Columbian freshmen can opt into new General Curriculum Requirements

Freshmen in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences have the opportunity to opt into the school’s new 24-credit general curriculum requirement program, but will not be allowed to transfer more than three classes.

Last April, CCAS voted to reduce the number of core curriculum requirements by nearly half, from 42 credit hours to 24 credit hours, which was the first time the school’s GCRs had been revised in 20 years.

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies Paul Duff said freshmen who choose to opt into the new requirements will only be able to count three courses from previously taken GCRs toward the new G-PAC program: one quantitative or scientific reasoning course, one social science course and one arts or humanities course.

Only three courses will transfer, Duff said, because G-PAC aims to fulfill specific learning goals the old curriculum did not. He added that since G-PAC will not allow credits obtained through Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureates tests to count, it would be difficult for current students to restructure their schedules.

The G-PAC program – designed to focus on perspective, analysis and communication – also requires six credit hours of work in social sciences, six humanities credits and three arts credits, in addition to taking University Writing and completing two Writing in the Disciplines courses. There is also an oral communication requirement, an analytic course with a global or cross-cultural perspective and a course relating to local and civic engagement.

“Virtually everything counts for one GCR or another. That will not be the case with G-PAC,” Duff said.

Students entering in the fall of 2011 will only have the option to complete the G-PAC requirements.

CCAS freshman Bijan Khodavandi said despite the trade-off for those who have already completed many GCRs, he thinks switching to the new curriculum seems enticing.

“I think the mere fact of hearing that number change is going to incline people to choose it,” Khodavandi said.

Lauren Campbell, also a CCAS freshman, said she will probably continue following the old GCR curriculum despite the cutback in the number of credits required by G-PAC.

“I like my AP credit,” Campbell said. “I’d like to keep that and [GCRs are] not really much of a setback.”

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