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Office of the University Registrar

  • General Education Program (Gen Ed)

    The general education program provides instruction in common collective knowledge about the world that enables you to communicate, to make informed decisions about many aspects of your life, to understand and to participate fully as an informed citizen in local, national and global matters.

    Competency in composition, the humanities, physical and biological sciences, mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences enables you to better understand yourself, your neighbors, other cultures and times, and the principles governing the natural world and the universe. In general education courses, you 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.

    Area Objectives

    Composition (C)
    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. Course content should include multiple forms of effective writing, different writing styles, approaches and formats, and methods to adapt writing to different audiences, purposes and contexts. Students should learn to organize complex arguments in writing using thesis statements, claims and evidence, and to analyze writing for errors in logic.

    Humanities (H)
    Humanities courses provide instruction in the key themes, principles and terminology of a humanities discipline. These 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.

    Mathematics (M)
    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 the scientific method. Courses focus on major scientific developments and their impacts on society, science and the environment, and the relevant processes that govern biological and/or physical systems. You will formulate empirically-testable hypotheses derived from the study of physical processes and living things, apply logical reasoning skills through scientific criticism and argument, and apply techniques of discovery and critical thinking to evaluate the outcomes of experiments.

    Social and Behavioral Sciences (S)
    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. Students will apply formal and informal qualitative and/or quantitative analysis to examine the processes and means by which individuals make personal and group decisions, as well as the evaluation of opinions and outcomes. Students will assess and analyze ethical perspectives in individual and societal decisions.

    Diversity (D)
    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 in the United States. 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.

    International (N)
    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 and socioeconomic factors affect these cultures and the lives of citizens in other countries. 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.

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    General Education 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.

    Program Areas Credits
    Composition (C) 3
    ​Mathematics (M) ​6 *
    Humanities (H) ** 6-12 ***
    Physical (P) and Biological (B) Sciences 6-12 ***
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (S) 6-12 ***
    Diversity (D) ****
    International (N) ****
    Total Credit Requirements 36

    * Three credit hours must be an approved pure mathematics course. The other three credits can be from any course that has the mathematics (M) designation.

    ** Three of the nine humanities credits must be the course HUM 2305, What is the Good Life.

    *** The total credits from the humanities (H), social and behavioral sciences (S) and physical (P) and biological (B) sciences categories must equal 27, with a minimum of six credits from each category. That is, the distribution across these categories must be either nine credits in each category (9/9/9) or six in one, nine in another and twelve in the other category (6/9/12). Please consult an academic adviser in your college to determine the distribution required for your major.

    **** Some C, H, P, B and S general education courses carry the diversity (D) or international (N) designation. The latter can be assigned only to courses with the former designations. The general education program requires the completion of two 3-credit courses, one with the diversity (D) designation and the other with the international (N) designation.

    Important considerations:

    • A minimum grade of C is required for general education credit. Therefore, courses intended to satisfy the general education requirement cannot be taken S-U.
    • Some majors require or recommend specific general education courses.
    • Certain classes are approved to count for multiple general education categories. Students can count a general education course toward one category only except for (D) and (N) credits, which must be earned concrrently with another category. For example, a course designated as H or D can cound toward both the H and D requirements, but a course designated C or H can count only as C or H.
    • 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

    Content: Students demonstrate competence in the terminology, concepts, theories and methodologies used within the discipline.
    Communication: Students communicate knowledge, ideas and reasoning clearly and effectively in written and oral forms appropriate to the discipline.
    Critical Thinking: Students analyze information carefully and logically from multiple perspectives, using discipline-specific methods, and develop reasoned solutions to problems.
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    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

    You can take gen ed courses at the 1000-4000 levels. First-year students generally take introductory (1000/2000-level) classes. If you have the academic background and the interest you may take more advanced classes, but you 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). You 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 (formerly 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 your college needs to evaluate the course to determine whether it fulfills a general education requirement.

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