Sep 19, 2019  
2019-2020 Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Catalog

General Education


Phone: 209-228-7951
Web: ue.ucmerced.edu

UC Merced’s General Education program will engage you with the values, practices and contributions of a research university, which provide a framework for integrative learning. We do this within the context of the culturally and economically diverse Central Valley. In tandem with the major and the co-curriculum, General Education supports your development of the Hallmarks of the Baccalaureate degree. It nurtures the spirit of critical inquiry, building your knowledge of various fields, cultures, and perspectives. General education fosters collaboration, communication, and ethical action. It empowers you to share your learning and skills to address the local and global challenges of an interconnected, changing world.

University of California 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 first year 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 first year students see ucop.edu/elwr/.

Students can meet this requirement by scoring:

  • 30 or better on the ACT, English Language Arts; or
  • 30 or better on the ACT, Combined English/Writing (last administered June 2015); or
  • 680 or better on the SAT, Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing*; or
  • 680 or better on the SAT Reasoning Test, Writing (last administered January 2016); or
  • 3 or above on either Advanced Placement Examination in English; or
  • 5 or above on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Higher Level English A1 exam); or
  • 6 or above on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Literature exam (formerly known as Standard Level English A1 exam); or
  • 5 or above on an International Baccalaureate Higher Level English A: Language and Literature exam; or
  • 6 or above on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A: Language and Literature exam

* UC is accepting a score of 680 or better on the SAT, Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing to satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement on a pilot basis, beginning with new students entering UC in Fall 2018. The pilot will remain in effect until a new policy is adopted by the Academic Senate.

The requirement can also be met by earning a grade of C or higher in an acceptable English composition course offered by a college or university.

Analytical Writing Placement Exam

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 ucop.edu/elwr/.

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).


General Education Requirements


Courses must be taken for a letter grade and may not be taken on a pass/no pass basis unless the course is only offered on a pass/no pass basis. You must complete all courses with a C- or better. With the exception of Spark Seminar, lower and upper division common course requirements may be shared with your major, concentration, or minor requirements. They can also be shared with the Intellectual Experience Badges. All courses will include a project that can be uploaded to your ePortfolio.

Lower Division Common Course Requirements


I. Spark Seminar


The Spark Seminar introduces first-year students to life at a research university. It asks you to focus on the nature of inquiry by exploring a particular topic over the course of the semester, engaging with campus and local resources, generating research questions, and presenting original ideas in writing and other forms of communication. Spark seminars may be taken concurrently with either WRI 001  or WRI 010 

The Spark Seminar must be completed with a C- or better, prior to the start of the third regular (Fall/Spring) semester. Students may enroll in Spark Seminar either the Summer before or after their first year, subject to course availability.

II. Written Communication


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.

III. Quantitative Reasoning


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.

IV. Language


The study of language exposes you to different ways of structuring thought. You can complete the language requirement one of four ways:

  1. Coursework: Complete one of the following courses.
  2. Campus based test: Passing the campus-administered Foreign Language test demonstrating proficiency equivalent of one year of college foreign language.
  3. Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate Exams: Earning appropriate scores on an AP/IB Exam.
    • Score of 3, 4 or 5 on one of the following College Board AP exams: Chinese Language and Culture, French Language and Culture, German Language and Culture, Italian Language and Culture, Japanese Language and Culture, and Spanish Language and Culture; or
    • Score of 5, 6 or 7 on one of the Higher Level IB exam in a foreign language or literature; or
    • Score of 3, 4 or 5 on the College Board AP Exam in Computer Science A
  4. High School Coursework: Completing the third year of one language in high school with a course GPA of at least C.

Upper Division Common Course Requirements


I. Crossroads Course


Like the Spark Seminar, the Crossroads course will focus on a specific topic but from an interdisciplinary perspective. It emphasizes different, yet complementary, disciplinary approaches, methods, and assumptions, and provides you with an opportunity for research and analysis.

A complete list of courses that satisfy this requirement can be found here. 

II. Writing in the Discipline


This upper division requirement can be satisfied either with a designated writing course or a writing-intensive course in the major. The focus is on how to write for a particular field. A one-credit lab course attached to another course may also satisfy this requirement if the primary focus of the lab is writing.

A complete list of courses that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

III. Culminating Experience


Intended to be completed as part of your major, the Culminating Experience requirement may be fulfilled through a traditional capstone course, senior or advanced seminar, service-learning course, portfolio, or other methods your faculty choose to integrate learning in the program.

A complete list of courses that satisfy this requirement can be found here.   

Approaches to Knowledge


Courses in this area introduce you to the different ways disciplines (and broad branches of knowledge) ask questions and think about the world. The Approaches to Knowledge requirement is divided into two areas: Area A and Area B. You are required to take three courses in each area, for a total of six courses. These courses are intended to also count towards major requirements.

I. AREA A: Natural and Engineering Science


You must take three courses in the area of Natural and Engineering Science. At least one course must be from Natural Sciences and one course must be from Engineering Sciences.

A complete list of courses that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

II. AREA B: Social Science, Arts and Humanities


You must take three courses in the area of Social Science, Arts and Humanities. At least one course must be from Social Science and one course must be from Arts and Humanities.

A complete list of courses and experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here.   

Intellectual Experience Badges


These required Badges can be achieved in courses, including required Quantitative Reasoning, Language, Crossroads, Writing in the Discipline, and Integrative Culminating Experience General Education courses. They can also be achieved in Approaches to Knowledge courses, courses in the major, minor and elective courses. In addition, these Intellectual Experience Badges can be fulfilled in the co-curriculum. Courses and co-curricular activities can be used to satisfy more than one Intellectual Experiences Badges, but not more than two.

To emphasize the ways GE is part of the entire curriculum, at least three of the courses used to fulfill Intellectual Experience Badges must be upper division. The Crossroads course and the Integrative Culminating Experience in the major satisfy two of these upper division requirements.

Courses taken to achieve Badges must be taken for a letter grade and may not be taken on a pass/no pass basis unless the course is only offered on a pass/no pass basis. You must complete all courses with a C-or better. Similarly, all co-curricular experiences must be successfully completed to satisfy the Badge. All courses and co-curricular experiences will include a project that can be uploaded to your ePortfolio.

The required Intellectual Experiences are:

1. Scientific Method


Learn how the scientific method leads to new knowledge about the natural world by collecting and integrating previous knowledge using empirical evidence.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here .

2. Literary and Textual Analysis


Learn how language creates meaning and ambiguity.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here .

3. Media and Visual Analysis


Explore how media and images create, shape, and express meaning.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

4. Quantitative and Numerical Analysis


Evaluate data and develop quantitative reasoning skills.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

5. Societies and Cultures of the Past


Explore the interactions between multiple dimensions of past societies.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

6. Diversity and Identity


Consider how multiple kinds of difference—ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual—impact individuals and societies in the past and present.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

7. Global Awareness


Learn about environments, cultures, and issues in nations and regions outside the US.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

8. Sustainability


Explore the ways in which humans affect and are affected by the natural world.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

9. Practical and Applied Knowledge


Carry out field work, laboratory experimentation, or artistic practice.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

10. Ethics


Investigate the ethical implications of research, policy, or behavior.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

11. Leadership, Community, and Engaging the World


Take your work at UC Merced off the campus in one of multiple ways: you may engage in at least one of a variety of experiences including study abroad, UCDC, UC Sacramento, leadership in campus organization, community engaged research or service, or off-campus internships.

A complete list of experiences that satisfy this requirement can be found here.  

ePortfolio


To keep track of your learning, you will compile an ePortfolio. The purpose of the ePortfolio (which is part of CatCourses) is to give you a chance to review the development of your education. Every course that meets a GE requirement will have an assignment related to that requirement that you will upload into your ePortfolio on CatCourses. Students may add other projects if they wish. The portfolio will provide the basis for reflection on learning to be integrated into the culminating experience in the major; it will also be used to help you prepare for life after graduation.

 

For Transfer Students: Satisfying General Education

Because the GE requirements included in previous catalogs informed transfer student preparation to enter UC Merced, transfer students who enter UC Merced in academic year 2019-20 will be held to the GE requirements included in the 2017-18 Catalog.

A transfer student is defined as someone who applies and is admitted as a transfer student for admissions purposes. In addition to meeting the transfer admissions requirements described by Undergraduate Admissions, 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.

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.