Faculty Guidelines for Themes

Faculty Guidelines for Proposing a Theme

Would you like to pilot a Theme?

Please read the following carefully if you're thinking of proposing a Theme. Currently we're accepting "letters of intent" from faculty wishing to pilot a Theme. If you'd like to apply to pilot a Theme, please email commoncurr@uconn.edu with the following information:

  • Proposed title for your Theme
  • Potential courses (numbers and titles) that you're considering for your Theme
  • A brief description of where you are in the development process. For example, are you just starting to think about a Theme? Have you already spoken to other faculty whose course(s) you want to use? Has your department head or curriculum manager already give you the go-ahead to develop this Theme? Etc.
  • Are you from a Regional campus where you expect this Theme to be available?

Please submit your email of intent by February 16, 2024. Departmental permission/approval is not required at this point.

Theme Requirements:

  • By nature, every course within a Theme must carry at least one TOI. Courses that only have a W and/or a Q designation are not eligible for Themes.
  • Themes must contain a minimum of three (3) courses and up to a maximum of ten (10) courses. CCC+ highly recommends that Themes strive to include at least four (4) courses. Under some circumstances, managing departments or units can petition to have more than seven courses in a Theme.
  • For a theme to be considered available at a given campus, course availability must be such as to allow a student to complete the theme in two years.
  • Faculty must be mindful of how often courses in a Theme are offered. If there are only three courses in the Theme, all three courses must be offered at least once a year. Otherwise, at least three courses in a theme must be offered every year or every other year (i.e. within 4 semesters).
  • One course offering in the Theme must be at the 1000-level. If there are more than three courses in a Theme, students are not required to take the 1000-level course.
  • NEW: Special Topics courses, Variable Topics courses, and courses that offer a variety of topics under one number cannot be approved for a theme; each section of a course must fulfill the theme.
  • Themes are not required to cross colleges, but at least two or more departments or units must be represented in each Theme. Cross-listed courses may satisfy this requirement.
  • Themes cannot be closed. All Themes must be available to all students.
  • Only approved courses within a Theme can be used. No substitutions are allowed.
  • Schools and colleges may require some of the courses within a Theme but cannot require that their students complete the Theme itself. We highly encourage schools and colleges to allow students agency in their choice of Common Curriculum courses.

Strong Recommendations:

  • Themes should include more than one TOI, but students may choose courses all in the same TOI from within a Theme.
  • Once a Theme is approved, the syllabi for all courses in that Theme should mention that the course fulfills part of “XX” Theme.