GE Catalog Years 2006-2018
See General Education Plan E for GE Catalog Years 2019-present.
The vision of General Education (GE) is to ensure that all CSUN students have a broad background in disciplines at the University level in order to appreciate the breadth of human knowledge and the responsibilities of concerned and engaged citizens of the world. Students must become lifelong learners and leave the University with a set of skills that includes the ability to read critically, to write and communicate orally with clarity and persuasiveness, to evaluate and draw appropriate inferences from limited information, and to access the wealth of technical, scientific and cultural information that is increasingly available in the global community. Students must gain an understanding of the major contributions made by individuals from diverse backgrounds in the sciences, business and economics, the arts, literatures, politics and technologies. It is through the GE Program that CSUN ensures that all students gain a sincere appreciation of how the diverse cultures housed in the United States, and specifically Southern California, lead to creative thinking and expression during a time in human history when cultural diversity provides different perspectives and insights from which to view human endeavors.
General Education Plan R Required Pattern of Courses
The required pattern of General Education consists of 48 units distributed among these areas:
|Basic Skills||12 units|
|Natural Sciences*||8 units|
|Arts and Humanities||6 units|
|Social Sciences||6 units|
|Lifelong Learning||3 units|
|Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages||6 units|
|U.S. History and Government (Title 5)||6 units|
|Total Units Required General Education Units**||48 units|
*Coursework in this section must include two lecture courses and the two laboratories, activities and/or field studies that are connected to the lectures.
**Note: The sum of the minimums for each section is 47 units. After completing the course requirements for all sections, if fewer than 48 units have been completed, then one additional GE course selected from any of the GE sections must be completed to meet the 48-unit requirement.
Information Competence Requirement
Students are required to take Information Competence (IC)-designated courses. Students will progressively acquire information competence skills by developing an understanding of information retrieval tools and practices, as well as improving their ability to evaluate and synthesize information ethically.
Students must take two IC-designated courses, one course in the Basic Skills section and one course in the Subject Explorations section.
Basic Skills (12 units)
Basic Skills coursework provides students with the knowledge and abilities that they will find useful and necessary for other GE and University courses and in their pursuits after graduation. These fundamental courses in Analytical Reading and Expository Writing, Critical Thinking, Mathematics and Oral Communication will teach students how to read to understand and write about complex topics, how to distinguish correct from faulty reasoning, how to study and appreciate mathematical ideas and quantitative reasoning, and how to make public presentations of their own thoughts and research. Students must complete this section within their first 60 units. One course in this section must include the Information Competence (IC) designation. Students must earn a “C-” or better grade in all four courses in order to satisfy the GE Basic Skills requirement. See the Basic Skills Policy for more information.
Subject Explorations (29 units)
Subject Explorations coursework provides courses in the Natural Sciences; Art and Humanities; Social Sciences; Lifelong Learning; and Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages. At least one course taken to fulfill Subject Explorations must be designated as an IC course.
Natural Sciences (8 units)
Natural Sciences coursework provides students with a fundamental knowledge in the sciences, an understanding of how scientific knowledge moves forward using the scientific method, and an understanding of the role of science in a world that is increasingly reliant on scientific and technological advances.
Coursework in this section must include two lecture courses and the two laboratories, activities and/or field studies that are connected to the lectures.
Arts and Humanities (6 units)
Arts and Humanities coursework helps students to appreciate the rich history and diversity of human knowledge, discourse and achievements of their own and other cultures as they are expressed in the arts, literatures, religions and philosophy.
Social Sciences (6 units)
Social Science coursework will give students an understanding of the behavior of humans as we relate to each other, to ourselves and to our environments as we create the structures and values that govern our lives in the present and through time. These courses will give students an appreciation of the areas of learning concerned with human thought and an understanding of the nature, scope and limits of social-scientific study.
Lifelong Learning (3 units)
Lifelong Learning coursework encourages students to develop an appreciation for the importance of the continued acquisition of new and diverse knowledge and skills, and offers opportunities to integrate personal, professional, and social aspects of life.
Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages (6 units)
Comparative Cultural Studies coursework provides students with an introduction to the cultures and languages of other nations and peoples, the contributions and perspectives of cultures other than their own, and how gender is viewed in these cultures. Courses in this section will be referred to in this Catalog with the abbreviated phrase Comparative Cultural Studies.
U.S. History and Government (6 units)
U.S. History and Government is prescribed by California law (Title 5) and meets 6 of the 48 units required for General Education. U.S. History and Government courses cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of Subject Explorations.
General Education Plan R Rules
Upper Division General Education (UDGE) (9 Units)
General Education coursework at the 300-level or above must be selected from within Basic Skills, Subject Explorations or U.S. History and Government. UDGE courses (300-level and above) are not to be taken sooner than the semester in which junior standing (60 units) is achieved. Note that completion of the lower division writing requirement is a prerequisite for enrollment in upper division General Education courses.
Writing Intensive (WI) Requirement
All upper division GE courses are designated Writing Intensive (WI). Therefore, the WI requirement will be satisfied by meeting the upper division General Education requirement. Writing Intensive courses require students to complete writing assignments totaling a minimum of 2,500 words.
General Education Residency Requirement
Students must complete a minimum of 9 units of General Education in residence at CSUN at either the lower or upper division level. If completed at the upper division level, the units also may apply to the 9-unit upper division GE requirement described above.
Grading Method Requirement
Students may not take courses on a Credit/No Credit basis to fulfill GE or Title 5 requirements. Refer to the Policies and Procedures section on Credit/No Credit for all restrictions on this basis of grading.
Additional General Education Rules
- A student may count for GE credit only one GE course that counts for major credit and is offered by the department of the major. The major departments have designated the course for this modification, which is indicated in the General Education Pattern Modifications and has been coded into the Degree Progress Report/Planner. GE courses offered in the major department but not required in the major program can apply to GE as listed.
- Courses taken to fulfill a particular GE requirement will continue to count for GE credit even after a student changes major. However, once a student changes the major, the student is responsible for fulfilling the GE requirements in the areas of GE that have not been completed.
- Changes or substitutions to GE that are specific to particular majors are listed in the General Education Pattern Modifications section or may be listed in the description of the major program. An academic advisor in the major should be consulted regarding these changes.
- Students must earn a “C-” or better grade in the four basic skills courses (Analytical Reading and Expository Writing, Critical Thinking, Mathematics and Oral Communication).
Requirements for Transfer Students
Transfer students can meet CSUN GE requirements by completing a General Education Certification* plan at a California Community College and 9 units of upper division GE coursework at CSUN after transfer, or by completing the General Education program at CSUN, which includes the following areas of study: Basic Skills, Subject Explorations (which include Natural Sciences; Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences; Lifelong Learning; Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages); and Title 5 U.S. History and Government requirements.
Students transferring community college or university coursework must also meet a 3-unit CSUN requirement in Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages. This requirement can be met through transfer credit evaluation or the completion of an appropriate CSUN upper division GE course designated as a Comparative Cultural Studies course.
*Students who may be eligible for IGETC or CSU General Education certification are urged to consult with their community college counselor about this process, preferably in advance of their transfer.
General Education Plan R Pattern Modifications
Africana Studies majors may apply listed AFRS courses in General Education.
Art majors may count ART 140 in Arts and Humanities.
Asian American Studies majors may apply listed AAS courses in General Education.
Biochemistry majors may count BIOL 106/L and BIOL 107/L, and CHEM 101/L in the Natural Sciences.
Biology majors may count BIOL 106/L in the Natural Sciences.
Business majors (Accountancy; Finance; Information Systems; Management; Marketing; or Business Administration with an option in either Business Law, Global Supply Chain Management, Real Estate, or Systems and Operations Management) may count BLAW 280 in Lifelong Learning.
Central American Studies majors may apply listed CAS courses in General Education.
Chemistry majors may count CHEM 101/L in Natural Sciences.
Chicana/o Studies majors may apply listed CHS courses in General Education.
Child and Adolescent Development majors may count CADV 310 in Lifelong Learning.
Cinema and Television Arts majors may count CTVA 100 in Lifelong Learning.
Civil Engineering majors will be considered to have satisfied the Basic Skills: Critical Thinking and Basic Skills: Mathematics requirements. CE majors may count MSE 304 in Social Sciences, and CE 101/L and CE 280/L in Lifelong Learning.
Communicative Disorders and Sciences majors may count BIOL 101/L in Natural Sciences.
Communication Studies majors may count COMS 309 in Basic Skills: Oral Communication.
Computer Engineering majors will be considered to have satisfied the Basic Skills: Critical Thinking and Basic Skills: Mathematics requirements. Computer Engineering majors may count BIOL 106/L and BIOL 107/L in Natural Sciences; MSE 304 in Social Sciences; and COMP 110/L in Lifelong Learning.
Computer Science majors will be considered to have satisfied the Basic Skills: Critical Thinking and Basic Skills: Mathematics requirements. Computer Science majors may count BIOL 106/L and BIOL 107/L in Natural Sciences, and COMP 110/L in Lifelong Learning.
Construction Management majors will be considered to have satisfied the Basic Skills: Critical Thinking and Basic Skills: Mathematics requirements. CM majors may count BIOL 106/L in Natural Sciences, MSE 300 in Social Sciences and CM 336/L in Lifelong Learning.
Criminology and Justice Studies majors may count CJS 340 in Lifelong Learning.
Economics majors may count ECON 310 in Social Sciences.
Electrical Engineering majors will be considered to have satisfied the Basic Skills: Critical Thinking and Basic Skills: Mathematics requirements. EE majors may count MSE 304 in Social Sciences and ECE 206/L in Lifelong Learning.
English majors may use one of the following courses in Arts and Humanities: ENGL 258, ENGL 259 or ENGL 275.
English majors in the Junior Year Integrated (JYI) option may count either ENGL 311 or ENGL 371 in Upper Division GE.
Environmental and Occupational Health majors may count EOH 352 in Social Sciences. BIOL 101/L, BIOL 106/L and BIOL 107 may count in Natural Sciences.
Family and Consumer Sciences majors may count FCS 340 in Lifelong Learning. Majors in the Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science option, and those in the FCS Education option may count BIOL 101/L in Natural Sciences.
Finance majors may count FIN 302 in Lifelong Learning.
French majors may count FLIT 295A or FLIT 295B in Arts and Humanities.
Gender and Women’s Studies majors may count GWS 300 in Comparative Cultural Studies.
Geology majors in Option II – Geophysics may substitute COMP 110/L for COMP 100 as a GE requirement.
Health Administration majors may count BIOL 101/L in Natural Sciences and HSCI 345 in Social Sciences.
History majors may count HIST 270, HIST 271 or HIST 371 in Title 5.
Jewish Studies majors may count JS 200 in Arts and Humanities.
Journalism majors may count JOUR 100 in Lifelong Learning.
Kinesiology majors may count KIN 306 in Social Sciences, and they may receive Upper Division General Education credit for KIN 306. BIOL 101/L counts in Natural Sciences.
Liberal Studies majors in Teacher Preparation options will be considered to have satisfied General Education requirements.
Linguistics majors may count LING 250 or LING 325 in Comparative Cultural Studies.
Management majors may take ECON 308 for Upper Division General Education in Social Sciences and BLAW 280 in Lifelong Learning.
Manufacturing Systems Engineering majors will be considered to have satisfied the Basic Skills: Critical Thinking and Basic Skills: Mathematics requirements. MSE majors may count MSE 304 in Social Sciences and MSE 319/L and MSE 248/L in Lifelong Learning.
Marketing majors and minors may substitute ECON 307 (non-GE) for ECON 310. Marketing majors may count BLAW 280 in Lifelong Learning and MKT 350 in Social Sciences.
Mathematics majors may count MATH 150A in Basic Skills: Mathematics. COMP 106/L counts in Lifelong Learning. Mathematics, Junior Year Integrated (JYI) option may count ASTR 301 in Natural Sciences.
Mechanical Engineering majors will be considered to have satisfied the Basic Skills: Critical Thinking and Basic Skills: Mathematics requirements. ME majors may count MSE 304 in the Social Sciences, and ME 101/L and ME 209 in Lifelong Learning.
Music majors in all B.A. options and the B.M. program may count MUS 307 (Upper Division GE) in Comparative Cultural Studies, MUS 191/L in Lifelong Learning and MUS 202 in Arts and Humanities.
Philosophy majors may count PHIL 230 in Basic Skills: Critical Thinking.
Physics majors may count PHYS 220A/AL or PHYS 225/220AL in Natural Sciences. COMP 106/L and COMP 110/L may count in Lifelong Learning.
Political Science majors may count POLS 155 or POLS 355 in Title 5.
Psychology majors may count PSY 150 in Social Sciences.
Public Health majors may count BIOL 101/L in Natural Sciences and HSCI 345 in Social Sciences.
Radiologic Sciences majors may count BIOL 101/L and PHYS 100BL in Natural Sciences, HSCI 345 in Social Sciences, and HSCI 384 and HSCI 486B in Lifelong Learning.
Recreation majors may count RTM 352 in Lifelong Learning.
Religious Studies majors may count one of the following courses in Arts and Humanities: RS 100, RS 101, RS 304, RS 307, RS 310, RS 356, RS 361 or JS 200.
Sociology majors may count SOC 305 in Social Sciences.
Spanish majors in the Spanish Literature option may count FLIT 295A or FLIT 295B in Arts and Humanities.
Theatre majors may count TH 110 in Arts and Humanities.
Urban Studies and Planning majors may count URBS 310 in Social Sciences.
General Education Plan R Courses
The complete list of General Education courses is found below.