The Common Curriculum



(Students are not allowed to triple count courses)

Students are required to take a minimum of 10 different courses under the envisioned Gen Ed program. Unlike the current program, there is significant opportunity for double counting.

Here is an example : suppose we develop an ID cluster on Media Studies and a student takes Philosophy 23, Philosophy in Film; Anthropology 11, Ethnographic Film; Chinese 13, Asian American Film and Performance.

This student’s Gen Ed profile might look as follows (recall they need 10 courses so it limits the extent of double counting).

There are obviously other variations, for example if the student also took a foreign language, let’s say Chinese, he/she may wish to double count Anthropology 11 as his/her Social Science and Chinese 13 in the Humanities category instead use Chinese language in the Cultural Competency section. But he/she CANNOT triple count ANT 11 for Media studies, social sciences, and cultural competency.

Part A: Core

FYP __________

Sophomore Seminar __________

Part B: Distributions

Social Science



1.Philosophy 23

2. (lit)

Cultural Competency:

1. Anthropology 11

2. Chinese 13

Natural Science, Quantitative Reasoning etc.

1.Science with Lab ___________

2. Quantitative Reasoning __________

3. Third course: _______________

Part C: ID Cluster: Media Studies

1. Philosophy 23

2. Anthropology 11

3. Chinese 13


Appendix 2: Gen Ed Implementation, Designations and Worksheet

Implementation: The subcommittee discussed how courses would be approved should the proposal passed. Some of us were in favor of increasing the GenEd board by adding 2 at-large representatives to cope with the requirements of approving new courses to fit the new categories established in the proposal. We also envisioned that the special task of reviewing cluster proposals, particularly in the beginning stages, might require a separate board, consisting of elected representatives of the 4 divisions. There was some discussion of establishing special, appointed, subcommittees of the GenEd board to deal with particular areas such as QMR and Cultural Competency. These subcommittees would have representatives from the GenEd Board and also representatives from concerned departments. Some members of the subcommittee were in favor of this. But other members of the subcommittee thought that it was important that each area of the curriculum be reviewed by elected representatives of the four divisions, in keeping with past practice. Certainly, however, members of the GenEd board might want to consult with people from relevant departments.

Special Note on Clusters: Every proposed Cluster must come with a formal proposal from a faculty group consisting of faculty from several different departments with a designated Cluster Coordinator. It will have to include information about courses in the cluster, as well as schedules of frequency of offerings, projected enrollments etc. There will need to be information guaranteeing the accessibility to courses for students declaring the cluster. Precise guidelines for clusters will be laid out by the Gen Ed Board in Spring 2005, if any new Gen Ed program includes the idea of Clusters.

Designations and Worksheet:

(Recall: Students are allowed to double count, but not triple count courses for Gen Ed purposes)

Students are required to take a minimum of 10 different courses under the envisioned Gen Ed program.

Course Notation:

L – satisfies Literature requirement. As currently, however simpler.

Sci/Lab – Science with Lab, as currently

QMR – quantitative reasoning (replaces Math)

SET – Science, Engineering or Technology (third course in Science category, if not a Sci or Sci/Lab)

CC – Cultural competency

Clusters – Each cluster will receive a designation and courses will then be denoted by this in the course listing. For example, Religion in the Pagan World, might be designated Classics 32, An/Rel, to denote that it fulfills both the Ancient Studies and Religious Studies clusters.

Students will be asked to declare their Cluster by the end of the sophomore year, similar to declaring their major. This, of course, can be changed but it should not be the responsibility of the Registrar to decide from among numerous possible clusters.

Students majoring in a program must do a cluster in a different area for Gen Ed, e.g. a Biochemistry major can not use three Biochemistry courses for their ID cluster.

[Note added April 2009: The General Education Board has determined that majors in a formal interdisciplinary program HAVE automatically satisfied the Cluster requirement by satisfying the intent that they take courses that connect different departments. In fact, any major or minor in an official interdisciplinary program now satisfies the Cluster requirement.]

Sample Worksheets:

Gen Ed Worksheet (sample for Mechanical Engineering major, taken from the transcript of a junior who has yet to do his literature or his science elective)

First-Year Preceptorial__________

Sophomore Seminar __________

Social Science

1. Sociology 10


1. English 34B, Nature and Environmental Writing

2. English 22

Cultural Competency:

1. Czech Culture

2. Prague Term Abroad

Natural Science, Quantitative Reasoning etc.

1. Science with Lab Chemistry 10

2. Quantitative Reasoning Math 13

3. Third course: Physics 17

ID Cluster: STMC

1. History of Technology (on Prague term)

2. English 34 B, Nature and Environmental Writing

3. Env. Studies 10 (also serves as Science elective for ME major)

Gen Ed Worksheet (taken from the transcript of a Biochemistry major)

First-Year Preceptorial__________

Sophomore Seminar __________

Social Science Psychology 10


1. AMU 20, Chant to Mozart

2. Eng 31A, How to Read Poetry

Cultural Competency:

1. Spanish 120

2. AMU 35, Music of Latin America

Natural Science, Quantitative Reasoning etc.

1. Science with Lab Chem 10

2. Quantitative Reasoning Math 10

3. Third course: Chem 12

ID Cluster: Environmental Studies

1. Chem 10

2. Geo 50A, Geology of Australia and New Zealand (Australia)

3. Bio 50A, Terrestrial Ecology Abroad (Australia)


Appendix 3: Cluster ideas/examples

Possible Ideas for Clusters: the following are examples of possibilities for new clusters, amongst many possibilities

Popular Culture: examines cultural productions aimed at a mass audience and how these shape and are shaped by surrounding social and cultural systems

AMU 42 Popular Music in Japan

ANT 45: Sport, Society and Culture

ANT ?: Youth and Popular Culture

ANT 83 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America

Eco 120 Sports Economics

ENG ? The Victorian Detective Novel

HST 113 Pop Culture and American History

HST 24: America in the 60s

HST 114 American Folk Music

HST 150 Newspapers and US politics

HST 150B The European Renaissance and popular culture

Spanish 94

Film, Photography and Representation/Media Studies: examines the mass media and its relationship with society/culture. A particular focus on representation of self and other in film.

ANT 70 Photographing Culture

ANT 11 Ethnographic Film

EE 12 Audio and Digital Signal Processing

Eng 48: Film as Fictive art

HST 184a: US history in Film

Chinese 11: Chinese Cinema

Chinese 13: Asian American Film and Performance

FRH 28 Sex lives and Videotape

German 44, 47

Russian 68

Spanish 91

PS 86: Politics and Film

Soc 110 Personality Media and Society

Nationalism and Nation-States: examines the process of forming national identity and national political structures

Eng 71, 72, 73

German 41 Forging and nation

Ger 42: Identity after the Holocaust

Russian 70

GER 30

(probably many history and political science courses could also count here)

“The Other”: Investigates the ways cultures define “self” in relation to “other” by stereotyping other groups

ANT 47: The Pacific in Literature and Film

Classics 48: Greeks Romans and Barbarians

ENG 31c Gothic

ENG 34c Women Savages and Myths in the Civilizing process

ENG 39 Science Fiction

Russian 66, 69

FR 139

SPN 149c

Information Technology and Society: examines communications and information technology systems and their impact on society

ANT 40 Culture and Technology

CS 15: Working with the Web

CS100 History of Computing

ECO 16: Engineering’s impact on society

Eco 130: E Commerce Economics

Many EE and CS courses?

SPN 149

PHL 49 The Self in Cyberspace

Genre Studies: Drama

Classics 143 Roman Drama

ENG 25 Intro to Shakespeare

ENG 46: Modern Drama

ENG 47 Contemporary Drama

ENG 54, 55, 56, 59

FR 145

GER 133

SPN 135, 136

Many theater courses


Revisions to the Faculty Manual Section IV to aid in implementing the new General Education Program

1) Replace the 1st paragraph of IV.IV.C with the following (changes are in bold):


The AAC shall form two standing sub-councils: a Sub-council on the Standing of Students and the General Education Board. Unless the actions or recommendations of these standing sub-councils are deemed by the AAC to be detrimental to the College’s academic programs, they will normally be sustained by that Council.

2) Replace the 3rd paragraph of IV.IV.C with the following (changes are in bold):

The General Education Board shall oversee the general education program and shall formulate plans and policies relating to it. The membership of the General Education board shall be the Dean of Undergraduate Education, four faculty members and two students. Each of the four divisions of the faculty shall elect one representative, and the faculty shall serve staggered three-year terms. The two students shall be selected by a process determined by the Student Forum and shall serve staggered two-year terms. The Director of the Writing Center shall serve ex-officio. The Dean of Undergraduate Education shall serve as the Director of the General Education Board and shall be responsible for the administration of the program.

3) Delete section IV.IV.E


Approved by the AAC

April 21, 2005