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General Education

General Education Program   


The mission of the General Education program is to use a Liberal Arts foundation to introduce students to a breadth of knowledge, skills and information to prepare them to specialize in their major programs of study and to stimulate student inquiry and understanding of personal, social and civic values. In keeping with the Lutheran tradition of intellectual curiosity, free inquiry and community engagement, this program seeks to engage students as whole human beings and foster enduring positive change in how they think, act and feel in matters of the self, others and the wider world.

Through General Education, students develop a basic understanding of modes of inquiry in the humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences. Liberal arts study prepares students to work in a variety of sectors and to adapt to a changing workplace, as well as to become valuable and informed members of their community. Students learn to communicate effectively, think critically and creatively, solve problems, and appreciate intellectual activities. Furthermore, liberal arts courses stimulate students’ intelligence and curiosity about who they are and their place in the world’s social and natural environment.

Program Objectives

Finlandia University General Education identifies five outcomes that should be demonstrated by every student graduating from Finlandia. The five outcomes are represented throughout the elected and prescribed general education courses; for details see individual syllabi.

  1. Communication – Students will be able to communicate in both the spoken and written word, with clarity and originality while adapting to diverse situations.
  2. Analytic and Critical Thinking – Students will be able to gather relevant data and information, evaluate ideas, and draw relationships and conclusions across areas of study.
  3. Creative Insight – Students will be able to integrate knowledge, skills, diverse perspectives, and collaborative processes to produce an expansive holistic approach to problem solving.
  4. Personal Perspective – Students will be able to articulate and model a personal philosophy that expresses care for self, community, and lifelong learning.
  5. Global Perspective – Students will be able to exhibit an understanding of and appreciation for diverse cultures and the natural environment, and demonstrate a sense of belonging in an interdependent world.


The Core Curriculum consists of coursework that introduces proficiencies for learning and perspectives in inquiry. These fundamental proficiencies and perspectives of a liberal arts education form a coherent foundation for all Finlandia students. The proficiency courses address literacy, communication, and quantitative analysis. The perspective courses address different approaches to perceive, investigate, and appreciate the world. Students utilize and further develop these skills and approaches within their major programs of study.

Proficiencies for Learning

English Composition helps students craft insightful, college-level essays that clearly articulate and organize arguments about literature and the world. Students are challenged to exercise self-expression and develop pride and personal investment in academic writing and research.

Public Speaking instructs students to effectively deliver and evaluate oral presentations. The study of speechmaking principles enables students to improve their research, analysis, listening, organizational, and critical thinking skills, which are essential for academic and career success.

Mathematics guides students to use numbers to express and study the complex relationships in our lives. Students are challenged to solve problems using logical arguments based on the axioms or rules of the system.

Perspectives in Inquiry

The Finlandia Experience introduces students to Finlandia’s cultural and religious heritage and community. Students explore diverse perspectives on the human experience.

The Natural Sciences challenge students to apply the scientific method as a problem-solving approach in research and life. Students learn to critique scientific evidence and principles, and explore their personal, societal, and technological implications.

The Humanities help students develop proficiency in communication through critical reading, writing, speaking and listening practices. Study in the humanities challenges students to develop a personal perspective, recognize their place in an interdependent world, engage with diverse cultures and ways of knowing, and appreciate differing value systems and social practices.

The Social Sciences encourage students to consider the complex interactions between personal, situational, group, and cultural factors when investigating human motivations and behavior. Students learn to challenge commonsense logic and instead rely on the scientific method when explaining human behavior.

Baccalaureate-level Core Curriculum Requirements

Bachelor of Arts (BA)/Science (BS)/Business Administration (BBA)/Fine Art (BFA)

ENG 103(3)
ENG 104(3)
COM 108 (2)
MAT 140 or higher* (4)
UNS 115(1)
Religion or Finnish Studies (3)
Natural Science with Lab (4)
Social Sciences++ (9)
Total General Education Credits: 38
*As determined by individual degree programs. Please see the appropriate Progress Sheet for specific requirements.
^No more than six credits of one discipline, except up to eight credits of the same foreign language.
+ Includes courses in ARD, DRM, ENG (but not ENG 101), FNS, HIS, HUM, MUS, PHL, REL, or foreign language.
++Includes courses in ANT, COM, ECN, ENV, GEO, GSS, PLS, PSY, and SOC.

Associate-level Core Curriculum Requirements        

Associate in Applied Science (AAS)/General Studies (AGS)

ENG 103(3)
ENG 104(3)
MAT 140 or higher*(4)
UNS 115(1)
Religion or Finnish Studies(3)
Natural Science with Lab(4)
Social Sciences++(3)
Total General Education Credits: 24
*As determined by individual degree programs. Please see the appropriate Progress Sheet for specific requirements.
+ Includes courses in ARD, DRM, ENG (but not ENG 101), FNS, HIS, HUM, MUS, PHL, REL, or foreign language.
++ Includes courses in ANT, COM, ECN, ENV, GEO, GSS, PLS, PSY, and SOC.


Writing is central to thinking and learning. It challenges students to articulate and solidify their perspectives, arguments, and interpretations within a coherent and creative structure. Yet writing can differ in purpose, format, and style from discipline to discipline. Finlandia’s Writing Intensive Program strives to improve student writing for communication, critical analysis, and self-expression. Students are introduced to writing with first-year composition (ENG 103 and ENG 104). They then further develop the writing process with writing-intensive courses across the curriculum.   Accordingly, ENG 103 and ENG 104 must be successfully completed before taking WI courses, which are signified with “WI” in the course title.

The goals of the Writing Intensive Program are:

  1. To use writing to promote student learning of course content.
  2. To improve student writing proficiency through guidance and revisions.
  3. To challenge students to write for different purposes and audiences following discipline-specific formats and styles.

The program requires:

  • Bachelor’s degree students to complete three WI courses from at least two disciplines.
  • Associate’s (except ESL), RN–BSN, and 2+2 degree students, and transfer students with 60 or more credits, to complete one WI course.

A WI course requires at least three works of writing, totaling to at least 15 double-spaced pages (or 3,750 words). The course must involve both formal and informal writing. But a WI course does not simply assign more writing. Instead, it makes writing integral to the learning experience. Review, reflection, and revision are critical to the writing process, and thus critical to a WI course. A WI course facilitates the writing process through class explorations, personalized guidance, and meaningful revisions. Revisions are meaningful when involving restructuring, elaboration, and clarification of the content, and not simply formatting or grammatical corrections.

2018-19 Catalog

2018-19 Catalog toggle menu
FinnU will not enroll students for 2023-2024Learn More