Proposals for Difference, Power, and Discrimination courses should be submitted to CIM, OSU's curriculum proposal software, and are required to meet specific requirements.

DPD Rationale, Criteria, and Learning Outcomes


The unequal distribution of social, economic, and political power in the United States and in other countries is sustained through a variety of individual beliefs and institutional practices. These beliefs and practices have tended to obscure the origins and operations of social discrimination such that this unequal power distribution is often viewed as the natural order. The DPD requirement engages students in the intellectual examination of the complexity of the structures, systems, and ideologies that sustain discrimination and the unequal distribution of power and resources in society. Such examination will enhance meaningful democratic participation in our diverse university community and our increasingly multicultural U.S. society.


All DPD courses must meet the following criteria and learning outcomes:


Difference, Power, and Discrimination courses shall:

  1.  Be at least 3 credits,
  2.  Emphasize elements of critical thinking,
  3.  Have as their central focus the study of the unequal distribution of power within the framework of particular disciplines and course content,
  4.  Focus primarily on the United States, although global contexts are encouraged,
  5.  Provide illustrations of ways in which structural, institutional, and ideological discrimination arise from socially defined meanings attributed to difference,
  6.  Provide historical and contemporary examples of difference, power, and discrimination across cultural, economic, social, and political institutions in the United States,
  7.  Provide illustrations of ways in which the interactions of social categories, such as race, ethnicity, social class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and age, are related to difference, power, and discrimination in the United States,
  8.  Provide a multidisciplinary perspective on issues of difference, power, and discrimination,
  9.  Incorporate interactive learning activities (e.g., ungraded, in-class writing exercise; classroom discussion; peer-review of written material; web-based discussion group), and
  10.  Be regularly numbered departmental offerings rather than x99 or blanket number courses.

DPD Learning Outcomes

Outcomes must appear on the syllabus and be assessed.

Students in Difference, Power, and Discrimination courses shall:

  1.  Explain how difference is socially constructed,
  2.  Using historical and contemporary examples, describe how perceived differences, combined with unequal distribution of power across economic, social, and political institutions, result in discrimination, and
  3.  Analyze ways in which the interactions of social categories, such as race, ethnicity, social class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and age, are related to difference, power, and discrimination in the United States.

When developing your course syllabus, list the DPD learning outcomes separately from other course learning outcomes. Clearly identify DPD learning outcomes on the syllabus. 

Additionally, the course syllabus must include the DPD Baccalaureate Core Statement:

(The syllabus must include verbatim) "This course fulfills the Baccalaureate Core requirement for the * category. It does this by *."  (Take 1-2 sentences to briefly make the connection between your course content and/or approach of your course to the BCC category student learning outcomes.)

In addition, the syllabus must:

  • explicitly identify/label these outcomes as BCC Learning Outcomes for the category it satisfies
  • include a description that helps students understand the connection between the course and the BCC Category
  • make clear to students how the BCC category learning outcomes will be integrated into the course and assessed

Reference: Minimum Syllabus Requirements policy

In addition to submitting your completed syllabus, the submission process will require you to describe:

  1.  the ways in which the course your are proposing meets the DPD course criteria and learning outcomes,
  2.  the process by which assessment of student learning will take place in your course, and
  3.  the ways in which your unit will ensure consistency in meeting DPD learning outcomes across all course sections/locations/modes of delivery.

Submit your completed course for review through CIM.

Course Proposal Submission Demonstration

OSU recently switched to CIM as its curriculum proposal system. Please visit the CIM Support page for CIM quick starts and videos.

DPD course development resources

DPD Bacc Core review

Bacc Core courses are reviewed by the Bacc Core Committee every ten years (review schedule). The DPD student learning outcome assessment table must be completed as part of the review. For more information about the review process, visit the Bacc Core Assessment page.

Please contact [email protected] with questions about the course proposal process.

The DPD Program Office offers one-on-one consultations on DPD course development and can work with you at any point in your course development process.