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Pre-1985 General Education and Basic Skills Requirements


CONTENTS       Pre-1985 general education requirements
    Arts and Sciences
    Other UW schools and colleges
Pre-1985 basic skills requirements
    English
    Foreign language
    Mathematics
    Grades required
    Exemptions based on high school background
    Exemptions for transfer students
    Postbaccalaureate students
    Requirements of other UW schools and colleges
Overlaps
Earlier general education plans

Pre-1985 general education requirements

   

Arts and Sciences

In the College of Arts and Sciences, all students follow the current Areas of Knowledge requirement, regardless of the date of college entry.

The general education plan in effect before autumn 1985 was called the "green list." Green-list students were required to take 60 credits of "distribution" courses, 20 credits each in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Because the current Areas of Knowledge list includes many more courses than the green list, nearly all students are better off under the Areas of Knowledge requirement. For this reason, the green list is no longer maintained.

Because a few courses were shifted from one category on the green list to a different Area of Knowledge, a student may discover that a course already taken does not count in the category intended. Students in this situation may count the course toward Areas of Knowledge in the original category if the course was taken before autumn 1994. Green-list courses which were shifted from one category on the green list to another category in Areas of Knowledge are listed in the General Education Course Archives.

An adviser who feels a pre-1985 student acted in good faith but took the wrong course to meet a requirement should assist the student in submitting a petition to the College of Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee.

Students eligible for the green list, like all others using the Areas of Knowledge plan, must complete 75 credits, 20 in each Area plus 15 additional from any Areas. Since students on the green list were not allowed to count any courses in the major toward general education, the 15 additional credits should not be a problem for any student.

Other UW schools and colleges

In some UW schools and colleges, students who started college before 1994 (and students who transferred to the UW before 1996) are eligible for the pre-1994 general education requirements of that school or college. In many instances, however, the previous requirements of colleges meet or exceed the University 10-credit/category minimum of the current requirements, and there is no advantage to claiming eligibility for earlier requirements. Most schools and colleges expect students to meet their current general education requirements. A student requesting an exception should petition the college.
  
  

Pre-1985 basic skills requirements

    Arts and Sciences students who started college anywhere before autumn 1985 are eligible to complete the old "proficiency" requirement in place of the current English composition, additional writing, quantitative/symbolic reasoning, and foreign language requirements. See Determining quarter of entry if the date when the student started college isn't clear.

The old proficiency requirement is a basic-skills requirement in English composition, mathematics, and foreign language. Students under this requirement must complete 15 credits of courses from the old proficiency list and/or the current English composition and quantitative/symbolic reasoning lists. The student may divide the proficiency credits any way - drawing courses from all three categories or between any two of them, or taking all 15 credits in one.

English

All courses on the current English composition list can be counted toward the old proficiency requirement. Students may also count CLAS 101 and courses in grammar. W courses may not be counted. Students who complete at least two courses in English composition may count COM 270, 285, 220, and 334 (formerly SP CMU 103, 203, 220, and 334; SP CMU 140, which was dropped from the curriculum, can also be counted). Students who entered the UW before autumn 1981 may count verse writing and short-story writing. Advisers may approve transfer courses if they are similar to courses on the old proficiency list.

Foreign language

All foreign language instruction courses, including conversation courses, and all courses taught in a foreign language (including literature courses) count toward the old proficiency requirement.

Mathematics

All courses on the current quantitative and symbolic reasoning list may count toward the old proficiency requirement. In addition, any other course with a MATH or STAT prefix may count toward the old proficiency requirement. Students may also count transferred liberal-arts math and trigonometry courses, even those which transfer as UW 1XX, 2XX, etc.

Grades required

There is no minimum grade required for proficiency courses under the old requirement. Courses taken since autumn 1985 to fulfill any requirement, however, including old proficiency, cannot be taken S/NS.

Transferred courses taken under a student-option pass-fail system may be counted only if they were taken before the student entered the UW. Transferred courses which were available only on a pass-fail basis, including courses transferred from colleges that do not assign traditional grades, can be counted toward proficiency regardless of when the student took the course.

Exemptions based on high school background

Students whose high school program included 4 units (years) of English, 3 units of college-preparatory mathematics, and 3 units of a single foreign language are exempt from the old proficiency requirement. College courses taken while in high school and later allowed as credit toward a college degree do not count toward the 4-3-3 formula required for exemption.

Note that this is an all-or-none proposition; students who do not present or exceed the complete 4-3-3 package must satisfy the entire proficiency requirement with college coursework.

     4 units of English
In determining units, courses to be counted include all English from the ninth grade on, as well as speech, debate, drama, journalism, business English, creative writing courses, and others, if they emphasize the acquisition of English verbal and writing skills. These courses are usually called "language arts" by high schools.

3 units of college-preparatory mathematics
Courses counted toward the 3-unit requirement include, but are not limited to, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, math analysis, advanced math, calculus, and statistics. Courses not counted include non-college-preparatory math courses, such as business math, computer programming, senior arithmetic, accounting, and general math.

3 units of a single foreign language
Three units of foreign language should be interpreted as successful completion of a third-year course in high school. Languages taken before the 9th grade ordinarily count as half a unit per year. Thus, Spanish taken in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades usually counts as 2 units, while Spanish taken in the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades counts as 3 units. It is the level completed that is important. For example, a student who takes Spanish in 7th and 8th grades and then takes the first two years of Spanish in high school is considered to have completed only two units of language. Conversely, students who were allowed to skip one or more semesters of language are evaluated according to the level of study completed.

Native language: If a language other than English was the language of instruction during any of a student's junior-high or high-school years (seventh grade or beyond), the student meets the foreign-language portion of the criteria for exemption, whether s/he is officially a native speaker of that language or not, because s/he studied the language at a level beyond that of most third-year high-school language courses in the United States. For the University's official definition of native speakers for purposes of admission, see Foreign Language: Native speakers.

Exemptions for transfer students

Students who transferred to the College of Arts and Sciences with 85 or more credits completed are exempt from the old proficiency requirement. This includes students who transferred to Arts and Sciences from another college of the University, if they had never been in Arts and Sciences before. Students who left Arts and Sciences, completed 85 or more credits at another college, and then returned are also exempt.

Students who earned an academic-transfer associate degree from a Washington community college before transferring to the UW are exempt from the old proficiency requirement, even if fewer than 85 transfer credits are accepted.

A student who has completed the general education requirements of another institution before transferring to the UW is exempt from the old proficiency requirement.

Postbaccalaureate students

Students who have already earned a bachelor's degree at the UW or elsewhere are exempt from the old proficiency requirement.

Requirements of other UW schools and colleges

Before University-level English composition and Q/SR requirements were instituted in 1985, basic-skills requirements were determined by each school or college. Most schools and colleges, except Arts and Sciences, expect all students to meet their current requirements. A student requesting an exception should petition the college.
  
  

Overlaps

    Courses taken to remove high school deficiencies (except non-credit courses) may count toward the old proficiency requirement.

Credits that qualify for both may be counted toward the old proficiency requirement and the Areas of Knowledge requirement simultaneously. That is, with regard to overlap, the old proficiency requirement is treated like the current Q/SR and additional-writing requirements rather than the English composition and foreign language requirements. This is true even though overlaps were not allowed when the old proficiency requirement was in effect.

Courses counted toward the old proficiency requirement may also count toward a student's major.

  
  

Earlier general education plans

    General education plans in effect before the plan described above are detailed in Previous General Education Requirements. In almost all cases, students who entered the UW when these plans were in effect are better off doing the combination described above: the current Areas of Knowledge requirement plus the pre-1985 proficiency requirement. A student who wishes to use an earlier general education plan (one that was in effect when s/he entered the UW) may do so, but must complete that general education plan in its entirety.