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Cultural Diversity Flag Criteria

In response to feedback from faculty, staff, and students, the Cultures Flags faculty committee is currently reviewing and updating the Cultural Diversity Flag. As a result, there may be changes to the criteria for this Flag later in 2021. We will announce updates as they are available. If you have questions or would like to discuss adding a Cultural Diversity Flag to your course, please contact CD Flag coordinator Dr. Brooke Rich.

The following criterion was developed and approved by the Faculty Council.

To satisfy the Cultural Diversity in the United States Flag, at least one-third of the course grade* must be based on content dealing with the culture, perspectives, and history of one or more underrepresented cultural groups in the United States.

*For three- or four-credit courses. For two-credit hour courses, at least one-half of the course grade should be based on Flag content.


The following interpretation was developed by the faculty committee that oversees the Cultural Diversity Flag and was approved by the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee.

The purpose of the Cultural Diversity in the United States Flag is for students to explore in-depth the shared practices and beliefs of one or more underrepresented groups subject to persistent marginalization. In addition to learning about these diverse groups in relation to their specific contexts, students should engage in an active process of critical reflection. In order to highlight experiences of underrepresented cultural groups or marginalized groups, courses carrying the Cultural Diversity Flag should, whenever possible, include texts (broadly construed) created by members of those cultural groups. Courses should not focus on broad or systemic issues at the expense of a focus on the specific experiences of group members.

Courses carrying the Cultural Diversity Flag typically focus on the histories, traditions, or practices of one or more underrepresented or marginalized U.S. communities; however, the size of a group alone is not sufficient to qualify for the designation. Rather, disparities in the socio-political power of a cultural group relative to the status quo are key to this determination and must be part of what students learn about in the course.

Courses may be structured in different ways to provide a substantive exploration, but must include at least one of the following:

  • a sustained focus on and critical engagement with one or more underrepresented or marginalized groups in the US;
  • a coherent examination of a particular issue, theme, or phenomenon within the context of two or more diverse communities in the US.

Broader underrepresented or marginalized groups such as women in the United States or the American Deaf Community could be considered appropriate for the Cultural Diversity Flag if the course gives substantial consideration to diverse cultural perspectives within those groups.

Learning Objectives

The faculty committee that oversees the Cultural Diversity Flag has also developed a set of learning objectives, or goals for what students will learn to do in these courses. These learning objectives can be adapted to your course and help communicate course structure and goals to your students.

Student Feedback

We administer end-of-semester surveys to students enrolled in courses that carry a Cultural Diversity Flag. Here’s a snapshot of their feedback from our fall 2019 survey.