Iowa State University

Iowa State University

2007-2009 Courses and Programs

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Colleges and Curricula

U.S. Diversity and International Perspective Requirements

One of Iowa State University’s goals is to prepare its students to meet the challenges of responsible citizenship and effective professional roles in a culturally diverse global community. To help achieve this goal, all undergraduate students must fulfill graduation requirements in two areas: U.S. Diversity and International Perspectives. The specific standards used to certify students’ fulfillment of these requirements vary from major to major, but all require three credits of course work (or the equivalent in some alternative academic experience) for each of the requirements. In most cases, courses used to meet the U.S. Diversity and International Perspectives requirements can also be used to fulfill general education requirements of the student’s college or requirements of the student’s major. Students should consult with advisers for details of the requirements in particular majors.

The focus of the U.S. Diversity requirement is the multicultural society of the United States. Courses or alternative academic work used to meet the requirement address significant manifestations of human diversity and provide students with insights that enhance their understanding of diversity among people in the U.S.

Through completion of the U.S. Diversity requirement, students will achieve at least two learning outcomes such as those listed below.

Students will be able to:

  • articulate how their personal life experiences and choices fit within the context of the larger mosaic of U.S. society, indicating how they have confronted and critically analyzed their perceptions and assumptions about diversity-related issues.
  • analyze and evaluate the contributions of various underrepresented social groups in shaping the history and culture of the U.S.
  • analyze individual and institutional forms of discrimination based on factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, class, etc.
  • analyze the perspectives of groups and individuals affected by discrimination
  • analyze how cultural diversity and cooperation among social groups affect U.S. society.

The focus of the International Perspectives requirement is the global community. Its objective is to promote students’ understanding of cultural diversity and interdependence on a global scale. A period of immersion in a foreign culture is often a particularly effective way of meeting these objectives, so Iowa State University encourages the use of study-abroad experiences as a means of fulfilling the International Perspectives requirement. International students, because they are “studying abroad” from their home country’s perspective, are normally deemed to have met the International Perspectives requirement.
Through completion of the International Perspectives requirement, students will achieve at least two learning outcomes such as those listed below.

Students will be able to:

  • analyze the accuracy and relevancy of their own worldviews and anticipate how people from other nations may perceive that worldview.
  • describe and analyze how cultures and societies around the world are formed, are sustained, and evolve.
  • analyze and evaluate the influence of global issues in their own lives.
  • describe the values and perspectives of cultures other than their own and discuss how they influence individuals’ perceptions of global issues and/or events.
  • communicate competently in a second language.