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Foundations requirements
Foundations hallmarks
Foundations proposal form (for UHM departments only)

Related links:
Foundations articulation
Foundations assessment
Foundations-Global & Multicultural Perspectives
Foundations-Symbolic Reasoning
Foundations-Written Communication


Foundation courses are intended to give students skills and perspectives that are fundamental to undertaking higher education. Students must complete:

  • Global & Multicultural Perspectives (FG) (6 credits/two courses)

    Global and Multicultural Perspectives courses provide thematic treatments of global processes and cross-cultural interactions from a variety of perspectives. Students will gain a sense of human development from pre-history to modern times through consideration of narratives and artifacts of and from diverse cultures. At least one component of each of these courses will involve the indigenous cultures of Hawai'i, the Pacific, and Asia.
  • Symbolic Reasoning (FS) (3 credits/1 course)

Courses fulfilling this requirement will expose students to the beauty and power of formal systems, as well as to their clarity and precision; courses will not focus solely on computational skills. Students should understand the concept of proof as a chain of inferences. They should be able to apply formal rules or algorithms. They should also be able to engage in hypothetical reasoning. In addition, the course should aim to develop the ability of students to use appropriate symbolic techniques in the context of problem solving, and in the presentation and critical evaluation of evidence.

Students will be introduced to the rhetorical, conceptual, and stylistic demands of writing at the college level; courses give instruction in composing processes, search strategies, and composing from sources. This course also provides students with experiences in the library and on the Internet and enhances their skills in accessing and using various types of primary and secondary materials.


Hallmarks and Explanatory Notes

(Foundations Board approved FG, 01/27/06; FW, 04/21/06; FS, 05/02/12)

Current Foundations Hallmarks (pdf file)

Previous versions
September 2006
December 2001 (used to designate Fall 2002 courses) October 2001 draft

For information regarding the Foundations-Quantitative Reasoning (FQ) requirement, please visit the following website: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/quantitativereasoning


Proposal Form (UHM only)

Global & Multicultural Perspectives (FG)
Quantitative Reasoning (FQ)
Written Communication (FW)
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General Information About Designations

1. Students must complete their Foundations requirement during their first year. Thus, Foundations courses must be at the 100- or 200-level. [NOTES: Lower-division requirement approved January 2003; ECON 301 was approved prior to this decision so its approval will continue through Spring 2008.]

2. All instructors of the course must agree to meet the appropriate Foundations Hallmarks because all sections will have the Foundations designation every time the course is offered.

3. A new course must be approved by the department and college prior to submission of a proposal.

4. The course description in the upcoming Catalog must be consistent with Foundations Hallmarks. In some cases, this will require modifications to the official course description.

5. Once given a Foundations designation, the course cannot have a Focus or Diversification designation. In addition, students who take a Global & Multicultural Perspectives course from a department may not fulfill their Diversification requirements with courses from that department. [Effective March 2007, students can take Foundations and Diversification courses from the same department.]

6. Once approved, the designation will maintain for three years for first-time proposals and five years for renewals. During the approval period, the General Education Committee will assess the course in light of the goals of the Foundations requirement. The department will need to begin the process to renew the designation approximately one year prior to expiration in order to maintain continuous approval.


last modified June 9, 2016; report errors to gened@hawaii.edu