Cherry Blossoms

A&S Implementation of the Diversity Requirement

In Spring 2013, the Faculty Senate approved a Diversity requirement for all UW undergraduates. Here is a link to the legislation:

The most relevant part of that document is the new section added to the Scholastic Regulations, adding the following to the graduation requirements for all UW undergraduates:

No fewer than 3 credits of courses, approved by the appropriate school or college, which focus on the sociocultural, political, and economic diversity of human experience at local, regional, or global scales. This requirement is meant to help the student develop an understanding of the complexities of living in increasingly diverse and interconnected societies. Courses focus on cross-cultural analysis and communication; and historical and contemporary inequities such as those associated with race, ethnicity, class, sex and gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ability, religion, creed, age, or socioeconomic status. Course activities should encourage thinking critically on topics such as power, inequality, marginality, and social movements, and effective communication across cultural differences.

After the requirement was approved by the Faculty Senate, the Provost charged a Task Force to establish guidelines for its implementation. That document includes details on various curriculum and advising issues:

Provost Guidelines on Diversity Requirement

Other notes. The Provost guidelines provide the most detail on implementation, but here are a few additional notes:

  • All students entering the university for the first time in Autumn 2014 (and later) must meet the requirement. Students who matriculated before Autumn 2014 do not need to complete the requirement.
  • Having reviewed the courses initially submitted by departments, courses will be reviewed for the Diversity requirement the same way courses are reviewed for other general education requirements: through the normal course application process, either as new courses or as course changes.

Transfer courses. As noted in the Provost guidelines, transfer evaluation will follow the practices already used in evaluating transfer courses for other general education requirements.

  • If a transfer course has a UW equivalent, it will satisfy the DIV requirement if the UW course satisfies the DIV requirement. If the UW course does not satisfy the DIV requirement, the transfer course will not satisfy the DIV requirement.
  • If a transfer course does not have a UW equivalent, advisors should evaluate the course as per usual with transfer courses, against the criteria noted in the guidelines. 
  • If a student has an AA from a WA community college with a Diversity requirement (and thus has satisfied that requirement at the CC), the UW Diversity requirement is NOT automatically satisfied. This is because different institutions' Diversity requirements may not match the UW requirement. Advisors should review the transfer courses on a course-by-course basis (likely beginning with the course that the student used to satisfy the CC requirement).

If you have additional questions, contact Kevin Mihata, Associate Dean, or Cynthia Caci, Associate Director of C21.