General Education (Gen Ed) | UF Quest

The General Education Program (Gen Ed) supports the mission of the University of Florida by providing undergraduate students with common collective knowledge about the world in which they live. The curriculum enables students to think creatively, reason critically, communicate effectively, and make informed decisions that affect all aspects of their lives.
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Through general education courses, students gain fresh perspectives and discover new approaches to intellectual inquiry that promote understanding of both the traditional and the newly discovered. To achieve these outcomes, the general education curriculum encompasses a breadth of knowledge in composition, diversity studies, humanities, international studies, mathematics, biological, physical, and social and behavioral sciences.

Ultimately, competence in these areas enables students to better understand themselves, their neighbors, other cultures and times, and the principles governing the natural world and the universe; and to participate fully and responsibly as informed citizens in local, national, and global matters. The general education curriculum is organized around eight major subject areas: biological sciences, composition, diversity studies, humanities, international studies, mathematics, physical sciences, and social and behavioral sciences.
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General Education Program 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.
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Subject Area State Core Gen Ed Courses Totals
Biological and Physical Sciences1, 2 3 3 6
Composition 3 3 6
Humanities1, 2 3 3 6
Social & Behavioral Science1, 2 3 3 6
Mathematics 3 3 6
Additional Required Gen Ed Coursework (Humanities, Social Science, or Natural Science)3 6 6
OVERALL TOTALS 15 21 36

Important Considerations

  • A minimum grade of C is required for general education credit. 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 program areas. Students can count a general education course toward one area only except for (D) and (N) credits, which must be earned concurrently with another area. For example, a course designated as HD can count toward both the H and D requirements, but a course designated CH can count only as C or H.
  • Study abroad courses can fulfill international credit, in addition to fulfilling credit in other subject areas. Study abroad must be approved in advance by an academic advisor and the UF International Center.

Successful completion of these requirements will result in the student learning outcomes.

Selecting General Education Courses

Students can take Gen Ed courses at the 1000-4000 levels. First-year students generally take introductory (1000/2000-level) courses. If a student has the academic background and the interest they may take more advanced courses, but they should first check the course prerequisites and/or consult an academic advisor.

Applying Incoming Credits to General Education

AP, IB, AICE, and CLEP credit count toward completion of the general education program requirements. In general, course equivalencies are derived from the course equivalency charts from the student's year of matriculation at UF.

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 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 the student's college needs to evaluate the course to determine whether it fulfills a general education requirement.
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Subject Area Objectives

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Biological Sciences

Biological science courses provide instruction in the basic concepts, theories and terms of the scientific method in the context of the life sciences. Courses focus on major scientific developments and their impacts on society, science and the environment, and the relevant processes that govern biological systems. Students will formulate empirically-testable hypotheses derived from the study of living things, apply logical reasoning skills through scientific criticism and argument, and apply techniques of discovery and critical thinking to evaluate outcomes of experiments.

Composition

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 the instructor for feedback prior to final submission, and fulfill 6,000 of the university’s 24,000-word writing requirement. Course content must include multiple forms of effective writing, different writing styles, approaches and formats, and methods to adapt writing to different audiences, purposes and contexts. Students are expected learn to organize complex arguments in writing using thesis statements, claims and evidence, and to analyze writing for errors in logic.

Diversity

This designation is always in conjunction with another program area.

In Diversity courses, students examine the historical processes and contemporary experiences characterizing social and cultural differences within the United States. Students engage with diversity as a dynamic concept related to human differences and their intersections, such as (but not limited to) race, gender identity, class, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, and (dis)abilities. Students critically analyze and evaluate how social inequities are constructed and affect the opportunities and constraints across the US population. Students analyze and reflect on the ways in which cultures and beliefs mediate their own and other people’s understandings of themselves and an increasingly diverse U.S. society.

Humanities

Humanities courses provide instruction in the history, key themes, principles, terminology, and theory or methodologies used within a humanities discipline or the humanities in general. Students will learn 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.

International

This designation is always in conjunction with another program area.

International courses promote the development of students’ global and intercultural awareness. Students examine the cultural, economic, geographic, historical, political, and/or social experiences and processes that characterize the contemporary world, and thereby comprehend the trends, challenges, and opportunities that affect communities around the world. Students analyze and reflect on the ways in which cultural, economic, political, and/or social systems and beliefs mediate their own and other people’s understanding of an increasingly connected world.

Mathematics

Courses in mathematics provide instruction in computational strategies in fundamental mathematics including at least one of the following: solving equations and inequalities, logic, statistics, algebra, trigonometry, inductive and deductive reasoning. 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 Sciences

Physical science courses provide instruction in the basic concepts, theories and terms of the scientific method in the context of the physical sciences. Courses focus on major scientific developments and their impacts on society, science and the environment, and the relevant processes that govern physical systems. Students will formulate empirically-testable hypotheses derived from the study of physical processes, apply logical reasoning skills through scientific criticism and argument, and apply techniques of discovery and critical thinking to evaluate outcomes of experiments.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Social and behavioral science courses provide instruction in the history, key themes, principles, terminology, and underlying theory or methodologies used in the social and behavioral sciences. Students will learn to identify, describe and explain social institutions, structures or processes. These courses emphasize the effective application of accepted problem-solving techniques. Students will apply formal and informal qualitative or quantitative analysis to examine the processes and means by which individuals make personal and group decisions, as well as the evaluation of opinions, outcomes or human behavior. Students are expected to assess and analyze ethical perspectives in individual and societal decisions.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

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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State Core Gen Ed Biological and Physical Sciences Courses

BSC X085 not offered at UF, but may be transferred in from a Florida public institution.

AST 1002Discovering the Universe (P)3
AST 3018Astronomy and Astrophysics 1 (P)3
AST 3019Astronomy and Astrophysics 2 (P)3
BOT 2011CPlant Diversity (B)4
BSC 2005Biological Sciences (B)3
BSC 2010Integrated Principles of Biology 1 (B)3
CHM 1020Chemistry for the Liberal Arts (P)3
CHM 2045General Chemistry 1 (P)3
CHM 2046General Chemistry 2 (P)3
CHM 2051Honors General Chemistry 2 (P)3
CHM 2096Chemistry for Engineers 2 (P)3
ESC 1000Introduction to Earth Science (P)3
EVR 2001Introduction to Environmental Science (B or P, also GE-N)3
PHY 2020Introduction to Principles of Physics (P)3
PHY 2048Physics with Calculus 1 (P)3
PHY 2049Physics with Calculus 2 (P)3
PHY 2053Physics 1 (P)4
PHY 2054Physics 2 (P)4

State Core Gen Ed Composition Courses

ENC 1101Expository and Argumentative Writing3
ENC 1102Argument and Persuasion3
ENC 2210Technical Writing3
ENC 2305Analytical Writing and Thinking3
ENC 3246Professional Communication for Engineers3
ENC 3254Professional Writing in the Discipline3
ENC 3453Writing in the Health Professions3
ENC 3459Writing in the Medical Sciences3
ENC 3464Writing in the Social Sciences3
ENC 3465Writing in the Law3

State Core Gen Ed Mathematics Courses

All are pure math except for STA 2023.

MAC 1105Basic College Algebra3
MAC 1140Precalculus Algebra3
MAC 1147Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry4
MAC 2233Survey of Calculus 13
MAC 2311Analytic Geometry and Calculus 14
MAC 2312Analytic Geometry and Calculus 24
MGF 1106Mathematics for Liberal Arts Majors 13
MGF 1107Mathematics for Liberal Arts Majors 23
STA 2023Introduction to Statistics 13

State Core Gen Ed Humanities Courses

HUM X020 not offered at UF, but may be transferred in from a Florida public institution.

ARH 2000Art Appreciation: American Diversity and Global Arts (also GE-D)3
LIT 2000Introduction to Literature3
MUL 2010Experiencing Music (also GE-N)3
PHI 2010Introduction to Philosophy3
THE 2000Theatre Appreciation (also GE-D)3

State Core Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Courses

AMH 2020United States Since 1877 (also GE-D)3
ANT 2000General Anthropology3
ECO 2013Principles of Macroeconomics4
POS 2041American Federal Government3
PSY 2012General Psychology3
SYG 2000Principles of Sociology3

UF Quest 1 Requirement

UF Quest 1 courses, including IDS 1161, fulfill the UF Quest 1 requirement and three credits of the general education requirement in the humanities. Some may also fulfill three credits of the diversity or international requirement and/or count toward the writing requirement.

UF Quest 1 courses extend beyond any one discipline. They are not a survey of or an introduction to a field. Instead, they are topical and thematic courses that explore essential questions about the human condition that are not easy to answer and hard to ignore. What makes life worth living? What makes a society a fair one? How do we manage conflicts? Who are we in relation to other people or to the natural world? Through UF Quest, students examine why the world is the way it is, what they can do about it, and how they can help solve the problems that are now confronting us.
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Selecting UF Quest 1 Courses

  • A list of UF Quest 1 courses is provided on the UF Quest website.
  • In the catalog course search, select Quest 1 in the search results filter.
  • On ONE.UF, select Quest 1 in the Course Properties filter and then click Search.

UF Quest 1 Objectives

Quest 1 courses address the history, key themes, principles, terminologies, theories, or methodologies of various arts and humanities disciplines that ask essential questions about the human condition. Students learn to identify and analyze the distinctive elements of different arts and humanities disciplines, along with their biases and influences on essential questions about the human condition. These courses emphasize clear and effective analysis and evaluation of essential questions about the human condition from multiple perspectives. Students reflect on the ways in which the arts and the humanities impact individuals, societies, and their own intellectual, personal, and professional development.

UF Quest 1 Student Learning Outcomes

Content

Identify, describe, and explain the history, theories, and methodologies used to examine essential questions about the human condition within and across the arts and humanities disciplines incorporated into the course.

Critical Thinking

Analyze and evaluate essential questions about the human condition using established practices appropriate for the arts and humanities disciplines incorporated into the course.

Communication

Develop and present clear and effective responses to essential questions in oral and written forms as appropriate to the relevant humanities disciplines incorporated into the course.

Connection

Connect course content with critical reflection on their intellectual, personal, and professional development at UF and beyond.

UF Quest 2 Requirement

UF Quest 2 courses fulfill the UF Quest 2 requirement and three credits of the general education requirement in the social & behavioral sciences, the biological sciences, or the physical sciences. Some may also fulfill three credits of the diversity or international requirement and/or count toward the writing requirement.

Where Quest 1 asks why the world is the way it is, Quest 2 asks what we can do about the problems confronting us. Rather than serve as surveys of or introductions to specific fields, Quest 2 courses reflect the instructor’s expertise and challenge students as co-creators of knowledge in multi-disciplinary inquiry that uses scientific data to address pressing questions (e.g., What are the unintended consequences of technological progress? How do we address climate change? How do we end structural racism?).
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Selecting UF Quest 2 Courses

  • A list of UF Quest 2 courses is provided on the UF Quest website.
  • In the catalog course search, select Quest 2 in the search results filter.
  • On ONE.UF, select Quest 2 in the Course Properties filter and then click Search.

UF Quest 2 Objectives

Quest 2 courses provide instruction in the history, key themes, principles, terminologies, theories, or methodologies of various social or biophysical science disciplines that enable us to address pressing questions and challenges about human society and/or the state of our planet. Students learn to identify and analyze different social or biophysical science methods and theories and consider how their biases and influences shape pressing questions about human society and/or the state of our planet. These courses emphasize clear and effective analysis and evaluation of qualitative or quantitative data relevant to pressing questions concerning human society and/or the state of our planet. Students reflect on the ways in which the social or the biophysical sciences impact individuals, societies, and their own intellectual, personal, and professional development. 

UF Quest 2 Student Learning Outcomes

Content

Identify, describe, and explain the cross-disciplinary dimensions of a pressing societal issue or challenge as represented by the social sciences and/or biophysical sciences incorporated into the course.

Critical Thinking

Critically analyze quantitative or qualitative data appropriate for informing an approach, policy, or praxis that addresses some dimension of an important societal issue or challenge.

Communication

Develop and present clear and effective responses to essential questions in oral and written forms as appropriate to the relevant humanities disciplines incorporated into the course.

Connection

Connect course content with critical reflection on their intellectual, personal, and professional development at UF and beyond.