Build a More Inclusive Community

Explore development of undergraduate requirement on human difference

The faculty of Arts and Sciences will develop and consider, through usual faculty governance processes, a proposal for the creation of a general education requirement on human difference. 

Accountability: 
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Work Group Recommendations: 

The student working group on diversity recommended the creation of both curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students to explore the facets of human difference. 

On the curricular side, the group suggested a variety of options, including: 

  • Creat a diversity course in first year, repurposing the first year seminar
  • Recruit diversity thought-leaders to campus
  • Add diversity- and inclusion-related questions to course evaluations
  • Create a pre-matriculation common core course for skill building in writing, math, study skills, personal finance, and communication
  • Offer a diversity and leadership course through Tuck for MBA students and undergraduates
  • Require undergraduates to complete senior thesis or culminating project 
Progress/Status: 

As part of its revision of the general education requirements, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences approved in Spring, 2016, the replacement of the trio of world cultures requirements with a single course on Theories of Human Differences. At the May 7, 2018 Faculty of Arts and Sciences meeting, the following description for the  requirement was approved. This new requirement, (designed to compliment other required Humanities courses  that explore our common humanity), was to be implemented for the classes of 2022 and later, provided all courses submitted for this requirement were reviewed in AY 2019 by the Committee on Instruction. This latter process, along with other implementation difficulties of the larger curriculum reform of which this was a part, proved to be far more cumbersome than projected. In Fall 2018, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted to rescind the entire reform, and begin anew discussions on how best to achieve the desired outcomes in a less unweildly and complex manner. The status of this new curricular requirement is currently on hold awaiting this broader re-examination of curriculuar reform by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

World Culture Requirment: Theories of Human Differences (one course) THD: Human differences are evident whenever and wherever people feel themselves to be different or are treated as such by others. Each course that meets this requirement has two objectives: first, to provide and in-depth understanding of some aspect of human difference, such as culture, history, geography, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, sexuality; and second, to engage in a systematic discussion and evaluation of relevant theories of human differences that enable students not only to see and understand differences that they might not otherwise recognize, but also to account for such differences in ways that both respect them and work to explain them. Such courses may have a single or comparative focus, but they all involve explicit considerations of theories and methods that enable students to think more systematically and critically about human differences.

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