General Education

Explore Research and Epistemology

Research and Epistemology is one of five themes around which HPU's general education curriculum is organized. Courses in this theme emphasize inquiry and problem solving. Students engage in library research, laboratory research, and both quantitative and qualitative analysis. They learn how to find sources and evaluate their credibility, design experiments, understand numerical data, and present their results as part of the existing conversation on that particular area of inquiry. They also come to understand the concept of “epistemology.” How do we come to know something, what kind of evidence is valid, how can we test that knowledge, and what are the limits of that knowledge? Students come to recognize that different academic disciplines and traditions have different ways of gathering, organizing, analyzing, and evaluating information in the process of constructing knowledge.

Students take three courses in the Research and Epistemology theme as part of the General Education Common Core, one relating to WEriting, Research and Information Literacy, one relating to Numeracy and Quantitative Reasoning and one related to Research and Epsitemology in the Disciplines. Students also complete an Upper-Division Research and Writing requirement related to this theme. Use the links under "Detailed Course Descriptions" for an in-depth discussion of each category and the applicable courses.

Research and Epistemology A:  Writing, Research and Information Literacy

Courses in this category are second semester composition courses in which students learn to do library and electronic research, produce a term paper and improve their skills in writing academic arguments and incorporating appropriate source material.  Currently only one course that meets this requirement is offered at HPU but another course, emphasizing debate and oral defense as well as research writing is in development and will be introduced  shortly.

COM 1400

Critical Reasoning and Rhetoric

WRI 1200

Research, Argument and Writing

CO-REQUISITE COURSE (1 semester credit)

NOTE: Based on performance in their Communication Skills A course students may be recommended or required to enroll in WRI 1201 concurrently with WRI 1200 or COM 1400.

WRI 1201 (1 credit) - Research, Argument and Writing Lab (co-requisite for WRI 1200 or COM 1400)


Research and Epistemology B: Numeracy and Quantitative Reasoning

Courses in this category include the majority of general education math courses through Calculus II as well as two logic courses and a computer programming course. They focus on understanding and analyzing numerical data, problem solving, and critical thinking. 

Take the course or courses listed in your lower division major requirements or choose one course if your major requires none of these

Choose one option:

CSCI 2611

A Gentle Introduction to Computer Programming (Placement test score or MATH 1105 and a digital literacy course prerequisites)

MATH 1115

Survey of Mathematics (Placement test score or MATH 1105 prerequisite)

MATH 1130

Pre-Calculus I (Placement test score or MATH 1105 prerequisite)

MATH 1140

Pre-Calculus II (Placement test score or MATH 1130 prerequisite)

MATH 1150

Pre-Calculus I and II Accelerated (Placement test score or MATH 1105 with an A prerequisite)

MATH 2214

Calculus I (Math 1140 or 1150 prerequisite)

MATH 2215

Calculus II (MATH 2214 prerequisite)

MATH 2220

Proof Writing  (Placement test score or MATH 1130 prerequisite)

*PHIL 2090

Principles of Logic (Com. Skills A prerequisite)

*PHIL 2090 is an option for all majors in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) except for: 1) Advertising and Public Relations – Strategic Planning/Account Management Track (MATH 1123 is required which has a prerequisite of a math course of MATH 1105 or higher), 2) Education (MATH 1115 is required), and 3) Social Work (only if MATH 1123 is selected instead of the SOC 3200 option, since MATH 1123 has a prerequisite of a math course of MATH 1105 or higher).

Place out option:

Students who score 630 or above on the SAT math or 28 or above on the ACT math may place out of the Research and Epistemology B: Numeracy and Quantitative Reasoning category. Students will not receive course credit for a course in this category, though will have satisfied the Research and Epistemology B: Numeracy and Quantitative Reasoning course requirement.

PRE-REQUISITE COURSES (0 to 8 semester credits)

NOTE: Most students will be able to go directly into a Research and Epistemology B: Numeracy and Quantitative Reasoning course. Students who scored into a prerequisite math course(s), due to lower SAT/ACT scores, are required to take a free HPU placement test to help them place out of these additional prerequisite courses. HPU placement testing can help students take fewer required courses, reduce tuition costs, and decrease time to graduation. Placement testing appointments can be scheduled by contacting an HPU Academic Advisor. For information about placement testing and placement scores please contact HPU’s Center for Academic Success.

MATH 1101 (3 credits) - Fundamentals of College Mathematics (prerequisite for MATH 1105)

MATH 1102 (1 credit) - Fundamentals of College Mathematics Lab (co-requisite for MATH 1101)

MATH 1105 (3 credits) - Intermediate Algebra (prerequisite for most Research & Epistemology B: Numeracy and Quantitative Reasoning courses)

MATH 1106 (1 credit) - Intermediate Algebra Lab (co-requisite for MATH 1105)


Research and Epistemology C: Research and Epistemology in the Disciplines

Courses in this category introduce students to the concept of epistemology as well as to research methods and epistemological assumptions of one or more disciplines.

 Choose one option 

ENG 1500

Ways of Reading (Com. Skills A. prerequisite)

HIST 2900

The Historian’s Craft (HIST 2001 or 2002 corequisite)

MATH 1123

Elementary Statistics (MATH 1105 prerequisite)

PHIL 3731

Philosophy of Social Science (Res. & Epist. A and 2 social science courses prerequisites)

PHYS 2030  

College Physics I (MATH 1140 or 1150 prerequisite)+

PHYS 2050

General Physics I (MATH 2214 prerequisite)+

PSY 1000

Introduction to Psychology

SOC 2100

Fundamentals of Research 

+ Though open to other students, these courses require advanced mathematical skills and are primarily intended for Natural Science and Mathematics majors who will use the chosen course for both this category and a lower division major requirement.