General Education

Culture and Diversity Courses

GECDV 201 Culture and Diversity Credits: 3

Students engage in investigation and reflection of their own backgrounds and cultures, examining their own worldview and implicit bias. Through engagement with self and others, students begin recognizing the culture and worldview of those different from themselves. Students develop an awareness of self and how this self-knowledge manifests in interactions with others. Through dialogue and engagement with others in addition to reflection of self, students develop a critical consciousness of self and society.

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

GECDV 203 The Americas in America Credits: 3

The Americas in America course discusses and analyzes texts, practices and artifacts that have an origin either in the Americas or in the Conquest of the Americas but have been culturally adapted and transformed to fit the needs of the American culture. Students will study the history of the selected themes and discuss whether their presence in America challenge their understanding of what they believe their culture is, how these texts, practices and artifacts shaped (or not) their identities and, whether they serve as focal points for understanding other cultures.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

GECDV 204 The Artist in Society Credits: 3

The Artist in Society course explores cultural values and diversity through the roles of art and artists in society. Using contemporary examples of artists engaging in social and cultural dialog, students will examine their own cultural foundations, while encountering viewpoints that differ from, and may challenge, those viewpoints.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

GECDV 206 Exploring Intersectionality: Understanding Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Credits: 3

This class is an interdisciplinary course that will examine critical issues in women’s and gender studies by focusing on the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, and social context. Through their study of these intersections, students will become more sensitive to the impact of social structures on gender and the experiences of women and men.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

GECDV 207 Sexuality Across the Lifespan Credits: 3

This course is a survey of issues that will provide knowledge for integrating human sexuality in day-to-day life. Through course preparation that encourages self-reflection and examining their worldview of self and others, students will be better prepared to assume a significant role in understanding sexuality across the lifespan.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

GECDV H202 Investigating Identity, Power, and Change Credits: 3

Students engage in investigation and reflection of their own backgrounds and cultures, examining their own worldview and implicit bias. Through engagement with self and others, students begin recognizing the culture and worldview of those different from themselves. Students develop an awareness of self and how this self-knowledge manifests in interactions with others. Through dialogue and engagement with others in addition to reflection of self, students develop a critical consciousness of self and society.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

Critical Thinking in the Arts and Humanities Courses

GECRT-AH 101 Making Meaning in A Changing World Credits: 3

Students appreciate the Arts and Humanities and the importance of the creative and human experience by learning how to analyze artifacts (e.g., texts) to make meaning out of their world.

GECRT-AH 102 Visual Art & Media Culture Credits: 3

An introduction to theory and practice in visual art and media culture, this course focuses on methods of understanding and creating images to reflect the cultural issues they represent, with focus put on how art represents the human condition.

GECRT-AH 103 Children’s Literature and the Arts Credits: 3

Students appreciate the Arts and Humanities and the importance of the creative and human experience by learning how to analyze artifacts (e.g., texts) to make meaning out of their world.

GECRT-AH 104 The Story of World Art Credits: 3

The Story of World Art is a general education course, focused on the history of art and visual culture across space and time. Students will draw connections between the visual narratives of art in a diverse range of cultural contexts, including Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Oceania.

GECRT-AH 105 Introduction to World Music Credits: 3

This course introduces students to the musical heritage of the world via a survey of music in global social and cultural contexts. Students will analyze artifacts toward making meaning out of their world, where listening actively to music, building a basic vocabulary for discussing music, and comparing musical traditions aid in appreciating how the arts and humanities.

GECRT-AH 106 Kansas City as Text Credits: 3

Students appreciate the Arts and Humanities and the importance of the creative and human experience by learning how to analyze artifacts (e.g., texts) to make meaning out of their world. In this class, you will investigate important local topics, problems, or issues.

GECRT-AH 108 Finding Meaning in the Everyday Credits: 3

Students analyze everyday artistic expression to better understand how popular art represents and shapes the human experience.

GECRT-AH 109 Beyond Charts and Graphs: Visualizing Data Credits: 3

In this general education course, students will study the visual components of Data Visualization: the processes and visual strategies that create effective communications of knowledge, information and behaviors derived from data sources, to help us make sense of our future, our lives, and our world and show us what it means to be human.

GECRT-AH 110 The Philosophy of Technology Credits: 3

In this general education course, you will study the arts and humanities: the processes and resulting cultural-historical artifacts, drawn from the past and/or present (artistic, cinematographic, literary, architectural, philosophical, musical, kinetic, theatrical, historical texts), that help us make sense of our pasts, our lives, and our world and show us what it means to be human.

GECRT-AH 112 Comedy as Art Credits: 3

This course is designed to analyze what is so funny and why is it that we laugh when we do. Reflecting upon a sampling of a wide range of comedy we will address comedy as it informs cultural ideologies. The course combines a historical and theoretical examination of humorous content with a practical understanding of how to elicit laughter in an audience.

Critical Thinking in the Natural and Physical Sciences Courses

GECRT-SC 101 How Do I Live in A Changing World Credits: 3

Students will investigate the natural and physical world through testable questions, models, hypotheses or discoveries and evaluate different lines of evidence including observations and measurements. Students will apply natural and physical science techniques and use results and conclusions to explain and appreciate the natural and physical phenomena that impact our lives, our community and the world in which we live.

Critical Thinking in the Behavioral and Social Science Courses

GECRT-SS 101 Why Though? Credits: 3

What is human behavior? How do humans influence and are influenced by the world around them? How can we study the "why" behind human behavior in a meaningful way given just how complex humans and societies are? In this course, students apply perspectives and critical thinking processes from the social sciences to identify and explore relevant questions. In particular, students collect and evaluate evidence and draw conclusions about the human experience in individual, social, and cultural contexts.

GECRT-SS 102 Culture through the Camera Lens Credits: 3

What is human behavior? How do humans influence and are influenced by the world around them? How can we study the "why" behind human behavior in a meaningful way given just how complex humans and societies are? In this course, students apply perspectives and critical thinking processes from the social sciences to identify and explore relevant questions. In particular, students collect and evaluate evidence and draw conclusions about the human experience in individual, social, and cultural contexts. This course provides an introductory survey of documentary film making.

GECRT-SS 104 Before the Opening: The Business of Making Art Credits: 3

Students will investigate the economic, social and cultural aspects that artists and arts organizations consider when producing and distributing a variety of arts genres. We will examine small and large arts ventures to determine the behaviors impacting their business decisions, and the students will evaluate the value of applying these strategies in their decision-making processes.

GECRT-SS 105 Perspectives on Gender and the Economy Credits: 3

This course introduces students to think critically about the gendered construction of the economy. The course offers basic skills to be an economic investigator and to understand that there are different data and information sources, and myriad economic perspectives. It also aims to present a feminist economics approach of seeing, knowing and representing economy and society.

GECRT-SS 107 Lies, Rumors, and Conspiracy Theories Credits: 3

In this course, we will focus on how social scientists study lies, rumors, and conspiracy theories. We will primarily focus on how researchers in the field of political science approach this study. However, assignments and course activities will also introduce how researchers in other fields approach this same phenomenon.

GECRT-SS 108 What's Race Got To Do With It? Credits: 3

Students will examine how racialization of time and space has led us to where we are today, in Kansas City, across the country, and around the globe. This course will provide students opportunities to investigate their own questions about race and study the “why” about how race has influenced human behavior. Students will be encouraged to think deeply and critically about these issues and ultimately draw their own conclusions in thinking about… what’s race got to do with it?

GECRT-SS 111 Health Issues in Aging Credits: 3

In this course, students use perspectives and frameworks from the social sciences to identify and explore relevant questions. In particular, students will collect and evaluate evidence from which conclusions about the human experience and behavior can be drawn. Students will explore a specific topic or theme in order to investigate these questions. In this section of the course, we will focus on how social scientists study Health Issues in Aging. This class will investigate the ways in which generational experiences impacts our thinking and shapes our worldview and behaviors.

Civic and Urban Engagement Courses

GECUE 201 Civic and Urban Engagement Credits: 3

Students participate in engagement with communities in which they investigate an issue of personal and public concern. Students analyze this community-defined issue or need by synthesizing knowledge from primary sources and/or secondary sources. Students discern and discuss the tension between individual and collective needs, and demonstrate ability and commitment to work actively within community contexts and structures to achieve a civic aim or remediate a problem or issue. In doing this, students develop decisions/ actions/ solutions that benefit the most people within a society while also not oppressing those in a minority. In short, students analyze issues and solutions that contribute to the greater good for the greatest number of diverse groups and people.

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing

GECUE 203 Civic Engagement in a Democratic Society Credits: 3

This course examines the concept of civic engagement, including how it is developed and how it shapes relationships between people and groups in a civil society. Students enrolled in the course will analyze conditions in which civic engagement can promote broad social goals or exacerbate social and political divisions. The course will also examine challenges of building and maintaining high levels of civic engagement in a plural society. A significant part of this course also involves students participating in civic activity, and using those observations to test theories of civic engagement.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

GECUE 272 Practicing Politics Credits: 3

This course investigates the process by which government attention is allocated to policy issues and the tension this creates between the public, interest groups, and the institutions of government. The goal of the course is to create a basis for civic knowledge and engagement.

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

GECUE H202 Social Action Credits: 3

This course will introduce students to concepts and strategies that will enable them to collaborate with classmates to analyze a social problem, develop a solution to that problem, and implement the solution.

First Semester Experience Courses

GEFSE 101 First Semester Experience Credits: 3

The First Semester Experience will introduce students to the people, systems, and resources that foster success at UMKC. Students will participate in weekly Impact Seminars to learn about the research and teaching that takes place across campus and how to engage with faculty in your time at UMKC. They will also participate in small group sections for students pursuing related majors to explore big ideas, academic programs and career paths. The course also includes a range of co-curricular activities to connect students with a wide range of activities and events on campus and in the broader Kansas City community.