FAQ about the new General Education Requirements for Current Students

What are the changes to the general education requirements and how will students will be affected?

The main change to general education is a new requirement for students in the Class of 2024 and beyond. A.B. students will be required to complete at least one course with the designation “Culture and Difference.” The “Culture and Difference” area will be an additional field in which B.S.E. students may satisfy their humanities/social science distribution requirements.

Some existing requirements have also been renamed: “Science and Technology” (STN/STL) courses have been renamed “Science and Engineering” (SEN/STL), and the “Quantitative Reasoning” (QR) requirement has been renamed “Quantitative and Computational Reasoning” (QCR).

Also effective in the fall of 2020, some courses will be permitted to carry two general education designations. For A.B. students, the “Culture and Difference” requirement may be satisfied simultaneously with another area; all other courses with a dual designation will satisfy just one of the two areas in a student’s degree progress. B.S.E. students who choose to use a “Culture and Difference” course for one of their humanities/social science distribution requirements may not combine it with a second area.

Finally, beginning in the fall of 2020, students will not be required to take a 102 language course in order to receive credit for a 101 course; students may take a 101 language course and receive credit for it regardless of whether or not they continue in the sequence.

How will the changes to general education affect current students in the classes of 2023, 2022, and 2021?

The changes to general education will not create new requirements for current students.

However, current students may begin to take courses with dual designations, using one of the two areas to count for degree progress.

Also, current students will be affected by the change in language policy. At the start of the fall 2020 term, any current student who did not follow a successfully-passed 101 language course with the 102 course in that sequence will receive credit for the 101 course. The course credit will be retroactively attached to the term in which they took the 101 course, and will be reflected in their course count in degree progress. This change will happen automatically; students do not need to request that the credit be added.

How will dual designation courses be used to satisfy requirements in degree progress?

As noted earlier, the only requirement that A.B. students in the Class of 2024 and beyond can satisfy simultaneously with another requirement is the Culture and Difference requirement.

All other courses with a dual designation may satisfy only one of the two distribution requirements. TigerHub will apply such a course to students’ degree progress, filling the requirements alphabetically. This means that students don’t need to choose how to use a course to fill general education requirements; rather, the system chooses for them but makes adjustments to degree progress based on students’ subsequent enrollments.

For example: a student who had not completed either the HA or LA requirements could choose to take a course with a dual designation of HA or LA. In TigerHub, the student would first see the “HA” requirement satisfied by the course in degree progress. If the student subsequently takes another course that carries the HA designation, the degree progress software would then recognize the HA/LA course as satisfying the LA designation instead.

Will courses with new general education designations still satisfy existing requirements for current students?

Yes, the courses designated as SEN and SEL will satisfy STN and STL requirements for current students. Similarly, QCR courses will still satisfy the QR requirement.

What about students who took a course in a previous semester that now has a dual designation? Can they apply to have that previous course satisfy a different designation now?

No. The longstanding policy of the Office of the Dean of the College is that general education distribution areas are not changed retroactively. Therefore, we do not approve petitions from individual students to substitute a different distribution area for the one that is or was formally assigned to a course. The designation for courses already on student transcripts will not be changed. Dual designation options are available to students beginning in the fall of 2020 only.