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For questions regarding University Studies curriculum, contact Dr. Cara Cilano at cilanoc@uncw.edu or the University Studies Advisory Committee.

Students at UNCW

Policies and Procedures

The Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies provides administrative support to the University Studies curriculum. Faculty are responsible for all curricular decisions and requirements, and the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies helps to implement these decisions and requirements. The information below reflects these complementary roles.

Course Approvals and Catalogue Year
One-Off and Special Topic Courses
Post Hoc Approvals
Credit for UNCW Courses Not Approved for University Studies
Proposing Courses for University Studies
Transfer Courses, Advanced Placement, and University Studies
Exemptions from/Changes to University Studies
Routing Subwaiver Requests for LDN, LGS, and Capstone Requirements
Crosslisted Courses
Multiple Counting
ePortfolios
Thematic Transdisciplinary Clusters
Writing Intensive and Information Literacy
Explorations Beyond the Classroom

Course Approvals and Catalogue Year

With the Registrar's removal of date ranges on all University Studies components except Explorations Beyond the Classroom, Writing Intensive, and Information Literacy, students who have already taken courses that are newly approved, i.e. that will appear officially in the coming year's catalogue, will automatically receive University Studies credit.

Students' degree audits will reflect the changes even though the audit will hide the newly approved courses until the coming year's catalogue is published. In other words, the courses will satisfy University Studies even though they will not be displayed as options on the degree audit or catalogue until the start of the next academic year. As a result, students may see a positive bump toward their fulfillment of University Studies requirements.

For Explorations Beyond the Classroom, Writing Intensive, or Information Literacy, instructors and chairs should consult with Drs. Pilgrim and Posey.

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One-Off and Special Topic Courses

Instructors planning to teach a one-off or special topics course according to the Student Learning Outcomes of any University Studies component should submit a course proposal form to the University Studies Advisory Committee prior to the semester or academic year the course will be offered.

For a one-time circumstance rather than a permanent course approval, the instructor should make sure to indicate that this request is for a one-time situation and is not a request to approve the entire course for the University Studies component as indicated in the catalogue. If the course is approved, then the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies will process a blanket substitution waiver petition for that section if it involves a competency. If it involves other components of University Studies, Associate Dean Carol Pilgrim will process a substitution waiver. The instructor and department can advertise the course as fulfilling specified University Studies requirements after it has been approved.

In extraordinary circumstances, instructors and department chairs can submit requests for the courses currently being taught directly to Dean Carol Pilgrim for non-competency components or to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies if it is a competency. In these rare instances, instructors should not advertise that the course fulfills any University Studies requirement until Dean Pilgrim or the Dean of Undergraduate Studies reviews the request.

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Post Hoc Approvals

UNCW's curricular procedures hold that the University Studies Advisory Committee and the Faculty Senate approve all course approvals prior to allowing any course to fulfill University Studies requirements.

In exceptional circumstances, instructors and department chairs should contact Dean Carol Pilgrim for non-competency components or the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies if it is a competency component.

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Credit for UNCW Courses Not Approved in University Studies

In the rare instance when a student takes a course that may meet the Student Learning Outcomes of a University Studies component, the student's advisor or instructor should contact Dean Carol Pilgrim for non-competency components or the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies if it is a competency component, for assessment of the request.

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Proposing Courses for University Studies

For more information, see pages 10 - 11 of the Faculty Senate Primer.

  • How do I propose an existing course for University Studies?
    • Fill out a proposal form for each component to which you want to submit a course and include a cover form. Remember that you'll need to submit a model syllabus for the course that includes the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for each component. Your chair should send the completed proposal and cover forms to universitystudies@uncw.edu.

      Feel free to review sample proposals as you prepare your submission.
  • How do I propose a brand new course for University Studies?
    • In addition to filling out the proposal and cover forms, you'll also want to prepare a Course Action Form for this new course. Two submissions are necessary: 1. Submit the course action form to your college's curriculum committee, indicating that it requires the signature of the USAC chair; and 2. Submit the University Studies forms to universitystudies@uncw.edu.
  • Can Trial Courses count for University Studies?
    • Once a new course proposal has been approved by your college's curriculum committee, by the University Studies Advisory Committee, and by Faculty Senate, the trial course version of the class can be subbed to count toward University Studies. In other words, an instructor could teach XXX 292 in the Fall, while the submission of the course is being considered by the relevant curriculum committees. Assuming the submission is approved, your Chair and Associate Dean could do a blanket submission requesting that each student in the XXX 292 receive credit for the relevant University Studies component. There's no way to promise University Studies credit until the course has been reviewed and approved.
  • Can I submit a crosslisted course for University Studies?
    • Yes, but please also ask the crosslisted department to submit the same proposal for their course. The two forms can be identical.

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Transfer Courses and University Studies

  • How will transfer courses meet University Studies requirements?
    • Many transfer courses will articulate automatically into UNCW's system, and each student's audit will reflect how these courses count toward University Studies requirements. As a general rule, students can transfer in credit for all University Studies requirements, except the 3rd Transdisciplinary Cluster course, Explorations Beyond the Classroom, and the Capstone Course.
  • Can transfer courses count for the Building Competencies?
    • As of Fall 2014, the Office of the Registrar's transfer equivalency database will list how courses taken elsewhere will count for Writing Intensive and Information Literacy competencies. Students transferring in courses whose UNCW's equivalents have been approved for the Quantitative and Logical Reasoning competency will automatically receive credit for the competency.

      The transfer equivalency database will list all reviewed courses as approved, rejected, or not yet reviewed. A student can still submit a petition for a course that has been rejected or not yet reviewed. This database will undergo an annual spring review which will help maintain its integrity and allow for its ongoing development.
  • What about transfer courses that are not automatically articulated to fulfill University Studies requirements?
    • Use these forms for processing manual transfer articulation requests for University Studies components.

      The Subwaiver Form works for all components except the Building Competencies. This form should be submitted first to the course's department chair and then to the appropriate college Dean for approval.

      The Petition Form is submitted for the Building Competencies (Writing Intensive, Information Literacy, and Quantitative and Logical Reasoning). This checklist will help you decide whether a student's transfer course is a good candidate for a Building Competency. Competency petitions can be rejected due to incomplete information or inadequate evidence to support the request. This form should be submitted first to the course's department chair and then to the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Students for approval.
  • How can a transfer student get credit for Living in our Diverse Nation or Living in a Global Society courses?
    • When a transfer course articulates as an existing UNCW course, the department chair should receive the request first (in the form of a Substitution Waiver Form) with the transfer university's catalogue course description and/or course syllabus attached.

      When a transfer course does NOT articulate as an existing UNCW course, the Substitution Waiver Form should go directly to Dean Carol Pilgrim (pilgrimc@uncw.edu) in the College of Arts and Sciences with the same materials attached. The advisor's role is simply to help with completing the Substitution Waiver Form and to submit it correctly. The Substitution Waiver Form for the Living in our Diverse Nation and Living in a Global Society courses must be submitted with a paper form because there is no direct course match at UNCW.
  • Can a student use a transfer course or previous academic experience to count for the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement?
    • In certain restricted instances, students can use transfer coursework or previous academic experience (courses/experiences taken at UNCW) for the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement. Before asking the student for additional materials or starting any paperwork, please consult with Associate Dean Carol Pilgrim.

      The key take-away point here is that, regardless of the previous coursework or academic experience, the student must submit some work products that address this requirement's three SLOs and the faculty member must submit the Subwaiver Form to finalize the fulfillment of the requirement. This form should be sent directly to Dean Pilgrim at pilgrimc@uncw.edu.

      An example: a transfer student had an education abroad experience prior to coming to UNCW and would like to have this experience count (note: international students coming from their initial home institutions have not had an education abroad experience). In such an instance, a faculty member or advisor should share with the student the SLOs: 1. Students will be able to articulate the expectations, purpose, and/or goals of the experience in terms of their personal educational development. 2. Students will synthesize knowledge drawn from their coursework to address the issues/challenges/questions involved in the experience. 3. Students will be able to communicate the impact or significance on their personal educational experience and on others in the profession or in the field at the conclusion of this experience.

      Once the student has submitted work products addressing these SLOs, the faculty member should submit the Subwaiver Form directly to Dean Pilgrim at pilgrimc@uncw.edu.

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Exemptions from/Changes to University Studies

  • Can students in my program be exempted from University Studies requirements?
    • In certain instances, students can be exempted from select University Studies requirements. For example, some programs have put forward motions to obtain exemptions from Thematic Transdisciplinary Clusters for their students.

      Only Senators can make motions on the Senate floor. Senators and other faculty can submit motions to the USAC or Senate Steering Committee prior to Senate meetings to effect changes to University Studies.

      Review the Faculty Handbook, page 27, for how to submit motions.
  • How can my department remove a course from University Studies?
    • Use a Course Action Form to process the removal. Remember to click the box that directs the form to the USAC chair.

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Routing Subwaiver Requests for LDN, LGS, & Capstone Requirements

If a transfer course appears as though it could satisfy the Living in Our Diverse Nation (LDN), Living in a Global Society (LGS), or a Capstone Course requirement, but doesn't have a UNCW course equivalent, send a Substitution Waiver Form from Advisor --> Chair --> AVC and Dean of Undergraduate Studies --> Office of the Registrar for consideration.

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Crosslisted Courses

  • If a student takes a crosslisted course to fulfill a University Studies requirement, can s/he also take another course with the same prefix as the crosslist?
    • Currently, students cannot take a second course with the same prefix as a crosslisted course. For example, if a student takes CLA 209, which is crosslisted with ENG 209 in the Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary component, s/he cannot take another ENG course to complete the requirement.
  • Can I submit a crosslisted course for University Studies?
    • Yes, but please also ask the crosslisted department to submit the same proposal for their course. The two forms can be identical. Please see "Proposing Courses for University Studies" to learn how to propose your course.

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Multiple Counting

  • What are the rules for counting courses in multiple components?
    • Consult University College's annually updated University Studies resources for which specific courses can be counted multiple times.

      Living in a Diverse Nation and Living in a Global Society categories: students can double-count only 1 of these courses in their Foundations or Approaches and Perspectives coursework.

      All Building Competencies (Writing Intensive, Information Literacy, and Quantitative and Logical Reasoning) can be counted multiply with only one exception: students cannot double-count the same course for Mathematics and Statistics and Quantitative and Logical Reasoning (two different courses are necessary).

      Students can fulfill their Thematic Transdisciplinary Cluster requirement through multiple-counting.

      Students can fulfill their Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement through multiple-counting.

      While double and triple counting can occur across many components, this possibility does not exist when a course is listed in more than one of the following components (Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary; Historical and Philosophical Approaches; Understanding Human Institutions and Behaviors; and Scientific Approaches to the Natural World). Two examples: ANT 207 is approved for both HPA and UHIB but will only fulfill one of those requirements; CLA/ENG 210 is approved for both AIL and HPA but, similarly, will only fulfill one. If a student wants to move ANT 207 from HPA to UHIB, for example, please submit a Substitution Waiver Form to facilitate the change on the audit.

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ePortfolios

  • What directions can I give my students if I want them to use ePortfolios to collect their work for any University Studies component?
    • Blackboard has an ePortfolio feature that all UNCW students can access via their individual student numbers. These directions will help them and you figure out how to use this feature. Students can also share and export their ePortfolios.

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Thematic Transdisciplinary Clusters

  • Can a student fulfill the Thematic Transdisciplinary Cluster requirement with transfer credit?
    • Students can transfer in up to 6 credit hours for the Thematic Transdisciplinary Cluster requirement. The final three hours must be taken at UNCW.
  • How can a student declare their Thematic Transdisciplinary Cluster?
    • Students declare their cluster just like a minor in mySeaport in the Major Declaration System. Students should discuss any declarations with their academic advisor.

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Writing Intensive and Information Literacy

  • Can transfer courses count for Building Competencies?
    • As of Fall 2014, the Office of the Registrar's transfer equivalency database will list how courses taken elsewhere will count for Writing Intensive and Information Literacy competencies. Students transferring in courses whose UNCW's equivalents have been approved for the Quantiative and Logical Reasoning competency will automatically receive credit for the competency.

      The transfer equivalency database will list all reviewed courses as approved, rejected, or not yet reviewed. A student can still submit a petition for a course that has been rejected or not yet reviewed. This database will undergo an annual spring review which will help maintain its integrity and allow for its ongoing development.
  • Can students double or triple count courses to earn Writing Intensive and/or Information Literacy credit?
    • Yes, the Writing Intensive and Information Literacy competencies can be earned through double or triple counting.

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Explorations Beyond the Classroom

  • Can a student use a transfer course or previous academic experience to count for the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement?
    • In certain restricted instances, students can use transfer coursework or previous academic experience for the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement. Before asking the student for additional materials or starting any paperwork, please consult with your college's Associate Dean.

      The key take-away point here is that, regardless of the previous coursework or academic experience, the student must submit some work products that address this requirement's three SLOs and the faculty member must submit the Subwaiver Form to finalize the fulfillment of the requirement.

      An example: a transfer student had an education abroad experience prior to coming to UNCW and would like to have this experience count (note: international students coming from their initial home institutions have not had an education abroad experience). In such an instance, a faculty member or advisor should share with the student the SLOs: 1. Students will be able to articulate the expectations, purpose, and/or goals of the experience in terms of their personal educational development. 2. Students will synthesize knowledge drawn from their coursework to address the issues/challenges/questions involved in the experience. 3. Students will be able to communicate the impact or significance on their personal educational experience and on others in the profession or in the field at the conclusion of this experience.

      Once the student has submitted work products addressing these SLOs, the faculty member should submit the Subwaiver Form.
  • How do education abroad experiences count for Explorations Beyond the Classroom?
    • On their education abroad applications, students must indicate that they want this experience to count for Explorations Beyond the Classroom. OIP has included this option, as well as more information on how to fulfill this requirement, on their new electronic application. Detailed instructions to students include how to set up their Blackboard ePortfolios, how to share it with University Studies, and what work products they need to deposit into these ePortfolios. The ePortfolio must be completed within a month after their return from their education abroad experience.

      The Dean of Undergraduate Studies will cross-reference all completed ePortfolios with the names of all students who registered for INT 294/393/494 the previous semester. The Dean will then submit the names of all students with completed ePortfolios to the Office of the Registrar. Please note: While the student is abroad and until the Dean submits this list to the Registrar, the Explorations Beyond the Classroom will show as "IP" on the Degree Audit. If the student does not submit and share an ePortfolio with University Studies, then the "IP" will disappear and the audit will once again show that this requirement is outstanding.
  • Do all 491s and 498s automatically count for Explorations?
    • No. First, your department must have submitted a proposal to the University Studies Advisory Committee for XXX 491 and/or 498 to count. The UNCW Catalogue lists all approved 491s and 498s.

      Students, in consultation with their DIS and Internship advisors, can choose whether to check the Explorations Beyond the Classroom box on the DIS and Internship forms. If students to want their 491 or 498 to count for this requirement, the instructor or coordinator must collect work from the student that address the SLOs for Explorations Beyond the Classroom. Instructors or coordinators have the option to assign grades to the intention and reflection components of these SLOs; regardless, all work products submitted for these SLOs must be submitted and retained.

      If the student has indicated on the original DIS form that she or he wants the experience to count for Explorations but then does not submit work that addresses all three Student Learning Outcomes for Explorations, the instructor should apprise the college's Associate Dean of the situation. The Associate Dean will handle the situation accordingly.

      A student can opt-in to Explorations Beyond the Classroom, if necessary, at any point during the approved 491/498 experience. Again, the student must submit work that addresses all three SLOs. The instructor should submit a subwaiver to make sure the student's degree audit reflects how the 491/498 should be counted.

      Similarly, if your department has not submitted 491/498 for University Studies approval, but you have a student engaged in one of these courses who wants it to count for Explorations Beyond the Classroom, please see the question: "Can a student use a transfer course or previous academic experience to count for the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement?" for more information. Such actions should be more the exception than the rule, however. If you and your colleagues find many of your students interested in receiving Explorations credit for 491/498, please consider submitting Explorations proposals to the University Studies Advisory Committee.

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