Exploration Level | University of Portland

Exploration Level

Student on laptop in classroomThe broad purpose of the Exploration Level is to help students integrate multiple ways of knowing from liberal arts disciplinary perspectives to better understand and engage with timely and timeless issues of human concern. Exploration Level courses thus build off the introduction to the Core Habits provided by the Anchor Seminar and Foundation Level coursework.

All students take at least two Exploration Level courses outside their major in at least two different Core Habits beyond the Foundation level. These courses will by nature provide multi-disciplinary perspectives, offering students ways of understanding and creating across a broad spectrum of topics. Exploration courses will usually share two key characteristics:

  • Exploration courses should explore timely issues or timeless issues of continued relevance that encourage students to apply the Core Habits and liberal arts perspectives toward thinking about their lives and our society.
  • Exploration courses should use multiple lenses, grounded in the liberal arts, that encourage students to value interdisciplinary thinking as a way of understanding topics and creating works that transcend disciplinary boundaries.

Exploration Level classes also provide opportunities for faculty be creative in evolving and imagining new ways of teaching. While many Exploration Level courses will be taught by individual faculty who think about their subjects in multi-disciplinary ways, Exploration courses can also be team-taught, linked between different disciplines, or even bigger collaborative efforts to bring together faculty teaching from disparate perspectives on critical topics such as climate change and racial justice.