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California State University, Long Beach

Overview of General Education Requirements (Effective Fall 2012)

The following is an overview of the General Education requirements beginning with the Fall 2012 catalog. Click the link in the "List of Approved Courses" column to see current lists of all courses approved for that requirement. Refer to the online schedule of classes to see which specific sections of courses are being offered for a specific term. You can also run your Academic Requirements Report in MyCSULB to see your current status in completing General Education requirements.

Be Aware: A minimum of thirty-five (35) units of the student’s General Education courses must be taken outside the student’s major department.

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The Foundation

These courses will provide you with the basic essential skills of a college-educated person including written communication and oral communication in the English language, critical thinking, and mathematics/quantitative reasoning.

Purpose: In these courses, you will develop and improve fundamental academic skills that are critical to success in college.

BE AWARE: All GE Foundation Courses must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better within the first 36 CSULB baccalaureate units.

The Foundation
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
Written Communication in English A1 3 A1 courses
Oral Communication in English A2 3 A2 courses
Critical Thinking A3 3 A3 courses
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning B2 3 B2 courses

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These courses will provide you with opportunities to explore human knowledge in a variety of disciplines.

Purpose: You will be able to select courses from all across the university, so the topics you can explore are nearly unlimited. You will also refine the skills you developed in the Foundation courses, and you will be expected to practice additional skills like ethical reasoning, solving complex problems, creativity, respect for different points of view, and understanding your part in a democratic society and global community.

Natural Sciences (B1)
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
Life Sciences* B1a 3 B1a courses
Physical Sciences* B1b 3 B1b courses

*In this category either Life of Physical Sciences must include a lab component.

Arts and Humanities (C)
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
Arts C1 3 or 6* C1 courses
Humanities: (Literature, Philosophy, Foreign Languages or Other Humanities) C2/C3 3 or 6*

*In this category students must complete 6 units in either Arts or Humanities and 3 units in the other area.

Social Science & Citizenship (D)
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
U.S. History D1a 3 D1a courses
Constitution and American Ideals D1b 3 D1b courses
Social Sciences and Citizenship D2 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self Development (E)
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
Lifelong Learning and Self Development E 3 E courses

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These last nine units in GE represent the culmination of the GE experience and are designed to reinforce knowledge and skills acquired from many areas. Capstones are designated as Interdisciplinary, Service Learning, Advanced Skills, Integrative Learning or Writing Intensive. Capstone courses may be used to meet the Global Issues and Human Diversity in the U.S. requirements, if those have not been met by other courses.

Purpose: All capstone courses must reinforce advanced college skills, including writing, synthesis and application of knowledge, analysis, critique, and research.

Capstone (F)
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
Capstone* Any 9

Beginning Fall 2016, all newly admitted students are required to complete one Writing Intensive capstone course in order to meet the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement.

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Additional General Education Requirements

While you are fulfilling the GE Category requirements given above, you must select courses that also complete the following additional requirements:

  • GLOBAL ISSUES (3 units)

Be aware that courses satisfying these Additional GE Requirements fit into the A-F category requirements above, so with careful planning, you can avoid taking "extra" courses to meet these requirements.

Global Issues

A course in Global Issues is designed to introduce you to cultures and places beyond the boundaries of the United States.

Purpose: This is your opportunity to explore worldviews that often contrast greatly with those of our own Western traditions.

Global Issues - 3 Units Required

Human Diversity in the United States

The learning goals of the CSULB faculty include fostering respect for human diversity in the USA and to promote the understanding of diversity to encourage tolerance and acceptance of others.

Purpose: A course in Human Diversity is designed to introduce you to life experiences of others who are less familiar to you. This course will help you to recognize the significant influence of diverse populations and cultures within the USA.

Human Diversity - 3 Units Required