Dearborn Discovery Core (General Education)

The campus-wide general education program (known as the Dearborn Discovery Core) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn is designed to complement work in a student's chosen area of study. These classes serve as a means of discovery for students, providing a foundation for learning, connecting to potential new areas of interest and building tools for success in whatever field a student pursues. The Dearborn Discovery Core is divided into three sections in order to accomplish the six goals for undergraduate student learning: Foundational Studies, Areas of Inquiry, and Capstone Experience.

Foundational Studies

  • Written and Oral Communication (6 credits)
  • Upper-Level Writing Intensive Course (3 upper-level credits)
  • Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving (3 credits)
  • Critical and Creative Thinking (3 credits)

Areas of Inquiry

  • Natural Science (7 credits with a lab)
  • Social and Behavioral Analysis (9 credits)
  • Humanities and the Arts (6 credits)
  • Intersections (6 upper-level credits)
  • Capstone Experience (3 credits)

Transfer Placement Policy

Only exact transfer equivalencies of courses approved by the Dearborn Discovery Core Subcommittee may be used to fulfil Dearborn Discovery Core requirements.

Readmit Policy

Students who were last enrolled between Fall 2015 and Summer 2017 and have no more than four courses or twelve credit hours to take in order to graduate have the option of returning under their college’s old general education program or the Dearborn Discovery Core. Students who choose to return under their college’s old general education program may only take advantage of this readmittance policy one time, and they must successfully complete the remaining courses. All other readmitted students and all transfer students entering the University of Michigan-Dearborn will come under the Dearborn Discovery Core requirements.

Students may petition for an exemption to the Readmit Policy if they satisfy at least one of the criteria components:

  1. were last enrolled at the University of Michigan-Dearborn between Fall 2015 and Summer 2017; or
  2. have no more than four courses or twelve credit hours to take in order to graduate.

In addition, students must submit a rationale that provides a well-stated and reasoned explanation to the Dearborn Discovery Core Subcommittee for why it should approve an exemption to the policy.

Pass/Fail Policy

Courses taken with the pass/fail option by students will be accepted for credit within the Dearborn Discovery Core program. The default limit of pass/fail courses shall be 4.

Minimum Grade Policy

A student can satisfy a Dearborn Discovery Core category with a passing grade of D- in a Dearborn Discovery Core course. A student still must have an overall minimum grade point average of 2.00 in his/her block of Dearborn Discovery Core courses.

Transferring Quarter-Hour Credit Courses

Students transferring in a quarter-hour credit course may satisfy a specific Dearborn Discovery Core requirement. Students transferring in quarter-hour credit courses must still meet a minimum of 30 credits of Dearborn Discovery Core requirements.

Evaluating Transfer Courses for Credit

If a transfer course is in the Michigan Transfer Agreement and given exact equivalency for lower-level credit, then the university will grant the same transfer credit to all students and the course will count toward the relevant DDC category.
For transfer courses not in the Course Transfer System that a student seeks to petition for DDC credit, the college advising office will send the petition to the discipline faculty for evaluation. The following list provides the results of the faculty evaluation process:

  • If the faculty evaluates the petition as an exact equivalency for a UM-Dearborn course already in DDC, that course will qualify for DDC category(s) credit.
  • If the faculty evaluates the petition as an exact equivalency for a UM-Dearborn course not in DDC, the course will not qualify for DDC credit.
  • If the faculty evaluates the petition as Lower Level credit in the discipline, then it will automatically qualify for DDC credit in the category associated with the discipline (this outcome parallels how the Michigan Transfer Agreement operates).
  • If the faculty evaluates the petition as General Credit, then the course will not qualify for DDC credit.

Transfer Course Credit for Intersections Category

If the college advising office grants the transfer course an equivalency for a specific UM-Dearborn course that is already approved for the Intersections category, then the student will receive Dearborn Discovery Core Intersections credit, and no petition is necessary. A student may receive all 6 credit hours of the Intersections requirement in this manner.
If the college advising office grants the transfer course general upper-level credit, then the student would need to submit a petition to the Dearborn Discovery Core Subcommittee to have the course considered for Intersections credit. If the subcommittee finds that the evidence is insufficient and it cannot make a determination, the student has an opportunity to resubmit additional course materials for review, within one year of the first petition. The student may resubmit materials in support of a petition one time. Only 3 of the 6 credit hours Intersections requirement may be fulfilled using this petition process.

Course load

Students must have permission from their college advising office to elect more than 18 credit hours a term. Students whose GPA is below 3.00 are not allowed to elect more than the maximum of 18 hours.

Additive Credit

Additive credit courses are courses that do not count toward degree. These could be academic courses that are designed to provide a refresher of pre-college level material. Examples would be COMP 099, and MATH 080 and 090. Students generally take these courses as a result of placement exams. In an additive credit course you may be awarded a letter grade of A down to C-. If you do not earn a C- or higher you will receive an NC (no credit). If you receive an NC you need to repeat the course before moving to the next higher course. The NC is not factored in the student's grade point average.

When it comes to determining eligibility for Federal financial aid, only the additive credit courses (COMP 099, MATH 080 & 090, CHEM 090 & 091) that are academic and developmental/remedial in nature will be used. Eligibility criteria for financial aid and scholarships can vary. If you aren’t sure about the terms and conditions of your financial aid, scholarship or tuition assistance program, always check with a financial aid counselor and/or the individual, company or organization responsible for your funds.