Skip to Main Site Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Back To Top

Eastern’s liberal arts core (ELAC) curriculum enriches the educational experience by complementing a student’s major program with a broader intellectual context. Through our course offerings students explore a variety of subject areas while gaining skills in communication, critical thinking, creativity, ethical reasoning, and quantitative literacy. These skills are essential to any career.

While students learn the content, methodologies and skills that are unique to their major, the true benefit of a liberal arts education at Eastern is our focus on empowering students to be adaptable and socially conscious individuals who are well-equipped for the challenges of the 21st century.


ELAC Core Seminars (10 credits)

LAC 100/101

LAC 100 (3 credits) + LAC 101 (1 credit)

LAC 100 is a seminar-style class foregrounding connections among disciplines and integrating multiple high-impact practices to target at least two of the liberal arts learning outcomes: communication, creativity, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and quantitative literacy. LAC 101 is taken with the same group of students and faculty member as LAC 100 and serves as an introduction to the liberal arts learning outcomes, Eastern, and value of a liberal arts education.

LAC 200

LAC 200 (3 credits)

In LAC 200 students encounter rigorous and engaging material that crosses disciplinary boundaries in a small class environment. This seminar provides students an opportunity grow in their understanding of the benefits of a liberal arts education as they progress as students, and to recognize connections between their discipline, the liberal arts, and their everyday lives.

LAC 400

LAC 400 (3 credits)

This seminar serves as a Liberal Arts culminating experience. LAC 400 allows students to gain additional mastery in the liberal arts learning outcomes, the benefits of a liberal arts education, connections between their discipline and the liberal arts, and to articulate the benefits of a liberal arts education to each other, and future employers.

Foundational Concepts (minimum 6 credits)

Math (3 credits)

Ensures all students gain the quantitative and mathematical skills necessary for the completion of their degree and throughout their lives.

Writing (3 credits)

Provides students with college-level writing instruction necessary for the completion of their degree and throughout their lives.


Disciplinary Perspectives (24 credits)

Students take 8 Disciplinary Perspectives Courses – one for each learning outcome and one for each discipline category. Each course addresses at least two learning outcomes and implements at least one high-impact teaching practice.

Learning Outcomes (1 of each)

The five learning outcomes focus on a range of skills that are central to the ways that thoughtful, liberally educated people approach the world. They cut across disciplines. Developing these skills prepares all Eastern students, regardless of major, to face complexity and ambiguity in the many domains they will confront after graduation.

Critical ThinkingEthical ReasoningCommunicationCreativityQuantitative Literacy

  • Critical Thinking

    Liberally educated students are curious and reflective. By practicing critical thinking skills, students develop the habits of questioning, evaluating, and forming educated judgements in preparation for the challenges of personal and professional lives. Critical thinking relates to nearly all situations, careers, environments, and opportunities.

    Critical Thinking is the analysis and evaluation of complex ideas, artifacts, information, and arguments as a basis for formulating a well-reasoned belief, judgement, or conclusion.

  • Ethical Reasoning

    Liberally educated students carefully consider how decisions and behaviors affect individuals, communities, and the world. In an increasingly complex and globalized society, it is imperative to contemplate the impact that human actions have on others and to recognize and weigh the ethical implications of different courses of action in life and work.

    Ethical Reasoning requires students to recognize ethical issues, identify their own ethical positions and analyze other ethical perspectives in real-world situations in order to consider the impact of decisions and actions on other individuals, society, and the environment.

  • Communication

    Liberally educated students convey their ideas in compelling ways to others. Effective communication involves expressing oneself clearly, accurately, and in a manner suited to the audience and occasion. Effective communication is an essential professional skill.

    Communication requires students to recognize and utilize the most appropriate means to address specific audiences in relevant contexts or genres in order to effectively inform or persuade.

  • Creativity

    Liberally educated students adapt and innovate in our rapidly changing world. The capacity to see new possibilities and to make things that did not exist before is a valuable skill for various fields.

    Creativity is the ability to utilize skills and strategies to synthesize ideas, perspectives, information, or materials in original and self-aware ways, and to use that synthesis to generate imaginative acts or products.

  • Quantitative Literacy

    Liberally educated students understand, reason with, and communicate quantitative information in a wide variety of contexts and everyday situations. In today’s technological and data-driven society there is an ever-increasing demand, across disciplines and careers, for the ability to work with quantitative information of all types.

    Quantitative Literacy is the competency in working with numerical data to reason or solve problems, the ability to make judgements and draw conclusions supported by quantitative evidence, and the ability to communicate those arguments utilizing quantitative tools.

Discipline Categories (1 of each)

To ensure breadth of students’ liberal education, they take at least one course in each of the disciplines: Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science and Math. The courses provide learning opportunities and skills from the discipline that are relevant for students lives. While they will include discipline focused content, these courses are intended for non-majors in order to provide a breadth of exposure for all students.

Arts and Humanities (3 credits)
Social Sciences (3 credits)
Science and Math (3 credits)

In the Disciplinary Perspectives, courses are attributed to both Learning Outcomes (LO) and Disciplinary Category (DC). Students must take 24 credits in the distribution (each course may satisfy both an LO and DC requirement), thus, this model allows up to 9 ELAC elective credits.

ELAC and Graduation Planning with DegreeWorks

decorative edge

Learn more about the First Year ExperienceELAC High Impact Practices, and hear Alumni Testimonials on how recent graduates apply ELAC learning outcomes in their career.

decorative edge