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Dimensions of Culture

[ courses ]

McGill Hall 2126

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The Dimensions of Culture program (DOC) constitutes the core of Thurgood Marshall College’s general education requirements. The lower-division three-quarter sequence provides a unified academic experience for all incoming students. DOC courses are grounded in Marshall College’s commitment to social justice while meeting the UC system requirement that students demonstrate proficiency in writing. Students must have satisfied the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement before taking DOC 2 and DOC 3. Each quarter, students attend both large-class lectures taught by DOC faculty and small discussion section meetings led by teaching assistants.

DOC 1, “Reading Diversity,” is a four-unit course offered fall quarter. It satisfies UC San Diego’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion requirement. In this course, students practice the critical reading skills necessary to succeed academically through an exploration of the promises and paradoxes in US history, culture, and society. Students read a diverse selection of texts (from historical primary documents to social science theory) to see the many different ways an argument can be presented, supported, and debated. Through sustained analysis of these texts throughout the quarter, students will gain a broad overview of the histories of multiple communities in the U.S., the origins of social stratification and structural inequities, and the movements for social and economic equality.

DOC 2, “Arguing Justice,” is a six-unit course offered winter quarter that builds on the critical reading skills practiced in DOC 1 and extends the investigation of the concepts introduced in the fall quarter. Students hone their argumentative writing skills by explicitly exploring the question of justice in US society, particularly in the era of the Civil Rights Movement to the current day. For this writing-intensive course, students will be required to complete several small low-risk writing assignments that lay the groundwork for major papers that require planning, drafting, revising, and editing as part of the writing process. 

DOC 3, “Imagination + Action,” is a six-unit course offered spring quarter. As the culmination of the sequence, DOC 3 aims to develop students’ research processes. Students will have to use their critical reading and writing skills to produce a final research paper that analyzes an issue on the UC San Diego campus related to the larger structural iniquities and questions of justice that ground the DOC sequence. Students will not only analyze the issue of their choice as it relates to campus, but also propose a solution or action supported by their research. DOC 3 thus takes seriously the call to imagine institutions differently that defined the establishment of Thurgood Marshall College in 1970.

DOC 100D, “Promises and Contradictions in US Culture,” satisfies UC San Diego’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion requirement. This course is designed for Marshall College transfer students as well as upper-division students in the other six colleges. Marshall College transfer students should review their degree audits with Academic Advising to determine which DOC courses may be required of them.

For further details on Marshall College requirements, see “Marshall College, General-Education Requirements.”