Aug 16, 2022  
2022-2023 Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Catalog

General Education


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
  • through course selection after completing the Writing Readiness Review (WRR)
  • Passing score on the Analytical Writing Placement Exam (AWPE)
  • completion of WRI 001  at UC Merced with a grade of C or higher.

* 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 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.

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: 

 



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.

Lower Division Common Course Requirements


I. Spark Seminar


The Spark Seminars introduce first-year students to life at a research university. They ask you to focus on the nature of inquiry by exploring a particular topic over the course of the semester, generating research questions, engaging with campus and local resources, and conducting research. Spark 001 also requires that you present 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.

Additional options for fulfilling the Spark seminar requirement are also expected to be offered on a very limited basis starting in the Spring semester of the 2021-2022 Academic Year. Please check the General Education website (ge.ucmerced.edu/spark) for more information.

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


These required Intellectual Experiences can be achieved in various 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. Courses can be used to satisfy more than one Intellectual Experiences Badge, but not more than two.

Courses taken to achieve Intellecutal Experiences 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.

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. 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.  

5. 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.  

6. 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.  

7. 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.  

8. Ethics


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

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

 

For Transfer Students: Satisfying General Education

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.

Transfer students from a California Community College who complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) and transfer students from another University of California campus who complete lower division general education requirements, as documented in a Letter of Reciprocity* from that campus, will be considered to have satisfied the below general education requirements at UC Merced.

  • Spark Seminar (waived)
  • WRI 010  
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Foreign Language
  • Approaches to Knowledge A: Natural Science (2 courses)
  • Approaches to Knowledge B: Social Science, Arts and Humanities (3 courses)

*A Letter of Reciprocity is an official document from a UC campus that confirms that a student has satisfied all of the lower-division, general education and University requirements at that campus.

California Community College classes articulate to UC Merced general education requirements as explained below. Information on articulation for California’s public colleges and universities may also be found at assist.org. These information sources can also provide guidance on the likelihood that courses from other institutions would transfer. Transfer courses must be completed with at least a C- (or equivalent).

UC Merced Lower Division General Education Requirements Transfer Student
Spark Seminar Waived for students who have completed at least two semesters of full-time college following high school graduation.
Written Communication IGETC Area 1B: Critical Thinking/English Composition
Quantitative Reasoning IGETC Area 2A: Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning
Language IGETC Area 6A: Languages Other than English

 

UC Merced Upper Division General Education Requirements Transfer Student
Crossroads Required*
Writing in the Discipline Required*
Culminating Experience Required*

*No community college courses can satisfy an upper division requirement. However, for an articulated upper division course from a four-year institution, students can submit a petition for satisfaction of these requirements.

UC Merced Approaches to Knowledge General Education Requirements Transfer Student
Area A: Engineering Science No Comparable IGETC Area*
Area A: Natural Science

IGETC Area 5A: Physical Science

IGETC Area 5B: Biological Sciences

IGETC Area 5C: Science Laboratory
Area B: Social Science

IGETC Area 4: Social Sciences

Area B: Arts & Humanities

IGETC Area 3A: Arts

IGETC Area 3B: Humanities

*Waived for junior transfers (3 Approaches to Knowledge A courses must still be completed). Lower division transfer students can submit a petition for satisfaction of Approaches to Knowledge A: Engineering Science through articulated transfer coursework in engineering science.

UC Merced Intellectual Experience Badge General Education Requirements Transfer Student
Scientific Method

IGETC Area 5A: Physical Science

IGETC Area 5B: Biological Sciences

IGETC Area 5C: Laboratory Activity
Literary and Textual Analysis IGETC Area 3B: Humanities
Media and Visual Analysis IGETC Area 3A: Arts
Societies and Cultures of the Past

IGETC Area 4A: Anthropology & Archaeology

IGETC Area 4F: History
Diversity and Identity IGETC Area 4C: Ethnic Studies
Global Awareness No Comparable IGETC Group*
Sustainability No Comparable IGETC Group*
Ethics No Comparable IGETC Group*

*Students can submit a petition for satisfaction of the indicated requirements through articulated transfer coursework.