General Education Program (Gen Ed)
The general education program provides instruction in common collective knowledge about the world that enables you to communicate, to make informed decisions about many aspects of your life, to understand and to participate fully as an informed citizen in local, national and global matters.
Competency in composition, the humanities, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences enables you to better understand yourself, your neighbors, other cultures and times, and the principles governing the natural world and the universe. In general education courses, you gain fresh perspectives, methods and tools for understanding the traditional and the newly discovered.
The general education curriculum is organized around seven major program areas: biological and physical sciences, composition, diversity studies, humanities, international studies, mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences.
Biological Sciences (B)
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 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 courses provide instruction in the values, attitudes and norms that create cultural differences within the United States. These courses encourage students to recognize how social roles and status affect different groups in the United States. Students are expected to analyze and evaluate their own cultural norms and values in relation to those of other cultures and to distinguish opportunities and constraints faced by other persons and groups.
Humanities courses provide instruction in the history, key themes, principles, terminology and theories 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 courses provide instruction in the values, attitudes and norms that constitute the contemporary cultures of countries outside the United States. These courses lead students to understand how geographic location and socioeconomic factors affect these cultures and the lives of citizens in other countries. Through analysis and evaluation of the students’ own cultural norms and values in relation to those held by the citizens of other countries, they will develop a cross-cultural understanding of the rest of the contemporary world.
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 (P)
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 (S)
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Social and behavioral science courses provide instruction in the history, key themes, principles, terminology and underlying theories 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.
General Education 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.
|Biological (B) and Physical (P) Sciences
(Three of these credits must be from HUM 2305 What is the Good Life, taken at UF)
|Social and Behavioral Sciences (S)
|Total Credit Requirements
* Some C, H, P, B and S general education courses carry the diversity (D) or international (N) designation. The latter can be assigned only to courses with the former designations. The general education program requires the completion of two 3-credit courses, one with the diversity (D) designation and the other with the international (N) designation.
** The total credits from the humanities (H), social and behavioral sciences (S) and physical (P) and biological (B) sciences program areas must equal 27, with a minimum of six credits from each area. That is, the distribution across these areas must be either nine credits in each area (9/9/9) or six in one, nine in another and twelve in the other area (6/9/12). Please consult an academic adviser in your college to determine the distribution required for your major.
*** Three credits must be from a general education mathematics course with a prefix of MAC, MAP, MAS, MGF or MHF.
- A minimum grade of C is required for general education credit. Therefore, 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 program areas. Study abroad must be approved in advance by an academic adviser and the UF International Center.
Successful completion of these requirements will result in the student learning outcomes listed below.
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Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs): Content and Skills
: 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.Back to Top
Identifying General Education Courses
All general education courses are identified by letter in the course descriptions section of this catalog. The program area letter designation(s) appears at the end of the course description. For example: AMH 2010 United States to 1877 fulfills three credits in the Humanities (H) area.
The schedule of courses also includes a list of all courses that fulfill each gen ed program area. In addition, course listings in every schedule identify whether a course section satisfies gen ed credit (refer to the G.E. column).
Selecting General Education Courses
You can take gen ed courses at the 1000-4000 levels. First-year students generally take introductory (1000/2000-level) courses. If you have the academic background and the interest you may take more advanced courses, but you should first check the course prerequisites and/or consult an academic adviser.
Requirements M (mathematics), P (physical sciences) and B (biological sciences) include the study of pure science (e.g., physics, chemistry and calculus) and their technological applications (e.g., nuclear energy, environmental science and computer theory). You should pursue a balanced program of pure and applied sciences to complete these requirements. Remember, three of the six credits must be obtained from a general education mathematics course with a prefix of MAC, MAP, MAS, MGF or MHF.
How Incoming Credits Apply to General Education
AP, IB, AICE and CLEP credit count toward completion of the general education requirements as indicated in the course equivalency charts.
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 (formerly community) 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 your college needs to evaluate the course to determine whether it fulfills a general education requirement.
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