Undergraduate 2017-2018

Life of the Mind

The award-winning Life of the Mind curriculum gives students and faculty the opportunity to explore the connections between different ways of thinking by engaging in interdisciplinary study. While some Life of the Mind courses are required in UNC’s Honors and Leadership programs, MIND courses are open to all undergraduate students. These courses are designed to broaden and enrich the learning experience of the Liberal Arts Core. Please check your Liberal Arts Core checklist to find the specific LAC area requirements met by particular MIND courses.

The Life of the Mind program offers a set of interdisciplinary Liberal Arts Core courses involving faculty members committed to the belief that the Liberal Arts Core curriculum should include courses that cross the boundaries of traditional academic programs to deal with broad intellectual concerns.

The "Life of the Mind" is the unifying theme of the courses. Students are introduced to the great historical traditions of Western and Eastern thought and to the most provocative ideas of the 20th century. Faculty members do not present these ideas as accepted truths, but instead faculty and students together explore them as possible answers to the central human questions. Through this exploration, students are taught to value the social, ethical and spiritual significance of intellectual activity - of the Life of the Mind.

Every Life of the Mind course is planned by an interdisciplinary team. Some courses are also team-taught, while others are individually taught, but offered by faculty members from several different programs.

All courses involve study of key writings. During most class sessions the faculty and students engage in discussion on the meaning and importance of these writings, both in their own times and in the present. In MIND 181, Great Traditions of Asia, the class discusses the timeless message of the Indian Hindu classic, the Upanishads. In MIND 290, The Search for Meaning, the class debates the historical significance and contemporary relevance of Plato’s Apology. The Life of the Mind classes are designed to build students’ skills in critical thinking, discussion and writing.