Human Diversity

Students will demonstrate an understanding of human diversity, and the systems of structural inequality that shape human experiences and behaviors.

Learn more about the Human Diversity graduation requirement.

 

student talking in class

The Value of Human Diversity 

Understanding human diversity gives students the ability to navigate and appreciate the realities of diverse communities and nations that exist in a multi-faceted world. Cultivating this understanding requires knowledge of a variety of cultures, subcultures, and social systems, in local, regional, national, and global contexts. Courses in Human Diversity help students to better understand the factors that contribute to individual identity as well as the environmental and historical circumstances in which social and cultural systems are produced. Finally, an understanding of human diversity provides students with insights into the ways in which inequalities are created, enacted and upheld.


Student Learning Outcome

Students will demonstrate an understanding of human diversity, and the systems of structural inequality that shape human experiences and behaviors.

Fulfill Human Diversity by:

Students may use pre-matriculation transfer coursework to satisfy Graduation requirements. The coursework must be college-level, credit-bearing work, taken and passed for a letter grade. Students must receive SMU transfer credit for the course.

Courses that transfer in with an SMU equivalent number (for example FREN 2401) will automatically satisfy any Proficiency & Experience requirements fulfilled by the course. The same is true for many courses on the listed on the SMU Transfer Equivalency Guide

 

Courses that transfer in with generic course numbers (for example, ENGL 10XX) will not automatically satisfy Proficiency & Experience requirements and must be petitioned using the Proficiency & Experience (PE) Fulfillment Verification petition.

 

Students must submit one petition for each graduation requirement, even if they are using a single course to petition multiple requirements. Students may use a single course to satisfy up to three Proficiency & Experience requirements (assuming the course meets the criteria for all three).  

 

How to petition generic transfer coursework:

  1. Fill out the Proficiency & Experience (PE) Fulfillment Verification petition, selecting the requirement they are hoping to fulfill and checking the second option that says “A transfer (non-SMU) course that I completed after high school and prior to matriculation at SMU.”
  2. Attach a complete syllabus which includes a daily schedule, grade breakdown, assignments, and assigned readings.
  3. Attach a copy of the Transfer Evaluation Report (TER), showing that the course being petitioned has transferred to SMU for credit. Visit my.SMU > Academics > Request Transfer Evaluation
  4. Attach a brief supporting statement, using the provided template, that explains how the course fulfills the Proficiency & Experience being petitioned.

Petitions are electronic and are usually reviewed within two weeks of receipt. Students should not assume that a petition has been completely processed until they receive a formal notification of approval or denial from the Office of General Education via The Common Curriculum email (theccmail@smu.edu). The formal notification, in cases of approval, follows the formal update to the students Degree Progress Report (DPR), noting that the petitioned requirement is satisfied.

 




Use the course search options below to find Human Diversity-tagged courses at SMU. Following successful completion of the course, your Degree Progress Report (DPR) will be updated to reflect satisfying this graduation requirement. Learn how to find tagged courses below via one of two means. 

Search courses on the Common Curriculum website:

  1. Go to Course Search on the SMU Common Curriculum website
  2. Click Filter by Graduation Requirements and select Human Diversity

Search courses in my.SMU:

  1. Go to my.smu.edu and select “Students”
  2. Login using your username and password
  3. Once logged into your Student Dashboard, select Class Information on the left-hand side bar
  4. Under Class Information, select Advanced Class Search
  5. In the Search Criteria boxes:
    1. select the term you want to take the class
    2. in Course Attribute, select Common Curriculum P & E
    3. in Course Attribute Value, select Human Diversity
  6. Select Search and the available courses will be displayed


Students may apply to fulfill the HD requirement through a co-curricular activity. These criteria apply to experiences that meet the HD curricular requirement and describe the characteristics of the experience, the steps a student must follow to petition the experience for approval, and the number and types of assignments students must submit to satisfy the requirement. Some activities that have been previously approved include:

  • Military services
  • SMU-led trip to Spain, with institutional field visits
  • Volunteering at faith-based social services clinics

Before the Individual Activity:

  1. Write up a narrative summarizing the plan to fulfill all Human Diversity Experience Criteria requirements.

  2. Submit a Common Curriculum Proficiency and Experience Pre-Approval Petition with your plan.

  3. Once approved, begin the individual activity.

During the Individual Activity: 

  1. Complete at least 15 hours of involvement with a clearly defined community that falls under one of the identities outlined in the supporting skills *.

    * Students will identify the ways in which race, ethnicity, gender, religion, social class, ability/disability, sexual orientation, nationality, and /or immigration status are socially constructed.

After the Individual Activity:

  1. Students must submit a reflection of at least 1000 words that responds to the following prompt:

In your reflection, answer the following questions. What did you come to understand about race, ethnicity, gender, religion, social class, ability/disability, sexual orientation, nationality and/or immigration status through your experience? What did you come to understand about the ways in which social and cultural systems develop out of adaption to environmental and historical contexts? What did you come to understand about the ways in which attitudes, practices, and systems can create opportunities for some and barriers for others?

  1. Request third-party verification of hours in the form of a letter, engagement portal screenshot, etc.
  1. Submit theCommon Curriculum Proficiency and Experience Fulfillment Verification petition with the above reflection.

 

 

Sometimes students complete, or desire to take, an SMU course which was not tagged with the desired Human Diversity Proficiency & Experience, but after reviewing the Student Learning Outcomes, Supporting Skills, Course Content Criteria, they believe they may have satisfied the requirement. Use this process below to petition credit for the graduation requirement. 

Current SMU students who wish to take an SMU course that they believe has activities that satisfy this Proficiency & Experience, must submit, prior to beginning the course:

  1. The Proficiency & Experience (PE) Pre-Approval petition and request individual activity-based fulfillment.
  2. Attach a complete syllabus which includes a daily schedule, grade breakdown, assignments, and assigned readings.
  3. A detailed supporting statement, using the provided template, of how the activities in the course meet the requirements for Human Diversity.

Upon completion of the course and a posting of the student's grade, students must submit:

  1. A Proficiency & Experience (PE) Pre-Approval petition
  2. A copy of the student's Degree Progress Report (DPR) with the letter grade of the course. 
  3. A complete syllabus which includes a daily schedule, grade breakdown, assignments, and assigned readings.
  4. A final supporting statement, using the provided template, on how the course achieved the Student Learning Outcome, Supporting Skills, and Course Content Criteria. Where possible, providing specific examples.