Fulfilling the General Education Requirements

What is General Education?

General Education is the foundation of a college degree. This is what a college or university has declared that all of its graduates will know. A college degree denotes a level of learning about all subjects, not just a specific subject or vocational training. It is required by state of Utah and accrediting institutions — and it is something the university truly believes in.

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Why is a general education useful to me?

Knowledge in a variety of fields offers you increased confidence, abilities, and career flexibility. It removes limitations of a single area of study, increases your capacity for lifelong learning, and improves your quality of life. Finally, it helps you create a framework to interpret the world, events, ideas, and your own life.

Why does a college degree require courses outside of my major?

There are many good answers to this question. Here are some your fellow students have come up with:

  • You learn to think in different ways
  • Your brain is exposed to all kinds of learning
  • A variety of courses helps you see your options
  • You may discover new interests
  • General education classes will broaden your horizons
  • You will acquire knowledge in a variety of areas
  • You will gain a foundation for learning
  • Classes will enhance key intellectual and practical skills
  • You will be exposed to knowledge and methods of various disciplines

According to the American Association of Colleges and Universities, general education is “a philosophy of education that empowers individuals, liberates the mind from ignorance, and cultivates social responsibility … [It is] shared by all students. It provides broad exposure to multiple disciplines and forms the basis for developing important intellectual and civic capacities.”

What GE courses are required?

There are five areas of requirements for all students.

  1. Institutional Requirement in Computer Literacy
  2. General Education Core Requirements
    • English
    • Information Literacy
    • Mathematics
    • American Institutions
  3. General Education Breadth & Depth Requirements
    • Life Sciences
    • Physical Sciences
    • Laboratory Science
    • Fine Arts
    • Literature / Humanities
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Exploration
  4. General Education Global and Cultural Perspectives Requirement
  5. Foreign Language Requirement (for Associate of Arts or Bachelor of Arts only)

How should I choose which GE courses to take?

  1. Check your major to see if:
    • A class required by your major also fills a GE requirement.
      Example BIOL 1610 is required for the biology major, and also fills the Life Science requirement.
    • Any specific GE courses are recommended for you major.
      Example Education majors are advised to take PHYS 1360 (Principles of Physical Science) to fulfill the GE Physical Science requirement.
    • A specific GE course is a pre-requisite to any required courses. Example MATH 1050 fulfills the GE Math requirement and is a pre-requisite for MATH 2010, a required class in the Elementary Education major.
  2. If none of these apply:
    • Take courses that personally interest you
    • Choose a class taught by a professor you’ve heard good things about
    • Take a class with a friend
    • Take a class at a time you have available
    • Take courses that are different from your major to expand your knowledge base

How do I know what course will fill GE requirements?

The classes that will fill each of the GE requirements are listed in the University Catalog. You can find it online as follows:

  1. Go to catalog.dixie.edu
  2. Click on [General Education Checklist] in the left hand column.
  3. Click on the prefix and number for each course to see the course description, credit hours, prerequisites, and the semesters it is taught.

For your convenience, a checklist version of the current GE requirements with all of the courses that fill them is printed on the next page.

When should I take my GE courses?

Many students choose to take a lot of GE courses in their first few semesters. This can be a good idea if you want to transfer to another college or university. However, it can create a heavy course load and may not leave room for enough exploration of courses that could lead to a major. There are benefits to spreading GE courses out over 4-6 semesters. However, it’s probably not a good idea to leave a core requirement until your last semester.

Will my GE Classes Transfer?

Most GE courses will transfer to public colleges and universities in Utah as well as many outside of Utah. Make sure to check with the institution that you are planning to transfer to.

If you complete all of the GE requirements at DSU (minimum of 31 credits), you can get a Letter of GE Completion from Dixie State University that will fill all of the GE requirements at most Utah colleges (see list to right). Contact the Academic Advisement Center with questions or to apply for a letter.

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An associate degree (AA or AS) will fulfill the GE requirements for nearly all other all colleges and universities. It differs from a Letter of GE Completion because it requires 60 credits instead of only 31 credits. If you complete an associate’s degree, you won’t need a Letter of GE Completion.

Who can I ask if I have a question?

If you have a specific question about GE courses, contact the Academic Advisement Center or your program advisor.

General Education and Institutional Requirements Worksheet