The College Requirement (CAS)

The divisional requirement in Arts and Science is called the College Requirement (CAS). If you are working toward the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.), you must fulfill all sections of the CAS; if you are working toward the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), you must fulfill only CAS-A (foreign language), but the B.S. requires more hours of concentration in your major. In many cases, you can fulfill sections of the Miami Plan and the College Requirement with the same course. This is shown in a chart on page 81.

The College Requirement includes:

CAS-A Foreign Language

CAS-B Humanities

CAS-C Social Science

CAS-D Natural Science

CAS-E Formal Reasoning

  • When you plan your program, keep these important points in mind:
  • Although some CAS and Miami Plan courses overlap, you cannot use all courses that fulfill sections of the Miami Plan to fulfill sections of the College Requirement. See the chart later in this section.
  • Some courses you take for the Miami Plan or the College Requirement can also help fulfill your major requirements. In addition, any course cross-listed in two or more departments can be used to satisfy a requirement appropriate to any of the departments in which it is listed.

CAS-A Foreign Language

Direct acquisition of a different communication system facilitates access to a foreign culture. It also promotes understanding of how language structures human consciousness, increases the understanding of your own language, and makes possible a more informed awareness of the interaction between language and other social institutions.

All foreign languages taught at Miami are applicable for this requirement. They include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. If you take a course with a 202-level course prerequisite, that course automatically satisfies CAS-A.

Greek 202 or Latin 202 may fulfill either CAS-A or CAS-B-LIT, but not both.

Requirement: The foreign language requirement may be met in any one of the following ways:

  • By passing the 202 course (or its equivalent in a program abroad), or a language course at the 300 level or above. Other 200-level courses or courses in English translation do not apply to this requirement.
  • By passing the foreign language portion of the Advanced Placement examination with an appropriate score. This test, sponsored by the College Entrance Examination Board, is usually administered during the junior or senior year in high school. Information on Advanced Placement and acceptable scores is in the Academic Planning chapter of this Bulletin.
  • For Bachelor of Science students only, this section of the College Requirement may also be met by passing a reading examination in a foreign language over suitable material from within your discipline. Information on this examination is available from any foreign language department.
  • International students whose native language is not English may use English to satisfy the foreign language requirement. (See the Associate Director of Admission.)
  • Students who are fluent in a language not offered at Miami University must petition the College of Arts and Science Committee of Advisers to satisfy this requirement through another college or university.
  • In some language departments admission to language skills courses may be denied to native or quasi-native speakers and heritage speakers.

The foreign language placement guide in the Academic Planning section describes the background necessary to enter a course at a certain level; this will help you choose your first course. Placement tests do not award academic credit.

CAS-B Humanities (9 semester hours)

Liberally educated students become familiar with and understand human values expressed through society. They know events and ideas that help form ideals, classical and contemporary literature that expresses beliefs, and religious and philosophical principles that stand behind actions. They are cognizant of processes whereby these values and works came into being, of methods by which they may be examined, and of needs and desires they express and fulfill.

Requirement: You must complete at least six of the required nine semester hours from courses within the College of Arts and Science in two of the following four categories: history, literature, philosophy, and religion. These hours may also be used to fulfill Group II (Fine Arts, Humanities) of the Miami Plan if they are designated MPF II A or B or Group III (U.S. or World Cultures) if designated MPF III. The additional three hours may be from other courses not in the categories listed above as long as they have been approved by the College of Arts and Science and are designated as CAS-B in the course descriptions.

"History" includes all courses offered by the Department of History.

"Literature" includes all literature courses offered by the departments of Classics; English; French and Italian; German, Russian, and East Asian Languages; Spanish and Portuguese; and Theatre. These literature courses are designated CAS-B-LIT in the Courses of Instruction section. Greek 202 or Latin 202 may fulfill either CAS-A or CAS-B-LIT, but not both.

"Philosophy" includes all courses offered by the Department of Philosophy, except PHL 273 or 373, which can only be used to fulfill CAS-E.

"Religion" includes all courses offered by the Department of Comparative Religion.

CAS-C Social Science (9 semester hours)

Through study of social science (the systematic study of human behavior, human institutions, and theoretical models through which human beings attempt to organize their lives), liberally educated students become familiar with regularities and variations in human behavior, with explanations of these regularities and variations, with methods useful in systematically and objectively validating propositions concerning these phenomena, and with potential for analyzing human behavior objectively.

Requirement: You must complete at least six of the nine required semester hours from courses within the College of Arts and Science in two of the following six categories: anthropology; economics; geography except GEO 121, 424, 431, 432; political science; psychology; and sociology and gerontology. These hours may also be used to fulfill Group II (Social Science) of the Miami Plan if they are designated MPF IIC or Group III (U.S. or World Cultures) if designated MPF III. The additional three hours may be from other courses not in the categories above as long as they have been approved by the College of Arts and Science and are designated as CAS-C in the course descriptions.

"Anthropology" includes all courses offered under the anthropology area.

"Economics" includes all courses offered by the Department of Economics.

"Geography" includes all courses offered by the Department of Geography except GEO 121, 424, 431, and 432.

"Political Science" includes all courses offered by the Department of Political Science.

"Psychology" includes all courses offered by the Department of Psychology.

"Sociology and Gerontology" includes all courses offered in the sociology and gerontology areas.

CAS-D Natural Science (10 semester hours)

The liberally educated student learns to understand natural phenomena through observations and experimentation. Physical sciences are involved largely with behavior of energy, particles, atoms, and molecules. Biological sciences are concerned with nature, variation, richness, and interactions of phenomena of life. The natural science requirement introduces you to various aspects of scientific inquiry as practiced in botany, chemistry, geology, microbiology, physical geography, physics, and zoology. Laboratory experience is included to demonstrate the relationship between theories or models used within a given science and experimental results.

Requirement: You must complete at least 10 semester hours from courses within the College of Arts and Science natural science areas, including at least three semester hours in physical science and three in biological science. One course must be either a laboratory course or a course that includes laboratory work; these courses are designated CAS-D/LAB in course descriptions. Nine of these hours may also fulfill Group IV (Natural Science) of the Miami Plan if they are designated MPF IV.

Physical science includes all courses offered by the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Geology & Environmental Earth Science, and Physics; AER 118; GEO 121, and GEO 424. (Other geography courses may be used to fulfill CAS-C, social science.)

Biological science includes all courses offered by the departments of Botany, Microbiology, and Zoology and GEO 431, 432.

CAS-E Formal Reasoning (3 semester hours)

Liberally educated students enhance their capacity to reason through the study in inductive and deductive thinking. Disciplines that employ formalized languages as the means to develop such thinking include mathematics, statistics, logic, and linguistics.

College courses in formal reasoning explicitly develop the student's ability to:

  • generate conjectures and hypotheses inductively by examining patterns, trends, and examples and counter-examples;
  • confirm or reject these conjectures by formal deductive logic;
  • recognize that certain types of knowledge are dependent upon the application of systematic argument based on specific sets of assumptions; and
  • begin to apply skills of formal reasoning and critical thinking to different sets of assumptions to generate different systems of knowledge.

Requirement: You must complete at least three semester hours chosen from the courses listed below. Courses listed below do not apply for any other sections of the College Requirement (CAS). These hours may also be used to fulfill Group V (Mathematics, Formal Reasoning and Technology) of the Miami Plan if they are designated MPF V.

ENG/SPN 303, GER/ATH 309 Introduction to Linguistics (4)

MTH 121 Finite Mathematical Models (3)

MTH 151 Calculus I (5)

MTH 153 Calculus I (4)

MTH 222 Introduction to Linear Algebra (3)

MTH 249 Calculus II (5)

MTH 251 Calculus II (4)

PHL 273 Formal Logic (4)

PHL 373 Symbolic Logic (4)

STA 261 Statistics (4)

You should consult the mathematics and statistics placement guide in the Academic Planning chapter or an adviser in the department if you are thinking about taking a mathematics course for this requirement.

Within the College of Arts and Science, there are three divisions (areas) of major: humanities, social science, and natural science.