General Education Requirements

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General Education Requirements, often referred to as “Gen Eds”, are prescribed clusters of courses that share general similarities among colleges but are uniquely defined by each school. These courses are required for graduation and are usually completed during the first two years of college. They are primarily designed to give students an exposure to a broad scope of knowledge. Students desiring to accumulate many credits independently may want to begin by earning General Education Requirements before enrolling in the institution where they plan to graduate. This is a natural place to start since all degrees require them.

There are variances among colleges as to what courses are required in this area, and there are also varying requirements among degree programs at the same college. The General Education Requirements for an associates degree are usually clearly defined, making it easy for students to identify exactly which courses are required. However, the requirements for bachelors degrees are sometimes less clear. The General Education courses for bachelors degrees are organized into broad academic categories and students need to take the required amount of courses in each category. Sometimes students can choose from more than one course to satisfy a requirement.

There are five basic academic categories used by colleges to group their General Education Requirements. Some colleges will divide these into subcategories or blend others together. Following, however, is a basic list and the courses that generally fall in each, as well as the credit guidelines some colleges recommend for General Education Requirements.

There is a trend among colleges to rename some of the categories however, they are still basically the same and require the same courses. Course titles can also vary for the same course so a closer look at the descriptions may be necessary.





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