Double Use of General Education Courses - Policy Clarification

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Double Use of General Education Courses - Policy Clarification

To: All Faculty and Academic Advisors


Jennifer Ricketts, Chair, University-wide General Education Committee; Gail Burd, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Celeste Pardee, Assistant Director for Academic Policies/Organizations

Subject: Double Use of General Education Courses - Policy Clarification

Date: April 25, 2016

In Fall 2015 it was brought to the attention of the University-wide General Education Committee (UWGEC) that several degree programs include a Tier One or Tier Two course in the pre-major, as listed on the Major Academic Advisement Reports. Upon admission to the major, the students who took those courses while in the pre-major are then double-dipping one or more General Education courses with the major—contrary to policy. The UWGEC clarified that when the General Education Double Use Policy was approved many years ago, the Committee's statement regarding double dipping only mentioned "majors and minors" because: (1) few programs included pre-majors, and (2) Tier One courses had prefixes that were clearly inappropriate for a pre-major or major (i.e., INDV, NATS, TRAD). With the change in Tier One course prefixes, several departments have added 100- and 200-level Tier One/Two courses to their preparatory course work or "pre-major," which becomes part of the major once students are admitted. 

Use of General Education courses in another degree component was never intended. General Education is designed to add interdisciplinary breadth to a student’s academic program, not to overlap the major or minor. The UWGEC has not changed the double-use policy but has clarified that policies/regulations that apply to the major also apply to the pre-major. See the amended Catalog statement below.

Double Use of General Education Courses, the policy was clarified by inserting "pre-major":  

Courses used to fulfill the University-wide General Education Foundations, Tier One or Tier Two Requirements may not apply to a major, pre-major or minor, with the following exceptions:

Any Math or statistics course at or above the level of Calculus I (MATH 113, 122A/B, 124 or 125) may also apply to a major or minor.

The two higher level courses taken to satisfy the fourth-semester skill level of the Second Language Requirement for a B.A. degree may also apply to a major or minor.

A maximum of two Tier Two courses may also be used to satisfy the minor requirements.

Students should check with their major and minor academic advisors for clarification on the double use of any courses within their primary and secondary majors or minors and the double use of any courses between two degree programs.

Management of the policy clarification:

Department curriculum committees should check the Major Academic Advisement Reports and remove any Tier One/Two courses from their major and pre-major requirements and electives.

The UAccess-Student system should be configured to restrict double-dipping of Tier One/Two courses while the student is in a pre-major, but to "release" those Tier One/Two courses for General Education if the student is NOT admitted to that major.

Current students who are under the impression that a Tier One/Two course they are currently taking (or have previously taken) for a pre-major will fulfill both requirements should NOT be negatively impacted by this policy clarification. Therefore, the configuration of the UAccess-Student system should be effective for incoming students in the 2016-17 Catalog.

Questions about the General Education Double Use Policy should be addressed to the UWGEC via Celeste Pardee, Curricular Affairs, at 520-621-5375, or

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