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Basic Course Requirements           FAQ

Students take 3 types of General Education courses.

Foundations (9 courses)

  • 1 Arts
  • 1 Historical Perspectives
  • 1 Mathematical Sciences (all courses in this category have a MTH 110 or equivalent prerequisite)
  • Natural Sciences (one Natural Sciences course must include a lab)
    • 1 Life Science
    • 1 Physical Science
  • 1 Philosophy and Literature
  • 2 Social and Behavioral Sciences - they must have two different prefixes
  • 1 Writing

Cultures (2 courses)

  • 1 U.S. Diversity
  • 1 Global Perspectives

Issues (2 courses)

  • Student must choose 2 courses from 2 different disciplines.
  • Issues courses can be chosen from the same category (Globalization, Health, etc.) or from different categories.
  • If a course is cross-listed in two disciplines, the second course must be taken from a third discipline.
  • Issues courses must be taken at GVSU.
  • Issues courses have a junior standing prerequisite.

Students who started at GVSU BEFORE Fall 2014 can still take Themes courses. In addition to the Issues rules above, the following rules apply to these students:

  • Student can choose 2 Issues courses, or 1 Issues course and 1 Themes course, or 2 Themes courses.
  • Only 1 course can be taken at the 100 or 200 level.



Can a course count in more than one category (double-dip)?
YES. This is most common with the Cultures category. Many Cultures courses double dip with an Issue, Theme, or Foundation course.

Can a course be used to meet a GE requirement as well as a major/minor requirement?

Can a student get General Education credit if they study abroad?
YES. Please see the Padnos International Center Study Abroad website for details.

The student transferred a course in which seems like it might fit in a GE category. What do I do?
Have the student complete a Student Concern form.

The student tells me a Special Topics course (380) can get GE credit. How do I know if that is true?
See Recent Changes to General Education Courses.

How do Honors students get General Education credit?
Honors students need to contact the Honors College (120 Glenn A. Niemeyer Learning and Living Center, 331-3219) to determine how the Honors curriculum fulfills the General Education requirements.


Page last modified June 17, 2019