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Course Descriptions

Common Core Courses


CORE 1002.  OBU Connections

This course will introduce first-year students to higher education in the context of a liberal arts education. Students will develop skills necessary for academic success, explore Ouachita’s mission as a Christian college in the liberal arts tradition, and work creatively and collaboratively with peers on an intensive and interdisciplinary study of a topic chosen by the instructor. Fall, Spring.

CORE 1023.  The Contemporary World.

Students will examine major issues in the current world, emphasizing the development of understanding to address these issues. Fall, Spring.

CORE 1043.  Composition I.

Students will improve their ability to engage in written academic discourse, appropriating sources with accuracy, elegance, and integrity. Students must pass a competency examination to complete the course. Fall, Spring.

CORE 1113.  Survey of the Bible.

Students will survey the redemptive story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, emphasizing how that story shapes the Christian’s worldview and affects life decisions. Fall, Spring.

CORE 1123.  Interpreting the Bible.

Students will learn to recognize and develop valid interpretations and applications of the Bible.  Fall, Spring.

CORE 2053.  Composition II.

Students will improve their ability to read and write about texts, observing the conventions of formal prose. Prerequisite: CORE 1043. Fall, Spring.


CORE 2233.  World Literature.

Students will read and write about diverse texts from multiple literary traditions with particular attention to their genres and historical-cultural contexts. Fall, Spring.


CORE 2243. History of World Societies

A thematic survey of the development of and interaction between world societies, covering a broad period from the earliest Neolithic societies through the modern age. Utilizing a global systems approach, students will develop an appreciation and demonstrate understanding of major political, economic, social, cultural, and ethical elements in world history, as well as the ability to critically analyze and interpret primary source and secondary material to understand and interpret historical data and relationships. Fall, Spring. 

CORE 2334.  Scientific Inquiry.

Students will be introduced to big ideas in natural science, will learn how scientific information is gathered and analyzed, and will use this knowledge to interact with issues of contemporary scientific importance. Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory per week. Prerequisite: Completion of the Analytic and Quantitative Reasoning menu. Fall, Spring.


CORE 3023.  Scientific Connections.

In this course students explore how science informs human experience by applying scientific reasoning and principles to variable, interdisciplinary topics. Prerequisite: CORE 2334. Fall, Spring.


Flexible Core Courses


Analytic and Quantitative Reasoning (Choose one*):

MATH 1003.  College Algebra.

A study of functions and their use in elementary data analysis and mathematical modeling. The course will include a survey of the properties and uses of linear, exponential, logarithmic, quadratic, and polynomial functions, as well as an introduction to absolute value, piecewise, and rational functions. Additional topics will include transformation and composition of functions, as well as matrices and their use in the solution of linear systems. Prerequisite: An ACT Math score of 19 or higher, an SAT Math score of 460 or higher, or a grade of C or better in ASKL 1013. Fall, Spring.

MATH 1033.  Mathematics for the Liberal Arts.

Students will engage in a study of mathematical ideas and thinking, learning to solve problems and make decisions using sound quantitative reasoning. All students will study techniques of problem-solving, mathematical reasoning, the set of real numbers, sizes of infinity, and the use of analogy to explore four-dimensional geometry. Additional topics will be chosen by the instructor and may include the use of mathematics in art, additional geometric concepts, probability, and statistics. Prerequisite: An ACT Math score of 19 or higher, an SAT Math score of 460 or higher, or a grade of C or better in ASKL 1013. Fall, Spring.

PHIL 1003.  Introduction To Philosophy.

A study of the basic concerns of philosophy which seeks to introduce the student to the spirit of reasoned inquiry and to encourage a reflective approach to life. Fall, Spring.

PHIL 1023.  Logic.

An introduction to critical thinking and traditional logic including argument analysis, fallacies, and basic symbolic logic. Fall, Spring.


*Note: Students with an ACT Math score of 22 or less (SAT Math 530 or less) must choose one of the MATH courses.


Applied Skills (Choose one):

COMM 1003.  Fundamentals of Public Speaking.

An introduction to preparing, organizing, and delivering a speech to an audience. Also listed as SPCM 1003. Fall, Spring.

FINN 2003.  Personal Finance.

Students will survey the management of personal and family finances, including budgeting, consumer buying, personal credit, savings and investment, home ownership, insurance, and retirement. Fall, Spring.


Artistic Engagement (Choose one):

FINA 3113.  Fine Arts: Art.

Students will examine visual expression and its cultural context from prehistory to the present. Students also will develop the analytic skills needed to confront art and architecture, fostering the awareness needed to appreciate museums, galleries, and everyday life. Fall, Spring.

FINA 3123.  Fine Arts: Music.

Students will examine musical expression and its cultural context from prehistory to the present and enhance listening skills via a survey of the elements of music, world music cultures, the major musical stylistic periods of Western art music, and American musical genres. Fall, Spring.

FINA 3133.  Fine Arts: Theatre.

This course explores theatre as a cultural and historic force. Students will develop an understanding of the theatrical experience as a unique art form while exploring its connection to other art forms. Students will also gain literary and critical thinking skills in relation to play scripts and theatrical performances. Fall, Spring.

Civic Engagement in America (Choose one):

PSCI 2013.  American National Government.

This course explores the structure and dynamics of American national government, providing a broad-based introduction to the ideas and institutions that shape politics in the contemporary United States: the Constitution, federalism, Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, bureaucracy, political parties, elections, participation, the media, and public opinion. By cultivating a deeper understanding of how government works, the course encourages students to be informed, discerning participants in the system. Fall, Spring.

HIST 2003.  United States History to 1877.

Survey of the interplay of forces that have brought the evolutionary development of American economic, cultural, and political institutions from 1492 to 1877. Fall.

HIST 2013.  United States History Since 1877.

Survey of the interplay of forces that have brought the evolutionary development of American economic, cultural and political institutions from 1877 to the present. Spring.

Intercultural Appreciation and Communication (Choose two):

Two semesters of credit in the same foreign language (FREN, GERM, GREK, HEBR, LATN, JAPN, SPAN).

Physical Well-being (Choose one):

KIN 1002.  Concepts of Wellness.

Students will examine their fitness needs, producing an exercise program and lifetime personal fitness goals. Fall, Spring.

KIN 2073.  Health and Safety.

A course that deals with the principles of personal health, personality, and interpersonal relationships. Issues in nutrition, exercise, mental health and mental illness, stress, domestic violence, prevention of chronic diseases. Fall, Spring.

LST 2013.  Outdoor Leisure Pursuits.

This course is designed to introduce outdoor leisure activities, along with basic skills and techniques needed to continue life-long participation leading to the development of a healthier active lifestyle. The student will gain information about outdoor recreation resources in the community and learn to make full use of them. Activities which may be incorporated include hiking, geo caching, orienteering, disc sports, indoor climbing, canoeing, cycling, mountain biking, Leave No Trace environmental, archery, and teambuilding games and initiatives. Prerequisite: Ability to participate and a demonstrated ability to swim. Fall, Spring.

Experiential Core Courses


CHAP 1000.  Chapel.

A student must earn a chapel credit for every full-time semester (minimum of 12 hours) enrolled at Ouachita, up to a maximum of 7 credits. Chapel credit is granted at the conclusion of each semester.  Fall, Spring.

FINA 4011.  Arts Engagement Series.
This course provides opportunities for artistic engagement. Credit for this series is awarded in the senior year after the completion of the Arts Engagement Series. Attendance to twelve events over the student’s 4-year college experience is required for credit (4 Music, 4 Theatre, 4 Art and Design).  Fall, Spring.

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