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Approved by the Curriculum Review Steering Committee 3/03; revised by the Administrative Boards of the General College and the College of Arts and  Sciences on 12/06/06, 11/05/08, 10/13/10, 3/30/11, 4/22/14, 12/3/19, 9/16/20, 11/11/20.

Criteria for General Education Requirements:

Guidelines for the Submission and Review of Course Proposals

The criteria described below clarify the guidelines established in “Making Connections: An Initial Proposal to Revise the General Education Curriculum” (version 1.4). The document is intended to assist members of the Curriculum Committee and the Administrative Boards of the General College and the College of Arts and Sciences as they review and approve proposed courses for the General Education curriculum. The criteria are also meant to help faculty members in departments, curricula, and schools understand the standards by which their faculty colleagues will judge course proposals. Although faculty members can consider these guidelines as an authoritative statement of general principles and course requirements, it is a living document, subject to periodic revision as the Administrative Boards discover curricular issues that need to be refined.


All courses satisfying General Education requirements are subject to review and approval by two faculty committees: the Curriculum Committee, which includes representation from the four divisions of the College of Arts and Sciences, the student body, and the Administrative Boards of the General College and the College of Arts and Sciences. Customarily, course submissions are due in the Office of Undergraduate Curricula by October 15. Requests to add, revise, or inactivate courses are then reviewed by the Curriculum Committee and forwarded to the Administrative Boards for approval. They are then routed to the Office of the University Registrar for final approval and uploading to the ConnectCarolina course inventory. Once approved, new courses typically become effective with the following semester; course revisions, including inactivations, become effective the following fall semester.

The following guidelines, originally established by the Curriculum Review Steering Committee in March 2003, present criteria for identifying courses that satisfy General Education requirements. The document is meant to be fluid and to allow for criteria to be clarified and refined. However, any substantial revisions must be approved by the General Education Implementation Committee (until fall 2006) and the Administrative Boards of the General College and the College of Arts and Sciences. In general, the following criteria apply to all courses satisfying General Education requirements:

Curricular goals of General Education courses:

  1. Whenever possible, the goal is to offer instruction in small classes that make regular use (at least weekly) of discussion in or out of the classroom, use problem-based or essay examinations, and contain ample student-instructor interaction.
  2. The foundational skills of English composition, quantitative reasoning, and foreign language require small class sizes for effective learning, so 19 to 25 students per class for these entry-level skills courses is desirable.
  3. Course content and assignments should be significant within the rubric of each particular academic discipline, including but not limited to research papers, electronic projects, substantial creative projects, laboratory reports, mathematical analysis, problem sets, case study analyses, etc. “Significant” should generally be construed to mean at least 10 pages of written work (at least 3000 words) over the course of the semester, excluding pages written for essays on in-class examinations. This written work may consist of several short papers, reading logs, journals, or projects composed in an alternate medium or format, as long as the materials represent the equivalent intellectual investment of 10 pages of written work. Students in classes that typically require little writing (math, some sciences, etc.) must complete other work (homework exercises, lab reports, etc.) equivalent to 10 pages of writing by virtue of the intellectual labor expended. Take-home examinations that take the form of an instructor-assigned essay or essays may count toward fulfilling this requirement.

Implementing the 10-page writing requirement (or other work involving equivalent intellectual effort) can be challenging in large classes without teaching assistants or graders. Instructors are free to relax the standard in classes that exceed 60 students without a teaching assistant or classes that exceed 80 students without a grader. In no case, however, should students receive General Education credit for a course in which they have not completed a significant project designed to help them interpret for themselves, not just for the instructor, what the course teaches.

Additional requirements for General Education courses:

  1. Final exams are mandatory for all undergraduate courses (courses numbered 100 through 699). Because the final exam period contributes instructional contact hours for all undergraduate courses, only the Office of the Provost can grant an exception to this University policy. Courses with one hour of academic credit may administer their final exams during the last class period; all others must follow the published Final Examination Schedule. First Year Seminars and composition courses are exempt from the requirement of an in-class final exam; Experiential Education and composition courses may have some form of final project or final evaluation of student work in lieu of a traditional final exam. Instructors assigning take-home exams, presentations, or final papers as substitutes for a traditional final exam must have the permission of the department/curriculum chair and must make the assignment due at a final meeting of the class, held according to the published Final Examination Schedule; this class may serve to debrief the exam, provide additional instruction, or sum up the semester.
  2. No courses that satisfy General Education requirements may be taken Pass/D+/D/Fail, with the exception of the lifetime fitness (LFIT) requirement and some Experiential Education courses that are only offered as Pass/ Fail courses.
  3. No General Education requirements may be satisfied with Independent Studies, Internships, Special Topics, Directed Readings, or similar courses with variable content. The only exceptions are some Experiential Education courses, as specified within that description in this document.
  4. No more than two General Education designations, as the norm, will be approved for any new or revised course. Courses that meet more than one General Education requirement may do so only in so far as reasonable and practicable, given the amount of time this document stipulates for focusing on particular course content or methods.
  5. Foundations, Approaches, and Connections courses may fulfill requirements for a major and minor, unless a department, curriculum, or school specifies otherwise. A course can meet only one Approaches requirement but may also meet one additional Connections requirement. A Connections course may meet one Approaches requirement or a second Connections requirement. Foundations courses may not fulfill either Approaches or Connections requirements, with one exception: a second Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Foundations course may satisfy the Quantitative Intensive (QI) Connections requirement.
  6. The General Education Implementation Committee designed a two-letter system to identify each General Education requirement. The two-letter identifiers are included below in parentheses at the first mention of each requirement. A listing of courses fulfilling each General Education requirement appears annually in the Undergraduate Bulletin and online under Browse Course Catalog in the Self-Service section of ConnectCarolina.
  7. The University recognizes only one authoritative source for all course information: the Office of the University Registrar. This office maintains the course inventory, which is available through ConnectCarolina and the Undergraduate Bulletin. Changes in the course inventory or in the details of a particular course must have the approval of the Administrative Boards of the General College and College of Arts and Sciences. Though departmental and curricular websites may be popular sources for information about courses, majors, minors, and degree requirements, they can be inaccurate, misleading, and out of date. To avoid confusion and misinformation, departments and curricula should provide on their websites a direct link to the online Undergraduate Bulletin.


English Composition and Rhetoric (CR)

Effective in fall 2012, first-year and transfer students entering Carolina are required to take, or transfer in, a three-credit course (ENGL 105) in college-level written and oral argumentation, composition, research and information literacy, and rhetorical analysis. ENGL 105 introduces students to several disciplinary contexts for written work and oral presentations required in college courses. ENGL 105I (“I” for “interdisciplinary”) introduces students to one specific disciplinary context—natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, law, business, or medicine—for such written and oral assignments.

Students will not receive placement or By-Examination credit for the CR requirement.

Course Goals for ENGL 105

  1. Assess the rhetoric of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities
  2. Generate discipline-specific rhetoric in the relevant genres
  3. Conduct secondary research using academic databases
  4. Present research to different audiences
  5. Communicate research in writing, in speech, and through visual elements

In addition to these primary goals, ENGL 105 and 105I provide guided practice with the following college-level communication skills:

  1. Identifying similarities and differences among various purposes and audiences for written and oral communications, and understanding that different contexts require different approaches
  2. Developing effective strategies for planning, drafting, and revising oral and written communications
  3. Mastering the technical aspects of writing and speaking (including standard spelling, punctuation, and grammar) in the context of academic work
  4. Incorporating appropriate source material in written and oral presentations according to the conventions, methodologies, and values of particular disciplines; this includes learning how to distinguish between scholarly and non-scholarly sources, evaluating electronic resources, avoiding plagiarism, and using standard citation and reference formats
  5. Using graphic and audiovisual materials effectively as part of oral and written presentations
  6. Developing oral delivery skills suitable to the topic, purpose, and audience, and adapting delivery to audience responses
  7. Reading and listening critically by discerning main ideas, identifying and evaluating supporting details, assessing the acceptability of evidence and the validity of arguments, recognizing explicit relationships among ideas, and gaining confidence in the ability to pose and respond to questions and comments concisely; this includes learning to detect biases in the student’s own messages and in arguments and evidence put forward by others
  8. Working effectively on collaborative projects

Students admitted to UNC-Chapel Hill with English-language deficiencies are offered appropriate instruction in small-enrollment classes tailored to their particular needs before being permitted to begin ENGL 105.

Foreign Language (FL)

All students must successfully complete level 3 of a foreign language, except as noted below. In an increasingly interconnected world, a secure ability to use and understand at least one language other than English and an acquaintance with the cultures and peoples employing that language is highly desirable. Students should therefore learn

  1. To communicate directly, orally and in writing, with speakers of the acquired second language.
  2. To read and understand texts of average complexity written by and for native speakers of the second language.
  3. To be conversant with the behavioral norms and cultural practices—frequently quite different from ours—of the relevant speech community.

It is highly desirable that level 3 language courses include content to enhance cultural understanding (analysis of the culture of a society, nation, or region in which the language is spoken) and introduce students to the challenges and complexities of understanding different societies and cultures.

Exceptions to the requirement of level-3 competence are the following:

  1. Students who place into level 4 have demonstrated level-3 competence and satisfied the requirement.
  2. Students who place beyond level 4 are exempt from this requirement.
  3. Students who place into level 1 of the language studied in high school (and who continue study in that language) must successfully complete level 3, but will not receive credit toward graduation for level 1.
  4. Successful completion of ENGL 105 satisfies this requirement for nonnative speakers of English.

Quantitative Reasoning (QR)

Every student is required to take, or have Advanced Placement or transfer credit for, a course in the mathematical sciences in which the central goal is to develop skills and understand concepts in these fields. These courses should also extend students’ abilities to think critically about, and with, the numerical information they encounter daily. The successful student should be able to recognize quantitatively unreasonable solutions or conclusions, and demonstrate facility in using numbers.

Courses satisfying this requirement must focus on mathematics, data analysis, statistics, computing, probability, or modeling. Students should recognize situations in which quantitative methods can be used to model and solve problems and identify the appropriate tools to use in formulating and solving a particular problem. The content of the course should be explicitly quantitative and directed toward the development of skill in the use of those tools at a level beyond that required for admission to the University.

Lifetime Fitness (LF)

Every student must take one (but only one) one-hour academic course that combines instruction in life-long health and wellness with instruction in, and practice of, a sport or physical activity that can be sustained for life.

  1. A substantial portion of the course should be devoted to a specific physical activity or sport and include instruction in the rules and history of the sport or physical activity on which written examinations can be based.
  2. The course must also contain engagement in the sport or activity.
  3. At least one quarter of the course should be devoted to developing healthy behaviors related to physical exercise and well-being. An ideal course would continually connect these healthy behaviors to the specific sport or activity.
  4. Because the course will carry academic credit, it must include a written final exam as is required in all undergraduate courses. The course grade cannot be based solely on skill level in a sport or physical activity.


Physical and Life Sciences (PL and PX)

Students must take two courses in science, at least one of which has a required laboratory component. Some lecture courses may be taken singly for three credit hours as PL courses or combined with an optional matching laboratory of an additional credit hour and PX credit. Science courses combining lecture and required laboratory components normally offer four hours of PX credit. Courses fulfilling the Physical and Life Sciences requirement emphasize a physical science, a life science, the scientific basis of technology, or a combination of these topics.

  1. Appropriate courses will focus on scientific content and the scientific method. At the completion of the course students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of a relevant article in a general science magazine, such as Scientific American.
  2. A significant field experience, for academic credit, may be used to satisfy the laboratory requirements if approved by the Administrative Boards. A significant field experience would generally require a minimum of 30 hours in the field.
  3. Courses may satisfy this requirement if they focus on scientific content but devote a significant amount of time (perhaps one quarter of the course) to the science’s broader perspective (e.g., historical development of scientific thought, the social impact and public policy implications of the science, etc.).

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students must take three courses in social and behavioral sciences, at least one of which emphasizes historical analysis (see below). These three courses must be from at least two different departments or curricula.

(Non-Historical) Social and Behavioral Sciences (SS)

  1. Courses fulfilling the (non-historical) Social and Behavioral Sciences requirement focus on the scientific study of individual or collective behavior. They consider the individual, family, society, culture, politics, or economy.
  2. “Scientific” here means that instructors draw on established quantitative or qualitative methods of analysis and interpretation. Quantitative methods include, but are not limited to, statistical analysis of data and controlled experiments. Qualitative methods include, but are not limited to, fieldwork, surveys, document analysis, ethnographies, case studies, and interviews.
  3. Theoretical reflection on empirical findings also is understood as part of the work of the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Historical Analysis (HS)

Students must take at least one course that emphasizes Historical Analysis. Historical analysis involves the systematic study of human behaviors in past times, with an emphasis on how such behaviors change over time. This temporal dimension—particularly the priority given to change over time—distinguishes historical analysis from other forms of social and behavioral analysis. Although historical analysis may be conducted in various ways, explore diverse topics, and employ any number of methodologies, it is always concerned with people, or, more broadly, with social and cultural expressions, patterns, and processes shaped by or affecting humans, in past times.

  1. Courses fulfilling the Historical Analysis requirement should focus on the study of some aspect or aspects of human behavior in the past. Such courses may cover broad periods of time or particular historical eras. Some may treat problems relating to the material world, while others will focus largely on cultural questions or intellectual concerns.
  2. The primary emphasis should be on historical rather than contemporary phenomena and should concern human behavior in social or cultural contexts.
  3. Courses surveying historical periods in art, photography, film, music, and the like, are suitable for fulfilling this requirement, so long as the primary focus remains on developments in the history of the medium and not on aesthetic considerations or matters of form.
  4. Courses that focus on the history of a discipline (e.g., the history of anthropology) are appropriate if the course is sufficiently broad in conception to allow students to understand the history of the discipline in relation to the broader social and intellectual currents.

Humanities and Fine Arts

A. Philosophical and/or Moral Reasoning (PH)

One course in Philosophical and/or Moral Reasoning is required. The course must address philosophical questions—that is, fundamental questions about central areas or aspects of human experience or endeavor. The course must also teach methods of reasoning, analysis, and interpretation appropriate to such inquiry.

  1. Philosophical questions often concern important topics such as knowledge, truth, reality, meaning, consciousness, identity, freedom, beauty, happiness, religion, social and political norms, obligation, justice, virtue, the good, and other topics when explored with philosophical complexity. The course need not focus on a single topic, since development of philosophical knowledge and skill is often well served by comparison, or by considering philosophical topics in combination. In courses that treat the social dimensions of philosophical reasoning, however, a significant portion (at least one-fifth) of the course should address questions of morality and values.
  2. Philosophical inquiry may be undertaken in conjunction with sociological, anthropological, scientific, political, historical, literary, and other kinds of analysis. Courses fulfilling the philosophical requirement will focus on understanding and critically assessing the truth, adequacy, defensibility, or value of the ideas being explored. Such courses ask students to be open to discovery, to allow their own convictions to be refined, and to understand the range and specificity of philosophical thinking.
  3. Courses that treat philosophers primarily as historical figures or as the authors of texts generally do not fulfill the Philosophical and/or Moral Reasoning requirement but rather may meet the criteria for the Historical Analysis (HS) or Literary Arts (LA) Approaches requirements.

B. Literary Arts (LA)

One course in Literary Arts is required. A literary or filmic text is a written or visual expression in any language of human experience; it is a cultural artifact derived from different historical periods and cultural origins. It is ordinarily but not exclusively an imaginative work and will typically take the form of poetry, narrative fiction, drama, essay, or a visual representation of such works. The text is defined in terms of a relationship among author, reader, society, and the historical circumstances of its creation.

A literature or film course is an organization of literary or filmic texts around unifying concepts such as themes, historical periods, genres, theories of criticism and analysis, or the creative writing of such texts. Courses in which films are compared to literary works or are analyzed with respect to plot, setting, characters, and themes also fulfill the Literary Arts requirement. Such a course can include interdisciplinary links to other studies in the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences, etc. In all cases, however, at least two-thirds of the course content should involve the reading/viewing/analysis/creation of literary or filmic texts.

C. Visual or Performing Arts (VP)

One course in the Visual or Performing Arts, related to art, architecture, music, drama, design, performance studies, or film that emphasizes aesthetic content that is non-literary, is required. Such courses focus on creative expression in a variety of media and can include interdisciplinary links to other studies in the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences, etc. In all cases, however, at least two-thirds of the course content should involve analysis of a medium or creative expression within the visual or performing arts. Courses that satisfy this requirement are meant to foster critical thinking and creative practice, expand available means of expression, provide perspective into the human condition, and encourage life-long engagement with the fine arts.

The wide range of courses that might fulfill the requirement may focus either on the study or the creation of artistic expression. They must include substantial creative activity, or written assignments that examine creative activity. Appropriate examples include courses engaging students in the following activities:

  1. Analyzing and creating art and crafts in various media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, pottery, metalwork, textiles, etc.
  2. Studying principles of visual literacy and making films, photographs, or digital images.
  3. Analyzing and implementing various aspects of theatre production or design.
  4. Playing music, composing music, or studying a variety of musical styles.


Courses that satisfy these requirements may also satisfy one of the Approaches requirements, another Connections requirement, or a requirement in the major and/or minor. 

One Communication-Intensive course is required. (CI)

Communication-intensive courses are not merely courses involving more (or longer) writing assignments and oral presentations than other courses do. Content-area courses with an emphasis on written and oral communication are intended to prepare students to write and speak effectively in particular disciplines. Such courses should directly or indirectly help students recognize that different disciplines employ different strategies for written and oral communication. Communication-intensive courses must provide students practice with and instructor feedback on written and oral assignments within a specific disciplinary context. When feasible, students should be encouraged to take a communication-intensive course in their major or minor area of study.

  1. A content course that carries the CI designation must integrate writing and speaking with the subject matter of the course in evident and important ways, making such assignments a substantial portion (at least 20%) of the final grade for the course. The emphasis of the course must be on the content as well as on the way in which the content is communicated.
  2. Responses to assignments should reflect course content, and must promote the revision of written or oral work in response to instructor, and perhaps also student, feedback and discussion. Courses fulfilling the CI requirement give students the opportunity to revise for a grade a draft or an oral presentation based on the instructor’s comments.
  3. Courses that incorporate communication only in the form of one research paper and/or oral report at the end of the term, or written and oral reports with no opportunity for revision, are not eligible for the CI designation.

One Quantitative-Intensive course is required (QI).

This second-level requirement is intended to develop and refine quantitative-reasoning skills in disciplinary contexts and to integrate the foundational skills across the curriculum. Students should become acquainted with how quantitative methods are applied in their major fields of interest and, when feasible, should be encouraged to take a quantitative methods course in their major or minor area of study or in an allied field. The course can either be (a) an additional core mathematical sciences course (as described in the Foundations component above), or (b) a course in any department with a substantial quantitative component (at least half). The course content should involve students in some of the following activities:

  1. Using quantitative methods to model and solve problems, including problems requiring the development and implementation of computational algorithms.
  2. Developing numerical reasoning above the level of basic algebra and trigonometry.
  3. Collecting and interpreting quantitative data.
  4. Constructing logically sound arguments and recognizing fallacies by using quantitative information, mathematical analysis, formal logic, and proofs.
  5. Expressing ideas and concepts from the mathematical sciences orally and in writing.
  6. Connecting the role of the mathematical sciences to cultural change, to other sciences, and to the arts and humanities.

Experiential Education (EE)

One course that connects academic inquiry with a structured, active learning experience is required. Experiential education takes many forms and develops many skills. It might develop research skills, promote global awareness, enhance career development, encourage community service, support creative expression, or promote closer relationships among students, faculty members, staff, and the wider community. Many of the sanctioned learning experiences will be outside the classroom or off campus, but appropriate on-campus learning sites include the North Carolina Memorial Hospital, the Frank Porter Child Development Center, WUNC-TV, and WUNC-Radio. Summer employment, life experiences, and other learning undertaken for personal or professional enrichment, but not for academic credit, cannot be approved as fulfilling the Experiential Education requirement.

The Experiential Education requirement may be satisfied by completing a course or program of study abroad in any of the following eight categories:

  1. Undergraduate research: sustained, mentored research experience for academic credit, including Honors thesis courses.
  2. Approved service learning: Such courses must be approved by the Administrative Boards of the General College and College of Arts and Sciences and require at least 30 hours of supervised service that meets community-identified needs in an off-campus placement. During the 2020-2021 academic year, courses must require at least 20 hours of supervised service that meets community-identified needs, either on campus or off campus. The service hours may be conducted in-person, remotely, or a hybrid model.
  3. A course with a required, substantial field trip or fieldwork component: These courses must involve all students in at least 30 hours of appropriate off-campus fieldwork or field trips. The fieldwork component of the course should integrate a range of subject matter and provide an active opportunity for the student to investigate original problems and apply techniques used by professionals in the discipline.
  4. Departmental or University-unit internship or experiential independent study: Internships and experiential independent study courses must (a) be administered by an academic school, department, curricula, or University unit, (b) require a minimum of 100 hours of service or work, and (c) have a unit or departmental faculty adviser to assist students with setting appropriate goals and providing guidance throughout the experience. Though an internship in a student’s major may be desirable, not all majors offer internships or have sufficient capacity to accommodate everyone. Internships for academic credit, even if outside a student’s major, nevertheless fulfill the Experiential Education requirement.
  5. Approved study abroad program: These programs include only those approved by the UNC-Chapel Hill Study Abroad Office or the UNC-Chapel Hill Honors Program.
  6. Direct and sustained engagement in a creative process: In conjunction with a literary, musical, dramatic, or studio arts class, a student may participate in a supervised community arts program or produce art for community purposes under faculty supervision culminating in at least 30 hours of work during the semester. Courses in any department or University unit that require at least 30 hours of faculty-supervised work and that culminate in public programming may also satisfy the Experiential Education requirement.
  7. Departmental or University-unit undergraduate learning assistant (ULA) classroom experience: ULA courses must (a) be administered by an academic school, department, curricula, or University unit, (b) require a learning contract with responsibilities, stated learning objectives, (c) require a minimum of 4 hours per week (3 in class; 1 hour outside of class) and a maximum of 6 hours per week, and (d) require a reflective essay or other culminating reflection activity. Note: ULA do not have grading responsibilities.
  8. Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) courses must (a) be administered by an   academic school, department, curricula, or University unit; (b) require a learning contract with responsibilities and stated learning objectives (or syllabus), (c) require a minimum of 30 hours of engagement with students at the partner institution through a blend of class time and hours outside of class, and (d) require a reflective essay or other culminating reflection activity about the COIL component of the course.

U.S. Diversity (US)

One course that aims to help students develop a greater understanding of diverse peoples and cultures within the United States and, thereby, enhance their ability to fulfill the obligations of U.S. citizenship, is required.

  1. Courses must systematically explore the perspectives/experiences of at least one U.S. subculture. Such groups might include African-Americans, Asian-Americans, European-Americans, Latino/as, Native Americans, or distinct subcultures within these broad categories. Other culturally distinct groups not identified here may qualify if a case can be made for their cultural/historical significance. A course that addresses in systematic fashion other aspects of diversity such as age, class, gender, sexual orientation, region, or religion may also satisfy the U.S. Diversity requirement.
  2. Because the United States is part of the North Atlantic world, a course approved as fulfilling the U.S. Diversity requirement cannot also fulfill the North Atlantic World requirement.

The North Atlantic World (NA)

One course that focuses on the North Atlantic World is required. Such a course may address the history, culture, or society of the region but should devote more than two-thirds of the course content, as determined by the reading assignments and class sessions, to the region. The purpose of the requirement is to assure that students understand the world in which they live. The “North Atlantic World” is a phrase that has at once geographical and cultural referents. On the North American side, the North Atlantic World refers to the United States and Canada, and it includes the cultures of Native Americans. In Europe, the boundaries are more difficult to draw, but the notion of language families can be useful in mapping the borders:  the requirement refers to cultures and societies whose dominant language belongs to the Germanic, Celtic, or Romance language families. Using this criterion does not solve all difficulties, since European boundaries have changed over time and include some complicated cases (e.g., Finland and Hungary), but this standard should be a useful guideline in most instances. Because of the region’s influences on Western Europe and North America, the southern boundaries of the North Atlantic World extend to the Mediterranean—from the Iberian Peninsula to Greece.

Exclusions: Courses dealing with some periods of ancient and medieval history of some Mediterranean cultures from Spain to Greece might be understood as “Beyond the North Atlantic World,” or “World before 1750.” Courses dealing with diverse groups in the United States are best considered as fulfilling the “U.S. Diversity” requirement. Courses designated as fulfilling the “U.S. Diversity” requirement cannot also be designated as fulfilling the “North Atlantic World” requirement.

The World before 1750 (WB)

One historically-oriented course that focuses on the period prior to 1750 CE is required. “Focuses on” means that at least two-thirds of the course content, as indicated by the assigned readings and class sessions, is devoted to the period. “Historically-oriented” means that the course either deals explicitly and substantially with change over time or that it situates the course material within a cultural, political, or social context. This requirement, which aims to provide some chronological scope to the curriculum, is included because pre-modern periods of human history differed significantly from our own, and pre-modern ideas, practices, and institutions continue to exert a profound influence on the contemporary world.

  1. Courses fulfilling this requirement should focus on human beliefs, practices, or institutions in the period prior to 1750 CE. Such courses may cover broad periods of time or a particular pre-modern era (i.e., before 1750). The broad standards regarding this requirement are similar to those developed for the Historical Analysis Approaches requirement. In the case of this requirement, however, the additional expectation is that courses will devote at least two-thirds of the class time and out-of-class assignments to the pre-1750 period. This focus should be reflected in the assigned readings and class sessions.
  2. Exposure to a historically-oriented course focusing on the period prior to 1750 will help students to attain a broader and deeper understanding of pre-modern history and insight into the ways in which events and processes occurring hundreds or thousands of years ago continue to affect us today.

Beyond the North Atlantic (BN)

Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Pacific have been important in world affairs, and knowledge of the history, geography, and culture of these regions is necessary for effective citizenship. One course focusing on at least one of these regions is required. At least two-thirds of the course must deal with one of these regions to insure that students have some understanding of a culture that is geographically distant from the United States. Courses fulfilling this requirement focus on a society or region outside North America and Western Europe, as that area is defined by the North Atlantic World requirement. The course may concern itself with a specific aspect of culture—such as literature, religion, or art—or may involve historical or other social scientific analysis of the experiences of the people in the society or region.

Global Issues (GL)

One course that provides students with knowledge and understanding of transnational connections and global forces is required. Global forces entail interrelationships among cultures, societies, nations, and other social units, and they include transnational processes such as migration, urbanization, trade, diplomacy, and information flow. Courses treating global forces might analyze globalization in general or focus on particular case studies. For example, case studies might consider international economics and politics, focus on the changing demography or environment, or highlight transnational issues arising from ethnicity, gender, religion, or language.

  1. Courses devoted to natural phenomena or technology (e.g., earthquakes or computers) that do not place at least half of the emphasis on human dimensions (perspectives and behaviors of people involved) would not qualify. However, courses examining environmental issues or broad climatic changes are included if the coverage is transnational and if at least half of the course discusses the human dimensions of these phenomena. For example, a course on water resources worldwide, if it treated only the engineering technicalities, might not qualify; however, if it included human dimensions, it could.
  2. Courses satisfying this requirement must focus on transnational connections between two or more nations or the transnational dynamics of global forces. “Focus” here means that at least two thirds of the course must deal with this topic.


The Supplemental General Education requirement is intended to add breadth to students’ undergraduate experience and to encourage students to make connections as they cross disciplinary boundaries. The requirement applies to students in the College of Arts and Sciences who are pursuing the BA degree and can be fulfilled in the following ways:

  1. By completing a second major or a minor; or
  2. By completing three courses above 199 that are not being used to fulfill a student’s major requirements. These three courses must be from outside the home department/curriculum of the major and cannot be cross-listed with courses that the student has used to satisfy requirements for the major; or
  3. By completing a concentration outside a professional school as part of the degree requirements for graduating from the school. This option applies to students majoring in the School of Education and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.