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Academic Policies

General Education Tier One and Tier Two

Updated 4/6/11: Effective Summer 2011, new Tier One course prefixes and numbers

Revised 9/12/11:  Effective Fall 2011, new policy on taking multiple Tier One courses

Both Tier One and Tier Two courses offer breadth of knowledge and methods of inquiry. By exposing students to various areas of study, these courses are designed to foster independent, creative, and interactive learning, prompting students to think about themselves, others, and social organizations in new and insightful ways.

Tier Structure:

Tier One

Tier Two

Diversity Emphasis

Individuals & Societies

2 courses

Traditions & Cultures

2 courses

Natural Sciences

2 courses

Individuals & Societies

1 course

Humanities

1 course

Natural Science

1 course

Arts

3 units

1 course

Tier One Requirements:

Tier One courses introduce students to fundamental issues and concepts pertinent to three study areas.  Courses in each study area have a department prefix but the same number, as shown below.  To complete each study area, students must take two courses in different subareas or categories, designated by a letter (A, B, C) following the 3-digit course number.

Tier One Study Areas:

Required Breadth:

Individuals & Societies (xxxx150)

2 -150 courses with different letters (A, B, C)

Traditions & Cultures (xxxx160)

2 - 160 courses with different letters (A, B, C, D)

Natural Sciences (xxxx170)

2 - 170 courses with different letters (A, B, C)

 

Total:   6 courses

The first course taken in a study area category (e.g., ARC 160D1) will count toward the Tier One requirement; a second course taken in the same study area category - identical course number and letter (e.g., JUS 160D1) - will count as general elective credit.  Tier One courses cannot apply toward the major or minor.

Students entering the University as freshmen will be expected to complete Tier One requirements by the end of the midpoint of their degree (e.g., for a four-year 120-unit degree program, by the end of the second year of full-time work, or the completion of 60 units). 

A complete list of Tier One courses with descriptions is provided by theExternal Link General Education Committee. Note: Students with a major in one of the sciences can satisfy their Natural Sciences requirement with their core laboratory science courses. Students with a non-science-intensive major may substitute designated laboratory science courses for their Natural Sciences requirements if they wish.

Tier Two Requirements:

To be completed after Tier One, Tier Two courses offer more in-depth examination of particular disciplines.  In contrast to the Tier One study areas that have distinct subareas or categories (see above), the Tier Two study areas are broadly defined and include a wide range of courses to meet students' varied interests.  Tier Two courses are organized into four study areas:

Tier Two Study Areas:

Required*:

Individuals & Societies

1 course

Humanities

1 course

Natural Science

1 course

Arts

3 units

Total:

3 courses plus 3 units in Arts

*One study area (one course or 3 units in Arts) may be satisfied by courses taken for the major.  Each major identifies which study area is exempt--that is, completed with major course work.  Students must complete Tier Two requirements by the conclusion of their undergraduate degree. 

A complete list of Tier Two courses with descriptions is provided by theExternal LinkGeneral Education Committee .

Diversity Emphasis Requirement:

One course in a student’s degree program must focus on one of the following areas: Gender, Race, Class, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation, or Non-Western Studies.  Courses that satisfy the Diversity Emphasis Requirement are identified in the course descriptions provided by theExternal LinkGeneral Education Committee .

This requirement may be filled by a designated Tier One or Tier Two course, or by a designated course taken in the student’s major or minor. 

Honors Option for Tier One/Tier Two:

Students in the Honors College may complete the Tier One and Tier Two requirements using the Honors Option, which pertains to the three Study Areas of (1) Traditions and Cultures/Humanities, (2) Individuals and Societies, and (3) Natural Sciences. In addition, Honors students must complete the Arts and Diversity Emphasis Requirements as described above.

Students who select the Honors Option must complete three courses in each study area as follows: one Tier One course and one Tier Two course in each study area, in accordance with their degree program. The third required course in each study area is to be selected either from Tier One (a course with the same number but a different letter) or from Tier Two (a course with a different prefix than the first Tier Two course). For example, in the Traditions and Cultures/Humanities Study Area, students must complete one Traditions/Cultures course and one Humanities course; their third course in this Study Area may be a Traditions/Cultures course with a different letter or a Humanities course with a different prefix (cross-listed courses with a second department are acceptable). At the Tier Two level, students have a one-course exemption from the study area corresponding to their major.

Your Specific Requirements:

To see the requirements and courses specific to your major and degree program, consult the general Academic Advisement Reports or your personal Advisement Report inExternal LinkUAccess Student.  Please direct questions to your External Linkacademic advisor.

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Page last updated:  February 27, 2013
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