Program Website:
First-Year Preceptorial or Honors First-Year Preceptorial engages you in the exploration
of ideas and diverse perspectives through critical reading, thinking, and writing.
Sophomore Research Seminar or Scholars Research Seminar ensures you have an early
hands-on experience thinking and working as an academic researcher.
Literature (HUL) expands the moral imagination needed to understand yourself and your fellow human
beings through literary analysis, interpretation, and reflection. Any course listed in the course schedule as HUL
from English (EGL), Modern Literature in Translation (MLT), or another department.
Natural Sciences with Lab (SCLB) changes the way you think about the natural world when you
understand the scientific method and put it to work. Any Lab course in Astronomy (AST), Biochemistry (BCH),
Biological Sciences (BIO), Chemistry (CHM), Geology (GEO), Physics (PHY), certain Psychology courses (PSY
310, 312, 313, 330, 351), or any courses listed in the course schedule as SCLB. Seats in SCLB courses are
often limited; non-majors should be pro-active about completing these courses.
Quantitative and Mathematical Reasoning (QMR) equips you with unique insights and skills
necessary to solve complex problems. Any course from MTH (except MTH 100) or any courses listed in the
course schedule as QMR.
Arts and Humanities (HUM) enable you to find yourself and your voice in creative expression and the
exploration of works of the imagination. Any course from Art History (AAH), Dance (ADA), Music (AMU),
Theater (ATH), Studio Arts (AVA), Classics (CLS), English (EGL), Film Studies (FLM), Gender, Sexuality, and
Women’s Studies (GSW), Philosophy (PHL), Religious Studies (REL), or courses offered by the Department of
Modern Languages and Literatures.
Social Sciences (SOCS) confront you with the complexity and challenges of our world by analyzing
the societies we create. Any course from Anthropology (ANT), Economics (ECO), Gender, Sexuality and
Women’s Studies (GSW), History (HST), Political Science (PSC), Sociology (SOC), or PSY-100.
Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) introduces you to Union’s unique commitment to
teaching Science and Engineering as Liberal Arts and examining their impact on our humanity. Any
course in Science (with or without lab, including a second SCLB), Engineering, Computer Science (CSC),
certain Psychology courses (PSY 210, 311, 315, 410), or any course listed in the course schedule as SET.
Seats in SET courses are often limited; non-majors should be pro-active about completing these courses.
LANGUAGES AND CULTURES (LCC) empowers you as a citizen of a global community to contribute across cultural
boundaries and shape our shared future. Please note that Options A and B cannot be combined to complete the LCC requirement.
Students in Engineering and Sciences should monitor LCC completion carefully; to avoid complications in the junior or senior year, be pro-
active about completing the requirement.
OPTION A: Language Sequence (a sequence of two courses in the same language at 101 or higher;
LAT 102 and LAT 103 or higher, or GRK 102 and GRK 103 or higher.)
OPTION B: Cultural Analysis Sequence (any two non-language courses listed as LCC).
OPTION C: Study Away Program (see guidelines below)
WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM courses encourage you to explore and create your own understanding of the liberal arts
through your writing. (
Through the Common Curriculum, you will develop the breadth of knowledge and flexibility of mind
needed to participate in meaningful conversations relevant to particular disciplines, the Academy, local
society, or the global community. You will do so by achieving the following learning outcomes across
the breadth of Liberal Arts represented in the Common Curriculum requirements. In doing so, you will
also advance important foundational and differentiating goals in the Union College Strategic Plan (2013).
A. Communicate Critical and Analytical Thinking. You will examine, evaluate, and apply problem-
solving techniques to evidence, data, objects, artefacts, arguments, and theories according to the
diverse analytical traditions of the Liberal Arts; you will communicate clearly and correctly the
results of such analysis. Explanation: this learning outcome emphasizes the need to learn and
practice critical thinking in the breadth of disciplines and analytical traditions in the Liberal Arts.
Assessment: instructors assess your learning in this outcome by evaluating a representative
sample of assignments. Learning outcome A encompasses the following learning goals in the
Strategic Plan and assessment of it should incorporate those goals: F1-G6: Union students will
graduate with the skills needed to communicate clearly and effectively, work both independently
and collaboratively, have developed information, technological, and visual literacy, be prepared
to live and work in a culturally-diverse world, and understand ethical considerations and act
upon them; D2-G2, Union students will receive a broad and deep education that includes
exposure to important and distinctive connections within and across the full spectrum of
disciplines, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, physical and natural sciences,
mathematics, and engineering; D2-G3, Union students will learn through a combination of theory
and practice, using both critical thinking and expertise.
B. Make Connections or Original Contributions. Through your writings, theories, problems,
designs, objects of art, and other projects you will make connections or original contributions to
questions and concerns relevant to a particular discipline, multiple disciplines, the Academy, local
society, or the global community. Explanation: this learning outcome emphasizes the
importance of deliberately using your coursework to engage issues, debates, schools of thought,
and the like relevant to particular disciplines as well as the Academy, local society, or the global
community. Assessment: instructors assess your learning in this outcome by evaluating a
representative sample of assignments. Learning outcome B encompasses the following learning
goals in the Strategic Plan and assessment of it should incorporate those goals: F1-G3, Union
students will develop an attitude of inquiry: they will ask questions that matter, and develop the
capacity to engage complex challenges with skill, creativity, and confidence; D2-G1, Union
students will engage in disciplinary, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches, and will
have opportunities to learn at the intersection of fields of study; D2-G4, Union students will
develop a diverse set of skills that can be applied across a spectrum of disciplines and future
careers; also relevant components of goal D2-G2.
C. Reflect on Your Learning. You will demonstrate the ability to link your experiences in the
Common Curriculum with your intellectual development as a lifelong learner, including possible
career and life paths. Explanation: this learning outcome may be viewed as asking you to draw
together the practical, intrinsic, and idealistic value of the Liberal Arts as they relate to being a
life-long learner and reflecting on a meaningful life. Assessment: the Gen Ed Board assesses
learning outcome C indirectly through a student reflective essay and student interview;
instructors provide direct assessment of this learning outcome if it is observed in their classes.
Learning outcome C encompasses the following learning goals in the Strategic Plan and
assessment of it should incorporate those goals: F1-G2, Union students will discover lifelong
intellectual interests and strive to excel in them; F2-G4, Union students will develop a sense of
themselves as a "whole person," with the skills necessary for the pursuit of life-long learning,
global citizenship and effective work with others, through co-curricular programs that
complement the academic mission; also relevant components of goal D2-G4.
First-Year Preceptorial (FYP) and Honors Preceptorial (FYP-H) have more specific learning outcomes
under Learning Outcome A, as follows:
A1. DISCUSS IDEAS: critically and respectfully engage in dialogue with others about ideas in texts as
well as those expressed in class.
A2. READ TEXTS CRITICALLY: show an understanding of/ability to evaluate complex and
sophisticated ideas from multiple and diverse perspectives.
A3a. Support a focused thesis, including analysis of evidence to support conclusions.
A3b. Organize information logically and clearly in essays that guide readers through the text
A3c. Express ideas clearly and appropriately, with few, if any, grammar, usage, and spelling errors
A3d. Integrate evidence into your argument (e.g., uses quotations appropriately, correct citation,
A4. INCORPORATE REVISION into the writing process as a means of improving critical thinking and
the expression of ideas.
The Sophomore Research Seminar (SRS) and Scholars Research Seminar (SCH-150) have more
specific learning outcomes under Learning Outcome A, as follows:
A1. DEVELOP A RESEARCH TOPIC: Formulate a clear, focused research question or thesis
appropriate to the topic of inquiry.
A2. FIND EVIDENCE: Identify and locate evidence appropriate for examining a research question or
A3. EVALUATE EVIDENCE: Critically and ethically analyze evidence obtained for examination of a
research question or thesis.
A4. DEVELOP AN EVIDENCE-BASED ARGUMENT: Develop and organize a logical argument grounded
in the analysis of evidence that supports or refutes a research question or thesis.
A5. PRESENT RESEARCH FINDINGS: Present a logical analytical argument supported by evidence in
an appropriate written form without errors of grammar, usage, and spelling.
A6. PRACTICE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS OF CITATION: Incorporate and cite evidence in a manner
that meets the professional standards of the discipline most appropriate for the topic of inquiry.
(2018-2019 1.0)
Academic policies and administrative procedures for the Common Curriculum are listed below. The
General Education Board oversees the general education program and formulates plans and policies
relating to it. The Director of General Education serves as Chair of the Gen Ed Board and is responsible
for the administration of the program. (Faculty Manual 2014, IV, 11-12) The Director of General
Education reports directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. You may contact the Director of
General Education or Gen Ed Board with questions and comments by emailing
(Selected policies and procedures below are also included in the Union College Academic Catalog. Please
note that provisions of the Academic Catalog “are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract
between the student and Union College. The College reserves the right to make changes in its course
offerings, degree requirements, regulations and procedures, and fees and expenses as educational and
financial considerations require. (
What courses from a student’s major and minor count towards completion of the Common Curriculum and
vice versa?
FYP/H and SRS/SCH-150 may not be used toward completion of a major or minor. Other courses
taken in the Common Curriculum may be used to meet the requirements of a major or minor
unless specifically prohibited by a particular program or department.
How does double counting work with the Common Curriculum?
Students are required to complete ten (10) courses to complete the Common Curriculum.
Courses may fulfill both a Common Curriculum requirement (such as SOCS) and the WAC
requirement. No other double counting is allowed.
Can a non-transfer student use AP, IB, or transfer credits to complete requirements in the
Yes, ONE course may be used pre-matriculation. The ONE course may be counted in only ONE of
the following categories with the approval of the appropriate department and the Director of
General Education: HUM, SOCS, QMR, SCLB, and SET. A table listing course credits awarded by
Union College for AP credit can be found at:
advising-tips/ap-test-credits-and-course-equivalents/ Information about using transfer courses post-
matriculation can be found in the Academic Catalog. (
Can a non-transfer student use AP English to complete the Literature requirement (HUL) in the
Common Curriculum?
No, the English department does not accept AP English for HUL credit. Students who receive a 5 on
either AP English exam may waive the prerequisite of an EGL 100-level course and may complete a
200-level English HUL course or another HUL course.
Can courses taken on a term abroad be used to complete the FYP/FYP-H or SRS/SCH-150 requirements?
No, these Common Curriculum courses have unique pedagogical requirements and learning
outcomes designed for Union College’s academic program.
Can courses completed on a term abroad be used to complete other Common Curriculum requirements?
Yes, courses completed during a full-term study away program that are accepted for full
course credit (1.0) by Union College may count toward the following Common Curriculum
requirements as appropriate: HUL, HUM, SOCS, QMR, SCLB, SET. Courses completed
during study abroad may count toward CC requirements contingent upon review and
approval by the Director of General Education with the Gen Ed Board and/or appropriate
department. Such courses must meet the standards, content requirements, and learning
outcomes for the Common Curriculum and/or the relevant department. A complete course
syllabus and supporting materials such as assignments must be submitted with the request:
no reviews or approvals will be made without such materials. Submission of materials and
review do not guarantee approval. No course completed during a study abroad program
can double-count for more than one CC requirements, per the double-counting policy
Can a practicum be used to complete Common Curriculum requirements?
No, a practicum does not receive a letter grade. Therefore, it cannot be used.
Can an Independent Study be used to complete Common Curriculum requirements?
No, an Independent Study cannot be used to complete a CC requirement.
May students withdraw from an SRS?
Students may withdraw from an SRS according to the policies for withdrawals in the current
Academic Catalog, which requires the approval of the Director of General Education. The General
Education Board has approved these guidelines for handling requests to withdraw from an SRS.
Requests to withdraw from an SRS must be made at least two business days before the
Registrar’s deadline(s) for withdrawals.
Because of the unique enrollment management requirements for the SRS, students may
withdraw from an SRS due to extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances
typically involve medical or personal reasons for leaving campus or the college for an
extended period of time that are reported to the Dean of Students or Dean of Studies offices.
Requests to withdraw in other circumstances will be considered on a strictly limited and
discretionary basis only.
For all requests, please submit a written explanation of the reasons for requesting the
withdrawal and steps taken to address the issues involved to
May students defer or postpone the SRS?
No, SRSs must be completed in the sophomore year; they may not be deferred. Students who fail
or withdraw from a spring term SRS must retake the SRS in the immediately following Fall term.
May students change their SRS section/placement?
Students may not change SRS sections. Students may only request a change due to an irreconcilable
scheduling conflict with a required course in a declared major. The course in conflict must a) be
taught only in the time slot of the SRS, b) be available during the academic year only in the same
term as the SRS, and c) be the only course that can meet a specific major requirement. No other
requests will be considered. Requests must be made directly by the student (not advisers, SRS
instructors, parents/guardians, or others) to Requests must include
complete details about course conflicts (including course numbers and schedules) and the name of
the student’s adviser. The Director of General Education only reviews and approves changes. SRS
instructors, advisers, and the Registrar cannot make changes. In the case of changes, students will
be offered choices (when possible) based on original preferences and enrollment considerations.
What courses count as a Literature course (HUL)?
Courses in English, Modern Languages in Translation (MLT), and other departments that have
been approved as fulfilling the Literature requirement and assigned the HUL code. AP, IB, or
transfer credits may not be used to satisfy the HUL requirement; see above regarding AP English
and courses taken on a term abroad.
What PSY (Psychology) courses count as SCLB or SET?
PSY 210 (SET), 310 (SCLB), 311 (SET), 312 (SCLB), 313 (SCLB), 315 (SET), 330 (SCLB), 351 (SCLB),
410 (SET) count as indicated.
Explain the different ways of satisfying the Languages and Cultures (LCC) requirement.
A student can do any ONE of these things:
OPTION A Language Sequence: complete a sequence of two language courses in the same
language at the 101 level or higher.
NOTE: for Latin or Greek, you must complete LAT
102 and LAT 103 or GRK 102 and GRK 103; LAT 101 and GRK 101 do not count for LCC
language sequence credit.
OPTION B: Cultural Analysis Sequence: complete any two non-language courses at Union
that carry the LCC code.
OPTION C Study Abroad: complete a full term abroad that deals with a cultural
tradition outside of the US. This satisfies both courses of the LCC requirement.
Complete a mini-term that deals with a cultural tradition outside of the US. This
satisfies one course of the LCC requirement. If the mini-term is associated with
approved pre-departure and/or post-return coursework equivalent to a 1.0 academic
credit course it satisfies the two-course LCC requirement.
Can you use one language course and one other LCC course to fulfill the requirement?
No, you cannot combine language and non-language LCC courses in this way.
Do mini-terms in the USA count toward the LCC requirement?
Only the Civil Rights, Community Service and the Mexican-American Border mini-terms count
toward the LCC requirement.
Do international students have to complete the LCC requirement?
Yes. There are no exceptions to the completion of the LCC requirement.