Jun 24, 2024  
University Catalog 2012-2013 
University Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

G.E. Upper Division Themes (Block F)


Students are required to complete a 12-unit upper division theme as part of the General Education program. A theme consists of three interrelated courses on the same topic, designed to help students acquire knowledge of topics that are current, enduring, and of significant importance for humanity. Topics are designed to promote: an understanding of oneself and one’s fellow human beings, the social and physical environment, and a wide range of cultural achievements; an understanding of the shared concerns of all people as well as diverse cultural heritages; and an awareness of ethical and social concerns and a cultivation of moral responsibility.

Courses in each theme are distributed among three areas including: Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences and Humanities. Students are thereby provided with the perspectives of at least three different disciplines on the theme’s topic and must select one course from each area for the theme selected. Completion of the lower division basic subjects requirement is prerequisite to all upper division theme courses, as well as completion of any additional lower division general education course that may be required as a prerequisite. Courses used to meet upper division general education requirements may not be used for a major. Additionally, students must choose theme courses outside of their major department/division/school unless a departmental/divisional/school waiver has been approved by the General Education Subcommittee.

Students may meet the general education diversity requirement (2 courses) by completing courses designated as diversity courses at the lower or upper division level from among courses satisfying general education requirements. All courses approved to meet the diversity requirement are designated as (d) by each course.

Students who have completed the upper division theme are deemed to be “G.E. satisfied” at the upper division level. Students will not be held to further upper division G.E. course requirements upon a change of major.
Students may choose from the following themes, in consultation with an adviser.


NOTE: Courses with the course number preceded by the designation (d) indicate those approved to meet the 2-course Block G – Diversity requirement.

A. Challenge of Change in the Developing World

This theme explores the dilemmas faced by the peoples of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America as they struggle to overcome legacies of colonialism and economic dependence. The developing countries are characterized by severe social and cultural tensions, physical complexities and challenges to themselves and the rest of the world. Their current integration into the global economy marks a crucial stage in world history. The natural science courses assess their physical settings, constraints and possibilities; the social science courses analyze social, political and economic processes of change; the humanities component examines the dynamic interplay among the arts, religion and cultural values.

B. Perspectives On Violence

The Perspectives on Violence theme utilizes a multidisciplinary approach that provides comprehensive investigations, discussions, and the debate about theories, research and conflict/violence reduction strategies relevant to the causes and effects of violent behavior. The theme is structured to increase students’ understanding of the nature, causes and complexities of violence in its myriad forms, including the study of how, when, and why it occurs as well as what can be done to reduce it.

C. Gender in the Diversity of Human Experience

This theme provides an integrated inquiry into the implication of gender, exploring its meaning, significance, and status within the diversity of human experience and representations of sex and gender specific to the multitude of cultures and societies making up the human experience, both historically and today.

D. Urban Life and Environment

This theme contributes to an understanding of urbanization, its causes and consequences, and the urban experience from a variety of points of view. Courses explore the city as a special kind of human habitat and the relations between social and natural environments. Students gain the tools to comprehend the social, political, economic and cultural complexities of cities and the human and natural forces that shape urban life, experiences and environments.

E. The Diversity of Human Emotions

The Diversity of Human Emotions theme uses emotion as a window into cultures, because emotional diversity reflects the diversity of humankind. As a biological process that is shaped into varieties by culture, emotion is an ideal topic for gaining insights into the social lives of ethnic groups, the genders, and the social classes. The theme emphasizes these dimensions of diversity and portrays not only cultural diversity, but also teaches  techniques for control over prejudice, suspicion, antagonism and other emotional states creating conflict among social groups.

F. Human Maturity and Aging Processes and Problems

This theme addresses major life issues that confront individuals in maturity and adulthood. It provides a multidisciplinary approach to the study of human aging through examination of the biological bases of aging, the cultural, social, political and psychological implications of maturity and aging, and the religious, literary and philosophical concepts of age and aging.

G. The Global Environment: Past, Present, and Future (Theme G discontinued 2004)

 Note: Effective Fall Quarter 2004, Theme G was discontinued. Only students who started Theme G prior to Fall, 2004 may enroll in Theme G courses.


H. Race, Diversity, and Justice

“Race, Diversity and Justice” is a theme that integrates the investigation of contemporary issues of racism and social injustice with the goal of understanding what attitudes and behaviors prevent equal treatment for all peoples. This theme presents the conceptual and historical background necessary for responsible and moral judgement, subsequent action, and the embracement of cultural diversity in a world that is composed of many cultures and societies.

I. Ancients and Moderns

The Ancients and Moderns theme provides an integrated introduction to the interaction of the principal civilizations of the Mediterranean basin—Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome—to form the “Classical Tradition” and the significance of that tradition for the understanding of Western and Islamic Civilization in general and the culture of the Americas in particular. Comparisons will be made with East Asian Civilization.