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What is General Education?

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's General Education Curriculum is a set of courses required in all undergraduate programs. It is designed to ensure that graduates acquire the knowledge and skills to live productive lives as responsible and knowledgeable citizens of their region, country and world, capable of working effectively with others while displaying openness to different viewpoints and understanding the diversity of human values.

All University of Louisiana at Lafayette undergraduate students complete 42 credit hours of general education courses that include UNIV 100 - First-Year Seminar. Students who are pursuing on-line or distance education degrees must complete the same general education requirements as students in traditional, face-to-face degree programs. Through the General Education Curriculum, graduates learn to appreciate the possibilities of human achievement and the patterns of human thought in both the arts and the sciences. To this end, courses in the curriculum ensure broad learning across the humanities, arts, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics, and biological and physical sciences, while teaching competence in technology, communication, critical thinking and analytical skills.

The General Education Curriculum is composed of the following eight areas. Specific course options are identified by area in the academic catalog. The General Education Committee ensures that regular assessment of course goals and learning objectives occurs, are evaluated, and provides guidance for enhancing course offerings or improving course instruction to achieve the learning outcomes below.

General Education Curriculum Area Goals Learning Objectives Students should be able to do...
English Composition
(6 credit hours)
Students should write effectively
  • Develop a writing project through multiple drafts.
  • Learn to give and act on productive feedback to works in progress.
  • Develop facility in responding to a variety of situations and contexts calling for purposeful shifts in voice, tone, level of formality, design, medium, and/or structure.
  • Locate and evaluate (for credibility, sufficiency, accuracy, timeliness, bias and so on) primary and secondary research materials, including journal articles and essays, books, scholarly and professionally established and maintained databases or archives, and informal electronic networks and internet sources.
  • Use strategies—such as interpretation, synthesis, response, critique, and design/redesign—to compose texts that integrate the writer's ideas with those from appropriate sources
  • Practice applying citation conventions systematically in their own work.
Mathematics/Analytical Reasoning
(6 credit hours)
Students should be able to analyze quantitative information in order to solve problems and understand the world.
  • Use mathematical methods and models to solve quantitative problems and to communicate solutions effectively.
  • Analyze and critically evaluate numerical and graphical data to draw reasonable and valid conclusions about “real world” solutions.
Social/Behavioral Sciences
(6 credit hours)
Students will apply critical thought and scientific principles to understanding human behavior and society in a diverse world.
  • Interpret data, evidence, and arguments using discipline specific criteria.
  • Identify theories in the discipline relevant to understanding human behavior and society.
  • Distinguish the forces shaping human behavior and society.
  • Describe relations among individuals, groups, and society utilizing discipline specific terminology.
  • Recognize the significance of individual, cultural, and societal diversity.
Natural Sciences
(9 credit hours)
Students should be able to understand the nature of scientific knowledge and have a sufficient knowledge base to be familiar with the power and limitations of science as related to contemporary topics.
  • Draw reasonable conclusions within the natural sciences by applying key processes and scientific reasoning;
  • Evaluate credibility of information with scientific content by using critical and logical thinking, knowledge of accepted scientific methods, and appropriate sources
(9 credit hours)
Students will think critically, creatively, and independently to understand themselves and others as members of their local, regional, and global communities and to appreciate a wide variety of cultural expressions. Literature & Humanities (3 credit hours)
  • Read, interpret, and write cogently, creatively, and critically about diverse literary and cultural texts.
Historical Perspective (3 credit hours)
  • Demonstrate an awareness of diverse historical perspectives and their significance for the present.
Communication & Language (3 credit hours)
  • Effective and concise oral communication.
Fine Arts
(3 credit hours)
Students should understand the nature and value of fine and performing arts. Academic Courses
  • Identify structural components in studied works.
  • Recall at least three important characteristics of a studied work.
  • Place correctly into stylistic or historical categories a core group of art works or components of art works that have been studied.
Applied Courses
  • Demonstrate introductory mastery of basic components of the art form by producing a work of art.
  • Demonstrate basic ability to critically discuss work that s/he has created or performed.
  • Demonstrate basic ability to critically discuss work created or performed by another person.
First Year Seminar
(3 credit hours)
  • Engage in University‐level inquiry that challenges them to formulate appropriate questions, investigate potential answers, and arrive (at least tentatively) at solutions.
  • State clearly and defend orally and in writing their ideas, arguments, and research questions.
  • Independently investigate answers to questions posed in the course, learn to find information and critically assess the relevance and value of that information vis‐à‐vis the questions posed, as well as formulate new questions based on the initial inquiry.