GENERAL EDUCATION at IU Bloomington

Faculty & Staff

Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the GenEd program at IU. If you have other questions, please email them to Michael Lundell, Secretary of the General Education Committee.

  • When did the GenEd Common Ground curriculum go into effect?

    Students who matriculated during or after Summer 2011 are required to fulfill the requirements of the campus-wide GenEd curriculum. Students who matriculated prior to Summer 2011 will not be affected so long as they complete all degree requirements within eight years of matriculation as a degree-seeking student at Indiana University Bloomington.

    Any student who fails to complete degree requirements within eight years of matriculation will forfeit the automatic right to use the requirements in effect at the time of matriculation. The student's degree program will be re-evaluated, and the student may be required to move to the current program in effect at the time of re-evaluation.

  • What are the campus-wide GenEd requirements?

    For a full explanation of the GenEd requirements, see General Education Requirements.

  • Which courses have been approved to fulfill the GenEd Common Ground requirements?

    The GenEd website's page on General Education Courses and the Schedule of Classes each reflect current course approval status for all GenEd courses–however, the authoritative record of approval is the annual Indiana University Bloomington General Education Bulletin. Note that courses approved in one semester or year may not be approved in previous or subsequent semesters.

    In order to apply toward the General Education Common Ground requirements, a course must be GenEd-approved for the semester in which the course is taken.

  • Who approves courses for the campus-wide GenEd curriculum?

    The IUB General Education Committee (GEC), which is composed of faculty members from each of the undergraduate academic units on campus (i.e., the schools and the College) approves courses for the GenEd curriculum. Evaluation of course proposals is delegated to the appropriate GenEd subcommittee (English composition, Mathematical Modeling, Arts and Humanities, Social and Historical Studies, Natural and Mathematical Sciences, and World Language and Cultures). Each subcommittee reviews course proposals once annually and forwards their recommendations to the GEC, who ratifies the subcommittee lists.

  • On what criteria are GenEd course proposals evaluated?

    Each subcommittee evaluates the appropriate course proposals on the basis of the course guidelines published in Bloomington Faculty Council circular B16-2011, which contains the general criteria for course eligibility, as well as learning outcomes and course characteristics for each GenEd category. For details, visit GenEd Learning Outcomes.

  • How do I propose a course for the General Education Curriculum?

    Faculty members who wish to propose a course for the GenEd curriculum should discuss their ideas with the chairperson of their department. With the approval of the chairperson and/or departmental curriculum committee (depending on departmental procedures), GenEd proposals are forwarded to the academic officer of the appropriate school or academic unit. Approval procedures vary by school, but GenEd proposals that receive school approval are forwarded by the school’s academic officer to the GenEd Committee for consideration.

    Note: Course proposals may not be submitted directly to the GenEd Committee by individuals or departments. All course proposals must be approved by the appropriate school, who will then forward the proposals to the GenEd Committee.

  • Are there special course-proposal forms for GenEd?
  • Can courses be proposed for more than one GenEd Common Ground category?

    A single course may be proposed for both World Cultures credit and Breadth of Inquiry credit. Such a course, if approved by both the World Languages and Cultures subcommittee and the appropriate Breadth of Inquiry subcommittee, may “double count” toward both requirements for students who take the course after its approval for the GenEd curriculum. Courses should not, however, be proposed for more than one Breadth of Inquiry category (i.e, Arts and Humanities, Social and Historical Studies, Natural and Mathematical Sciences).

    For additional details about course eligibility, click here.

  • What is the timeline for GenEd course proposals?

    Each fall, the co-chairs of the General Education Committee will send out a call for course proposals to the academic officers of the schools and the College. Departments will in turn receive a call for proposals from the academic officer of their school. Approval procedures for the schools vary. Proposals that receive school approval will be forwarded to the GEC from the schools. Individual faculty members or departments may not submit proposals directly to the GEC. In the spring, course proposals will be reviewed by the appropriate GenEd subcommittee. Subcommittee recommendations are ratified by the General Education Committee and published on this Web site.

  • Can I propose a brand new course for GenEd, even though it has not yet been approved and added to the IU Master Course Inventory?

    No. All courses submitted to the GenEd Committee for review must be fully approved and part of the IU course catalog prior to proposal for General Education. A course need not, however, be offered before it is proposed for GenEd. For additional details about course eligibility, click here.

  • How do I report revisions (e.g., change of course number, change of title, change of description) to a course that has already been approved for GenEd?

    Changes to the prefix, number, or title of a course will not usually affect its GenEd approval status, provided that the content of the course does not also change. Still, it’s essential that the GenEd Committee to be aware of all course revisions. Once such changes have been finalized, the department chairperson should write a memo to the GenEd co-chairs outlining the changes that have been made. This memo should be sent to the academic officer of the school in question, who will attach a letter indicating school support and forward both documents to the GenEd co-chairs. If the co-chairs have questions about the nature or extent of the changes or if they consider the changes extensive enough to warrant resubmission of a course proposal to the General Education Committee, they will inform both the school and the department. Otherwise, they will request an update to the GenEd course listing and notify the school, the department, and the appropriate committee.

  • Is it possible to joint-list a GenEd-approved course?

    Joint-listings of courses approved for General Education are permitted only if all four of the following conditions are satisfied:

    • Each course in a joint-listing has been approved for meeting the same General Education requirement(s)
    • Each course satisfies all other formal requirements, including those governing expected frequency of offering
    • The joint-listing has been approved in writing by the chief academic officer (or officers) of the unit (or units) offering the courses to be joint-listed before the “final” schedule for the relevant semester has been submitted to the Office of the Registrar
    • Departmental scheduling officers must comply with technical requirements specified by the Office of the Registrar to ensure that students enrolled under different course numbers and titles in joint listed classes can be credited with fulfilling a General Education requirement.