Course Proposal Guidelines

Expanded research and curriculum addressing Grand Challenges is a key component of the Twin Cities campus strategic plan—part of the overarching goal of creating a more agile, integrated, and deeply engaged 21st-century research university. Courses within the Grand Challenge Curriculum (GCC) address important global and societal issues through solution-oriented, interdisciplinary approaches to learning.

GCC courses may be offered as freshman seminars or upper division (3xxx/5xxx) courses. The table below summarizes key similarities and differences of GCC freshman seminars and courses. Click here to propose a GCC freshman seminar and here to propose a GCC 3xxx/5xxx course.


  • Proposals for Fall 2021 GCC courses will be accepted through December 1, 2020 with final decisions prior to February 1, 2021.
  • Proposals for Spring 2022 GCC courses will be accepted through February 1, 2021 with final decisions prior to April 1, 2021. 

Grand Challenge Curriculum: Freshman Seminars and upper division course comparison

  GCC FSEM GCC 3xxx/5xxx Course
Instruction Taught by a single faculty members (or more if desired). Taught by 2-3 faculty from different departments.
Interdisciplinary Faculty intentionally bring interdisciplinary perspectives into the course (e.g. readings, guest speakers). Interdisciplinarity central to the course and engaged regularly with distinct faculty perspectives and course material.
Curriculum integration Elective credit. May meet an LE theme requirement. Meet an LE Theme requirement and may fulfill major requirements.
Number of credits 2-3 3
Prerequisites First-year students. Sophomore, Junior, Senior, or Grad students.
  • $2,000/credit to department of instruction
  • Instructional tuition revenue to college of instruction
  • $12,500 course funds to department of instruction
  • $4,000 professional development funds divided among faculty
  • Instructional tuition revenue to college(s) of instruction