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American Institutions (AI) Critiera

Mission Statement

The objective of the requirement is to ensure that students have at least a minimal basis for responsible citizenship. All students receiving a baccalaureate degree from a public college or university in the state of Utah are required to have an understanding of fundamentals of history and the principles and form of government and economic system of the United States. Utah State Code R470 states:

3.2. General Education Core Requirements: ... American Institutions: Students shall satisfy this requirement by completing one of the following courses: Economics 1740, (3 credits); United States Economic History, (3 credits); Political Science 1100, American Political Institutions (3 credits); or History 1700, American Civilization (3 credits). An interdisciplinary integrated course that satisfies comparable criteria as those in Utah statute may also satisfy the requirement. Some institutions may require a two course sequence in the areas of economics, political science, or history which satisfies comparable criteria.

Criteria

  1. This course is designed primarily for undergraduates.
  2. The course meets the requirements of Utah Code R470.
  3. The primary focus of the course is an understanding of United States history, government, or economic systems, including content considered necessary but not sufficient for the AI designation.
  4. Interdisciplinary and integrated courses must be developed and offered only in collaboration with one of the following departments: History, Political Science, or Economics.
  5. The course is offered at least annually.

Courses

All students must take one of the following courses to fulfil the American Institutions requirement:

Subject Number Units Title
ECON 1740 3.0 US Economic History
HIST 1700 3.0 American Civilization
HIST 2700-2710 6.0 US History (two-course sequence)
HONOR 2212 3.0 American Institutions
POLS 1100 3.0 US National Government

Grading

A minimum grade of D- or CR in one of the approved courses is required to complete this requirement. Minimum grade does not apply to pre-requisites. Please check with the department first. If the courses is a requirement for a major, it must be taken for a letter grade and CR/NC is not an option.

American Institutions Benchmarks

Political Science Benchmarks

All students receiving a baccalaureate degree from a public college or university in the state of Utah are required to have an understanding of fundamental principles and forms of government of the United States. 

The following is a list of the content that a Political Science course satisfying the American Institutions requirement should fulfill.  The list covers content that is necessary but not sufficient for the AI designation.

An AI course in Political Science will include comprehensive coverage of:

  1. The American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, and the US Constitution.
  2. The responsibilities, powers, and the limits of power within the American national government, especially Congress, the Presidency, and the Federal Courts.
  3. American federalism and the role of the states in the US system of governance.
  4. The history of US citizenship and of the changes and processes of change in the definitions American citizenship.
  5. The central economic, social, and political actors in the US system, including but not limited to: political parties, interest groups, corporations, and the media.
  6. The role and instruments of US policy in society, the economy, and foreign affairs.  

History Benchmarks

All students receiving a baccalaureate degree from a public college or university in the state of Utah are required to have an understanding of fundamentals of history and the principles and form of government and economic system of the United States. 

The following is a list of the content that a History course satisfying the American Institutions requirement should fulfill.  The list covers content that is necessary but not sufficient for the AI designation.

An AI course in History will include comprehensive coverage of:

  1. American history from first European contact with indigenous peoples to the present
  2. The establishment of the North American colonies, the Revolution, and the constitutional system established after independence.
  3. Changes over time in America’s definition of citizenship, and the contested nature of the development of American participatory democracy and the laws and practices that empowered or restricted the citizenship of individuals on the basis of race, class, gender and sexuality.
  4. The processes and consequences of economic growth, industrialization, and development.
  5. The rise of the United States to world power.

Economic Benchmarks

All students receiving a baccalaureate degree from a public college or university in the state of Utah are required to have an understanding of fundamentals of economic principles and systems of the United States. 

The following is a list of the content that a Economic course satisfying the American Institutions requirement should fulfill.  The list covers content that is necessary but not sufficient for the AI designation.

An AI course in Economics will include comprehensive coverage of:

  1. The sources of economic growth in the US, including natural resource endowments, innovation and technological change, institutional change, and intra- and international trade (including innovations communication and transportation).
  2. The effects of economic growth for the US population as a whole and for sub-populations, including the evolution of living standards, changes in the nature of work, and the increasing role of markets in people’s lives.
  3. The measurement of important economic concepts and variables, including gross domestic product, income, wealth, unemployment, and inflation.
  4. The evolution of US government policy as it relates to the economy, including the growth of the public sector over time, the regulation of the labor market (including the operation and abolition of slavery and the regulation of immigration), and the use of fiscal and monetary policy to mitigate the harmful effects of economic downturns.
  5. The application of historical insights to contemporary policy debates.

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Last Updated: 7/22/16