IUF 1000 Course Information

What is the Good Life

This is a new collaborative course taught by instructors and teaching assistants from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Fine Arts, and the College of Design, Construction, and Planning. It is a “signature UF experience” that enhances the undergraduate curriculum by promoting an interdisciplinary model of teaching. It offers a common experience to all entering undergraduates, while also providing faculty the opportunity to share their individual expertise as critical thinkers. Thus students gain a greater appreciation for the humanities as a whole, what questions and concerns are central to the field, while also learning what is distinctive to and unique about the individual disciplines that make up the humanities.


Through a close examination of relevant works of art, architecture, history, literature, music, religion, and philosophy, students will consider the basic question, “What is the Good Life?” Topics include the cost of the good life, how people have chosen to live as members of local and global communities, and conceptions and expressions of beauty, power, love, and health. The course will serve as an invitation to the Humanities and to a lifetime of reflection on the human condition through the unique opportunities available to the students at the University of Florida.

Elements common to all sections include the required “gateway” readings, the three common activities, and the common assignments. In addition, there are "pillar" readings assigned by the individual instructors. The faculty select pillars to complement the gateways, while also drawing on their own areas of interest and expertise to make the course a unique experience for the students in their sections.


Students are provided instruction in multi-disciplinary approaches used in the humanities to study the good life through an analysis of juxtaposed works of art, architecture, history, literature, music, religion, and philosophy.

  1. Content Objectives: Students will identify how different people from different societies across time conceptualize the good life, what meaning and value individuals ascribe to the lives that they live or want to live, and what are the choices, costs, and benefits of the good life.
  2. Communication Objectives: Students will communicate concepts, expressions, and representations of the good life clearly and effectively in written and oral form as stated in the rubrics of the course.
  3. Critical Thinking Objectives: Students will analyze the conflicts and tensions that arise between the individual and the community, the normative and the exceptional, culture and nature, needs and wants, pleasure and happiness, short-term benefits and long-term consequences of the pursuit of the good life. They will critically evaluate the costs and benefits of the good life in order to make sound decisions

In the Fall and Spring semesters, IUF 1000 is offered in two different formats to residential students: 100% face-to-face and hybrid (online lectures and face-to-face discussion-section meetings). 

100% face-to-face format: Each week students attend two lectures delivered by faculty and one discussion meeting led by a graduate teaching assistant.

Hybrid format: Each week students watch web lectures and online context videos before attending one discussion section meeting led by either a professor or a graduate teaching assistant.  

In Summer B, IUF 1000 is taught only in the traditional format. Students attend lectures, delivered by faculty, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and discussion sections, led by graduate teaching assistants, on Tuesday and Thursday.

Fully online sections are available only to students enrolled in UF Online programs.


UF faculty who have been selected to teach sections of IUF 1000 are exceptional researchers, creative thinkers, and outstanding scholars with demonstrated excellence in teaching. 

  1. Essay (25%): One Paper (1,000-1,250 words)
  2. Exams (35%): Midterm, Final
  3. This I Believe Audio Essay (6%)
  4. Attendance (10%): Lecture and Discussion
  5. Additional Assignments (24%): Discussion Posts, Common Activities, Participation, Oral Presentation, Essay Outline, Sacred Space Postcard

Each section uses E-Learning to post the syllabus, course materials, and announcements as well as to release grades. Students are expected to check the course page in E-Learning regularly. Registered students will be able to view course information by the first day of the semester. 


The course seats approximately 6,900 students over the academic year. Times of the lecture and discussion sections are on the Registrar’s Schedule of Courses under the Department "Interdisciplinary Studies" (IDS).


As of Summer B 2012, students must complete IUF 1000 (with a grade of C or higher) within the first two semesters of full-time enrollment to fulfill 3 credits of the General Education Humanities (H) requirement. For exemptions from this requirement and additional information on its completion, please consult the documentation provided by Academic Affairs (.pdf).