Diversification designation is possible for any course that meets basic Course Eligibility Criteria. Consideration of a course for a particular Diversification area is guided by Hallmarks and Explanatory Notes (PDF Version).
Proposing a Course
To request a Diversification designation, a department completes the UHM-1 form (for new courses) or the UHM-2 form (to modify an existing course). The forms can be downloaded from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs’ web site: Course Approval Process.
When completing form, be sure to fill in the Core or Graduation Requirement box. State the requested Diversification letter code (i.e., DA, DH, DL, DS, DB, DP, DY). A course that has an embedded laboratory component may have DB+DY or DP+DY.
Submit the form as required by your College. It will be routed to the General Education Office for processing.
+ Course Eligibility Criteria
- Course content determines a Diversification designation. (The traditional disciplinary affiliations of the department, school, or college that offers the course are not factors. Thus, a course in the College of Social Sciences may receive a Biological Science designation.)
- Two-thirds of the content of the course’s governing syllabus and approximately two thirds of the required class meetings must demonstrate the Hallmarks of its Diversification category.
DS (Social Science) designation: Family Resources course that is 2/3 social sciences and 1/3 humanities.
- A course that studies film theory for half the course (i.e., DL) and representations of culture in film (i.e., DH) for half of the course.
- A course with content that is one half biological science and one half social science.
- A “topics” course with content that can vary each semester from Literatures to Humanities.
- Two simultaneous designations may be granted only for a course with an embedded science lab (DB+DY or DP+DY).
- Cross-listed courses must have the same Diversification designation.
- Ineligible for Diversification designations are the following types of courses:
- directed reading and research (courses typically numbered X99)
- experimental (courses typically numbered x97 or x98)
Hallmarks & Explanatory Notes (PDF)
+ Arts (DA), Humanities (DH), and Literatures (DL)
Students must take 6 credits, from 2 of these areas:
To satisfy the Arts (DA) area requirement, at least two-thirds of a course
- uses the definitions, descriptions, and terminology of the visual arts, performing arts, or other creative arts;
- emphasizes the acquisition of practical and theoretical skills necessary to produce visual, performing, or other creative arts for primarily aesthetic purposes;
- develops creative abilities in which artistic conventions are applied and originality is sought.
Explanatory Notes: DA Hallmarks
It is the practice of various forms of the arts that distinguishes the Diversification Arts category from the categories involving Humanities (DH) and Literatures (DL). Practice implies making, doing, or inventing; practice implies personal involvement in the production or replication of traditional and experimental art forms. It is a student’s practice which is evaluated.
Practice may be supported by historical and theoretical study and by analyses relevant to the critical evaluation of the subject and of students’ creative endeavors.
Arts courses sometimes involve both lecture and practice. For instance, a course may include a lecture component and a separate laboratory, studio, workshop, or practicum. Such courses may earn the DA designation if two-thirds of the combined lecture + practice components demonstrate the hallmarks.
To satisfy the Humanities (DH) area requirement, at least two-thirds of a course
- uses the terminology of historical, philosophical, language, or religious studies;
- involves texts, artifacts, concepts, processes, theories, or issues of concern in these studies;
- demonstrates inquiry that involves the methods of study, reflection, evidence‑gathering, and argumentation that are employed in these studies.
Explanatory Notes: DH Hallmarks
The Humanities category covers a broad range of disciplines and styles of inquiry. Courses that study culture, history, or ethics by examining texts, documents, or film typically qualify for the DH designation.
Occasionally, overlaps can be problematic. A literature studies course, for example, may be DH, DL, or neither. Courses that study film as a representation of culture typically qualify as DH; courses that study film as text typically qualify as DL; courses in which film production and creation are goals typically qualify as DA.
To satisfy the Literatures (DL) area requirement, at least two-thirds of a course
- uses the terminology of literary and/or cultural analysis;
- involves the study of texts, concepts, forms, figures, styles, tonalities, processes, theories, or issues relating to literary and/or cultural analysis;
- demonstrates inquiry that is guided by qualitative, argumentative, and/or quantitative methods employed in literary and/or cultural analysis.
Explanatory Notes: DL Hallmarks
The focus of the Literatures (DL) category is the reading, study, and examination of all types of literary works as text. Often the word “literature” is included in the course title.
Departments should consider whether the Arts (DA) category is more appropriate if the course focus involves creative writing. Departments should consider the Humanities (DH) category if two thirds of the course content focuses on cultures, or consider the Social Sciences (DS) category if two thirds of the course focuses on societal analysis or impact. Courses that study film as text typically qualify as DL; courses that study film as a representation of culture typically qualify as DH; courses in which film production and creation are goals typically qualify as DA.
+ Social Sciences (DS)
Students must take 6 credits, from 2 different departments
To satisfy the Social Sciences (DS) requirement, at least two-thirds of a course
- uses the terminology of theories, structures, or processes in the social or psychological sciences;
- involves concepts, models, practices, or issues of concern in the scientific study of these theories, structures, or processes;
- demonstrates inquiry that is guided by quantitative and/or qualitative methods employed in the scientific study of structures or processes of these sciences.
Explanatory Notes: DS Hallmarks
Courses in the Social Sciences (DS) category examine the behavior and interactions of people within societies, and interactions between societies. Students in DS courses are introduced to social science concepts and theories that explain such behavior and interactions at levels that range from the individual to the social structure. DS courses introduce students to methods such as interviews, observation, surveys, experiments, and literature reviews.
Courses that study culture by examining existing texts, documents, or film may better fit in the Humanities category (DH); a historical survey of societal development is typically classified as DH; courses that focus on, e.g., poems, speeches, or songs may better fit in the Literatures category (DL).
+ Natural Sciences (DB, DP, DY)
Students must take 7 credits (3 credits biological, 3 credits physical, plus 1 lab credit)
To satisfy the Biological Science (DB) requirement, at least two-thirds of a course
- uses the terminology of the biological sciences;
- involves knowledge and theories relating to processes in the biological sciences;
- demonstrates inquiry that is guided by observation/experiment and reasoning/mathematics.
To satisfy the Physical Science (DP) requirement, at least two-thirds of a course
- uses the terminology of the physical sciences;
- involves knowledge and theories relating to processes in the physical sciences;
- demonstrates inquiry that involves observation/experiment and reasoning and mathematics.
To satisfy the Laboratory (DY) requirement, at least two-thirds of a course
- uses the laboratory methods of the biological or physical sciences;
- involves processes and issues of design, testing, and measurement;
- demonstrates the strengths and limitations of the scientific method.
Explanatory Notes: DB, DP, and DY Hallmarks
For courses that are multidisciplinary (e.g., “Biochemistry”), an instructor must ensure that 2/3 of the course content covers either DP or DB for the course to merit a designation.
In order to design laboratory courses for DY (Science Laboratory) designation, the course must employ laboratory methods of the biological or physical sciences and ensure that students are introduced to a variety of quantitative approaches as well as to processes and issues of design, testing, and measurement.
Courses offering students the opportunity to learn the use of a software program or analytical instrument are considered practica and thus are not eligible for DY designation, even though the instructor envisions application of the software/instrument to the solution of a variety of science problems. Such course content is not sufficient for DY designation.