Oct 31, 2020  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Academic Catalog

General Education Requirements Video

General Education Requirements



Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Catalog Search

A university brings together many separate areas of learning, yet it is more than just a collection of specialized disciplines. The SJSU General Education Program incorporates the development of skills, the acquisition of knowledge, and the integration of knowledge through the study of facts, issues, and ideas. Regardless of major, all who earn undergraduate degrees should share common educational experiences, as they become university scholars. In combination with major, minor, and elective courses, the General Education curriculum should help students attain those attributes found in an educated person. 

General Education Core - Lower Division Requirements

Area A. English Language Communication and Critical Thinking
1. Oral Communication | 2. Written Communication I3. Critical Thinking and Writing

Area B. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
1. Physical Science | 2. Life Science | 3. Laboratory  | 4. Mathematical Concepts

Area C. Arts and Letters
1. Arts | 2. Letters

Area D. Social Sciences
1. Human Behavior | 2. Comparative Science | 3. Social Issues

Area E. Human Understanding & Development

SJSU Studies - Upper Division Requirements

Area R. Earth and Environment

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

Area V. Culture, Civilization & Global Understanding

Area Z. Written Communication II


Click on the titles below for more information about:

General Education Requirements


General Education Core

Lower Division Requirements

Students must complete 39 units of Core GE courses.

A. English Language Communication and Critical Thinking


9 units

Complete one course each in Oral Communication, Written Communication IA, and Critical Thinking and Writing.

^ = Eight GE areas, including third Area C, and all of American Institutions completed when the Humanities Honors sequence (HUM 1A /HUM 1B /HUM 2A /HUM 2B ) is completed with grades of “C- or better.”

** = Must complete sequence

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 1A 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.

B. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning


9 units

Complete at least one 3-unit course in Physical Science, Life Science, and Mathematical Concepts.

At least one lab course (L) must be included.

1. Physical Science


In Science courses, 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.

*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. Mathematical Concepts


Mathematical concepts courses enable students to use numerical and graphical data in personal and professional judgments and in coping with public issues.

*Intensive Math

Students who have not completed a course satisfying Area B4, but have completed MATH 30 , MATH 30X MATH 30P , MATH 30PL , MATH 31 , MATH 32 , MATH 70 , or MATH 71 , with a grade of “C- or better” will be allowed to use one of these courses to fulfill the Area B4 requirement.

C. Arts and Letters


9 units

Effective Fall 2014, Area C3 has been discontinued. Completion of 9 units in Area C is still required.

In Area C, complete no fewer than 9 semester units, with at least one course in the Arts (C1) and one in the Letters (C2).

Arts and Letters courses should give students knowledge and understanding of significant works of the human intellect and imagination. Courses should enable students to participate in social and cultural communities associated with artistic and literary endeavors, enriching their personal and professional lives.

^ = Eight GE areas, including third Area C, and all of American Institutions completed when the Humanities Honors sequence (HUM 1A /HUM 1B /HUM 2A /HUM 2B ) is completed with grades of “C- or better.”

** Must complete sequence

*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. Letters


D. Social Sciences


9 units

Complete no fewer than 9 units in at least two different subject prefixes (for example, ANTH and POLS). For American Institutions credit, students may complete a course in D2 (US1) and/or D3 (US2, US3). Note: Some courses may require completion of a 2-semester sequence in order to receive American Institutions credit (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

^ = Eight GE areas, including third Area C, and all of American Institutions completed when the Humanities Honors sequence (HUM 1A /HUM 1B /HUM 2A /HUM 2B ) is completed with grades of “C- or better.”

** = Must complete sequence

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.

*For specific department/program majors only

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, and 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 major courses.

  • Complete one SJSU Studies course in each category.
  • All SJSU Studies courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Completing Area Z with a grade of “C or better” (C- not accepted) is a graduation requirement.
  • Prior to enrollment, all SJSU Studies courses require completion of core GE, satisfaction of Writing Skills Test and upper division standing. Pre/Co-requisite of a 100W course is strongly recommended for enrollment in Areas R, S, and V. The WST has been temporarily suspended. See Writing Across the Curriculum website for more information.
  • Students who fail the WST may satisfy this requirement by passing ENGL 100A  or LLD 100A  with a grade of “C or better.”
  • Students can satisfy Areas R, S, & V by taking COMM 168A /COMM 168B /ENVS 168A /ENVS 168B /GEOL 168A /GEOL 168B /HUM 168A /HUM 168B /METR 168A /METR 168B : Global Climate Change or HUM 177A /HUM 177B : Advanced Honors in Integrated Science, Social Science and Humanities. These are year-long courses sequences: students enroll in 6 units in the Fall and 3 units in the Spring. By successfully completing one of these course sequences with a “C or Better” in each semester, students satisfy all nine units of upper division GE (Areas R, S, & V) within SJSU Studies.
  • All first baccalaureate students are required to have a minimum aggregate GPA of 2.0 in their upper division GE courses (Areas R, S, & V). If more than one course is taken in any of the individual R, S, or V areas, then the highest grade in that individual area will be used to calculate the aggregate SJSU Studies GPA. This policy is effective Fall 2011 for all SJSU students who do not have catalog rights prior to Fall 2011.
  • If any student takes one or more Area R, S, and V courses in the Spring 2020 semester (regardless of whether the student chooses to receive a grade or opts for Credit/No Credit), the requirement for a minimum aggregate 2.0 GPA in R, S, and V courses will be waived.
  • 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. (Effective Fall 2011)
  • Transfer students who complete any portion of upper division GE at another CSU campus may request equivalency for coursework in SJSU Studies. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Education for evaluation of coursework.

Areas R, S, and V

9 units

Complete one 3-unit course from each category.

*For specific department/program majors only

** Successful completion of this year-long course sequence (with a “C or Better” in each semester) satisfies Areas R, S, & V.

R. Earth and Environment


Courses in Earth and Environment will cultivate a student’s knowledge of the scientific study of the physical universe and its life forms. Students will understand and appreciate the interrelationship of science and human beings to each other.

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


In these courses, students 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.

V. Culture, Civilization & Global Understanding


In these courses, students should receive an appreciation for human expression in cultures outside the U.S. and an understanding of how that expression has developed over time. Additionally, students should understand how traditions of cultures outside the U.S. have influenced American culture and society.

Z. Written Communication II


3 units

All students must satisfy Area Z (GWAR) by

  • Earning a “C or better” in a 100W course, all of which enforce the prerequisite of a passing score on the writing Skills Test (WST) or a grade of “C or better” for ENGL 100A  or LLD 100A .
  • For most degree programs, students should take the 100W course that is required as part of the degree program (listed below); or
  • Completing the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) while matriculated at another CSU, or equivalent course work at another university prior to SJSU enrollment; or
  • A waiver score on the WST satisfies Area Z without the need to complete a 100W course only in majors that permit a waiver score. Majors that do not permit a waiver (regardless of score) are listed below.
  • Effective Fall 2011: Second baccalaureate students who earned their first bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. are not required to take this course unless required by their major department.

In written communication II courses, students will develop advanced proficiency in college-level writing and appropriate contemporary research strategies and methodologies to communicate effectively to both specialized and general audiences.

Majors Requiring Written Communication II

The following majors require that students complete the Written Communication II (Area Z) course regardless of their score on the Writing Skills Test (i.e., no waiver allowed).

  • African American Studies
  • Biological Science
  • Chemistry
  • Communication Studies
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Economics
  • Engineering (all majors)
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • Marine Biology
  • Meteorology
  • Nursing
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Social Science (Teacher Preparation and Multiple Subject Preparation)
  • World Languages and Literature (all majors)
 

100W Courses

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Catalog Search