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Common Questions Asked by Students

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  1. Can an online course taken at another institution count for Ways?
  2. I am taking, or have previously taken, a course that I believe should count for Ways, how do I petition the course to be certified for Ways?
  3. I took a course that was previously not approved for Ways, but it has now been approved. Can I get Ways credit for it?
  4. I took a class that was approved for two Ways and my Degree Progress shows that it fulfilled one Way, but I want to change it to the other Way. How do I change it?
  5. Do I need to take Ways classes for a letter grade?
  6. Do Ways courses have to be a minimum of 3 units?
  7. How do I see which Ways I have already completed?
  8. I want to take a course that is offered for variable units (e.g., 2-5 units) and it states that it is a Ways course. Can I earn Ways credit for the 2-unit version of the course?
  9. When a course is "repeatable for credit", can I take it again and fulfill Ways too? For example: I took Course 1 last year; it is a class that fulfills the AII requirement. If I take it again this year, can I count it towards my second AII required class?
  10. If a course is cross-listed (same course ID number) with another course, can I take the cross-listed course to fulfill my second Way requirement in a course that is certified for two Ways, such as AII, SI, and SMA?
  11. Should I be trying to fulfill Ways requirements during my frosh year? When do I need to focus on fulfilling Ways requirements?
  12. Can Ways be double counted with other general education requirements?

1. Can an online course taken at another institution count for Ways?

Transfer courses must be taken in-person which is standard policy.  During 2020-21 there was a COVID exception granted that allowed for online transfer courses to satisfy the Ways requirement.  See the Ways Transfer Credit page for more details. 

2. I am taking, or have previously taken, a course that I believe should count for Ways, how do I petition the course to be certified for Ways?

The Ways program does not have a process whereby students may petition a course to be reviewed for Ways certification. It is not mandatory to have all courses certified for Ways, so it is an “opt-in” program. Instructors and departments decide whether they want to submit a course for Ways and they sometimes choose not to certify a course for Ways for various reasons.

3. I took a previous course that was not approved for Ways, but it has now been approved. Can I get Ways credit for it?

It depends. If you took the course during the same academic year it became approved for Ways, then you would earn Ways credit. However, if you took the course in a prior year, then you cannot earn Ways credit. The effective date for any Ways certification is fall of the current academic year, so courses taken in a previous year cannot retroactively count for Ways.

4. I took a class that was approved for two Ways and my Degree Progress shows that it fulfilled one Way, but I want to change it to the other Way. How do I change it?

You can submit an online Request to Update Ways Designation Form; however, it may make sense to do this later in your academic career since it asks you to map out your Ways course-taking over your academic career.

5. Do I need to take Ways classes for a letter grade?

Yes, all Ways courses must be taken for a letter grade. The only exception would be Creative Expression (CE) courses, and only if a letter grade is not given as an option. Courses offered as “letter grade or credit/no credit” must be taken for a letter grade to earn Ways credit. If a CE course is only offered as Satisfactory/No Credit (S/NC), then you will earn Ways credit.

6. Do Ways courses have to be a minimum of 3 units?

Yes, Ways courses must be a minimum of 3 units except for CE, which is a 2-unit requirement. When a course is offered for variable units (e.g., 2-5 units) and is certified for Ways, you must take it for a minimum of 3 units to earn Ways credit, and also a letter grade. Please see the Ways About page for more details on how to fulfill the CE requirement.

7. How do I see which Ways I have already completed?

Run your Degree Progress Report in Axess. Also, visit Check Your Ways on the Ways website for tools to track your Ways over your academic career.

8. I want to take a course that is offered for variable units (e.g., 2-5 units) and it states that it is Ways-certified. Can I earn Ways credit for the 2-unit version of the course?

No, any course offered for variable units must be taken for a minimum of 3 units to earn Ways credit, and taken for a letter grade.

9. When a course is "repeatable for credit", can I take it again and fulfill Ways too? For example: I took Course 1 last year; it is a class that fulfills the AII requirement. If I take it again this year, can I count it towards my second AII required class?

A course can only count for one Way requirement even though the course may be "repeatable" for general university credit. CE credit is an exception, students can repeat the same 1-unit class twice and earn Ways credit, such as two Music or two Dance classes.

10. If a course is cross-listed (same course ID number) with another course, can I take the cross-listed course to fulfill my second Way requirement in a course that is certified for two Ways, such as AII, SI, and SMA?

You cannot take a cross-listed course and have it count for an additional Way, either same Way type (e.g., two AII) or for a second Way in a dual-certified course (e.g., AII and ED).

11. Should I be trying to fulfill Ways requirements during my frosh year? When do I need to focus on fulfilling Ways requirements?

No, frosh year is a time to explore new experiences and courses although you might note courses that are Ways-certified. Most COLLEGE (and Thinking Matters) courses, many Introductory Seminar courses, and some courses in your major are Ways-certified. You may want to start mapping out your Ways course-taking during winter or spring of your sophomore year.

12. Can Ways double count with other general education requirements?

Yes, many courses can count for both Ways and other general education requirements. Check out the About page for more details on what courses may double count, such as COLLEGE. Some courses in your major may also count for Ways.