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    University of California Merced
   
 
  Aug 16, 2017
 
 
    
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2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education


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General Education

What is general education? All universities aspire to educate the whole student. General education provides you with the practical skills and diverse knowledge base that you will need to become an informed citizen and a good problem solver after graduation. You will be entering the workplace in an era of rapid change; your future career may ultimately be in a field that doesn’t exist today. Through general education, you will craft for yourself the tools that will let you continue to grow in a world that demands lifelong learning for success.

General education at UC Merced will help you grow intellectually by:

  • Strengthening your abilities in quantitative reasoning and written, oral and other communication skills; and
  • Introducing and teaching you to integrate broad domains of knowledge: arts and humanities, social and cognitive sciences, natural sciences, and technologies and engineering methods.

Throughout your undergraduate years, UC Merced’s general education program will assist you to fine-tune your ability to communicate through words, numbers, images, and actions, and will enable you to discover the many ways in which knowledge is created and put to good use.

General education at UC Merced places a high premium on demonstrating the ways in which different disciplines can make connections with each other. There also will be an emphasis on practicing and applying what you are learning in the classroom—an educational value also reflected in the undergraduate majors at UC Merced.

The faculty has created a set of principles that embody the kinds of learning to be achieved through general education at UC Merced. You will encounter these principles in action through CORE 001 , a unique opportunity for all UC Merced first-year students to share a common exploration of the issues that will affect your future.

Guiding Principles for General Education at UC Merced

UC Merced’s educational experiences are designed to prepare well educated people of the 21st century for the workplace, for advanced education and for a leadership role within their communities. UC Merced graduates will be exceptionally well prepared to navigate and succeed in a complex world. The principles guiding the design and implementation of our academic program are envisioned within a continuum that ranges from preparatory and advanced curricula in general education and in the majors, through a variety of educational activities inside and outside the classroom.

All UC Merced graduates will reflect these principles, which provide the foundation for their education:

  • Scientific Literacy: To have a functional understanding of scientific, technological and quantitative information, and to know both how to interpret scientific information and effectively apply quantitative tools;
  • Decision Making: To appreciate the various and diverse factors bearing on decisions and the know-how to assemble, evaluate, interpret and use information effectively for critical analysis and problem solving;
  • Communication: To convey information to and communicate and interact effectively with multiple audiences, using advanced skills in written and other modes of communication;
  • Self and Society: To understand and value diverse perspectives in both the global and community contexts of modern society in order to work knowledgeably and effectively in an ethnically and culturally rich setting;
  • Ethics and Responsibility: To follow ethical practices in their professions and communities, and care for future generations through sustainable living and environmental and societal responsibility;
  • Leadership and Teamwork: To work effectively in both leadership and team roles, capably making connections and integrating their expertise with the expertise of others;
  • Aesthetic Understanding and Creativity: To appreciate and be knowledgeable about human creative expression, including literature and the arts; and
  • Development of Personal Potential: To be responsible for achieving the full promise of their abilities, including psychological and physical well-being.

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General Education Requirements

The UC Merced general education program consists of courses that are informed by the Guiding Principles and that meet the following graduation requirements:

  • University requirements,
  • Campus requirements, and
  • School requirements.

In consultation with faculty, with advisors in the Bright Success Center, and with advisors in your School, you should keep track of your progress in fulfilling university, campus and school requirements for general education.

A. University Requirements

  • University of California Entry Level Writing Requirement
  • University of California American History and Institutions Requirement
University of California Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR)/Analytical Writing Placement Exam

To succeed at UC Merced, you must be able to understand and to respond adequately to written material typical of reading assignments in freshman courses, including being able to structure and develop an essay that uses written English effectively. Students must satisfy the ELWR requirement by the end of the second semester of enrollment at UC Merced. Failure to complete this requirement in the time allowed will result in a hold on a student’s registration. For more information about the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) for all UC-Admitted freshman see www.ucop.edu/elwr/.

The University offers the University of California Analytical Writing Placement Exam each spring on the second Saturday in May at test centers throughout the state for students who plan to enroll in the University the following fall. California residents who will enter the University as freshmen must take the exam if they have not otherwise satisfied the requirement (by one of the methods listed above). Students must pay a nonrefundable fee to cover test administration costs. Students who received admission application fee waivers will automatically have this fee waived. Admitted freshmen will receive detailed information about the exam in April. Students who are not from California may take an equivalent exam in the fall after enrolling at the University.

Comprehensive information about the University of California Entry Level Writing Requirement and Analytical Writing Placement Exam is available at www.ucop.edu/elwr/index.html.

University of California American History and Institutions Requirement

As a candidate for an undergraduate degree at UC Merced, you need to demonstrate knowledge of American history and of the principles of American institutions under the federal and state constitutions.

You may meet the requirement by completing specific courses or earning a certain score on an examination. Transfer students are urged to complete the requirement before they enroll.

You may satisfy both the American History and American Institutions requirements in the following ways: 

  • Complete in high school one year of United States history with grades of C or better, or one semester of United States history and one semester of United States government with grades of C or better;
  • Achieve a score of 3, 4 or 5 on the College Board Advanced Placement Examination in U.S. History;
  • Achieve a score of 550 or better on the SAT II: U.S. History test;
  • Complete acceptable course work at a community college or other accredited institution; or
  • Complete acceptable course work at UC Merced (both HIST 016  and HIST 017 ).

B. Campus Requirements

  • One-semester CORE Course
  • Lower division writing course
  • College-level mathematics/quantitative reasoning course
The World at Home—Planning for the Future in a Complex World

The CORE Course is future-oriented, striving to help students gain the intellectual tools, knowledge and insights they will need as informed citizens devising future solutions to real-life problems. The UC Merced CORE Course aims to understand the world at large as it is reflected in the world at home—California. By examining, for example, the local evidence of global problems, you will begin to grapple with the issues that will affect you personally and professionally.

CORE 001  is a first year course that will pose a set of questions as they are framed by the various domains of human knowledge known as the disciplines. In CORE 001 , UC Merced faculty will introduce you to how their disciplines define the challenges faced by informed citizens of this new century.

For example:

  • Can advances in technology mitigate the effects of burgeoning populations and resource depletion?
  • How will a changing climate affect the future migration of human populations?
  • How do citizens decide among conflicting ethical choices, each with a compelling claim?

Faculty from all three Schools will join together to show how such complex questions might best be probed through connecting the insights of their disciplines.

In the CORE Course, you will:

  • work together in groups on joint projects or problems to build your leadership and teamwork abilities;
  • learn to think analytically and communicate effectively in the context of problems affecting your lives and futures; and
  • use quantitative methods as well as ethical judgment to make decisions and defend those decisions to your peers;

    A grade of C- or better is required to pass CORE 001 .
CORE Friday

The CORE Course is a unique way to introduce you to how the disciplines understand problems and devise tools to grapple with them. Faculty from all three schools—Natural Sciences, Engineering, and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts—challenge freshmen to think about ways that academic disciplines connect or debate with one another. CORE Friday is part of what makes CORE 001  unique. CORE Friday events round out the week’s lectures and discussions with a film, documentary, panel discussion, theatrical production or distinguished speaker. CORE Friday programming illuminates ideas presented during the CORE 001  lectures for the week, as well as alternative views.

Lower Division Writing Course

Analytical writing is a means for understanding better what you are learning and conveying your ideas to different audiences: your instructors, your fellow students and people outside the university. The lower division writing requirement will start you on a path of writing development that will continue through your four years at UC Merced.

WRI 010: College Reading and Composition

This course  is designed to help you develop your college-level skills in effective use of language, analysis and argumentation, organization, and strategies for creation, revision and editing. It must be completed during your freshman or sophomore year.

Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning

All students will take a college-level mathematics/quantitative reasoning course. For some of you, mathematics and statistics will be an essential tool for mastering a field in depth. For others, you will build your ability to understand how quantitative methods are applied in society to support arguments and solve problems. A variety of courses will be available to meet this requirement, based on your field of interest. Check the requirements of the major that interests you, in the School section of the catalog, for information on courses that satisfy Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning.

C. School Requirements

The School of Engineering , School of Natural Sciences , and School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts  each have a set of general education requirements to be completed if you choose a major offered by that School. School requirements include courses to help you build the collateral knowledge and skills you will need in order to succeed in your major. School requirements also include courses to help you understand the broad domains of knowledge.


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For Transfer Students: Satisfying General Education

In addition to meeting the transfer admissions requirements described in the Undergraduate Admissions  section of this Catalog, transfer students should complete an acceptable general education course pattern and preparatory courses for the intended major, prior to transfer. Successful completion of general education and major preparation will assure that you do not need to take any additional lower division courses at UC Merced. For detailed information on how transfer students can satisfy lower division general education and major preparation requirements, see the Catalog section of the School that offers your intended major.

Please note the following: California Community College transfer students who complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) satisfy all lower division general education requirements at UC Merced. For further details, see the Catalog section of the School that offers your intended major. Transfer students from other University of California campuses who have completed lower division general education requirements at the UC campus have satisfied lower division general education requirements at UC Merced.


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Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Examinations

The University awards credit for successful completion of the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations (IB). Students must have official test score reports sent directly from the testing service to UC Merced to receive credit. Students will meet with advising staff during New Student Orientation to discuss which courses or requirements they may have satisfied based on transfer credit for scores in these examinations.

Potential Duplication of Credit for AP and IB Exams

Credit will be granted for either the AP or IB examinations in any one subject area. College courses taken prior to or after enrolling at the university may duplicate the content of AP or IB examinations. The following chart provides guidelines used for awarding units (elective credit) and exemptions for degree requirements. Students who choose to take a course at UC Merced from which they are otherwise exempt will receive credit for the UCM course but not the units for the exam.

Credit for AP Exams

UC Merced grants elective credit for all College Board AP examinations on which a student scores 3 or higher. Some examinations passed with scores of 3 or higher may award exemptions for degree requirements. The number of elective units awarded for each examination can be viewed on the chart in this section.

Placement into level 2 language courses at UC Merced will be granted for Advanced Placement (AP) exams with score 2:  Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish Language. Unit credit will not be awarded.

AP SUBJECT CREDIT

UNITS

COURSE EXEMPTIONS AND GENERAL EDUCATION

AP Studio Art: Drawing*

5.3

Score 4 or 5 on Drawing exempts one (1) course in ARTS.

AP Studio Art: 2-D Design*

5.3

Score 4 or 5 on 2-D Design exempts one (1) course in ARTS.

AP Studio Art:  3-D Design*

5.3

Score 4 or 5 on 3-D Design exempts one (1) course in ARTS.

 

 

*Unit credit limit for all AP Studio Art exams: 5.3.

AP Art History

5.3

Score 4 or 5 exempts one (1) course in GASP.

AP Biology

5.3

Score 4 or 5 exempts BIO 001  and BIO 001L .

AP Chemistry

 

5.3

 

Score 3 or above exempts Chemistry Placement Exam.

Score 4 or 5 exempts CHEM 002 .

AP Computer Science: Comp Science A

 

1.3

 

Score 3 exempts CSE 020 .

Score of 4 or 5 exempts CSE 020  and CSE 021 .

AP Economics: Macroeconomics

2.7

Score 4 or 5 on both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics exempts ECON 001 .

AP Economics: Microeconomics

2.7

Score 4 or 5 on both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics exempts ECON 001 .

AP English: Language/Composition

 

5.3

 

Score 4 or 5 Lang/Comp exempts WRI 010 .

Score 3 or above exempts WRI 001  and Entry Level Writing Requirement.

AP English: Literature/Composition

 

5.3

 

Score 4 or 5 Lit/Comp exempts one ENG course (10-49) for the ENG major or ENG minor.

Score 3 or above exempts WRI 001  and Entry Level Writing Requirement.

 

 

Unit credit limit for both AP English exams: 5.3.

AP Environmental Sciences

2.7

Score of 4 or 5 exempts ESS 001 .

AP Government and Politics: United States

2.7

Score 4 or 5 exempts POLI 001 .

AP Government and Politics: Comparative

2.7

Score 4 or 5 exempts POLI 003 .

AP History: European History

5.3

Score 4 or 5 exempts two of the following courses: HIST 030A , HIST 030B , or HIST 031 .

AP History: US History

5.3

Score 4 or 5 exempts HIST 016  and HIST 017 .

AP History: World History

5.3

Score 4 or 5 exempts HIST 010  and HIST 011 .

AP Human Geography

2.7

No course exemption.

AP Language Other Than English: Chinese Language and Culture

 

5.3

 

Score 5 on AP Chinese Language and Culture exempts CHN 004 .

Score 3 or higher fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

AP Language Other Than English: French Language and Culture

 

5.3

 

Score 5 on AP French Language and Culture exempts FRE 004 .

Score 3 or higher fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

AP Language Other Than English: German Language and Culture

5.3

Score 3 or higher on AP German Language and Culture fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

AP Language Other Than English: Italian Language and Culture

5.3

Score 3 or higher on AP Italian Language and Culture fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

AP Language Other Than English: Japanese Language and Culture

 

5.3

 

Score 5 on AP Japanese Language and Culture exempts JPN 004 .

Score 3 or higher fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

AP Language Other Than English: Spanish Language and Culture

 

5.3

 

Score 5 on AP Spanish Language and Culture exempts SPAN 004  or SPAN 011 .

Score 3 fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

AP Language Other Than English: Spanish Literature and Culture

 

5.3

 

Score 4 or 5 on AP Spanish Literature and Culture exempts SPAN 004  or SPAN 011 . Also exempts SPAN 050  and SPAN 051 .

Score 3 fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

AP Latin

5.3

 No course exemption.

AP Mathematics: Calculus AB#

 

2.7

 

Score 3 or higher on Calculus AB exempts Math Placement Exam and SSHA’s Quantitative Reasoning Requirement.

Score 4 or 5 exempts MATH 011  or MATH 021 .

AP Mathematics: Calculus BC#

 

5.3

 

Score 3 or higher on Calculus BC exempts Math Placement Exam, SSHA’s Quantitative Reasoning Requirement, and MATH 011  or MATH 021 .

Score 4 or 5 on Calculus BC exempts MATH 011  and MATH 012  OR MATH 021  and MATH 022 .

AP Mathematics: Calculus BC Subscore AB#

2.7

Score 3 or higher on Calculus BC Subscore AB exempts Math Placement Exam, SSHA’s Quantitative Reasoning Requirement, and MATH 011  or MATH 021 .

 

 

#Unit credit limit for all AP Mathematics exams: 5.3.

AP Music Theory

5.3

No course exemption. (Students who earn only a subscore will not receive exam credit.)

AP Physics: Physics 1+

5.3

No course exemption.

AP Physics: Physics 2+ 5.3

No course exemption.

AP Physics: Physics C: Mechanics+

2.7

Score 5 exempts PHYS 008  or PHYS 018 .

AP Physics: Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism+

2.7

No course exemption.

 

 

+Unit credit limit for all three AP Physics exams: 5.3

AP Psychology

2.7

Score 4 or 5 exempts PSY 001 .

AP Statistics

 

2.7

 

Score 4 exempts MATH 018  or SSHA’s Quantitative Reasoning Requirement (PSY 010 ).

Score 5 exempts ECON 010  or POLI 010 .

Credit for IB Exams

UC Merced grants 5.3 semester units of elective credit for International Baccalaureate Individual Certificate subject Higher-Level exams with grades of 5, 6, or 7. All exams must be at the Higher Level (HL) for unit credit.  Unit credit is also granted for Higher Level category B exams in languages other than English. The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) awards either a diploma or a certificate for individual IB exams. Students completing the IB diploma with a score of 30 or above will receive a total of 20 semester units of credit toward their UC Merced undergraduate degree.  

Course exemptions already designated for UC Merced can be viewed on the chart in this section. Additional exams for which UC Merced will award elective units include: Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Biology, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Business and Management, Catalan, Chemistry, Computer Science, Croatian, Czech, Dance, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Filipino, Film, Finnish, Further Mathematics, Geography, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, History of Africa, History of the Americas, History of Southeast Asia & Oceania, History of Europe & The Islamic World, History of Europe & The Middle East, World History, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Language B: Language and Literature, Language B: Literature, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Norwegian, Persian, Philosophy, Physics, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sesotho, Sinhalese, Siswati, Slovak, Slovene, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh.

IBH SUBJECT CREDIT

UNITS

COURSE EXEMPTIONS AND GENERAL EDUCATION

IBH Anthropology 5.3

Score 6 or 7 exempts ANTH 001 .

IBH Computer Science

 

5.3

 

Score 5 exempts CSE 020 .

Score 6 or 7 exempts CSE 020  and CSE 021 .

IBH Economics

5.3

Score 6 or 7 exempts ECON 001 .

IBH History 5.3

Score 6 or 7 exempts one (1) lower division history sequence.

IBH Language A: Literature (English)

or

IBH Language A: Language and Literature (English)

 

5.3

 

 

Score 5 or above satisfies WRI 001  and Entry Level Writing Requirement.

Score 6 or 7 exempts WRI 010 .

IBH Language: Chinese

 

5.3

 

Score 6 or 7 on IBH Chinese exempts CHN 004 .

Score 5 or higher fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

IBH Language: French

 

5.3

 

Score 6 or 7 on IBH French exempts FRE 004 .

Score 5 or higher fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

IBH Language: German

5.3

Score 5 or higher on IBH German fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

IBH Language: Japanese

 

5.3

 

Score 6 or 7 on IBH Japanese exempts JPN 004 .

Score 5 or higher fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

IBH Language: Spanish

 

5.3

 

Score 6 or 7 on IBH Spanish exempts SPAN 004  and fulfills Spanish language requirement for those majoring in Spanish.

Score 5 or higher on IBH Spanish fulfills the foreign language requirement for those majoring in History or English.

IBH Mathematics

 

 5.3

 

Score 5 exempts MATH 011 .

Score 6 or higher exempts MATH 021 .

IBH Music

5.3

Score 6 or 7 exempts one (1) GE course in ARTS.

IBH Psychology

5.3

Score 6 or 7 exempts PSY 001 .

IBH Theater Arts

5.3

Score 5 or above exempts one (1) GE course in ARTS.

IBH Visual Arts

5.3

One (1) course in ARTS.

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The Karen Merritt Writing Program


The Karen Merritt Writing Program is charged with carrying out the university’s mission “to convey information to and communicate and interact effectively with multiple audiences, using advanced skills in written and other modes of communication” (Guiding Principles for General Education at UC Merced).

The Karen Merritt Writing Program offers an array of courses in which students explore the art of critical thinking, craft their written expression, and address a variety of issues and audiences.

Students learn to use language actively, inventively, and responsibly by exchanging their work at all stages of their writing process while building cumulative portfolios. The faculty’s interdisciplinary approach to writing offers students the opportunity to reflect broadly on their college education as well as to consider a range of pre-professional and academic opportunities.

Writing classes generally feature about twenty students per section; teacher-student conferences; frequent written and verbal feedback on writing and ideas; interdisciplinary teaching, ranging from scientific literacy to aesthetic appreciation; conversational and collaborative in-class projects; portfolio projects that emphasize process and product in writing; and detailed assessment of student learning and teaching effectiveness. For more details, please visit writingprogram.ucmerced.edu.

Writing Program Learning Outcomes


After completing the Writing Minor curriculum, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate engagement with the multi-stage processes of critical reading, formal writing, and public speaking.
  2. Select and apply the appropriate conventions of personal, academic, or professional forms of expression.
  3. Synthesize diverse perspectives through collaboration in academic discourse communities.
  4. Craft language that reveals aesthetic awareness.
  5. Apply professional ethical standards to the research process and its public representation.