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May 3, 2001

Proposed general education requirements

The CAS general education curriculum is intended to introduce undergraduates to a broad range of subject matters and modes of thought and analysis found across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

Students must pass most of these required courses with a grade of C- or better.

Major changes recommended by the CAS curriculum review committee are that students would no longer have to take a public policy course, and CAS would reduce from three to two the number of required courses in the natural sciences.

Proposed revised CAS general education requirements would include:

* An introductory writing course, which students would take as freshmen (students with superior writing skills could be exempted from this requirement by CAS's composition director), followed by two writing-intensive courses (W-courses) or one W-course and a second English composition course. W-courses promote writing within disciplines other than English composition.

* At least one course in college mathematics (other than trigonometry) for which algebra is a prerequisite, or an approved course in statistics or mathematical or formal logic. Trigonometry is not an option because it's considered to be on the same level of difficulty as algebra.

Students who demonstrate proficiency for placement in upper-level math courses would be exempt from this requirement.

*A literature course.

*A course in music or art.

*A philosophy course.

*A second course in literature, music or art, or creative expression.

*A sequence of two courses in a single foreign language. A student would be exempt if he or she has: completed three years of high school study of a single foreign language with a grade of C or better; successfully completed a special proficiency exam, or transferred credits for two terms or more of CAS-approved college-level instruction in a single foreign language with grades of C or better. Also exempt are students who are bilingual or not native English speakers.

*A course in historical change.

* Three international/foreign culture courses. At least one of the courses used to satisfy the international cultural requirement or the historical change requirement would have to address a culture or cultures other than those of the Mediterranean, central and western Europe, and French or English speaking North America.

A course that addresses issues of diversity may be substituted for one of the international/foreign culture courses.

*A social science course.

* Two courses in the natural sciences.

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