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The Nature of Theme Courses

Structure of Themes

A theme consists of three interrelated courses on the same topic, one from each of the areas: Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences and Mathematics). Students are thereby provided with the perspectives of at least three different disciplines on the theme's topic. Theme courses are 4 units each. Each of the three areas in a theme includes at least 2 courses and not more than 4 courses.

Alternatively, a theme may be a 12-unit interdisciplinary course sequence with substantially equal emphasis in the three areas above, integrating at least three disciplinary perspectives into the course work.

When considered together courses must have a coherent rationale. Thus, regardless of students' course choices, both a common topic and course interrelatedness is evident throughout the students' theme course.

There should be no more than eight themes.

Structure of Themes

Theme topics must be of current, enduring, and significant importance for humanity.

Topics must reflect the University's mission and goals for General Education: they must, for example, lend themselves to promoting: (a) an understanding of oneself and one's fellow human beings, the social and physical environment, and a wide range of cultural achievements; (b) an understanding of the shared concerns of all people as well as diverse cultural heritages; (c) an awareness of ethical and social concerns and a cultivation of moral responsibility.

Themes with suitable subject matter may be designated "diversity themes" if all courses in at least two areas of the theme meet the standards for "diversity courses" set forth in section V. Students completing a diversity theme will have met the diversity requirement of General Education.

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Last Update: 7/18/2008