Enrolling in Humanities Core
Humanities Core is a yearlong sequence of classes that start in the fall quarter. Everyone enrolled in Humanities Core takes a 4-unit lecture (listed as HUMANITIES CORE LEC on the Schedule of Classes), as well as a seminar (listed as WRT on the Schedule of Classes). Your seminar is determined by your UCI Writing Placement, Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) status, and if you are part of the Campuswide Honors Collegium.
Some of our sections are restricted to particular students; you can refer to the Course Restriction Codes for more information. If you are having difficulties enrolling in a Humanities Core lecture and/or seminar, please contact your academic advisor or the Humanities Core office. Honors students should consult the office of the Campuswide Honors Collegium. Humanities Core staff can assist you in determining your placement eligibility and in placing you into an appropriate section on a space-available basis. Students seeking broader academic counseling related to enrolling in Humanities Core should consult the academic advising office in the school of their major.
Add/Drops, Switching Sections, and Grade Option Changes
Add/drops and grade option changes for Humanities Core lectures and seminars must be effected by the end of the second week of classes, regardless of other general campus deadlines for add/drops and grade option changes. After the second week, requests to add/drop or changes to the grade option will be granted only in exceptional circumstances. Beginning the first day of the second week of instruction, all add/drops are coordinated and authorized by staff in the Humanities Core Program Office (firstname.lastname@example.org). Students should not ask Humanities Core seminar instructors for authorization codes. All school and major requirements must be taken for letter grades.
Progression in Humanities Core Course Series
Students receiving deficient grades of D+ or below or NP (no pass) may progress to the next quarter as long as a grade of F (or an F that converted to NP) was not received. Students who receive an F in either component (lecture or seminar) of Humanities Core in fall or winter may not progress to the next quarter of Humanities Core unless special permission is granted by the Course Director. Please see section on HUMAN 1AES and 1BES below for specific information about advancement from those courses.
Students receiving a deficient grade of D+ or below (including F) or NP (no pass) in either component of Humanities Core may retake the quarter in a subsequent year in most cases. Students repeating only one component of Humanities Core should enroll in both components (lecture and seminar) and then speak with staff in the Humanities Core office (email@example.com) during the second week of classes to drop the component not being repeated.
Satisfaction of Requirements and General Education Credits
Beginning in Fall 2023, students who complete all three quarters of the Humanities Core lecture with a grade of D- or better or P (pass), and Humanities Core Writing with a C- or better or P (pass) will have satisfied Lower-Division Writing (Category I), Arts and Humanities (Category IV), Multicultural Studies (Category VII) and International/Global Issues (Category VIII) of the UCI General Education (GE) requirements.
If the three quarter series is not completed, each Humanities Core lecture course with a passing grade of D- or better or P (pass) will count as one Arts and Humanities (Category IV) and each Humanities Core writing course with a passing grade of C- or better or P (pass) will count as one Writing (Category I) for either Fall or Winter and one Writing (Category I) for Spring.
We prioritize allocating seats in the winter and spring to those students who started Humanities Core in the fall quarter. Space for new students is rarely available mid-sequence and a seat in the course is not guaranteed if you did not complete the prior quarter. Technically, students who want to begin Humanities Core in the winter can do so as long as they have satisfied the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement. After completing the winter and spring quarters, students will have met the lower-division writing requirement (Category I) as long as they have a grade of C- or better in the writing component. Completion of the lecture component over two quarters with grades of D- or better will fulfill two Arts and Humanities (Category IV) of the GE requirements. (Students who complete only the fall and spring quarters will also receive the credits described in this paragraph.)
Majors within the School of Humanities do not have the option of taking Humanities Core for P/NP (pass/no pass). The entire sequence of Humanities Core satisfactorily completed for a letter grade satisfies a school requirement. Other schools may have similar requirements. Non-Humanities majors should consult an academic advisor in the school of their major before opting to take the course for P/NP.
UC Entry Level Writing Requirement and HUMAN 1AES and HUMAN 1BES
In addition to the regular discussion sections of Humanities Core (HUMAN 1AS-BS-CS), the Program offers sections (designated HUMAN CORE WRT ELW on the Schedule of Classes) for students who have not met the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). Students with questions about Writing Placement process that determines ELWR status should first visit the Writing Placement page hosted by the UCI Academic Testing Center. HUMAN 1AES, offered in fall, must be taken for a letter grade. Students who successfully pass the writing component of Human 1AES with a grade of C or better will have simultaneously met the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement and may progress to a regular section of Humanities Core Course (HUMAN 1BS) in winter quarter. Students who do not pass HUMAN 1AES with a grade of C or better will have a second opportunity to pass the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement in winter quarter by enrolling in HUMAN 1BES for a letter grade. Completion of HUMAN 1BES with a grade of C or better will satisfy the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement and will allow students to move on to HUMAN 1CS to complete the lower-division writing requirement. Satisfactory completion of the HUMAN 1AES-BES/BS-CS sequence additionally fulfills other GE requirements (Categories IV, VII, and VIII), just as the 1AS-BS-CS sequence does (see Satisfaction of Requirements and General Education Credits above).
Last updated June 2023. Requirement information is provided here merely for your convenience; please refer to the UCI General Catalogue for official documentation.
Disability Services and Accommodations
Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Disability Services Center (http://disability.uci.edu, 949-824-7494) as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. All exams are administered in seminars in Humanities Core; therefore, students should specify their seminar instructors when requesting exam accommodations.
Generative AI and Your Work in Humanities Core
(new for Fall 2023, updated for Winter 2024)
As never before, the number and kind of tools that we use to write and communicate have proliferated substantially. The introduction and adoption of any new tool for literate activity almost always constitutes a moment of panic and possibility, of enthusiasm for new potentials and anxiety about what might be lost in the use of the tool.
In our contemporary context of the rapid introduction of new writing and communication tools, we nonetheless believe that students have the right to the following:
- Students have the right to high-quality instruction in writing and communication, including robust instruction that offers them opportunities to explore their own writing and communication abilities in relation to critical and creative thought.
- Students have the right to be exposed to and learn about various tools, digital and otherwise, that enable writing and communication. This includes the development of critical digital literacy skills in understanding what such tools are able to do, what their limitations are, who has made them and to what purpose, and what social impact the use of such tools might incur.
- Students also have the right to understand research as a complex and multifaceted process, and that digital tools can assist in research but not replace it.
- Finally, students have the right to understand the environmental impact of any writing and communication tool that they use or are asked to use.
Learning critical digital literacy as well as scholarly research skills enables students, including undergraduates, to participate in our academic community and engage thoughtfully with these technologies as they evolve in the future. Some commercial tools now or soon to be available purport to evaluate the quality of one’s writing and to “improve” or “refine” it, based on AI-powered tools of text analysis and generation. But the criteria and algorithmic fixes these tools employ do not match the assessment approaches used in a writing course such as Humanities Core. What a human reader understands and appreciates in a piece of writing, including especially the force of its logic and the originality of its argument and expression, is not reflected in the evaluative capabilities of these tools. In other words, applying Grammarly, ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot, or Google Translate may result in less effective writing because artificially-generated phrasing obscures students’ voices and students’ ideas—the very aspects that make students’ contributions meaningful and that this course aims to develop.
In Humanities Core seminars, instructors will help students to understand what is expected of writing in this course for particular contexts and purposes, making use of learning objectives and assignment rubrics designed to present these expectations as clearly as possible. Students will learn how to brainstorm, draft, receive instructor and peer feedback, and revise in order to learn more through the writing process than they would have by merely copying a text generated by AI. Students will have ample time to reflect on their process and discuss with other students what they think of the course material, why it matters to them, and how they can best articulate their developing ideas through writing.
Academic Integrity Policies and Guidelines
UCI and the Humanities Core program view academic integrity as a serious matter (see the section “Writing is an Ethical and a Self-Reflective Activity” in the Humanities Core Handbook, pp. 26–7). Students enrolled in the program should review UCI’s Academic Integrity Information for Students and definitions of academic misconduct. Upon matriculation at UCI, students agree to uphold these standards. UCI’s Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures define plagiarism as “the use of intellectual creations of another without proper attribution” and identify the two primary forms of plagiarism that occur in courses like Humanities Core:
- To steal or pass off as one’s own the ideas or words, images, or other creative works of another.
- To use a creative production without crediting the source, even if only minimal information is available to identify it for citation. (See Section XI. Types of Academic Integrity Violations Part C. Plagiarism)
According to this definition, the act of copying the output of text-generating AI tool (for example, ChatGPT) instead of completing a writing task oneself constitutes academic dishonesty, in that such text is not one’s own but is instead composed of the uncredited words and intellectual productions of others. Humanities Core recognizes that this terrain is constantly changing: The increasing pervasiveness of AI in tools we use every day (including search engines, email, and word processing programs), as well as the utility of these tools in certain disciplines students may study here at UCI, can make it difficult to determine when use of a generative AI tool is appropriate.
When gauging whether or not an AI tool can be used in this course, we encourage students to ask themselves a few basic questions:
- Is the tool in some way interrupting or preventing me from learning a specific skill or engaging in a part of the writing process? For example, if you are asked to paraphrase a passage of text in your own words, and you instead prompt ChatGPT to do so, then the tool, rather than you, is demonstrating its capacity to select specific details of a text as evidence for an interpretive claim. Your HumCore seminar instructor isn’t trying to teach the tool the difference between effective summarizing and paraphrasing; they are trying to help you develop those critical reading, thinking, and writing skills. You can always check the learning objectives for any assignment to make sure you are the one doing the work that is being assessed.
- Is the originality of my ideas or my voice in writing diminished or lost through the use of this tool? If, for instance, you are asked to construct an effective topic sentence and therefore must make meaningful choices about the words you use and the organization of your grammar in assembling a claim, then you shouldn’t use a translator app to generate that sentence.
- Is use of this tool permitted by my instructor? When in doubt, consult your seminar instructor about assignment guidelines, learning goals, and the appropriateness of using particular tools in this course.
If an instructor is concerned that a student has submitted work that is not their own, in whole or in part, and has therefore misrepresented their knowledge and skills, the instructor will consult with the program directors about the appropriate course of action. The student will be given the opportunity to account for their working process to the instructor and program directors. If the program determines that academic misconduct has occurred, the student may fail the assignment or the course. Furthermore, the program has a responsibility to report the misconduct to the UCI Office of Academic Integrity & Student Conduct, and the student may be subject to further disciplinary action by the university.
The Policies and Procedures document distributed in each seminar explains grading for the lecture and writing components of the course. Please note that these are guidelines intended to help students plan their work in the program. The Humanities Core Course Director reserves the right to make changes in these evaluation criteria during the course of the quarter. The Course Director will also administer a formal reevaluation process in the event of a grade dispute.