RCAH Curriculum

Each student works with an adviser to create a program that includes RCAH courses, general education courses, electives, language study, and community engagement activities.  

The RCAH major has four levels.

  • The first is a set of four foundational core courses (111, 112, 202, and 192) typically taken during the first year. Students also begin meeting their College Colloquium requirement in their first year through attendance of Wednesday Night Live events.
  • The second level courses (203, 291, 292A and 292B) focus on civic engagement and creative projects.
  • The third level—the Elective Pathways (310, 320, 330, 340)—allows students to specialize and extend their field of study beyond the boundaries of the college. The third level also includes a tutorial (380) in which students engage in small-group discussion and individual research projects.
  • The fourth level—the Capstone Experience (491/492)—provides students with an opportunity to do more advanced work, whether in a seminar setting or through more independent study. An application is required for participation in a senior thesis (491), but a new form is available each spring semester and will be emailed to all juniors. Download a sample application here.

In terms of credit hours, the RCAH major looks like this:

Core Courses (all taken within RCAH): 32 credits

111 Writing in Transcultural Contexts (3 credits)
112 Writing, Research, and Technologies (3 credits)320 Topics in Art and Public Life (3 credits)
202 The Presence of the Past (4 credits)
203 Trancultural Relations through the Ages (4 credits, formerly RCAH 201)
192 Proseminar (3 credits)
291 Creative Workshop (4 credits)
292 A Civic Engagement Pro seminar (2 credits)
292B Civic Engagement (4 credits)
Additional 4 credits in EITHER RCAH 291 or RCAH 292B/C
380 Third-Year Tutorial (3 credits)  

Elective Pathway Topics Courses (taken within RCAH): 6 credits

310 Topics in Childhood and Society (3 credits)
320 Topics in Art and Public Life (3 credits)
330 Topics in Nature and Culture (3 credits)
340 Topics in Technology and Creativity (3 credits)

Five Elective Pathway Courses (taken outside RCAH): 15-20 credits

Students take five courses outside of the college, but within Michigan State. This requirement encourages students to take advantage of the course options beyond the college while also helping students to create a cohesive combination of courses that will be marketable for future internships, careers and graduate schools.  Often students pursue an additional major or specialization and these credits count for both the additional major or specialization and the elective pathway.

Language Proficiency Requirement

390 Language and Culture (4 credits)
World Language Proficiency can be met in one of three manners:
1. Pass the language proficiency test with an appropriate level.
2. Get approval to use a language intensive study abroad program to meet the requirement.
3. Take up to and complete one semester in a language at the 300 level.

College Colloquium (Wednesday Night Live)

Students need to attend 12 separate sessions of Wednesday Night Live to complete this requirement. We encourage all students to attend at least 6 sessions in their first year to connect with the artists, speakers, and performers, as well as other students across the college. These Wednesday Night Live session provide a great opportunity for the students to explore their path in the arts and humanities.

Capstone Experience (one of two within RCAH): 4 credits

491 Senior Thesis
492 Senior Seminar

For students who entered the RCAH prior to Fall 2013, please feel free to contact Niki Rudolph to confirm your degree requirements based on the curriculum in place at the time you entered the college.