General Education Program Requirements

Required Courses:

English Composition (ENGL 103) (3 credits):

All students are placed in Composition Skills (ENGL 090) or English Composition (ENGL 103) based upon their verbal SAT scores.  Those placed in ENGL 090 must take and pass it before they can be admitted into ENGL 103.  Students may be exempted from and receive credit for English Composition, ENGL 103, if they take and achieve a high score on the CLEP general examination in English Composition (with essay).  Students must receive a minimum grade of "C" to fulfill the English Composition requirement.  ENGL 103 must be completed during the first 45 credits of study at ESU. 

First Year Experience Course (3 credits):

All students are required to successfully complete one of the university's First Year Experience (FYE) courses prior to the culmination of their first year of study at ESU.  Students transferring to ESU with at least 24 credits of accepted transfer credits may be exempted from and receive credit for this requirement.

Transfer students who transfer at least 24 credits of coursework to ESU are exempted from the First Year Experience requirement.  Students who transfer fewer than 24 credits of coursework but believe that they have taken a course equivalent to ESU's First Year Experience course may apply to the First Year Experience Coordinating Committee to judge the equivalency of their course.  Details regarding how to apply to the committee may be found on the General Education page of the ESU website.

Wellness Course (H) (3 credits):

Students must complete a three credit course satisfying the SLO VII requirement, "Understand various models for the healthy development of the whole person".  This course must be completed during their first 60 credits of study at ESU.


Breadth Requirement (36 credits):

Each student must complete at least 12 credits in each of three areas:

Group A - Arts and Letters

Group B - Science

Group C - Social Science

In each group, the twelve credits earned must come from at least four distinct subject categories.  Courses that satisfy the General Education (GN) breadth requirements are identified as GN in department course listings.  (Courses identified as GE serve to meet the requirements of the previous General Education program, but will not meet the requirements of the current program.)  Additionally, course listings will be accompanied with Attribute codes (see below) that identify any Breadth requirement or Overlay/cognate requirements that the course satisfies.  Students should meet with their faculty advisors to plan appropriate choices to meet these requirements.  Some GN courses may have specific prerequisites.


Arts and Letters (Group A) 12 credits

  1. English Language and Literature (AEL)
  2. Fine Arts - Art, Communication Studies, Dance, Music, and Theatre (AFA)
  3. Modern Languages (AML)
  4. Performing Arts - Communication Studies, Dance, Music, and Theatre (APA)
  5. Philosophy (APH)

Science (Group B) 12 credits

  1. Biology (BBI)
  2. Chemistry (BCH)
  3. Computer Science (BCS)
  4. Mathematics (BMA)
  5. Physics (BPH)
  6. Psychology (BPS)

Social Science (Group C) 12 credits

  1. Economics (CED)
  2. Geography (CGE)
  3. History (CHI)
  4. Political Science (CPS)
  5. Sociology (CSO)

Exceptions to breadth requirements:

Science Courses: Where coursework in biology, chemistry, mathematics, or physics is required (or listed as recommended in the catalog) for the major, a student with a declared major may substitute those courses for courses in the same departments listed under Science Group B.  If a student adopts the above provision and later changes his or her major to a field which does not require coursework in those disciplines, the student may nevertheless receive General Education credit for courses taken in those departments.


Modern Language Courses: Students may substitute a higher-level foreign language course taught in the language for courses listed under Modern Language Group A.

Overlay Requirements:

Overlay requirements will be embedded into courses across the University, including GN Breadth courses, courses within the major programs, and elective courses, and should not require that a student complete additional credits for graduation. Students and advisors should plan how to satisfy these overlay requirements.

Level II Writing (W2): Students must complete at least one course designated as meeting the Level II Writing requirement.

Level III Writing (W3): Students must complete at least one course designated as meeting the Level III Writing requirement.

Global Diversity and Citizenship (G): Students must complete at least one course certified as satisfying the SLO I requirement, "Demonstrate an understanding of their role as citizens of a diverse, global society.

Communication (C): Students must complete at least one course certified as meeting the SLO III requirement, "Communicate in a variety of media, including verbal, written, and/or visual expression.

Information Literacy (I): Students must complete at least one course certified as meeting the SLO IV requirement, "Demonstrate information literacy and technological skills".

Artistic Expression (A): Students must complete at least one course certified as meeting the SLO VI requirement, "Create and/or critique various forms of artistic expression".