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Harvard University was to debut its new general education curriculum in the fall, but the deadline has been pushed back a year, Rakesh Khurana, dean of the undergraduate college, told students in a recent message. “We believe the extra year will allow the revitalized program in general education to launch with a larger number and broader range of exciting new courses,” he wrote. “In the meantime, you will continue to have the flexibility of either graduating under the older general education requirements or taking courses in the current program in general education as you plan to fulfill the new college requirements.”

A 2015 interim report on Harvard’s general education program found it to be lacking, in that students and faculty members alike were unclear as to its purpose or value. The new curriculum is to be based on a faculty review committee’s “4+3+1” model, under which four required courses would come from the following categories: aesthetics, culture, interpretation; histories, societies, individuals; science and technology in society; and ethics and civics. The group of three required courses consists of more typical departmental offerings -- one each in arts and humanities, the social sciences, and natural sciences or engineering. The last is a quantitative facility course.