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Proposing a Field-of-Study Course

Field-of-study courses introduce students to some of the primary fields, or sets of related disciplines, within which scholars group phenomena for study. They are intended to familiarize students with the kinds of questions raised by scholars within each of these groupings, and with the methods by which scholars try to answer such questions. Although typically offered by individual departments, these courses have nonetheless been designed and approved with general education as their primary objective. Thus, their scope exceeds the boundaries of singular disciplines insofar as they seek to give explicit attention to the perspectives, ways of thinking and methodological approaches of larger fields of inquiry.

Proposals of courses to fulfill field-of-study requirements are accepted by the General Education Committee twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring. The timeline can be found here. In submitting a proposal, the department chair certifies that the faculty has already approved the course for academic credit, that the information on the proposal is accurate and that the relevant department or faculty is committed and able to offer the course as proposed. Before preparing a final draft, department chairs should review field-of-study definitions and examples and are encouraged to consult with the committee about their own particular proposals.

Include the following in a proposal:
  • Proposed field of study
  • Course number and title
  • How this course fulfills the purpose of the field of study, as defined by the General Education Curriculum
  • Catalog description
  • Course prerequisite(s)
  • Full description of the course
  • Proposed syllabus
  • Reading list
  • Statement of course objectives
  • Full details of how the course will be taught
  • Number of units
  • Typical estimated enrollment
  • How often and by whom the course will be offered
  • Staffing implications for the school/department/unit
  • Adequacy of library, technology and other resources
  • Any interdepartmental and interschool implications
  • Contact person

Failure to fully include all of these  these components may result in your proposal being returned and/or decision being delayed.

Proposals should be created in Microsoft Word and e-mailed to the chair of the General Education Committee.

General Education Committee Members from A&S

Chris Stevenson, chemistry

David Brandenberger, history and international studies

Mavis Brown, education

Dean Simpson, classical studies