Breadth (L&S and General Education)
Contact: Kimbrin Cornelius or Elaine M. Klein
Undergraduate study in the Liberal Arts and Sciences requires students to become familiar with the ways in which humans systematically study and interpret the world, and how they communicate that understanding to others. "Breadth" is a term that originates in the Letters and Science curriculum, where the term is used to describe the different "ways of knowing" found in the major divisions of scholarly inquiry: the Arts and Humanities (including Literature), the Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Natural (including Physical and Biological) Sciences. Students who are completing the L&S degree requirements must take a specified minimum amount of coursework (credits) in each of these broad areas. To help L&S students meet their requirements, the L&S Curriculum Committee assigns "breadth designations" to courses that meet the committee's expectations for learning in those areas. These designations can be used to search for courses that meet L&S degree requirements, and the degree audit reporting system (DARS) uses the designation to determine whether requirements are met. Departments and faculty may ask the L&S Curriculum Committee to review courses to carry these designations. As a service to the campus community, L&S Breadth designations are also used to signal courses that meet University General Education Breadth Requirements - though each school and college may specify more narrowly courses that meet those requirements.
For a description of what "breadth" courses are expected to convey to students in them, see the discussion of Breadth in the Guide, or consult Adding a L&S breadth attribute to a course (guidance for department faculty and staff). For procedures on how courses are reviewed and approved to carry breadth designations, see Adding "L&S Credit," Level, or Breadth undergraduate course designations to courses (advice for departments) .