inquiry or technology.
- Students are able to apply knowledge, skills and abilities in the creation and execution of a concrete project informed by specific topic of inquiry.