United States (US) and International (IL) Cultures Requirements

Baccalaureate degree candidates must complete a 3-credit course designated as United States Cultures (US) and a 3-credit course designated as International Cultures (IL) and/or a course that meets both the United States and International Cultures (US/IL) requirement. Since 6 credits are required, a single 3-credit course may not fulfill both requirements. Associate degree candidates must complete a 3-credit course designated as US, IL, or US/IL. Students may still satisfy these requirements through experiential learning. A student may petition for other forms of credit acquisition to satisfy the United States Cultures or International Cultures requirements through the appropriate dean's office.

A student's degree audit monitors his/her completion of this requirement. (See section 13 of this sample degree audit.)

Course Characteristics

United States Cultures (US) courses will include two or more of the following characteristics:

  • Cultivate student knowledge of issues of social identity such as ethnicity, race, class, religion, gender, physical/mental disability, age, or sexual orientation;
  • Convey to students a knowledge of different United States values, traditions, beliefs, and customs;
  • Increase student knowledge of the range of United States cultural achievements and human conditions through time;
  • Increase student knowledge of United States social identities not in isolation, but in relation to one another (for example, the interaction of race or gender with socioeconomic status).
  • Introduce students to interpersonal communication and interaction issues among United States cultures.

International Cultures (IL) courses will include two or more of the following characteristics:

  • Cultivate student knowledge of the similarities and differences among international cultures;
  • Convey to students a knowledge of other nations' cultural values, traditions, beliefs, and customs;
  • Increase students' knowledge of the range of international cultural achievements and human conditions through time;
  • Increase students' knowledge of nations and cultures not in isolation, but in relation to one another.
  • Introduce students to interpersonal communication and interaction issues among international cultures.

Identifying Courses

The codes used to designate approved United States Cultures and/or International Cultures courses are US, IL, or US;IL. These codes are listed parenthetically next to the course number: e.g., AF AM 145 (GH;US;IL).

A list of US, IL, and US;IL courses is on the Web (with a General Education code when appropriate). Some sections of courses are approved as US and/or IL on a semester basis and will be listed with the appropriate designations in the Schedule of Courses.

In the Schedule of Courses, the US, IL, and US;IL course designations are provided in course listings and descriptions. In addition, U.S. Cultures Courses and International Cultures Courses offered in a particular semester can be found by using Additional Search Criteria. For authorized advisers, ISIS screen ARUCU designates courses as US, IL, or USI (for courses approved as both) in the "DIVERSITY" field.

Honors and Writing-Intensive US and/or IL Combinations

Typically honors courses (H) that are US and/or IL have the suffix U; writing-intensive courses (W) that are US and/or IL have the suffix Y. The suffix will appear next to the course number in General Education in the Curriculum and the Undergraduate Degree Programs Bulletin (in course descriptions and in listings of major requirements). A different suffix may be used in the Schedule of Courses to indicate that the combination of US, IL, H, and W designations has been modified for a specific course or section of a course in a given semester or at a particular campus. A degree audit will indicate which requirement(s) a student has fulfilled by taking a particular course.

Fulfilling Multiple Requirements

Completion of any course that meets the United States Cultures and International Cultures requirement may also fulfill other requirements in a student's degree program, e.g., major, minor, elective, and/or General Education. Credits are counted only once. Completion of a student's US or IL requirement cannot also satisfy his/her Other Cultures requirement for the bachelor of arts degree.


Reviewed: August 2013
Last Update: May 2012

Reference(s): Guide to Curricular Procedures H. United States Cultures (US) and International Cultures (IL) Course Requirements

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