The Manchester University Department of Art offers studio and lecture courses designed to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of aesthetics and the development of skills, with the intention of preparing our graduates for a lifetime of creative activity. Students work closely with faculty members to develop individuallytailored programs and build professional experiences through juried exhibitions, internships, and rich study abroad opportunities. Educating both majors and nonmajors, we strive to produce compassionate students, critical thinkers, and creative problem solvers who maintain an appreciation for lifelong learning. The versatile visual communication skills acquired in this program provide flexibility for our graduates to pursue professional and personal goals in the arts as well as the wider cultural community.
- Technical and Compositional Skills—the students will demonstrate proficiency in the following areas: Basic Design, Figure Drawing, Painting, Crafts
- Historical Body of Art—the students will demonstrate an understanding of the historical body of art including: The history of Art (styles, periods, famous artists/works); a working knowledge of visual language, structures, forms, vocabulary, processes and media outside the studio experience; and an appreciation of artistic contributions by different ethnic and cultural groups.
- Critical Thinking/Communication—the students will demonstrate proficient oral and written skills in analyzing art works from a formal standpoint, and recognizing the social, political, philosophical and scientific context influencing the arts.
- Foreign Language—the students will read, write and speak the target language at the intermediate level as determined by the Department of Modern Languages.
- Professional Development as an Artist/Scholar—the students will participate in designated professional activities to gain experience as an artist and scholar.
The Department of English seeks to nurture both intellectual inquiry and creative expression through the study of literature. We explore works within their historical, cultural, and global contexts, engaging students’ imaginations while cultivating both their personal and critical responses to diverse texts. To complement these practices in literary studies, we strive to deepen students’ analytical and creative writing abilities, paying close attention to the effective use of language, logic, research, and voice. Such preparation equips our students for graduate study, for successful careers in a variety of interdisciplinary fields, and for active and informed citizenship.
- To nurture students' reading abilities through studying literary texts from diverse periods, genres, and cultures.
- To develop students' creative, logical, and critical-thinking abilities through experiencing and analyzing both literary texts and literary theory.
- To deepen students' writing abilities through instruction and practice in analytical, practical, and creative approaches to writing
- To help students develop their writer’s voice by expressing their thoughts with precision, grace, and logic, while organizing their ideas with clarity.
- To increase students' knowledge of the structure and history of the English language.
- To enhance students’ understanding of literary studies, literary production, and the literary canon.
Learning verb forms and vocabulary is just the beginning in the Department of Modern Languages at Manchester University. At the same time that our students develop language proficiency, they adopt new ways to process information, learn to see through the eyes of others, develop a sense of history, and acquire cultural perspectives of peoples around the globe. Through the careful study of literature across many centuries, language students develop advanced analytical skills while they also learn to appreciate the intellectual and social diversity represented by the texts they read. Manchester language majors and minors develop sophisticated communication and research skills, become creative problem solvers, learn to function in the global community, and develop a thirst for discovery—capabilities that serve them well in many careers. Through our TESOL minor we equip students to help English learners all over the globe, and through our Heritage Speakers program in Spanish, we help students transform their advanced Spanish skills into academic credit that serves the Spanish major or minor.
The learning goals for the Department of Modern Languages are carefully aligned with the national content standards of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Goals for our majors:
- Communication: Our majors develop written and oral proficiency similar to the ACTFL “Advanced Low” level.
- Cultures, connections, communities: Through significant time in on-campus courses and in a culture where their target language is spoken, students become active members of those communities and adept at understanding a culture through its own perspectives, practices, and products
- Comparisons: Modern Language majors develop understanding of the nature of language and culture.
- Content base: Our students acquire a content base in literary and cultural studies that qualifies them for graduate study.
- Critical career skills: Manchester degrees in language also equip students with critical career skills that transcend many types of work:
- organizational and research skills necessary for effective long-range planning
- problem-solving skills, ability to handle ambiguity and newness, careful risk-taking
- communication skills in at least two languages, flexibility in thinking, self-expression, listening
- sensitivity to diversity and attention to nuance
- We specialize in undergraduate, liberal arts education, and we support the ideal of breadth outside of music as well as within music.
- We value excellence in music and teaching. Our students, both majors and non-majors, represent many levels of ability, and we seek to help them enjoy music and perform at the highest level possible.
- We are dedicated to serving students and society as performers, teachers, and advisors.
- We function within a Christian context, yet we respect religious and philosophic diversity and value non-Christian perspectives.
- We work with all students to help them better understand, and hence appreciate, Western art music through general courses, ensembles, and applied lessons. We recognize the diversity of musical expressions and offer courses in world musics, jazz performance, and popular musical idioms. We seek to incorporate world perspectives in the repertoire we choose and in the variety of courses that we teach.
- We seek to provide for music majors foundations in many areas of music. Thus we stress fundamental skills and understandings in solo and ensemble performance, music education, history and literature, theory, and conducting. We strive to balance performance and academic areas of music.
- We recognize the importance of technology and strive to improve our offerings through the intentional use of technology.
- We intentionally encourage students to help improve the quality of music within their communities.
Statement of Objectives:
- We provide courses of study for music majors and minors that will prepare them for careers in music.
- We provide background for graduate study.
- We provide study and performance of music for their cultural values.
- We enrich the cultural climate of the University and surrounding communities.
- We provide music for campus worship and assist area and constituent churches.
- We promote the cause of music education
- We foster a lifelong desire to perform and listen to music.
Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary program exploring nonviolent responses to conflict and injustice. Students consider questions of values and personal lifestyle, as well as historical perspectives, conflict resolution, mediation, political theory, and social change. MU’s peace studies program provides a distinctive emphasis on theoretical and applied nonviolence, equipping students to work for justice in a variety of areas.
The Peace Studies program prepares students in the program to:
- Understand dynamics of conflict, be it interpersonal, intragroup, or between nations or global parties
- Develop strong critical thinking, writing, and communication skills that are transferable to any field
- Graduate with mediation and conflict resolution skills that are valuable in both personal and professional life
- Join a tradition of graduates committed to peace and social justice
Philosophy & Religion
The mission of the Manchester University department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is to help students explore the fundamental human questions of finding and making meaning in our lives. By requiring that students think critically and independently and write well, we instill skills that are valued across disciplines and prepare our students for a variety of careers and graduate programs.
The philosophy program studies questions of being, knowledge, action, and the good, as well as examining conceptual frameworks and practices of other disciplines such as religion, art, psychology, and the natural sciences. Graduates of our program will be able to do the following:
- Appreciate the major systems and schools of philosophy
- Demonstrate strong oral, written, and analytical skills in creating and critiquing arguments
- Articulate a philosophical understanding of their own
- Wrestle with the ultimate questions of human existence
The religious studies program engages in the academic study of religion, which aims to understand religious phenomena – texts, beliefs, doctrines, practices, and worldviews – by way of historical, critical, and constructive methodologies. Graduates of our program will be able to do the following:
- Think, read, and write critically
- Analyze religious arguments and beliefs
- Articulate the variety of beliefs and practices of Christianity and the other major religious traditions around the world
- Demonstrate and appreciate an awareness and tolerance of other religious points of view