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Download the Ways Quick Reference Sheet for Faculty

Faculty & Departments: Certify Courses for Ways

When to apply

Before submitting your course, you need to understand how the Ways of Thinking, Ways of Doing (Ways) program works.  Courses must be a minimum of 3-units and it must be offered for a letter grade except when a letter grade option is not offered and only “Satisfactory/No Credit” is available. Courses offered “Letter or Credit/No Credit” must be taken for a letter grade.  Please visit the About page to learn more about the Ways general education breadth requirement, what is required of students, and how the Ways program works with other programs and majors.

You may submit a new course for Ways certification at any time. Courses are reviewed on a rolling monthly basis and uploaded to Explore Courses on a rolling basis, except during the summer when the Breadth Governance Board, who oversees the Ways program, does not meet. If you want a course to appear in Explore Courses by the first day of Open Enrollment, you must submit the course no later than the quarterly deadline below. We encourage you to submit the course as early as possible in the event the board needs a bit more information about your syllabus and/or course, so this does not delay the certification of your course.  Courses which have been previously certified for Ways do not need to be resubmitted at this time.  

The deadlines for submitting new courses for AY 2022-23 are listed below. Depending on the Breadth Governance Board meeting dates, the dates may be revised although they will be no earlier than the dates listed below.

Deadline Dates for Submitting Courses for Ways AY 2023-24*

Winter Quarter - October 26, 2023

Spring Quarter - January 29, 2024

Summer Quarter - February 23, 2024

Autumn Quarter 2024 - May 22, 2024

*Dates are subject to change

First Step: Which of the Ways is best for your course?

Below is a brief description for each of the eight Ways categories, so you can identify which of the one or two Ways best fits your course.  If you would like more information about each Way, please review the Ways Guidelines

Aesthetic and Interpretive Inquiry (AII): interpretive or philosophical exploration of cultural objects (e.g., art, literature, theatrical works, etc.), or the means of their apprehension (e.g., the mind, beliefs, etc.).

Applied Quantitative Reasoning  (AQR): inferential and inductive reasoning involving the direct manipulation of data, models, software, or other quantitative tools.

Creative Expression (CE): study of the creative process, coupled with a skills development process to "practice" creative expression.

Exploring Difference and Power (EDP): analysis of difference across social and cultural domains, showing how difference between groups is produced, understood, and enacted.

Ethical Reasoning (ER): understanding ethical theories or frameworks and, in some cases, applying such frameworks to particular policy domains or cases.

Formal Reasoning (FR): rigorous logical and deductive reasoning methods, typically involving instruction in symbolic manipulation.

Scientific Method and Analysis (SMA): (focusing on natural sciences): understanding the objects, processes and phenomena of matter or energy.

Social Inquiry (SI): probes questions of a social nature; for example pertaining to social arrangements, human behavior, or forms of social, political, and economic organization.

Download a Ways Quick Reference Sheet

Learn more about each of the Ways via the Ways Guidelines

Second Step: How to apply

We offer two pathways for submittal:


Any course can be submitted via the standard process. As shown in the flowchart below, the following courses must be submitted via the standard process:  all courses submitted for two Ways, Ways Engaging Diversity and Ethical Reasoning, IDPs, BOSP and off-campus programs, professional schools (e.g., Business, Education, Law, and Medicine), and VPUE programs (e.g., ILEs, PWR, COLLEGE).

Learn more about the Standard Submittal Process


This path is a program with departments that own primary courses with a natural fit with a particular Way category.  If your department has been identified as a streamlined program partner, please contact your Chair, Director of Undergraduate Studies, curriculum committee, or faculty course administrator.  Please visit the Streamlined Submittal Process webpage to learn more and to see if your department can submit courses via the streamlined program.

Ways Submittal Flowchart

Download a PDF of this flowchart here

Learn more about the Streamlined Submittal Process

Has your course been previously submitted?  If not, please follow these steps to identify which submission path is appropriate for your course.