General Education Requirement (Gen Ed)
Common collective knowledge about the world enables us to communicate, to make informed decisions about many aspects of our lives, to understand and to participate fully as informed citizens in local, national and global matters.
Competency in composition, the humanities, physical and biological sciences, mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences, enables us to better understand ourselves, our neighbors, other cultures and times, and the principles governing the natural world and the universe. In general education courses, students gain fresh perspectives, methods and tools for understanding the traditional and the newly discovered.
The general education curriculum is organized around seven major content areas: composition, diversity studies, humanities, international studies, mathematics, physical and biological sciences, and social and behavioral sciences.
General Education Curriculum Descriptions
Composition courses provide instruction in the methods and conventions of standard written English (i.e., grammar, punctuation, usage) and the techniques that produce effective texts. Composition courses are writing-intensive, require multiple drafts submitted to your instructor for feedback before final submission and fulfill 6,000 of the university’s 24,000-word writing requirement.
Diversity courses provide instruction in the values, attitudes and norms that create cultural differences within the United States. These courses encourage you to recognize how social roles and status affect different groups and impact U.S. society. These courses guide you to analyze and to evaluate your own cultural norms and values in relation to those of other cultures, and to distinguish opportunities and constraints faced by other persons and groups.
Humanities courses provide instruction in the key themes, principles and terminology of a humanities discipline. Your courses focus on the history, theory and methodologies used within that discipline, enabling you to identify and to analyze the key elements, biases and influences that shape thought. These courses emphasize clear and effective analysis and approach issues and problems from multiple perspectives.
International courses provide instruction in the values, attitudes and norms that constitute the culture of countries outside the United States. These courses lead you to understand how geographic location, development level and geopolitical influences affect these cultures. Through analysis and evaluation of your own cultural norms and values in relation to those held by the citizens of other countries, you will develop a cross-cultural understanding of the rest of the world.
Courses in mathematics provide instruction in computational strategies in at least one of the following: solving equations and inequalities, logic, statistics, algebra, trigonometry, inductive and deductive reasoning, and applying these concepts to solving problems. These courses include reasoning in abstract mathematical systems, formulating mathematical models and arguments, using mathematical models to solve problems and applying mathematical concepts effectively to real-world situations.
Physical (P) and Biological Sciences (B)
The physical and biological sciences provide instruction in the basic concepts, theories and terms of science and the scientific method. Courses focus on major scientific developments and their impacts on society and the environment. You will formulate empirically-testable hypotheses derived from the study of physical processes and living things and you will apply logical reasoning skills through scientific criticism and argument.
Social and Behavioral Sciences (S)
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The social and behavioral sciences provide instruction in the key themes, principles and terminology of a social and behavioral science discipline of your choice. These courses focus on the history, underlying theory and/or methodologies used in that discipline. You will learn to identify, describe and explain social institutions, structures and processes. These courses emphasize the effective application of accepted problem-solving techniques as well as the evaluation of opinions and outcomes.
What are the Requirements?
All undergraduate students (except those transferring to UF with an A.A. degree from a Florida public college or an A.A. certificate from a Florida public state university) are required to complete UF's general education requirement to graduate.
General education requires 36 credits of courses in the following areas:
- 3 credits of Composition (C)
- 3 credits of Diversity (D) **
- 9 credits of Humanities (H) *
- Three of the 9 credits must be HUM 2305 What is the Good Life
- 3 credits of International (N) **
- 6 credits of Mathematics (M)
- 9 credits of Physical and Biological Sciences (P) and (B) *
- 9 credits of Social and Behavioral Sciences (S) *
* The required credits for the humanities (H), social and behavioral sciences (S), and physical (P) and biological (B) sciences categories are flexible. Many colleges permit students to vary these 27 credits as long as there are no fewer than six credits in any of the three categories. For instance, in some colleges students can take nine credits in each category (9–9–9) or they can take six credits in one category, nine in the second and twelve in the third (6–9–12). Students should consult an academic adviser in their college to verify the flexibility of these credits.
** Students can count a gen ed class toward one gen ed category only, except for D and N credits, which must be earned concurrently with another category.
Important considerations to note:
- A minimum grade of C is required to earn gen ed credit.
- Gen ed courses cannot be taken S-U.
- Some majors require or recommend specific gen ed courses.
- Certain classes are approved to count for multiple gen ed categories; for example, the same class may count as C or H.
- Students must take at least three hours of approved mathematics courses; the other three credits can be from approved courses outside the math department, such as statistics and computer science courses.
- Study abroad courses can fulfill international credit, in addition to fulfilling credit in other categories. Study abroad must be approved in advance by an academic adviser and the UF International Center.
Successful completion of these requirements will result in the student learning outcomes listed below.
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Student Learning Outcomes: Content and Skills
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||Demonstrate forms of effective writing (proposals, resumes, cover letters, reports, case studies, analyses, arguments, research papers).
Learn different writing styles, approaches and formats and successfully adapt your writing to different audiences, purposes and contexts.
Revise and edit your own writing and the writing of others effectively.
|Organize complex arguments in writing, using thesis statements, claims and evidence.
Employ logic in arguments and analyze your writing and the writing of others for errors in logic.
|Write clearly, concisely and consistently with the conventions of standard written English. Use thesis sentences, claims, evidence and logic in arguments.|
||Know the roles of social structure and status of different groups within the United States.
||Analyze and evaluate your own cultural norms and values in relation to those of other cultures.
Identify, evaluate and compare your own social status, opportunities and constraints with those of other persons and groups.
|The diversity designation is always in conjunction with another category; Communication outcomes are listed in those categories.|
(in at least one discipline)
|Know the history, underlying theory and methodologies used within the discipline studied.
||Identify and analyze key elements, biases and influences that shape thought within that discipline.
Approach issues and problems within that discipline from multiple perspectives.
|Communicate knowledge, thoughts and reasoning clearly and effectively in forms appropriate to that discipline, individually and/or in groups.|
||Know the values, attitudes and norms that shape the cultural differences of peoples who live in countries other than the United States.
Know the roles of geographic location, development level and geopolitical influences on the lives of citizens in other countries.
|Analyze and evaluate your cultural norms and values in relation to those held by citizens in other countries.
||The international designation is always in conjunction with another category; Communication outcomes are listed in those categories.|
||Employ computational strategies in fundamental mathematics, including at least one of the following: solving equations and inequalities, logic, statistics, algebra, trigonometry and inductive and deductive reasoning.
||Reason in abstract mathematical systems and use mathematical models to solve problems.
Apply mathematical concepts effectively to real-world situations.
|Formulate mathematical models and arguments.|
Communicate mathematical solutions clearly and effectively using oral, written and/or graphic forms.
(in at least one discipline)
|Know the basic concepts, theories and terminology of natural science and the scientific method within that discipline.
Know the major scientific developments within that discipline and the impacts on society and the environment.
Know relevant processes that govern biological and physical systems within that discipline.
|Formulate empirically-testable hypotheses derived from the study of physical processes and living things within that discipline.
Apply logical reasoning skills effectively through scientific criticism and argument within that discipline.
Apply techniques of discovery and critical thinking effectively to solve experiments and to evaluate outcomes.
|Communicate scientific findings clearly and effectively using oral, written and/or graphic forms.|
Write effectively using several types of writing, such as research papers and laboratory reports.
(in at least one discipline)
|Know key themes, principles and terminology within that discipline.
Know the history, theory and/or methodologies used within that discipline.
Identify, describe and explain social institutions, structures and processes within that discipline.
|Apply formal and informal qualitative and/or quantitative analysis effectively to examine the processes and means by which individuals make personal and group decisions.
Assess and analyze ethical perspectives in individual and societal decisions.
|Communicate knowledge, thoughts and reasoning clearly and effectively in forms appropriate to the discipline, individually and in groups.|
Identifying General Education Courses
All general education courses are identified by letter in the course descriptions section of this catalog. The category letter designation(s) appears at the end of the course description. For example: AMH 2010, United States to 1877, fulfills three credits in the Humanities (H) category.
The schedule of courses also includes a list of all courses that fulfill each gen ed category. In addition, course listings in every schedule identify whether a course section satisfies gen ed credit (refer to the G.E. column).
Selecting General Education Courses
Students can take gen ed courses at the 1000-4000 levels. First-year students generally take introductory (1000/2000-level) classes. Those who have the academic background and the interest can take more advanced classes, but they should first consult an academic adviser.
Requirements M (mathematics), P (physical sciences) and B (biological sciences) include the study of pure science (e.g., physics, chemistry and calculus) and their technological applications (e.g., nuclear energy, environmental science and computer theory). Students should pursue a balanced program of pure and applied sciences to complete these requirements. Remember, three of the six credits for the math requirement must be in approved mathematics courses.
How Incoming Credits Apply to General Education
AP, IB, AICE and CLEP credit count toward completion of the general education requirement as indicated in the course equivalency charts.
Acceptable dual enrollment and other transfer credit will fulfill the general education requirements that the same UF course fulfills if the course is equivalent. Courses from Florida public community colleges and State University System schools generally adhere to the Statewide Course Numbering System. If the prefix (first three letters) and the last three digits of the course number are the same, then the course is considered equivalent.
If the course does not have a common-numbered equivalent at UF (either because UF does not offer the course or because the transferred course was not taken in the state system), then the student’s college needs to evaluate the course to determine whether it fulfills a general education requirement.
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