The University Courses Division is a small academic unit that is administered by the LSA Dean's Office and used to house undergraduate courses that do not readily fit under any specific departmental banner. Sponsored by the college rather than by individual departments or programs, these courses may be taught by members of the faculty in any academic unit on the Ann Arbor campus, including colleges outside of LSA. A number of non-LSA course offerings have been approved by the LSA Curriculum Committee for crosslisting in the UC Division, thus allowing LSA students completing those courses to earn LSA credits toward their degree.
The University Courses Division is also the home of courses for Michigan Learning Communities, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and other special initiatives in undergraduate education. In addition, the UC Division has been a place where experimental and interdisciplinary courses are developed. After a course has been offered successfully for a few terms, a home is ordinarily found in a traditional academic unit, and the UC listing is dropped.
The Dean’s Office administers the FYS Program. The UC Division houses several First-Year Seminars each term (taught by emeriti and non-LSA faculty). These unique low enrollment classes (maximum of 20 students) are open to all first-year students. They are intended to facilitate deeper learning through more active participation and increased opportunities for interaction between student and teacher as well as dialogue among students. Students not only experience a stimulating introduction to the intellectual life of the University through engaging subject matter; some may discover a subject they wish to pursue in further courses. It is hoped that students who take a seminar will find in it a sense of intellectual and social community that will ease the transition to a large university.
All First-Year Seminars can be used to complete part of the College's Area Distribution requirements: Humanities (UC 150); Social Sciences (UC 151); Natural Sciences (UC 152); and Interdisciplinary (UC 154).
Sophomore Year Initiative.
The Dean’s Office also administers the Sophomore Year Initiative, a set of courses and activities whose goal is to help sophomores map the College curriculum and explore the terrain of the liberal arts. Sophomore Initiative courses focus on the analytical skills and competencies essential to success in any career. They provide discipline-specific and multi-disciplinary investigations of natural science, social science, and humanities approaches to issues, and offer students rich opportunities to discover their intellectual passions while developing mastery in critical thinking and problem solving.