Goals of Essential Studies at UND

As UND students progress through the Essential Studies Program, preparing for productive and fulfilling public, private, and professional lives, they will take courses through which they will practice and develop key intellectual skills. To accomplish this, every Essential Studies course will very purposefully include content, activities, and assignments whose focus is on one or more of the following:

  1. Critical Inquiry and Analysis
    Inquiry is a systematic process of exploring issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments. Analysis is the process of breaking complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them.
  2. Quantitative Reasoning
    Quantitative Reasoning is competency and comfort in working with numerical data, using it to reason and solve quantitative problems from a wide array of authentic contexts and everyday life situations, and to create and clearly communicate sophisticated arguments supported by quantitative evidence, such as by using words, tables, graphs, mathematical equations, etc., as appropriate.
  3. Written Communication
    Written Communication is the development and expression of ideas in writing. Written communication involves learning to work in many genres and styles. It can involve working with many different writing technologies, and mixing text, data, and images.
  4. Oral Communication
    Oral communication involves a purposeful presentation designed to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners' attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors.
  5. Information Literacy Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.
  6. Intercultural Knowledge & Skills Intercultural knowledge and skills foster the capacity to meaningfully engage with the perspectives of people whose cultures and identities are different from one's own. To meaningfully engage with others' perspectives, one must be aware of how those perspectives are shaped by larger social structures, by issues of contemporary importance, and by issues that arise in global society.