New or Existing Course to Fulfill a General Education Requirement

Proposals need to be submitted to the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Council approval by November 1 for the subsequent summer and fall terms and by March 15 for the subsequent spring term.

If you are planning to submit a new course proposal for which you are also requesting general education approval, you must include the information requested in the “New Course Proposal” section in addition to the information requested here.  See https://www.as.pitt.edu/faculty/teaching for new course proposal information. 

Submissions to the Undergraduate Council should be delivered via e-mail. Submit the proposal via e-mail as a Word, Rich Text File (RTF), or PDF document to Elizabeth Taylor at taylor@as.pitt.edu. If you have questions, contact Elizabeth Taylor via e-mail or by phone at 412-624-2036. 

Please indicate the requirement(s) for which this course is to be considered on the cover page.

Submit a complete syllabus and course description along with:

  • a detailed explanation on why the course should satisfy the specific requirement(s) for which it is being submitted; and
  • an assessment plan, including a matrix, to evaluate how effectively the course satisfies the chosen General Education Requirement(s); hence, multiple matrices may be required; and
  • documentation of chair’s approval.

Note to Chairs: Your signature indicates that you and the appropriate faculty or committee in your department believe that there is a demonstrated need for this general education course in your department’s curriculum, and you have adequate resources, including TA support when appropriate, to offer this course on a regular basis.

1. Provide information on the following items. 

  • Identify the course learning objectives directed towards the fulfilling the GER for which approval is sought.
  • Explain how these objectives are to be realized.
  • You should also provide any additional information about the content, goals, or methods of the course that may be relevant. For the criteria of each requirement, see the General Education Requirements Web page at www.as.pitt.edu/faculty/teaching/general-requirements.

2. Copy of the Course Syllabus Which Should Include:

  • Course objective 
  • Organization of course content (thematic, topic, chronological etc.) 
  • Course requirements
  1. Required texts and other readings
  2. Weekly assignments
  3. Papers/projects (number, type, length and deadlines)
  4. Exams (number, type and dates)
  5. Approximate time spent outside of class 

Please Note: Students need to be evaluated in a meaningful way before the deadline for Monitored Withdraw, usually by the end of the ninth week of the term. 

  • Grading Policy:
  1. Relative weight of each requirement
  2. Policy on late work, make-ups
  3. Other

The following statement from Disability Resource Services must be incorporated into the syllabus.

If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Office of Disability Resources and Services, 140 William Pitt Union, 412-648-7890/412-383-3346 (Fax), as early as possible in the term. Disability Resources and Services will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.

The Academic Integrity Policy on cheating/plagiarism must be included in the syllabus.

Cheating/plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students suspected of violating the University of Pittsburgh Policy on Academic Integrity, noted below, will be required to participate in the outlined procedural process as initiated by the instructor. A minimum sanction of a zero score for the quiz, exam or paper will be imposed. (For the full Academic Integrity policy, go to www.provost.pitt.edu/info/ai1.html.)

The E-mail Communication Policy must be included in the syllabus.

Each student is issued a University e-mail address (username@pitt.edu) upon admittance. This e-mail address may be used by the University for official communication with students. Students are expected to read e-mail sent to this account on a regular basis. Failure to read and react to University communications in a timely manner does not absolve the student from knowing and complying with the content of the communications. The University provides an e-mail forwarding service that allows students to read their e-mail via other service providers (e.g., Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo). Students that choose to forward their e-mail from their pitt.edu address to another address do so at their own risk. If e-mail is lost as a result of forwarding, it does not absolve the student from responding to official communications sent to their University e-mail address. To forward e-mail sent to your University account, go to http://accounts.pitt.edu, log into your account, click on Edit Forwarding Addresses, and follow the instructions on the page. Be sure to log out of your account when you have finished. (For the full E-mail Communication Policy, go to www.bc.pitt.edu/policies/policy/09/09-10-01.html.) 

Turnitin: Faculty who plan to use the Turnitin service to evaluate student papers for potential plagiarism must include the following statement in the course syllabus. Faculty using this service are encouraged to accommodate students who wish to use pseudonyms to protect their privacy.

Students agree that by taking this course all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Use of Turnitin.com page service is subject to the Usage Policy and Privacy Pledge posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Office Hours: The posting of office hours on the office door is University policy, and the responsibility of the faculty member as a courtesy and convenience to students. (Source: www.pitt.edu/~provost/ch3_off_hrs.htm). Most administrative offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. A few offices, such as the College of General Studies, have extended hours. In addition, according to the Academic Integrity Guidelines, under I. Faculty Obligations, Point 2, faculty are "To be available at reasonable times for appointments with students, and to keep such appointments." (Source: www.as.pitt.edu/faculty/policy/integrity.html

The integrity of the academic process requires fair and impartial evaluation on the part of faculty and honest academic conduct on the part of students. To this end, students are expected to conduct themselves at a high level of responsibility in the fulfillment of the course of their study. It is the corresponding responsibility of faculty to make clear to students those standards by which students will be evaluated, and the resources permissible for use by students during the course of their study and evaluation. The educational process is perceived as a joint faculty-student enterprise which will perforce involve professional judgment by faculty and may involve – without penalty- reasoned exception by students to the data or views offered by faculty.

Senate Committee on Tenure and Academic Freedom, February 1974