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The Diversification requirement is intended to assure that every student has a broad exposure to different domains of academic knowledge, while at the same time allowing flexibility for students with different goals and interests. Courses are offered at the 100- to 400-level and in several different colleges/schools. Most students start taking Diversification courses during their first year and complete the Diversification requirement during their junior or senior year.

A strength of the UHM curriculum is that students can extend their General Education over the full four years of their academic program. Thus, students may meet the Diversification requirement by taking any course in the specified area–lower- and upper-division courses, and among courses that meet Focus or Major requirements.

Requirement

Arts, Humanities, & Literatures 6 credits, from 2 areas
Social Sciences 6 credits, from 2 different departments
Biological Sciences 3 credits
Physical Sciences 3 credits
Science Laboratory 1 credit

Arts, Humanities, and Literatures

6 credits, from 2 of these areas

Arts (DA*)
Humanities (DH*)
Literatures (DL*)

To satisfy the Arts area (DA) requirement, at least two-thirds of a course

  1. uses the definitions, descriptions, and terminology of the visual arts, performing arts, or other creative arts;
  2. emphasizes the acquisition of practical and theoretical skills necessary to produce visual, performing, or other creative arts for primarily aesthetic purposes;
  3. develops creative abilities in which artistic conventions are applied and originality is sought.

To satisfy the Humanities area (DH) requirement, at least two-thirds of a course

  1. uses the terminology of historical, philosophical, language or religious studies;
  2. involves texts, artifacts, concepts, processes, theories or issues of concern in these studies;
  3. demonstrates inquiry that involves the methods of study, reflection, evidence-gathering, and argumentation that are employed in these studies.

To satisfy the Literatures area (DL) requirement, at least two-thirds of a course

  1. uses the terminology of literary and/or cultural analysis;
  2. involves the study of texts, concepts, forms, figures, styles, tonalities, processes, theories, or issues relating to literary and/or cultural analysis;
  3. demonstrates inquiry that is guided by qualitative, argumentative, and/or quantitative methods employed in literary and/or cultural analysis.

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

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.

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

From two different departments (DS*)    6 credits

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

Biological Sciences (DB*)    3 credits
Physical Sciences (DP*)    3 credits
Science Laboratory (DY*)    1 credit

Natural Sciences: 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 noteligible 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.

Approved UHM Courses

In the Catalog, approved Diversification courses are indicated by the appropriate letter code after the course description. The Diversification designation also appears in the Class Availability website.

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