Laurie M. Johnson, Director
243 Waters Hall
This program provides an opportunity to take part in a conversation with some of the best thinkers humankind has produced. The study of primary texts or original works in philosophy, politics, literature, and the sciences encourages critical thinking, and there is a growing acknowledgment among employers that this type of training develops lifelong learners and future leaders. This program also gives students who want to pursue graduate education early experience in grappling with original works such as they will inevitably encounter in graduate school.
The certificate is an 18-hour program of study that students can tailor to their needs. Students must take DAS 300: The Great Conversation: Primary Texts Core Course, preferably early in the Primary Texts coursework. At least nine credit hours must be at the 400 level or above. Selected courses must cover at least two academic disciplines. Transfer courses that can be documented to have substantial primary text content may be accepted, but at least half of the courses must be completed at K-State. To receive the certificate, students must complete a capstone paper and have a minimum 2.75 GPA in the program at the time they graduate.
Students must submit to the director an essay on a question listed on the certificate website and/or approved by a participating professor. This essay will be kept on file until students are taking or have completed their final course in the program, whereupon they will be asked to revisit the question and improve the essay as a capstone assignment. To receive the certificate, students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA in the program at the time they graduate.
Students can count certificate courses towards the fulfillment of other College of Arts and Sciences requirements. As long as they are also designated as General Education: K-State 8 in the course schedule, courses taken for the certificate can also be counted toward the 18 credit hours needed to graduate.
Certificate courses that also fit the basic or distribution requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences can be used to fulfill those requirements. Certificate courses that also happen to be a part of a student’s major or minor can be counted for fulfillment of the requirements of both the certificate and the major or minor. DAS 300 can be taken by Honor students for Honors credit. Consult with the directors of the Primary Texts and Honors programs on additional courses that may count in both programs.
Students who think they have fulfilled part or all of the requirements before enrolling in the program should contact the director. Students should notify the director of their interest in the program as soon as possible in their college career. The director will assist them with enrollment. Students can find a description of the program, a list of Primary Texts courses, and information on the capstone paper requirement on the certificate website.