The campus-wide general education program (known as the Dearborn Discovery Core) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn is designed to complement work in a student's chosen area of study. These classes serve as a means of discovery for students, providing a foundation for learning, connecting to potential new areas of interest and building tools for success in whatever field a student pursues. Learning outcomes are guided by the qualities every student should develop as they move toward graduating with a University of Michigan-Dearborn degree. The six goals for undergraduate student learning and experiences at UM-Dearborn are:
Core Knowledge, Communication, Cultural Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking, Collaboration, and Citizenship
The Dearborn Discovery Core (DDC) requirements incorporate the six goals for undergraduate student learning and experience to help ensure that students master the tools and techniques necessary to succeed in college and throughout their lives and careers. The Dearborn Discovery Core is divided into three sections in order to accomplish the six goals for undergraduate student learning: Foundational Studies, Areas of Inquiry, and Capstone Experience.
Foundational Studies [15 credits]
Written and Oral Communication [6 credits]
Develop the fundamentals of expressing yourself in writing and speaking, including the effective communication of a research-based argument.
1. Students are able to compose, revise, and edit their own writing for clarity and fluency of expression.
2. 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.
3. Students are able to demonstrate an understanding of academic integrity and use research skills including evaluating information, writing from sources, and correctly citing works.
4. Students are able to critically evaluate and use readings and ideas in composing written or oral work.
Upper-Level Writing Intensive Course [3 upper-level credits]
Critically engage with advanced content material by intensively practicing the writing conventions of a particular discipline.
1. Students are able to demonstrate advanced competency by writing for a specific audience and integrating disciplinary ideas and concepts.
2. Students are able to effectively evaluate and use research methods, sources or technology appropriate to the field.
3. Students are able to engage in critical inquiry and thinking to synthesize or create a new rendering or perspective.
Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving [3 credits]
Develop your math, logical reasoning, data analysis, and problem-solving abilities.
1. Students are able to interpret information presented in mathematical form (e.g. with functions, equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words, geometric figures).
2. Students are able to represent information/data in mathematical form as appropriate (e.g. with functions, equations, graphs, diagrams, tables, words, geometric figures).
3. Students are able to carry out mathematical (e.g. algebraic, geometric, logical, statistical,) procedures flexibly, accurately, and efficiently to solve problems.
4. Students are able to evaluate the validity of logical or quantitative arguments.
Critical and Creative Thinking [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.
1. Students are able to identify, summarize, and understand the problem, question, and/or issue.
2. Students are able to identify, locate, and critically or creatively evaluate evidence using appropriate sources or technology.
3. Students are able to consider and interpret alternative perspectives to support analysis.
4. Students are able to develop and communicate conclusions and implications by synthesizing technical, esthetic, conceptual knowledge or supporting evidence.
Areas of Inquiry [28 credits] & Capstone Experience [3 credits]
Natural Sciences [7 credits with a lab]
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.
- 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.
Social and Behavioral Analysis [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.
- 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.
Humanities and the Arts [6 credits]
Learn tools to interpret literature, philosophy, religion, and arts in order to understand and analyze the creative expression of the human condition.
- 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).
Intersections [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.
- 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.
Capstone Experience [3 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.
- 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.
DDC Application Forms
Visit this page for information about the DDC course application process and to access the course application forms.