The College Requirement (CAS)

The divisional requirement in Arts and Science is called the College Requirement (CAS). The CAS Requirement emphasizes skills and competencies needed for the 21st century, as well as breadth of knowledge in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences (biological and physical). Together with the depth of knowledge acquired within a major, the CAS Requirement prepares students for a variety of educational, professional, and career aspirations

If you are working toward the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.), you must fulfill all sections of the CAS Requirement; 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

CAS-QL Quantitative Literacy

CAS-W Writing Competence

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 as they are expressed in societies and cultures. 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 nine semester hours from courses within the College of Arts and Science in two of the following four categories: history, literature, philosophy, and religion.

Humanities courses include all courses from the departments of History, (including CLS 101 and 102), Philosophy (except PHL 273), Comparative Religion and literature courses offered by the departments of Classics; English; French and Italian; German, Russian, and East Asian Languages; and Spanish and Portuguese and Theatre. These literature courses are designated CAS-B-LIT in the Courses of Instruction section of this Bulletin.

The remaining three hours may be taken from the categories listed above or the following interdisciplinary courses: AAA 201; AMS 205, 207; COM 135, 206, 247, 281; DST 169, 247; ENG 171, 202, 238, 383; FRE 212, 255; FST 201, 204, 206, 222, 255, 281, 383; GER 151, 212, 232, 255; ITL 221, 222; JRN 101; RUS 212; WGS 202, 282; and WST 201.

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 semester hours from courses within the College of Arts and Science in two of the following six categories: anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology/gerontology.

Social Science courses include all courses from the Departments of Anthropology; Economics; Geography (except GEO 121, 424, 431, and 432); Political Science; Psychology; and Sociology and Gerontology.

The remaining three hours may be taken from the categories listed above or the following interdisciplinary courses that also meet this requirement are: AAA 201; BWS 151, 156; COM 134, 136, 143; LAS 207; SPA 127, 211, 223; WGS 201.

CAS-D Natural Science (10 semester hours)

Liberally educated students learn to understand natural phenomena through observations and experimentation. Physical sciences are involved largely with the 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 biology, botany, chemistry, geology, microbiology, physical geography, and physics. 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.

Biological science includes all courses offered by the departments of Biology, Microbiology 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.

Requirement: You must complete at least three semester hours chosen from the courses listed below. 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.

Formal reasoning courses include: CLS/ENG/SPN 303, GER/ATH 309; MTH 121, 151, 153 222, 249, 251; PHL 273, 373; and STA 261.

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.

CAS-QL Quantitative Literacy (3 semester hours)

Liberally educated students learn the "habit of mind" associated with reasoning and solving quantitative problems from a wide array of authentic contexts and everyday life situations.

Requirement: Students must take at least one CAS course designated as QL beyond the MP V and CAS E. The same course may also be applied to the other MP and CAS requirements except for MP V and CAS E.

Quantitative literacy courses include: ATH 496; BIO/MBI116, BIO 161; CHM 111, 375; ENG 222; GEO 205, 242; GLG 111, 121, 141; HST 202; IMS/JRN/STA 404; JRN 412; MTH 435, 453; POL 101, 306; PSY 293, 294, 324*; SOC 262; STA/ISA 333; STA 363, 475.

* Only specific sections of PSY 324 are designated QL; see the departmental advisor for information.

CAS-W Writing Competence

Liberally educated students develop advanced writing abilities in their majors. Students learn the writing practices and conventions of their discipline or interdisciplinary area and communicate the results of research in their area to a general public.

Effective writing is learned gradually and through ongoing attention and sustained feedback. As such, each Bachelor of Arts major has a course or set of courses embedded in the requirements for the major. These courses are identified in the Bachelor of Arts major descriptions.

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