Making of the Modern World

The Making of the Modern World (MMW) is an inter-disciplinary General Education program at Eleanor Roosevelt College (ERC), one of seven undergraduate colleges at the University of California San Diego.  

MMW is grounded in world history and provides  university-level instruction in academic research and writing.  Since 1988, when the program and college were founded, MMW has been at the heart of ERC’s general education requirements, serving as an academic manifestation of a fundamental aspect of the college’s mission, namely, “to feature dimensions of international understanding and cultural diversity,” and is required of all ERC students.  

MMW is taught on campus and abroad on Global Seminars.  MMW has led 38 programs abroad (2008-2020) on six continents to more than 900 students.  In addition, in AY2017-18 MMW launched MMW SERVES, which combines an MMW course with spring break service experiences in National Parks, Baja, MexicoCatalina Island, and the Navajo Reservation.

Courses.   MMW is a five-course, lower-division sequence for students entering as freshmen (MMW11 – MMW15) and a two-course, upper-division sequence for transfer students (MMW121 – MMW122).   The MMW courses are as follows:

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Learning objectives.    MMW prepares students to:

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the global past and its impact on the present and the historical and multi-cultural diversity that has shaped the modern world
  2. Assess differing interpretations of the past  
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in formulating a thesis
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in structuring and presenting an effective argument in academic writing
  5. Critically analyze, effectively utilize, properly cite historical evidence in argumentative writing  
  6. Understand and adhere to UCSD standards of academic integrity
  7. Demonstrate competency in critically engaging and analyzing course content in discussion section
  8. Engage in experiential activity related to the academic dimension of the MMW program, including study abroad, service programs, internships, etc.

History. MMW was founded in 1988, with the inauguration of Eleanor Roosevelt College. From 1988 – 2010, MMW was a six-course series (numbered MMW 1 – MMW 6), which was revised into the current five course sequence in the 2011-12 academic year.   Fall 2011 also witnessed the inauguration of transfer-specific MMW courses, which at first were lower-division (MMW21 and MMW22) and then in 2014 became upper-division (MMW121 and MMW122), aligned with the upper-division standing of transfer students.

Enrollment. MMW is taught every term during the academic year and in the summer, when it is offered both on campus as well as on its MMW programs abroad.  Enrollment figures follow for the most recent completed academic year and summers.


MMW 14:  167, MMW 15:  186,   MMW 121:  56,  MMW 122:  82

MMW Global Seminars Abroad:  76 (Greece, South Africa, Czech Republic)


Fall 2018:  MMW11– 1166, MMW14 – 294, MMW121 – 493

Winter 2019:  MMW12 – 1054, MMW14 – 473, MMW122 – 430

 Spring 2019:  MMW13 – 1035,  MMW15 – 727


MMW 14: 186,   MMW 15:  158,  MMW 121:  45,   MMW 122:  79

MMW Global Seminars Abroad:  69 (Australia, Spain, Germany)



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