General Education Requirements

View/Print PDF

General Education Requirements are comprised of a Liberal Education Program and Writing Intensive Courses (W-Courses).

Liberal Education Program

This is a 45 credit program made up of 3 Tiers. Tier 1 (6 courses) emphasizes college-level competencies that form the foundation of a liberal education. Tier 2 (8 courses) explores Areas of Knowledge needed by educated people in the twenty-first century. The Tier 3 (1 course) capstone seminar emphasizes Discussions of Values in the context of LEP Areas of Knowledge and a related contemporary issue. 

Courses in the major (up to 3 courses), the cognate, and any minor(s) may also fulfill LEP requirements. Students are encouraged to carefully review their degree evaluation for courses that may fulfill more than one requirement. 

Courses that meet each requirement within the tiers are identified by the attribute in parenthesis following each area. They are identified on the student's degree evaluation. The class schedule search also provides the ability to search for courses by area/attribute.  

For a more in-depth description of the purpose and learning outcomes of a liberal education, please visit the LEP website: 

Tier 1: Foundations
First Year Experience (T1FY)
Critical Thinking (T1CT)
Multilingual Communication (T1MC)
Quantitative Reasoning (T1QR)
Technological Fluency (T1TF)
Written Communication (T1WC)

Tier 2: Explorations
Natural World I: Physical Realm (T2PR)
Natural World II: Life and Environment (T2LE)
Select 6 of the following:
American Experience (T2AE)
Creative Drive (T2CD)
Cultural Expression (T2CE)
Global Awareness (T2GA)
Mind and Body (T2MB)
Social Structure, Conflict, and Consensus (T2CC)
Time and Place (T2TP)

Tier 3: Connections
Capstone Seminar (T3CP)

Writing Intensive Courses (W-Courses)

So that all students continue to strengthen their ability in written language, they are required to select and pass a minimum of three 'W' courses.  Students are encouraged to take no more than one 'W' course per semester and should plan accordingly.  Students must successfully complete ENG 112, ENG 120, HON 150 or Tier 1 Written Communication as a prerequisite to 'W' courses.

Transfer Students and W Courses
Students who transfer 60-89 credits at initial transfer (or an Associate's degree) automatically waive one 'W' course. Students who transfer 90 or more credits at initial transfer automatically waive two 'W' courses. All SCSU students must complete at least one W at Southern to graduate.

W Waivers
Students who believe they qualify for an additional W waiver must complete and submit the W waiver application with relevant documentation to The application and additional information is available at: