- Overview of Requirements
- Advising and Registration
- Graduation Certification
- USM Core Policies (catalog)
- Transfer Credits and the USM Core
- AP and other credits and the Core
- Thematic Clusters
- Core Curriculum Committee
- USM Core -- For Faculty
- USM Core Learning Outcomes
- Lewiston Auburn College Common Core
Thematic clusters provide students with opportunities to explore an issue, theme or topic from a variety of perspectives. The clusters encourage students to integrate their learning by juxtaposing competing and complementary ways of framing complex issues and problems at a more advanced level. Satisfying the thematic cluster requirement involves successfully completing any three courses in the cluster, from at least two different prefixes. Only one of these courses may overlap with your major requirements.
In completing their thematic cluster, students will
- develop a broader and more comprehensive knowledge of an issue or topic than is achieved by a single disciplinary perspective;
- understand and articulate orally and in writing how subjects are approached and framed from different disciplinary perspectives;
- gather, interpret and use information at a level appropriate to the courses in the cluster.
How do I select and complete my Thematic Cluster?
Do your homework. You may not be able to select a Cluster course at your first advising appointment. Selecting a Cluster has a lot in common with choosing your major. During or after your first advising appointment, review the clusters and…
Explore the themes. What interests you?
Consider your major. What Cluster theme complements your major? Does your major advise completion of a particular Cluster? Ask your advisor.
Plan ahead. Look closely at the individual courses within a Cluster; many involve pre-requisites; in some cases, you will begin work on your cluster by completing pre-requisites for the courses you want to take in the Cluster. Plan ahead!
Consider your transfer credits. Do any of them apply to a particular cluster? See the Transfer Credits quick link for more information.
Use the time you have and use it wisely. Remember, satisfying your Thematic Cluster requirement involves successfully completing any three courses in the cluster over the course of your undergraduate career. You don’t have to complete your cluster in your first semester at USM!
Satisfying the thematic cluster requirement involves successfully completing any three courses in the cluster, from at least two different prefixes. Only one of these courses may overlap with your major requirements.