General education & integrative learning
In addition to completing a major course of studies to prepare for a career, Bluffton students also prepare for lifelong learning by completing an integrated general education program. This core program begins with First Year Seminar, a course to guide students' exploration of individual identity, and concludes with a Senior Capstone course, which addresses our role as global citizens.
In between, students develop skills in writing and reasoning, and study the world
around them in interdisciplinary courses in the arts, natural science, social science,
humanities and religion. They then cross boundaries into a culture different from
their own by participating in a cross-cultural learning experience. This program is
designed to provide a basis for success in the 21st century.
>>>General education course descriptions
Student research and exploration
These special programs and activities at Bluffton give students opportunities for research and discovery as well as a way to share their knowledge and ideas with the community.
First Tuesday in the Library forums
These forums are hosted in Musselman Library's Reading Room and are specifically for students to share their research, work and knowledge with the community.
- First Tuesday Forum, "Sticky Geckos: My Research Experience Studying Gecko Adhesion"
Celebrate the Library research fair
The research fair is an event hosted by Musselman Library where students present projects they've completed during the current academic year. These projects are often results of their first year seminar class. Students are nominated by faculty members.
Departmental honors projects
A departmental honors project gives students the opportunity to explore their interests. Students work closely with a faculty member to propose and develop a project idea. Students have written research papers, exhibited art shows, produces plays and created children’s books and novels.
- "DEMO: A Theatrical Exploration of Trauma in Adolescence" two-act play created as a project in education and theatre.
Lunch and Learn Series and Campus wellness fair
Each year, food and nutrition majors are asked to develop nutritious meals for Lunch and Learn. The healthy-eating series, which is open to the community, includes a 20-30 minute cooking demonstration, nutritional information and a full meal.
The campus Wellness Expo is an opportunity for student scholars in dietetics, nutrition and wellness to share on a wide range of wellness and nutrition topics through informative displays, practical advice and free food samples.
Bridge: The Bluffton University Literary Journal
Bridge is a literary journal which publishes works by young authors, ages 14-24, from across the globe. An online journal is published in the fall and a print version in the spring. Members of the Bridge team read, edit and approve works to be published in Bridge.
"Undergrounds," an original "Best of Bluffton" short fiction, is included in this national publication.
Shalith literary magazine
The Shalith is a yearly literary magazine sponsored by the English and language department and produced by a committee of students and a faculty advisor. Since 1962, Shalith has published writing and artwork by Bluffton students, faculty and staff in a variety of formats.
The Witmarsum is the student-driven media website of Bluffton University. BlufftonWit.com features student-produced news and feature stories. Paid positions are available working with The Wit. The communication and theatre department has administrative and academic responsibility for its operation.
- "Behind the Scenes of the May Day Musical" podcast produced for The Wit.
C. Henry Smith Oratorical Contest
The annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest provides the opportunity to compose and deliver a speech that applies Christian principles of peacemaking to contemporary social issues. The winner of the Bluffton competition advances to compete with winners from other Mennonite-related colleges and universities.
- Winning speech, "Social Media and Conflict: Eradicating Online Drama through Compassion and Peacemaking"