Fundamental Studies courses ensure that students have the basic skills in written and oral communication, in mathematical analysis, and in critical thinking that are important to their success across the curriculum and in their professional lives.
Mathematics: The goal of the Mathematics requirement is to convey the power of mathematics, demonstrated by the variety of problems that can be modeled and solved by quantitative means. Ability in mathematics is a critical measure of how well students are prepared to meet the challenges they will face in their lives beyond school.
The Mathematics requirement is satisfied by passing one in a suite of courses at the level of pre-calculus — courses that include "Elementary Mathematical Models," "Introduction to Probability," college algebra or pre-calculus, or statistics and probability. Scores on AP and similar exams provide exemption from the Mathematics requirement. Refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for exemption information. This is a three-credit, one-course requirement.
Analytic Reasoning: Courses in Analytic Reasoning foster a student's ability to use mathematical or formal methods or structured protocols and patterns of reasoning to examine problems or issues by evaluating evidence, examining proofs, analyzing relationships between variables, developing arguments, and drawing conclusions appropriately.
Courses in this category advance and build upon the skills that students develop in Fundamental Mathematics. Some Analytic Reasoning courses fulfill both the Fundamental Studies Mathematics and Fundamental Studies Analytic Reasoning requirements. This is a three-credit, one-course requirement.
Academic Writing: The Fundamental Studies Academic Writing requirement prepares students with a foundational understanding of the writing skills needed for success in further studies at Maryland and beyond. As of fall 2017, students need to earn a C- or better to fulfill this requirement. This is a three-credit, one-course requirement.
Professional Writing: The Fundamental Studies Professional Writing requirement strengthens writing skills and prepares students for the range of writing expected of them after graduation. This is a three-credit, one-course requirement.
Oral Communication: Human relationships, from the most formal to the most personal, rest in large measure on skilled listening and effective speaking. Skillful listening and speaking support success in personal relationships, educational undertakings, professional advancement, and civic engagement. This is a three-credit, one-course requirement.