FLAME University


Turning Passion to Purpose

Under Graduate Foundation Courses

The Foundation Courses of FLAME's undergraduate programs are rooted in the philosophy of liberal education, which engenders both breadth and depth of knowledge. Students are exposed to a wide range of disciplines through which they achieve the desired breadth of knowledge while focusing on an in-depth study of one or two disciplines. Since the vast majority of undergraduate programs in India require students to choose between the narrowly defined areas of Arts, Science, Commerce, Medicine, and Engineering, the undergraduate academic programs at FLAME University present students with a truly unique opportunity to explore different realms of knowledge before choosing their specializations, and the Foundation Courses are fundamental to establishing this academic framework for all undergraduate students at FLAME.

At FLAME University, liberal education goes far beyond just the “freedom to take courses outside one’s Major". We believe that in pursuing the breadth and the depth of knowledge that a liberal education implies, students must also acquire certain skills over the course of their undergraduate education. Within the Foundation Courses students at FLAME are trained to develop habits that will eventually foster independent thought and a critical approach to content. We not only strive to deliver content but rather to inculcate a spirit of inquiry within the student. This is achieved through regular reading assignments with basic goals such as identifying the main concepts, bringing a set of questions based on the reading to class for each session, tailoring written assignments to answer analytical questions, etc. and through close tutorial contact with students providing ongoing feedback and review of progress and development. Students are trained to engage actively with the reading material instead of being passive receptors of content. In this way the Foundation Courses introduce and establish approaches to study which will be built on and extended at subsequent levels of their study.

At FLAME various disciplines are grouped into five broad knowledge areas called ‘ Universes'. The five universes are: Humanities, Social Sciences, Fine and Performing Arts, Physical and Natural Sciences & Global Studies. The Foundation Courses expose students to modes of thought within these universes. For instance, through the courses within the Physical & Natural Sciences, students become familiar with linear, rational & experiment-based thinking. Courses in the Fine & Performing Arts enable students to develop their aesthetic sensibilities & understand the intricacies of different forms of artistic expression. Through courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences students develop an understanding of events that have shaped the past, and the forces that are shaping the present. Courses in the Global Studies universe allow students to get a glimpse of foreign cultures through the study of foreign languages. These Foundation courses are designed to train students in the practice of reading and writing, and to familiarize them with theoretical concepts, frameworks and issues across different disciplines.

In order to acquire the breadth that a liberal education engenders, students are required to take at least two courses from each universe, preferably from different disciplines. Students may either use this Foundation experience to sample widely, but they are generally encouraged to explore disciplines in a more systematic manner that will enable them to progress on to a major and minor. For example, students who are interested in Economics or Psychology, may take introductory courses in these areas, which will satisfy the universe-level requirement while enabling the student to progress on to a major or minor in either of these academic areas.

The Foundation Courses are both introductory and exploratory, preparing students for their subsequent academic journey and beyond.

Aims of the Foundation Courses

The Foundation Courses intend to:

  • Provide a broad diagnostic introduction to the key features of liberal education and provide a supportive context for determining personal interest and academic direction.
  • Broaden students understanding and perspectives of the world around them.
  • Equip students with the basic tools of both logical and sequential reasoning.
  • Equip students with the tools of effective written and oral communication skills.
  • Enable students to develop an understanding of human cultures, and the forces that influence their evolution and development.
  • Inculcate an understanding of social structures and frameworks that govern societies.
  • Equip students with an eye for aesthetics in performance and fine arts.

Structure for the Foundation Courses

The Foundation Courses comprise 18 courses. Students take eight Foundation Core courses and ten courses across five different universes, with at least two courses in each universe. These courses are designed to be introductory and exploratory in nature.

Courses are designed to be introductory and exploratory in nature. The core courses are: Academic Writing, Critical Reasoning, Public Speaking, Digital Literacy, Introduction to Applied Ethics, Introduction to Environmental Studies, Mental Models – Frameworks For Thinking and Financial Literacy.

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The Physical and Natural Science universe comprises courses in Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Geology. Students are encouraged to take introductory courses in Math and Statistics if they are inclined towards Business, Economics, International Studies, Environmental Studies or Applied Mathematics as majors or minors. Student must take at least two courses preferably in two different disciplines from this universe.

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The Fine and Performing Arts universe comprises courses in Visual Art, Design, Sculpture, Theatre, Dance and Music. Introductory courses in Design, Theatre, Dance and Music lead to a minor in these areas. Student must take at least two courses preferably in two different disciplines from this universe.

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The Global Studies universe comprises foreign languages such as German, French, Spanish, Japanese and Persian. Students are expected to take 2 language courses. They may take both these in the same language or take them in two different languages.

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The Social Science universe comprises disciplines such as Economics, Psychology, Political Science, Public Policy, Anthropology and Archaeology. Introductory courses in Economics, Psychology, Political Science and Anthropology lead to majors and minors such as Economics, Psychology, and International Studies respectively. Students inclined towards social science major or minor are advised to make their course selection in consultation with their academic advisors. Student must take at least two courses preferably in two different disciplines from this universe.

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The Humanities universe comprises disciplines such English Literature, History, Culture Studies, Philosophy, Art History and Journalism, as well as some theory-based courses in Theatre and Music. The introductory courses in English Literature lead to a major or minor in Literary and Cultural Studies. Student must take at least two courses preferably in two different disciplines from this universe.

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