Revised General Education Program

Implementation date: Fall 2017

General Education provides a common intellectual experience for all university students. It is designed to give students a breadth and depth of knowledge and skills across the disciplines of social science, science, arts, and humanities. It is designed to impart valuable skills such as oral and written communication, information literacy, and critical thinking, as well as an understanding of responsible citizenship including such areas as human diversity, economic literacy, personal health, and societal and environmental sustainability. General Education is the foundation of all our degree programs at The University of Akron.


Students in four-year degree programs must complete three tiers of General Education requirements.

Tier I: Academic Foundations

The first tier of General Education coursework builds a foundation of skills necessary for academic success: written and oral communication, information literacy, and quantitative reasoning.

To complete this tier, students take 12 credit hours of coursework:

  • Writing (6 hours)
  • Speaking (3 hours)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (3 hours)

See a list of courses

Tier II: Disciplinary Areas

The second tier of General Education coursework provides a broad foundation of knowledge and an understanding of methods of inquiry in disciplinary areas. Students may fulfill an area requirement with coursework in the same discipline.

To complete this tier, students take 22 credit hours of coursework:

  • Natural Science (7 hours, including a lab)
  • Social Science (6 hours)
  • Humanities and the Arts (9 credit hours)
    Students must take at least one course in the area of Humanities and at least one course in the area of the Arts.

See a list of courses

Tier III: Responsibility Citizenship and Critical Thinking

The third tier of General Education promotes critical thinking and personal, social, and environmental responsibility. Because tagged courses may meet disciplinary area and major/minor requirements, most students will fulfill Tier III requirements without additional credit hours.

To complete this tier, students take four tagged courses, one in each area:

  • US Diversity (USD)
  • Global Diversity (GD)
  • Complex Systems Affecting Individuals in Society (SI)
  • Critical Thinking (CT)

See a list of courses

Tier I: Academic Foundation Courses

Writing—6 credit hours

First course
2020:121 English
3300:110 Composition I + Workshop
3300:111 Composition I

Second course
2020:222 Technical Report Writing
3300:112 Composition II

Students who are placed in the second writing course and successfully complete it satisfy the Writing requirement.

Speaking - 3 credit hours

2420:263 Professional Communication and Presentation
7600:105 Introduction to Public Speaking
7600:106 Effective Oral Communication

Quantitative Reasoning—3 credit hours

2030:161 Mathematics for Modern Technology
2030:152 and 2030:153 Technical Mathematics II and III (must take both)
3450:135 Mathematics for Everyday Life
3450:145 College Algebra
3450:149 Pre-Calculus
3470:250 Stats for Everyday Life
3470:260 Basic Statistics
3470:261 and 3470:262 Intro to Stats I and II (must take both)

Students who successfully complete a mathematics or statistics course with a prerequisite on the above list satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

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Tier II: Disciplinary Area Courses

Natural Science—7 credit hours, including 1 lab

Courses currently under review

A majors-track course in the natural sciences can substitute for a general education natural science course.

Students may fulfill the Natural Sciences requirement using multiple courses from the same discipline.

Social Science—6 credit hours

2040:240 Human Relations
2040:241 Technology and Human Values
2040:242 American Urban Society
2040:243 Contemporary Global Issues
2040:244/344 Death and Dying
2040:247 Survey of Basic Economics
2040:254 Black Experience from 1619-1877
2040:256 Diversity in American Society
2040:257 Black Experience from 1877-1954
2040:258 Black Experience from 1954-Present
3230:150 Human Cultures
3230:251 Human Diversity
3240:100 Introduction to Archaeology
3250:100 Introduction to Economics
3250:200 Principles of Microeconomics
3250:244 Introduction to Economic Analysis
3350:100 Introduction to Geography
3400:250 United States History to 1877)
3400:251 United States History since 1877
3700:100 Government and Politics in the United States
3700:150 World Politics and Governments
3750:100 Introduction to Psychology
3850:100 Introduction to Sociology

Students may fulfill the Social Science area requirement using two courses from the same discipline.

Humanities and Arts—9 credit hours

Classics 3200:230 Sports and Society in the Ancient World
Classics 3200:289 Mythology of Ancient Greece
English 3300:252 Shakespeare and his World
English 3300:281 Fiction Appreciation
History 3400:200 Ancient Empires
History 3400:210 Humanities in the Western Tradition
History 3400:221 Humanities in the World
Modern Languages 3501:210 Arabic Culture through Film
Modern Languages 3502:210 Chinese Culture through Film
Modern Languages 3560:210 Japanese Culture through Film
Modern Languages 3580:250 Hispanic Literature in Translation
Philosophy 3600:101 Introduction to Philosophy
Philosophy 3600:150 Critical Thinking
Philosophy 3600:120 Ethics
Philosophy 3600:125 Theory and Evidence
Philosophy 3600:170 Introduction to Logic
Philosophy 3600:211 History of Ancient Philosophy

Art 7100:100 Art History Survey
Art 7100:210 Visual Arts Awareness
Music 7500:201 Exploring Music, Bach to Rock
Theatre 7800:262 Playscript and Performance
Dance 7900:200 Viewing Dance

Students must take at least one Humanities course and at least one Arts course. Students may take a second Humanities course or a second Arts course in the same discipline.

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Tier III: Responsible Citizenship and Critical Thinking Tagged Courses

US Diversity

Courses under review

Global Diversity

Courses under review

Complex Systems Affecting Individuals in Society

Courses under review

Critical Thinking

Courses under review

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