Prof. Laurie M. Johnson
Director, Primary Texts Certificate
c/o Department of Political Science, Waters Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

 

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785-532-0441
lauriej@k-state.edu

Certificate in the Study of the Arts and Sciences Through Primary Texts

This program of study provides students with an opportunity to take part in a conversation with some of the best thinkers humankind has produced. The study of primary texts, including great books in areas such as philosophy, politics, literature and the sciences encourages critical thinking. Such study provides a grounding in what it means to be human which immeasurably enhances a person's experience of daily life. In addition, there is a growing acknowledgment among employers in business and the professions that the type of training this certificate provides develops lifelong learners and future leaders. This program also gives students who want to pursue graduate education early experience in grappling with original works of theory and literature such as they will inevitably encounter in graduate school.

The certificate is an 18 hour program of study which students can tailor to their interests and needs. At least nine hours must be at the 400 level or above. Selected courses must cover at least two academic disciplines.* Transfer courses that can be documented to have substantial primary text content may be accepted for the program, but at least half of the courses must be completed at Kansas State. A capstone paper must be submitted at or near the end of the 18 hours. In order to receive the certificate, students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA in the program at the time they graduate.

Students can count certificate courses towards the fulfillment of other College of Arts and Sciences requirements. As long as they are also designated as University General Education in the line schedule, courses taken for the certificate can also be counted toward the 18 hours of University General Education needed to graduate. Certificate courses that also fit the basic or distribution requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences can be used to fulfill those requirements. Certificate courses that also happen to be a part of a student's major or minor can be counted for fulfillment of the requirements of both the certificate and the major or minor.

Since many courses that can be used to fulfill the certificate requirement are already being offered, some students may have already made progress toward fulfilling the requirements before the program was formally approved in Spring, 2001. If they are currently enrolled at K-State, such students will be given full credit for those courses. Students who think they have fulfilled part or all of the requirements for this certificate are urged to contact the director.

Students should notify the director of their interest in the program as soon as possible in their college career.

*Starting in the Fall of 2008, students will be required to take a core course in Primary Texts at some point in their program, preferably near the beginning. Since this course is multidisciplinary and will be required, students will be asked to spread their coursework over at least two additional disciplines, instead of three, as was previously required. Students already in the program prior to Fall 2008 can choose to include this course in their program of study, and if so, adhere to the old or the new requirements. Please contact Dr. Johnson (Bagby) for additional information about this course and change in requirements starting in Fall 2008.