FAQ: Requesting General Education Designations
How do I get a Gen Ed designation on my course?
Requests for Gen Ed designation should be submitted using this online form: General Education Course Submission Form
Who can submit requests for Gen Ed designations?
Faculty, instructors, or staff are allowed to submit requests for Gen Ed designation. The University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee has left this decision up to individual departments: some departments have mandated that only the undergraduate director or chair can submit requests, while other departments allow instructors or administrative staff members to submit requests. Please check with your chair or undergraduate director regarding the policy in your department.
When should requests be submitted?
We recommend that requests are submitted as early during the course-building period as possible so that approved Gen Eds can be added to the courses before registration opens. However, we will consider Gen Ed designations up until the Add Deadline of a semester.
What is the difference between a "permanent" and a "provisional" Gen Ed designation?
- Permanent means that the course will always receive the Gen Ed designation, regardless of when the course is taught or who teaches it. Only permanent courses can receive permanent Gen Ed designations; topics courses or experimental courses cannot.
- Provisional Gen Ed designations are for one semester only or for specific instructors only. Because of their temporary nature, topics courses receive provisional Gen Ed designations. If one instructor teaches a course to meet a Gen Ed requirement but another instructor for the same course does not, we would use a provisional Gen Ed designation.
If my topics course had a one-time (provisional) Gen Ed designation, and I'm teaching it again, do I need to resubmit it?
It depends how recently the provisional designation was approved. If you are planning to re-offer a topics course that has received a Gen Ed designation within the past two academic years (including Summer or Winter Sessions), we can give it the same designation again, without the need to resubmit, if all of the following conditions are met:
- the course has the same title and rubric/number/letter combination;
- the course is taught by the same instructor; and
- you send us a brief email informing us that the course will be taught in the same way as it was in the semester in which it was previously designated.
Can a Gen Ed designation be removed from a course?
Yes. The department chair or undergraduate director (or their designee) may request that a Gen Ed designation be removed because a course is no longer being taught to meet the requirement. Instructors can also request that a Gen Ed designation be removed; if the request comes from an instructor, the department chair and/or undergraduate director should be copied on the request. All requests to remove a Gen Ed designation must be made in writing (i.e., via email), not over the phone.
IMPORTANT! If a course already has students registered, or a course has already started, all students MUST be informed in writing before a Gen Ed will be removed from a course. We strongly discourage the removal of a Gen Ed designation once a course has started. Please contact Liz Abate, Coordinator of General Education, at email@example.com, for more information on this process.
If a Gen Ed designation was approved for a course, why isn't it showing up in BU Brain?
Gen Ed designations are added to courses after the initial course-building period and again after the adjustment period. Although weekly queries are run during registration to look for new courses, they do not always pick up all of the new courses that were built. If your department adds a course after the end of course building, please email Liz Abate, Coordinator of General Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org so that the Gen Ed can be added.
Can I request a Gen Ed designation for a course that I taught last semester?
No. Once a course is complete, it is too late to add a Gen Ed designation.