Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts

You’re probably familiar with the concept of gen eds—foundational courses you take before diving into your major—as a long-standing component of secondary education. But we’re willing to bet you’ve never seen a general education program like Rollins Foundations in the Liberal Arts (RFLA). That’s because at Rollins, we believe that everything is connected. It’s part of our interdisciplinary approach to education and the driving force behind our mission to prepare our students to be responsible leaders and global citizens. When you choose Rollins, you’re choosing holistic foundational courses that apply to every major. Along the way, you’ll develop critical thinking, research, analysis, and problem-solving skills that will serve you well beyond your college years. We’re not just preparing future leaders—we’re future-proofing education.

Student in lab

Classes That Grow Along with You

RFLA courses are developmental and integrated, which means each class builds on skills developed in prior courses. Progressing through your foundational courses in a meaningful order means you won’t be stuck trying to meet a requirement right before graduation. You’ll build essential skills before progressing onto your major, where you can put what you learned into action toward the thing that drives you.

A student taking notes in a greenhouse.

Everything You Need to Excel

As you move through RFLA, you’ll hone skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and analysis. You’ll gain a broader perspective that will help you develop a global point of view. And you’ll develop vital soft skills, like how to work with a group of professional peers and how to be an effective communicator. All of these things will benefit you as you transition into your major courses, and later, into your career.

Students in Dave's Boathouse.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Rollins students go through their RFLA courses in a cohort group, so you’ll always have people you know in your classes. This makes for a highly engaged and social experience, the total opposite of an auditorium filled with anonymous co-eds.

Not your average gen eds

How would you like to study the principles of macroeconomics by picking apart the way pirates divy up shares of treasure? Or perhaps you’d like to explore the fundamentals of physics by studying superheroes? Our faculty takes pride in introducing core concepts through creative, contemporary approaches that are anything but dull. Check out a few of the classes we’ve offered in the past to get a feel for what it’s like to take an RFLA course.

Students turning residential lawns into organic micro-farms.

November 14, 2018

Cool Class: Strategies for Changemakers

This 300-level course is all about learning what it really takes to become, as Gandhi encouraged us to do, the change we want to see in the world.

Group of students standing in front of a wall mural. Smartphone with photo of the mural.

November 20, 2017

Cool Class: Creating the Digital Future

This project-based course goes beyond learning HTML to examine how computer science, the web, and digital media are shaping our society.

Students explore physics concepts in The Science of Superheroes class.

September 16, 2015

Cool Class: The Science of Superheroes

From the Hulk to Spider-Man, a Rollins College class examines the powers of superheroes.

Five Themes, Endless Applications

Each of the courses in the RFLA program adheres to one of five themes chosen to encompass some of the biggest questions of our lifetime. As you move through the program, you’ll take five linked seminars that introduce each theme and give you the insight and tools to address each topic in context.

  • Cultural Collisions

    Examine the scientific, artistic, literary, cultural, and socioeconomic dimensions of our evolving world while developing nuanced perspectives and the capacity to analyze issues with multiple complexities.

  • Enduring Questions

    Examine big questions that don’t have simple answers and acquire the skills necessary to unlock the enduring mysteries of the universe.

  • Environments

    Discover how to make a positive impact on social, cultural, and global environments and gain the skills to identify, analyze, understand, and improve the environments we share.

  • Identities

    Examine the communities and networks that shape the ways that we interact with the world around us and understand how people of diverse backgrounds impact and are impacted by our larger social, cultural, and natural networks.

  • Innovation

    Develop your creative skills and build the world of tomorrow. Test boundaries, push conventions, and devise new ways of living in a rapidly changing world.

See for Yourself

Get a feel for Rollins’ unique brand of engaged learning and personalized attention through one of our virtual or in-person visit experiences.

Take a Closer Look