Jul 03, 2022  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Academic Catalog

General Education Requirements Video

General Education Requirements



A university brings together many separate areas of learning, yet it is more than just a collection of specialized disciplines. SJSU’s general education program establishes a strong foundation of versatile skills, fosters curiosity about the world, and prepares students to engage and contribute responsibly and cooperatively in a multicultural, information-rich society. General education classes integrate areas of study and encourage progressively more complex and creative analysis, expression, and problem solving. The program aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and values they need for a lifetime of intellectual and personal growth. Review the learning goals and outcomes policies academic advisement information , and previous requirements .

Undergraduate Graduation Requirements

To qualify for a baccalaureate degree, students must satisfy the major degree requirements  and the Undergraduate University Graduation Requirements , which include the following minimum degree requirements and 51 units of coursework:

1. Academic Unit Requirements  (120 units total with an average 2.0 GPA - “C” or better)
2. General Education Requirements  (48 units)
3. American Institutions Requirement  (0-6 units) (may be satisfied in GE Area D)
4. Physical Education Requirement  (0-2 units)
5. Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)  3 unit(s) (see Writing in the Disciplines  ) 

Exceptions for University Graduation Requirements  apply to some majors. 

General Education Unit Overview 

General Education Core - Lower Division Requirements (39 units)

Area A. English Language Communication and Critical Thinking (9 units)
1. Oral Communication 3 unit(s) (“C-” or better)
2. Written Communication I 3 unit(s) (“C-” or better)
3. Critical Thinking and Writing 3 unit(s) (“C-” or better)

Area B. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning (9 units)
1. Physical Science 3 unit(s)
2. Life Science 3 unit(s)
3. Laboratory in either Physical or Life Science 0 unit(s)

4. Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning​ 3 unit(s) (“C-” or better)

Area C. Arts and Humanities (9 units)
1. Arts 3 unit(s)
2.
Humanities 3 unit(s)
One additional 1. Arts or 2. Letters 3 unit(s)

Area D. Social Sciences (6 units)

Area E. Human Understanding & Development (3 units)

Area F. Ethnic Studies (3 units) (“C-” or better)

 

SJSU Studies - Upper Division Requirements (9 units)

Area R. Earth, Environment, and Sustainability (3 units)

Area S. Self, Society & Equality in the U.S. (3 units)

Area V. Cultures and Global Understanding (3 units)

General Education Requirements


General Education Core - Lower Division Requirements

Students must complete 39 units of Core GE courses. Courses that must be completed as a part of a sequence or are designed for specific majors only are identified in parentheses next to the course. Students may satisfy an Intensive GE sequence in science, math, or music.

Humanities Honors Sequence: GE Areas A/C/D, and the American Institutions (US123)  may be entirely satisfied when completing HUM 1A HUM 1B HUM 2A , and HUM 2B  with grades of “C- or better.

A. English Language Communication and Critical Thinking


9 units

Complete one course each in 1. Oral Communication, 2. Written Communication I, and 3. Critical Thinking and Writing. 

Minimum Grade: A minimum grade of “C-” or better (per the CSU General Education Breadth Requirements).

1. Oral Communication


Oral Communication courses should cultivate an understanding of the social, psychological, political and practical significance of communication, with special emphasis on the roles of public communication in a free society.

2. Written Communication I


Written Communication I courses should cultivate an understanding of the writing process and the goals, dynamics, and genres of written communication, with special attention to the nature of writing at the university. First year students are expected to complete this requirement within their first two semesters at SJSU.

3. Critical Thinking and Writing


Critical Thinking and Writing courses should help students learn to recognize, analyze, evaluate, and produce reasoning.

B. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning


9 units

Complete at least one course in 1. Physical Science, 2. Life Science, and 4. Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning. At least one lab course (L) must be completed.

In Physical, Life, and Laboratory Science courses (B1-3), students should master sufficiently essential quantitative and qualitative skills that are necessary to understand scientific knowledge and methods. Students should be able to incorporate scientific knowledge into the workplace and everyday life experiences.

1. Physical Science


Intensive Science: Students who have completed the Intensive Science courses with a “C- or better”, will be allowed to use these courses to fulfill the requirement in B1/B3 or B2/B3. Students may petition to have (1) grades below C- (very rarely approved), or (2) other Intensive Science courses not on the list approved as intensive science courses. Additionally, the following packages of courses, all completed with “C- or better”, will satisfy Areas B1, B2, and B3: Two courses from PHYS 50 , PHYS 51 , or PHYS 52 , and CHEM 1A ; or PHYS 2A  and PHYS 2B  and CHEM 1A ; or CHEM 1A  and CHEM 1B , plus a physics course. See details on the Office of Undergraduate Education’s Student Petitions website.

2. Life Science


Intensive Science: Students who have completed the Intensive Science courses with a “C- or better”, will be allowed to use these courses to fulfill the requirement in B1/B3 or B2/B3. Students may petition to have (1) grades below C- (very rarely approved), or (2) other Intensive Science courses not on the list approved as intensive science courses. Additionally, the following packages of courses, all completed with “C- or better”, will satisfy Areas B1, B2, and B3: Two courses from PHYS 50 , PHYS 51 , or PHYS 52 , and CHEM 1A ; or PHYS 2A  and PHYS 2B  and CHEM 1A ; or CHEM 1A  and CHEM 1B , plus a physics course. See details on the Office of Undergraduate Education’s Student Petitions website.

3. Laboratory


The following courses meet the Lab requirement only.

4. Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning


Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning courses enable students to use numerical and graphical data in personal and professional judgments and in coping with public issues. First year students are expected to complete this requirement within their first two semesters at SJSU.

Minimum Grade: A minimum grade of “C-” or better (per the CSU General Education Breadth Requirements).

Intensive Math: Students who have completed an Intensive Math course with a “C- or better”, will be allowed to use these courses to fulfill the requirement in B4: MATH 30 , MATH 30X MATH 31 MATH 31X MATH 32 MATH 32X MATH 70 MATH 70X MATH 71 , or MATH 71X .

C. Arts and Humanities


9 units

Complete no fewer than 9 semester units, with at least one course in the Arts (C1) and one in the Humanities (C2).

In Arts and Humanities courses, students develop their understanding of the historical and cultural contexts in which works of art and humanistic inquiry are created and interpreted. Courses enable students to participate in social and cultural communities associated with artistic and humanistic endeavors, thus enriching their lives and promoting lifelong appreciation of the humanistic and creative arts.

Intensive Music: Students who have completed the Intensive Music courses, MUSC 4A , MUSC 4B  and MUSC 12 , with a “C or better”, will be allowed to use these courses to fulfill the requirements of Area C. Students may petition to have (1) grades below C (very rarely approved), or (2) other Intensive Music courses not on the list approved as intensive music courses. See details on the Office of Undergraduate Education’s Student Petitions website.

2. Humanities


D. Social Sciences


6 units

Complete no fewer than 6 units in Area D. Courses in the Social Sciences (Area D and Area S) must be completed in at least two different disciplines (for example, ANTH and POLS). Students who take two lower-division Area D courses in the same discipline must take an Area S upper-division GE course  in a different discipline.

To earn American Institutions (US123)  credit, students may complete two D courses. Some courses may require completion of a 2-semester sequence in order to receive American Institutions credit (AFAM 2A /AFAM 2B AAS 33A /AAS 33B CCS 10A /CCS 10B ).

Social Science courses should increase the student’s understanding of human behavior and social interaction in the context of value systems, economic structures, political institutions, social groups, and natural environments.

E. Human Understanding & Development


3 units

Complete one course.

Human Understanding and Development courses will enable students to understand themselves as integrated physiological, social, and psychological entities who are able to formulate strategies for lifelong personal development. Students will also learn skills to employ available university resources to support academic and personal development.

F. Ethnic Studies


3 units

Complete one course. 

Ethnic Studies courses will give students the knowledge and skills necessary for comprehending settler colonial histories, the racial and ethnic dynamics, and continued sovereignty and social justice movements in the United States. Students will gain the skills to better operate as responsible, informed, and constructive citizens in an evolving multiracial and multicultural democracy.

Minimum Grade: A minimum grade of “C-” or better (per the SJSU General Education Requirements).

Transfer students may have catalog rights  to the General Education pattern that was in place when they started their college education - see your advisor. 

SJSU Studies - Upper Division Requirements


Students complete 9 to 12 units of SJSU studies: 9 units of upper division general education courses (Areas R/S/V) and 0 to 3 units of 100W (Area Z). In some cases, SJSU Studies areas are integrated in a single course or overlap with the major .

Grade Option: Areas R, S, V, and Z must be taken for a letter grade.

Second baccalaureate students who earned their first bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. are not required to take SJSU Studies unless specific courses are required by the major.

Transfer students who complete any portion of upper division GE at another CSU campus may request equivalency for coursework in SJSU Studies. Contact the Undergraduate Education  Office for evaluation of coursework.

Areas R, S, and V

9 units

Complete one course from each area.

Minimum Prerequisites:

  1. Completion of core GE;
  2. Satisfaction of Writing Skills Test (temporarily suspended - see the Writing Across the Curriculum website). Students who fail the WST may satisfy this requirement by passing ENGL 100A  or LLD 100A  with a grade of “C or better.”;
  3. Upper division standing; and,
  4. Pre/Corequisite: a 100W course is strongly recommended.

Year-Long Course Sequences: Students enroll in 6 units in the fall and 3 units in the spring. Must earn a grade of “C” or better in each course to satisfy R/S/V.

R. Earth, Environment, and Sustainability


In Earth, Environment and Sustainability courses, students apply knowledge of scientific theories and concepts as well as quantitative reasoning to explore the relationship between humans and the natural environment. Students achieve an understanding of the role that science plays in addressing complex issues, as well as the potential limits of scientific endeavors and the value systems and ethics associated with scientific inquiry.

S. Self, Society & Equality in the U.S.


Students in courses in Self, Society & Equality in the U.S. will study the interrelationships of individuals, racial groups, and cultural groups to understand and appreciate issues of diversity, equality, and structured inequality in the U.S., its institutions, and its cultures.

Courses in the Social Sciences (Area D and Area S) must be completed in at least two different disciplines. Students who take two lower-division Area D courses in the same discipline must take an Area S upper-division GE course in a different discipline.

V. Cultures and Global Understanding


Courses in Cultures and Global Understanding examine multiple aspects of human expression in cultures and societies outside the United States. By reflecting on how traditions of cultures outside the United States have influenced the United States’ cultures and societies, students deepen their understanding of various cultures.