General Education Requirement for Diversity

UVM's diversity requirement is intended to provide undergraduate students with the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to function productively in a complex global society, by fostering an understanding of and respect for differences among individuals and groups of people. 

All UVM undergraduate students must successfully complete the following two requirements prior to graduation:

  1. One 3-credit course from Diversity Category One (D1) (Race and Racism in the U.S.), to be taken as early as possible after matriculation to UVM - preferably no later than the sophomore year); and
  2. A second 3-credit course from either Diversity Category One (D1) or Diversity Category Two (D2)(the Diversity of Human Experience).  ​

These requirements will also apply to undergraduate transfer students receiving bachelor's degrees from May 2012 onward.

Diversity Course Guidelines

Diversity Course Criteria

Category 1 (D1) - Race and Racism in the United States

Courses in this category have as a primary focus race and racism in the United States as it pertains to ALANA populations.  A D1 course must promote an understanding of:
• Race and racism in the U.S.;
• The meaning of power and privilege;
• The importance and impact of diversity and multiculturalism in U.S. society.

Category 2 (D2) - The Diversity of Human Experience

Courses in this category focus on expanding students’ cultural awareness. A D2 course is intended to:
• Promote an awareness of and appreciation for the diversity of human experience in all its forms including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, language, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and disability; and/or

• Foster an understanding of global and international issues including the flow of people, cultures, diseases, and capital or other resources within or across political and geographical boundaries.

Diversity Competencies

UVM Diversity Requirement Competencies and Intended Outcomes


Intended Outcomes


1. Develop an awareness of the diversity of individuals, cultures, and communities within the U.S and globally. Develop an awareness of diversity
2. Develop an awareness of one’s identities, attitudes, beliefs, values, and assumptions. Develop an awareness of identity and be able to engage with people of different and similar identities,
3. Develop an awareness of how one’s identities, attitudes, beliefs, values, and assumptions influence how one interacts with or views those who are similar to or different from oneself.  
4. Develop an awareness of the influence and impact of diversity-related concepts such as intersectionality (i.e., the intersection of multiple dimensions on diverse cultural identities), power and privilege, and so forth at the individual, group, and systems levels. Develop an awareness of diversity-related concepts.


5. Cultivate knowledge and an understanding of the histories, traditions, values, contemporary issues, experiences, demographics, and practices linked to diverse identities and groups within the U.S. and globally. Understand history, traditions, and values of diverse groups.
6. Cultivate an understanding of foundational concepts such as diversity, culture, equity, equality, social justice, power/privilege, etc. Understand core diversity concepts.
7. Cultivate an understanding of the origins and systemic nature of prejudice, injustice, discrimination, and oppression directed toward people of diverse backgrounds.   Understand systemic nature of injustice.


8. Develop critical thinking skills to enable one to analyze information and evaluate arguments from diverse viewpoints and multiple perspectives. Analyze information and evaluate arguments from diverse viewpoints.
9. Develop the written and oral communication skills necessary to engage in intellectual discourse about diversity-related topics. Be able to talk about diversity.
10. Develop interpersonal skills that support respectful, meaningful, and effective interactions with those from diverse backgrounds, including understanding the intent and impact of one’s actions. Be able to effectively engage with those from diverse backgrounds.

Integration and Application

11. Develop the ability to recognize and name dynamics (e.g., identity-related, cultural, power) at the individual, group, and systems levels that are present when exploring issues related to diversity. Be able to recognize dynamics at the individual, group, and systems levels.
12. Engage skills to problem-solve and to develop action plans that address diversity-related issues and situations. Be able to problem solve and develop action plans.
13. Develop the ability to effectively intervene and respond to acts of bias or intolerance, as well as to resolve conflicts that occur across differences. Be able to intervene and respond to bias incidents.
14. Develop the ability to effectively facilitate the learning and development of others around diversity. Be able to teach others about diversity.

Diversity Course Submission Guidelines

Faculty are invited to submit proposals for courses proposed for inclusion in the Diversity General Education curriculum.  Once the course proposal has been completed and submitted electronically in UVM's Courseleaf system, it will follow the workflow established for the specific college or school, ultimately making its way to the Diversity Curriculum Review Committee.
Proposals are accepted from all academic fields and disciplines. The instructional faculty for diversity courses must hold a UVM faculty appointment. The content of proposed courses must capture the intent and overall spirit of the diversity competencies and course criteria as articulated in the Course Action Form.  It is not expected that a single course will or can address all diversity competencies.

Diversity Course Proposal Guidelines

  1. Submit a Course Action Form through the Courseleaf system.
  2. In the DCRC portion of Courseleaf, you will be prompted to choose the diversity criteria and competencies that your course aims to achieve and to write specifics into the relevant Courseleaf fields. To meet the criteria for D1 or D2, courses must address at least two of the diversity competencies.
  3. Attach a Diversity Statement to the Courseleaf submission
  4. Attach a Course Syllabus to the Courseleaf submission.  The DCRC will look for evidence that the same commitment to diversity espoused in the Diversity Statement is also reflected in the syllabus.

Diversity Course Proposal Review

During the proposal review, the DCRC will look for the following:
• Evidence in the syllabus that the course meets the appropriate D1 or D2 diversity criteria, and addresses specific Diversity Competencies
• D1 proposals address the question of race and racism in the US in more than 50% of the course content.
• D2 proposals focus on diversity of human experience in the more than 50% of the course content.

Timeline for Diversity Course Proposal Review

  • Once a proposal is entered into the Courseleaf system, it will follow the workflow established for the specific college or school.  This may include the Chair, Dean, and Curricular Committee, and may take up to 30-days for each step in the workflow.
  • The DCRC is notified of each Course Action Form awaiting action in Courseleaf.
  • Proposals reaching the DCRC for action at least one-week prior to each scheduled DCRC meeting will be considered by the committee.  The DCRC meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
  • Proposals approved by the DCRC return to the Courseleaf workflow.
  • The final steps in the workflow include:
    • Provost
    • Public Comment (posted for 30-day period)
    • Registrar
    • Banner


All Course Action Forms are due in the Provost's Office by February 15 for inclusion in the next year's course list and catalogue.  Course proposals must reach the DCRC for consideration at their January meeting in order to meet the deadline for inclusion in the course catalogue.

Diversity Course Policies

Special Topics Courses

Approval of Special Topics courses for Category 1 or 2 diversity credit may occur under the following specific guidelines:

  1. Approval of a Category 1 or Category 2 course that carries a “special topics” number (095, 096, 195, 196, 295, 296) will be for the course taught by the instructor listed on the Course Action form only.
  2. Approval of a Category 1 or Category 2 course that carries a “special topics” number is for one academic year only.
  3. A request for another year of approval for the same course taught by the same faculty member requires only a letter from the instructor indicating the course has not changed from that originally approved by the DCRC.
  4. A “special topics” course approved for Category 1 or 2 diversity credit will be approved for a maximum of three offerings in separate semesters (and/or winter or summer sessions). Two or more sections of the course in the same semester taught by the same faculty is equivalent to one offering.
  5. To continue to be offered to meet a Category 1 or 2 diversity credit requirement following three offerings, a permanent number and position in the catalogue is required.
  6. When a “special topics” course approved for Category 1 or 2 diversity credit is transitioned to a permanent number, a full DCRC review must be completed, as for any new course requesting to fulfill the requirement.

Section-level courses

University requirements for Diversity will be designated only at teh course level.  The only exception is a Special Topics course, as they are experiemental in nature and can be offered a maximum of three times.  University requirements for Diversity are offered at the course level rather than the section level for the following reasons:

  1. Unit planning - When there is a requirement at the University level, we need to be sure we have sufficient capacity to meet the need.  This is best accomplished at the course level.  It is not sustainable to rely on a particular faculty member or a particular syllabus.
  2. Clarity for students - If a student looks at a list of courses for a University requirement, the reasonable assumption is that any section of the course will suffice.  There is no need to place an additional burden on the student to look carefully at sections of the course to ensure the specific section will meet the requirement.

Waiver of the diversity requirement

There is absolutely no waiver of the diversity requirement. 

Paths to meeting the diversity requirement

There exists three distinct paths to meeting this requirement: 1) approved courses, 2) reviewed and approved transfer courses, and 3) proposal of a non-course alternative experience.

Note for College of Arts & Sciences Faculty

Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences are welcome to propose courses for the D2 requirement even if those courses do not fulfill the CAS Non-European Cultures Requirement; D2 courses taught in CAS do not have to also fulfill the CAS Non-European Cultures requirement.  Please not that the University's D2 requirment pertains to cultural divesity broadly, and the CAS Non-Eruopean Cultures (NEC) requirement are not identical.  

Undergraduate Catalogue Listing for Diversity Courses and General Education Requirement