GE Pathway: Big ideas that Change the World: Exploring Ideas, Innovations, and Discoveries

What ideas, innovations and discoveries change the world? Why is what we believe different from the ideas of others? Are our ideas always better than ideas people had in the past? Are some innovations more important than others? Do all innovations have a positive impact? Why have certain ideas about politics, economics, culture, science, and the natural world pushed aside competing claims?

The world we know today is not the world that peoples knew a hundred (or thousands of) years ago, and it is not the world that will exist a hundred years from now. This pathway will encourage you to think about connections between ideas, innovations, and discoveries from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. In this pathway, we will investigate how and what changes shape the world.

Ideas, innovations, and discoveries shape the world we live in and arise from a variety of contexts. For example, who am I (identity) and what is my role within my community (identity politics), how shall I live (ethics), how will I know if I’m successful (economics, psychology), where am I allowed to live (immigration policies), and how does the physical world work (science). In this pathway, you will explore a variety of ideas, innovations, and discoveries that made an impact on communities around the world.

Students interested in this pathway, have the option of completing a GE minor. See information on GE Minor: Foundations of Change & Discovery.

Pathway Requirements (12 units)

To complete this pathway, students are advised to complete four courses (12 units), of which:

  • At least two courses must be upper division courses (3000 or higher) from the Big Ideas course list
  • At least one must be a Writing Intensive (WI) course from the Big Ideas course list

You should take care to choose classes from a variety of departments and disciplinary perspectives (colleges) so that you see how Big Ideas are represented throughout the curriculum.

GE Category E -- Foundation Seminar
Leadership for Global Challenges: Exploring the Entrepreneurial Mindset
Reacting to the Past: Humanities Perspectives
Reacting to the Past: Natural Sciences Perspectives
Reacting to the Past: Social Sciences Perspectives
GE Category B -- Scientific Inquiry
Plate Tectonics: Key to Understanding Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunami (G)
History of Science and Technology
GE Category C -- Arts & Humanities
The Function of Stories
Arts and Ideas in A Changing Global World (DI, G)
Turning Points in Literary History (WI)
Roots and Results of Democracy (WI)
Scientific Revolutions (WI)
Great Works, Revolutionary Ideas, and Important Discoveries (G, WI)
GE Category D -- Social Sciences
Humans, Apes, and Monkeys: Introduction to Biological Anthropology (DI)
The Race Concept in Biological Anthropology (DI)
Revolutions and Revolutionary Ideas (DI, G)
Revolutions and Revolutionary Ideas (WI)
Understanding Capitalism (G)