The Common Curriculum

Advising Guidelines

Policies, Procedures, and Advising FAQ 2023-2024

Academic policies and administrative procedures for the Common Curriculum are listed below.

The General Education Board oversees the general education program and formulates plans and policies relating to it. The Director of General Education serves as the Chair of the General Education Board and is responsible for the administration of the program (Faculty Manual 2014, IV, 11-12)

The Director of General Education reports directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. You may contact the Director of General Education or General Education Board with questions and comments by emailing Selected policies and procedures below are also included in the Union College Academic Catalog. Please note that provisions of the Academic Catalog "are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between the student and Union College. The College reserves the right to make changes in its course offerings, degree requirements, regulations and procedures, and fees and expenses as educational and financial considerations require."

All courses that fulfill the Common Curriculum will have the appropriate designations (e.g. HUL, SCLB) noted in the Academic Catalog.

What courses from a student’s major and minor count towards completion of the Common curriculum and vice versa?

FYP/FYP-H and SRS/SCH-150 may not be used toward the completion of a major or minor. Other courses taken in the Common Curriculum may be used to meet the requirements of a major or minor unless specifically prohibited by a particular program or department.

How does double counting work with the Common Curriculum?

Students are required to complete ten (10) courses to complete the Common Curriculum. Courses may fulfill both a Common Curriculum requirement, such as SOCS, and the WAC requirement. No other double counting is allowed.

Can a non-transfer student use AP, IB, or transfer credits to complete requirements in the Common Curriculum?

Yes. ONE course may be used pre-matriculation. The ONE course may be counted in only ONE of the following categories with the approval of the appropriate department and the Director of General Education: HUM, SOCS, QMR, SCLB, and SET. A table listing course credits awarded by Union College for AP credit can be found at: Information about using transfer courses post-matriculation can be found in the Academic Catalog.

Can a non-transfer student use AP English to complete the Literature requirement (HUL) in the Common Curriculum?

No. The English Department does not accept AP English for HUL credit. Students who receive a 5 on either AP English exam may waive the prerequisite of an EGL 100-level course and may complete a 200-level English HUL course or another HUL course.

Can courses taken on a term abroad be used to complete the FYP/FYP-H or SRS/SCH-150 requirements?

No, these Common Curriculum courses have unique pedagogical requirements and learning outcomes designed for Union College’s academic program.

Can courses completed on a term abroad be used to complete other Common Curriculum requirements?

Yes, courses completed during a full-term study away program that are accepted for full course credit (1.0) by Union College may count toward the following Common Curriculum requirements as appropriate: HUL, HUM, SOCS, QMR, SCLB, SET. Courses completed during study abroad may count toward Common Curriculum requirements contingent upon review and approval by the Director of General Education with the General Education Board and/or appropriate department.

Such courses must meet the standards, content requirements, and learning outcomes for the Common Curriculum and/or the relevant department. A complete course syllabus and supporting materials such as assignments must be submitted with the request: no reviews or approvals will be made without such materials. Submission of materials and review do not guarantee approval. No course completed during a study abroad program can double-count for more than one Common Curriculum requirements, per the double-counting policy above.

Can a practicum be used to complete Common Curriculum requirements?

No, a practicum does not receive a letter grade. Therefore, it cannot be used.

Can an Independent Study be used to complete Common Curriculum requirements?

No, an Independent Study cannot be used to complete a Common Curriculum requirement.

May students withdraw from an SRS?

Students may withdraw from an SRS according to the policies for withdrawals in the current Academic Catalog, which requires the approval of the Director of General Education. The General Education Board has approved these guidelines for handling requests to withdraw from an SRS.

  • Requests to withdraw from an SRS must be made at least two business days before the Registrar’s deadline(s) for withdrawals.
  • Because of the unique enrollment management requirements for the SRS, students may withdraw from an SRS due to extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances typically involve medical or personal reasons for leaving campus or the college for an extended period of time that are reported to the Dean of Students or Dean of Studies offices.
  • Requests to withdraw in other circumstances will be considered on a strictly limited and discretionary basis only.
  • For all requests, please submit a written explanation of the reasons for requesting the withdrawal and steps taken to address the issues involved to

May students defer or postpone the SRS?

No, SRSs must be completed in the sophomore year; they may not be deferred. Students who fail or withdraw from a spring term SRS must retake the SRS in the immediately following Fall term.

May students change their SRS section/placement?

Students may not change SRS sections. Students may only request a change due to an irreconcilable scheduling conflict with a required course in a declared major. The course in conflict must a) be taught only in the time slot of the SRS, b) be available during the academic year only in the same term as the SRS, and c) be the only course that can meet a specific major requirement. No other requests will be considered. Requests must be made directly by the student (not advisers, SRS instructors, parents/guardians, or others) to Requests must include complete details about course conflicts (including course numbers and schedules) and the name of the student’s adviser. The Director of General Education only reviews and approves changes. SRS instructors, advisers, and the Registrar cannot make changes. In the case of changes, students will be offered choices (when possible) based on original preferences and enrollment considerations.

What courses count as a Literature course (HUL)?

Courses in English, Modern Languages in Translation (MLT), and other departments that have been approved as fulfilling the Literature requirement and assigned the HUL code. AP, IB, or transfer credits may not be used to satisfy the HUL requirement; see above regarding AP English and courses taken on a term abroad.

What PSY (Psychology) courses count as SCLB or SET?

PSY 210 (SET), 310 (SCLB), 311 (SET), 312 (SCLB), 313 (SCLB), 315 (SET), 330 (SCLB), 351 (SCLB),
410 (SET) count as indicated.

Explain the different ways of satisfying the Languages and Cultures (LCC) requirement.

A student can do any ONE of these things:

  • OPTION A Language Sequence: complete a sequence of two language courses in the same language at the 101 level or higher. PLEASE NOTE: for Latin or Greek, you must complete LAT 102 and LAT 103 or GRK 102 and GRK 103; LAT 101 and GRK 101 do not count for LCC language sequence credit.

  • OPTION B Cultural Analysis Sequence: complete any two non-language courses at Union that carry the LCC code.
  • OPTION C Study Abroad: complete a full term abroad that deals with a cultural tradition outside of the US. This satisfies both courses of the LCC requirement. Complete a mini-term that deals with a cultural tradition outside of the US. This satisfies one course of the LCC requirement. If the mini-term is associated with approved pre-departure and/or post-return coursework equivalent to a 1.0 academic credit course it satisfies the two-course LCC requirement.

Can you use one language course and one other LCC course to fulfill the requirement?

No, you cannot combine language and non-language LCC courses in this way.

Do mini-terms in the USA count toward the LCC requirement?

Only the Civil Rights, Community Service and the Mexican-American Border mini-terms count toward the LCC requirement.

Do international students have to complete the LCC requirement?

Yes. There are no exceptions to the completion of the LCC requirement.