Faculty of the UCLA College have approved a proposal requiring all College undergraduates to complete a course focused on diversity.

A total of 659 ballots were cast — 332 in favor, 303 opposed and 24 blank. Forty-six percent of eligible faculty members participated in the election.

The proposal will now move to the Academic Senate’s Undergraduate Council, which is scheduled to vote at its Nov. 7 meeting. The council also will consult with the Senate’s Committee on Rules and Jurisdiction to ensure that the wording of the proposed regulation conforms with College regulations.

For the proposal to become final, it would then have to be approved by the Academic Senate’s Legislative Assembly, which includes representatives from academic departments across campus. The Legislative Assembly is scheduled to vote on the measure at its Nov. 20 meeting.

If approved, the requirement would take effect for incoming freshman in fall 2015 and incoming transfer students in 2017. It would bring the UCLA College into alignment with seven other UC campuses and the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, which have already adopted similar requirements.

The proposal was prompted by a large and growing number of studies demonstrating that diversity courses produce a more tolerant, less prejudiced student body with a greater capacity for changing perspectives.

“A diversity-related course requirement for UCLA College undergraduates is an important component of our commitment to expose students to beliefs and backgrounds other than their own,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block.  “It would help prepare our students for work in a multicultural world, in part by engaging them in difficult but crucial conversations for our campus and society as a whole.”

“Naturally, I’m pleased with the results of the vote by College faculty, and I look forward to the next step in the Academic Senate’s approval process.”