GE Catalog Years 2019-Present

See General Education Plan R for GE Catalog Years 2006-2018.

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 E Required Pattern of Courses

The required pattern of General Education consists of 48 units distributed among these areas:

Subject Area Units
Section A: English Language Communication and Critical Thinking
Oral Communication (A1) 3 units
Written Communication (A2) 3 units
Critical Thinking (A3) 3 units
Section B: Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning*
Physical Science (B1) 2-3 units
Life Science (B2) 2-3 units
Science Laboratory Activity (B3) 0-1 unit
Sections B1-3 must total 6 units
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (B4) 3 units
Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning, Upper Division (B5) 3 units
Section C: Arts and Humanities
Arts (C1) 3 units
Humanities (C2) 3 units
Section D: Social Sciences and U.S. History and Government
Social Sciences (D1) 6 units
U.S. History (American Institutions) (D2) 3 units
U.S. and California Government (American Institutions) (D3 and D4) 3 units
Section E: Lifelong Learning 3 units
Section F: Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages 6 units
Total General Education Units Required 48 units

*Coursework in this section must include one lecture course in each subarea B1, B2 and B4, and one laboratory activity connected to either the B1 or B2 lectures. The laboratory may be embedded in the lecture course or taught as a separate 1-unit course. The total units required for sections B1-3 is 6. In addition, students are required to take an upper division Scientific Inquiry or Quantitative Reasoning course (B5).

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 (9 units, Section A and 3 units, Section B)

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 Oral Communication, Written Communication, Critical Thinking, and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning 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 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning; 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.

Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning (12 units, Section B)

Scientific inquiry 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 one lecture course in each subarea–B1, B2 and B4, and one laboratory activity connected to either the B1 or B2 lectures. Students must also take one B5 course.

Arts and Humanities (6 units, Section C)

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.

Coursework in this section must include one course in each subarea–C1, the arts and C2, humanities. One Section C course may count toward the upper division GE requirement.

Social Sciences and U.S. History and Government (12 units, Section D)

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.

Students are required to take 6 units in D1 (Social Sciences), 3 units in D2 (U.S. History/American Institutions), and 3 units in D3/D4 (U.S. and California Government/American Institutions).

One Social Sciences course may count toward the upper division GE requirement.

Lifelong Learning (3 units, Section E)

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.

Upper division Lifelong Learning courses can be used to satisfy the Section E requirement but not the upper division GE requirement.

Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages (6 units, Section F)

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.

Up to 6 units of Section F may be used to fulfill the upper division GE requirement.