You are here

Liberal Education Course Proposals

Liberal Education Course Approval Procedures

A. Course Requirements

As recommended in the Liberal Education Task Force Final Report (dated 9/4/2009; view full report here), courses approved for liberal education credit must meet the following five criteria:

  • Will be taught by those familiar with the goals and methods of teaching liberal education courses;
  • Will help students to understand the nature and value of a liberal education and to recognize how the course in question contributes to such an education;
  • May be offered at the 1000-, 2000-, 3000-, or 4000-level;
  • Will be offered regularly (at least every other year); and
  • Will be suitable for a wide spectrum of students*.

If approved by the appropriate department, a liberal education course may also be used to satisfy a requirement within the major or minor.

* Key Topics courses offered at the 3000 and 4000 level within the major are not required to serve a wide spectrum of students.

For course proposal procedures, a Liberal Education course may meet the criteria for a Knowledge Domain category as well as a Key Topics category. Course proposals must be completed for both categories. Courses approved for two categories must also conduct and report student learning assessment for both categories.

B. Course Proposal Process/Instructions

  1. Review the categories and descriptions (download PDF).
  2. Choose the category with which you believe your course aligns. If you are submitting the same course for designation in both Parts II (Knowledge Domain) and III (Key Topics), a separate application will need to be completed for each category.
  3. Download the appropriate Microsoft Word proposal form(s) below.
  4. Review tips for and examples of successful proposals.
  5. Thoroughly complete the form(s) using Microsoft Word.
  6. Submit for review/feedback from your department and college curriculum committees.
  7. Forward .docx file to your department head for electronic signature.
  8. Department Head will forward the proposal to the Dean for electronic signature.
  9. Dean will forward the proposal to Nancy Burley ( in the Academic Affairs office by the posted deadlines (see Course Proposal Deadline section below).
  10. Document is reviewed for use of current form, thorough completion, approvals, and proper submission.
  11. Proposals are forwarded to the Liberal Education Subcommittee in the order they are received.
  12. Proposals are reviewed by the Liberal Education Subcommittee at subsequent meetings in the order they are forwarded.
  13. Once reviewed and voted upon, the applicant will receive e-mail notification of approval or non-approval.
  14. If a course is approved, all UMD record systems and the approved Liberal Education Program list will be updated.
  15. If a course is not approved, the applicant will be directed to communicate with their college representatives for feedback and guidance.

C. Course Proposal Deadline

Liberal education courses are added once a year to the Fall semester catalog. Liberal Education course proposals are reviewed during the Spring semester each year. The next deadline to submit Liberal Education course proposals for category approval is February 1, 2021. Approved courses will have a Fall 2021 effective date.

D. Course Proposal Forms

Language & Reasoning Skills (9 cr)Writing & Information Literacy 
Oral Communication & LanguagesDownload
Logic & Quantitative ReasoningDownload
Knowledge Domain (21 cr)Natural SciencesDownload
Social SciencesDownload
Fine ArtsDownload
Key Topics (9 cr)Global PerspectivesDownload
Cultural Diversity in the United StatesDownload

E. Liberal Education Subcommittee

The Liberal Education Subcommittee is charged with overseeing the campus’ Liberal Education Program. The Liberal Education Subcommittee works with other educational committees to review and strive toward continuous improvement of Liberal Education at UMD. The subcommittee will report to as well as act on behalf of the Faculty Senate. 

Membership consists of 12 elected voting members: 2 faculty members from each college (CEHSP, CLA, LSBE, SCSE, SFA), 1 staff, and 1 student; and 2 ex-officio non-voting members: 1 academic advisor from one of the five colleges and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education. The current Subcommittee membership includes: 

Jennifer WebbChairsSFA

2018 - 2021

Seung LeeMemberLSBE2019 - 2022
Paula GudmundsonMemberSFA2019 - 2022
Ryan HjelleFacultyCEHSP2018 - 2021
Joanne ItamiFacultySCSE2018 - 2021
Dauli MenseStaffStudents in Transition2019 - 2022
TBDFacultySCSE2020- 2023
Burke ScarboroughFacultyCLA2019 - 2022
Maureen Tobin StanleyFacultyCLA2018 - 2021
Roger ReinschFacultyLSBE2020 - 2023
TBDMemberStudent2020 - 2021
Kurt GuidingerEx-officio non-voting memberAcademic Advisor LSBEn/a
Jerry PepperEx-officio non-voting memberAssociate VC for Undergraduate Educationn/a
Nancy BurleySupport Staffn/an/a

F. Contacts

For feedback or guidance on Liberal Education course proposal forms, please contact your representative(s) shown above. For general Liberal Education inquires, email Nancy Burley