General Education proposals

This page provides information for proposing general education certification of both new and existing courses, as well as provides resources to help with both. For information on recertifying an existing general education course, visit the general education recertification process page.

The Morrill College Land Grant Act of 1862 under which the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was founded sought to promote 'liberal and practical education' and included both specialized education in the agricultural and mechanical arts and General Education in other 'scientific and classical studies.' From its founding, the University of Illinois faculty has maintained requirements recognizing the Morrill Act’s distinct but complementary goals of specialized and General Education. These educational aims remain vital today, with specialized or professional education intended to prepare students for their chosen careers and with General Education intended to increase their knowledge and understanding of the wider range of historical, philosophical, scientific, political, ethical, and aesthetic concerns, and other dimensions of thought and human experience."

Guidelines for General Education Courses, University of Illinois General Education Board

The policies and guidelines used by the General Education Board (GEB) are available on the Office of the Provost's General Education Course Policies and Guidelines website. The GEB governs the certification of all gen ed courses. Of these policies and guidelines, the following three will be most helpful in proposing a course for general education certification:

Additionally, the College of LAS and Campus GEB Proposal for General Education Certification form is used as a template for both new and existing courses seeking gen ed certification. It also provides detailed information on how to best address the General Information questions posed in CIM.

For new courses

Use the CIM (Course Inventory Management) system to submit a new course proposal and attach a course syllabus. This syllabus must follow LAS syllabi requirements and the Campus Requirements for General Education Syllabi. Additionally, fill out and attach the College of LAS and Campus GEB Proposal for General Education Certification form. This includes sections A, B, D, and only the category (or categories) in section E for which you are seeking certification. Delete any text for those categories not required. LAS will review the new course proposal, syllabus, and gen ed certification form simultaneously (via the LAS Courses & Curricula and General Education committees) so that, if approved, General Education credit can be earned by students the first time the course if offered. After LAS and campus approvals of the new course, LAS will transfer the information from the gen ed certification form into CIM for subsequent approval by the GEB.

For existing courses

Use the CIM system to propose certification of your current course. Choose “Edit Course,” select the category (or categories) for which you are seeking certification, and answer all questions in the General Education section. If you are not the authorized CIM user in your department, answer the general information and category-specific questions in the College of LAS and Campus GEB Proposal for General Education Certification form and pass that along to your unit’s authorized CIM user for entry into CIM. The information presented in this certification form is helpful in answering the questions in the General Information section (particularly, how the course fulfills the overall objectives of general education). The syllabus must follow LAS syllabi requirements and the Campus Requirements for General Education Syllabi. The LAS General Education committee will review the proposal and, once approved, it is moved through the CIM workflow to the GEB for their review and approval.

Primary reasons for rollbacks from LAS and the GEB include the lack of discussion of scholarship on women and gender issues, lack of evidence in the syllabus, and inappropriate staffing ratios. For suggestions on how perspectives of women and gender can be incorporated into courses having different gen ed categories and examples of successful CIM proposals for all categories, refer to the courses listed below.

For more information on any of these procedures, please contact Stephen R. Downie, LAS Associate Dean for Curricula and Academic Policy.

Thank you for certifying your course for general education and ensuring that it is of the highest quality for our students!


Requirements for constructing syllabi for general education courses

Proposal template

Guidelines for developing general education courses

CIM proposals of approved general education courses

Examples of CIM proposals for courses that have been approved for general education certification/recertification are presented for each gen ed category/subcategory. Courses may be approved in more than the single category/subcategory indicated.