Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
Charter Oak State College Official Catalog

General Education Requirements

This requirement is intended to assure that students gain the knowledge to further develop their potential and enhance their capability to engage in a lifelong process of learning. By fulfilling this requirement, students acquire knowledge of American history and the culture of another country; an understanding of a global society and their relation to it; an understanding of how the social and behavioral sciences inform us of past and future efforts; a sense of social, ethical and cultural values; and an appreciation of how the arts and humanities enhance one's life. They also develop communication skills, critical thinking, information literacy, ethical decision-making, quantitative skills and an understanding of the scientific method. Since the critical thinking skills requirement is assessed in a number of courses, especially the capstone course, it doesn't have a separate credit requirement.

If credits apply to more than one category, credits will be counted only once towards the total needed for the degree. For Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, a total of 40 general education credits are required for graduation. The minimum of each area is specified below.

To find courses based on General Ed requirements, use our General Ed Course Search. General education requirements are specific to the actual year of matriculation.

Get more information on using Standardized Testing to meet general education requirements.

Skill Area Requirements

All students must earn six semester credits in Written Communication with a grade of C or higher at a regionally accredited institution of higher education, or by completion of faculty-approved proficiency tests with an acceptable grade or score. A grade of C- is not acceptable. Once matriculated, the prerequisite for all courses is English Composition. If the student already successfully completed the requirement prior to matriculation he or she will be enrolled int he Cornerstone course, otherwise, English Composition will be the first course taken. Students who have not met the six-semester credit Written Communication requirement must meet that requirement within their first nine credits or first two semesters.

Communication: Students will communicate effectively using Standard English, read and listen critically, and write and speak thoughtfully, clearly, coherently and persuasively.

  • Written Communication (6 credits)

    Examples: Students may meet this requirement by taking two courses; English Composition 1 and 2; English Composition plus a Technical Writing course; English Composition plus two writing-intensive courses, or the 6 credit CLEP exam English Composition with essay or the 6 credit AP English/Language and Composition.

  • Oral Communication (3 credits)

    Examples: Principles of Speech, Principles of Public Speaking.

Information Literacy (1-3 credits)

Students will be able to locate, evaluate, synthesize and use information from a variety of sources and understand the ethical issues involved in accessing and using information. This requirement is satisfied by the Cornerstone Seminar and/or the Capstone course

Ethical Decision-Making (3 credits)

Students will be able to use critical thinking skills to make ethical decisions. May be met by taking a course that has a significant ethics component, or by taking courses such as Ethics, Business Ethics, Health Care Ethics, or Computer Ethics.

Knowledge Area Requirements

  • U.S. History/Government (3 credits)
    Students will have an understanding of the ideas and processes that shaped the history of the United States.
    Examples: American Government, American History, History of the United States, the Civil War.
  • Non-U.S. History or Culture (3 credits)
    Students will have an understanding of major developments in the history and culture of other countries.
    Examples: art, literature, history, foreign language or religion course, Western Civilization I or II.
  • Global Understanding (3 credits)
    Students will have a current understanding of the impact of nations, regions and cultures upon other nations, regions and cultures since 1945, and the impact of these interactions upon individuals.
    Examples: Religions of the World, Cultural Anthropology, Comparative Economic Systems, Comparative Political Systems, International Business, International Economics, International Marketing, Introduction to Modern Middle East.
  • Literature and Fine Arts (3 credits)
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the arts and literature, and gain an appreciation of their impact on our heritage and culture.
    Examples: Music Appreciation, Art Appreciation, Art History, Music History, Theater, Dance, Creative Writing, Drawing, Literature.
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences (3 credits)
    Students will gain an understanding of self and the world, of social and cultural institutions, and the interdependent influences of the individual, family, and society in shaping behavior.
    Examples: Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Gerontology, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Communications (not Basic Speech).
  • Mathematics (3 credits)
    Students will have an understanding of mathematics beyond the entry-level requirements for college.
    Examples: College-level Algebra or higher, Statistics.
    ** Under the regulations for State Authorization, students who reside in the state of Minnesota must have 8 credits of science or math in order to graduate.
  • Natural Sciences (7-8 credits)
    Students will understand the basic scientific process and theories and be able to apply scientific inquiry. One 4-credit course that includes a lab must be taken. The second course can be either a 4-credit lab or a 3-credit course without a lab.
    Examples: Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geology, Oceanography, Physical Geography, Physics.

General Electives

The number of credits in this category will vary, depending on individual circumstances.

Liberal Arts

Student's must also fulfill the Liberal Arts requirement in order to obtain their degree as well. The requirements are as follows:

Associate in Arts45 liberal arts credits
Associate in Science30 liberal arts credits
Bachelor of Arts90 liberal arts credits
Bachelor of Science60 liberal arts credits

View a list of subject areas that are usually classified as Liberal Arts.

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