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Category VI, Social Issues Criteria

Courses in this category are to be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

1. Category VI courses will be designed to prepare students for informed citizenship, by teaching them to analyze compelling local, national, and/or international social issues or problems.

2. The courses in this category will therefore be explicitly problem-driven (rather than necessarily having a disciplinary focus).

3. Students in Category VI courses will also be introduced to analytic tools (primarily from the social sciences), so that they can apply such tools in understanding a broad range of social dilemmas.

4. Category VI courses will help students develop the analytical and critical skills that will enable them to make sense of complex questions surrounding individuals, institutions, and societies.


In addition, the General Education Subcommittee on Social Issues would like to communicate the following specific standards which all Category VI courses are expected to meet.

1. As 4-unit courses, all GE Category VI courses are expected to require a total of 12 hours of work weekly by all students. In courses which meet in class four hours per week, a total of eight hours of outside preparation would be expected; in those courses meeting three hours per week, a total of nine hours of outside preparation would be expected. In the case of courses meeting three hours per week, formal TA-led discussion sections could constitute one of these nine outside preparation hours. Such calculations include not only reading assignments, but written assignments as well.

2. Students in Category VI courses will be expected to submit a minimum of 12-15 pages in written assignments over the course of the semester, exclusive of examinations.

3. Category VI courses will include a midterm and final examination. All such examinations are expected to be in essay format (short of long answers), as opposed to true/false or multiple choice formats.

4. As a rough guideline, students will be expected to read approximately 100 pages per week. This may vary with difficulty of reading content.

5. It is expected that Category VI courses will adhere to rigorous standards and expectations, both in terms of grading and course content.