June 4, 2023

New UMW General Education Curriculum for BA/BS

On April 3, 2019, the UMW faculty approved a new University of Mary Washington General Education Curriculum for BA/BS students that will take effect in the fall 2020 semester.

The new General Education requirements are streamlined, providing increased flexibility and choice, while enhancing signature elements of the UMW curriculum. Our long-standing writing and speaking across the curriculum programs are strengthened by requiring that one WI and one SI course be taken in the major. Experiential learning is broadened to include service learning and community engagement courses and activities as counting toward a re-imagined “Beyond the Classroom” requirement. Important new areas of emphasis, such as the global and diverse perspectives requirement and a digital-intensive course requirement make the general education experience more relevant to the worlds that students are engaging. A new “After UMW” requirement is a distinctive element focused on translating liberal arts and sciences knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to the student’s professional and career development.

A summary of the UMW General Education Curriculum can be found here. While the new categories have been decided, the specific courses that will fulfill those requirements are still to be determined. Over the summer, faculty will be finalizing the learning outcomes for the new areas in the requirements. Beginning in September 2019, the faculty will be reviewing proposals and making decisions about the courses that will populate the new General Education requirements. This review will be completed by the middle of November 2019.

The new General Education curriculum will be officially published in the 2020-2021 Academic Catalog and will apply to all BA/BS students matriculating in August 2020. Students who matriculated prior to August 2020 will have a one-time opportunity to switch from the current set of requirements to the new ones.

Switching from the current to the new General Education requirements is entirely voluntary. Details about this process are being developed and will be communicated early in the Spring 2020 semester. In consultation with their academic advisor, students should carefully consider both sets of requirements, and the courses that meet those requirements, before making a decision to change. Anyone who changes to the new general education curriculum must meet all of its requirements. A student who voluntarily elects to switch to the new General Education curriculum will not be able to switch back to the old one for any reason.

The new General Education requirements are an exciting step ahead for us. We will keep you well informed with future updates as we progress.