General Education

A general education provides a foundation for lifelong learning.

UConn’s general education requirements are designed to expose you to diverse ideas and perspectives and give you the skills necessary to face the changes and challenges of our future. As a student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, general education courses also allow you to discover new interests and explore majors and minors before you declare them.

 

View the Undergraduate Catalog's General Education Overview

CLAS General Education Requirements

All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must complete the CLAS general education requirements outlined below. These requirements are broken down into competencies and content areas, and are specific to CLAS undergraduate students. Students who transfer into CLAS from another UConn school or college should become familiar with the CLAS general education requirements. View the 2020-2021 CLAS General Education Audit Sheet.

Competencies

Students must demonstrate mastery of the competencies below in order to complete their general education requirements. By mastering these competencies, students not only meet important degree requirements; they also gain essential skills that will help them succeed in their careers at UConn and beyond.

Second Language Competency

CLAS students must take a single second language through the intermediate level to fulfill the second language competency. Students who completed three years of a single second language in high school have successfully completed this requirement.

If this requirement has not been fulfilled, the student must pass the intermediate level by taking up to 4 semesters of college-level study in a single second language or by passing an equivalency exam. Students interested in taking an equivalency exam should contact the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.


Second Language Requirements

A student meets the minimum language competency requirement if they have completed one of the criteria below. They have:

  • 3 years of high school level coursework in a single foreign language
  • Demonstrated proficiency in a second language by passing the proficiency exam or demonstrated transcripts and previous coursework
  • 4 semesters of a single foreign language: elementary courses (2 semesters) and intermediate courses (2 semesters)
  • 2 years of high school level coursework in a single foreign language and passing UConn’s intermediate-level courses (2 semesters)

For more information about the CLAS language requirement, please review the College's Second Language Policy.

Note: Students can verify their second language requirements by running their Advisement Report in the Student Administration System.


Note: In certain exceptional cases, students with learning disabilities may request an adjustment to their Second Language Competency and Quantitative (Q) Competency requirements. To learn more, please review the College's policy on academic adjustments for students with disabilities.

Writing (W) Competency

Writing-Intensive Courses Requirement

Students must complete two writing-intensive (W) courses. At least one W course must be an approved 2000-level or above course in the student’s declared major. Visit the General Education Oversight Committee's website for an overview of W course guidelines.


First-Year Writing Requirement

Students must complete a first-year writing course before enrolling in a writing-intensive (W) course.

Requirement Options

English Placement for First-Year Students
All students are required to complete ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011. First-year students must complete this English requirement before enrolling in a W course.

English Choices for International Students
Students whose native language is not English may be placed in ENGL 1003 or 1004 to strengthen their English language and writing skills before taking ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011. Placement is determined by the First-Year Writing Program and based on a placement exam.

English Choices for Transfer Students
Students with transfer credit of 6 or more credits of ENGL 91002 and ENGL 91003 have fulfilled the ENGL 1007/1010/1011 requirement. Students with 4 credits of ENGL 91002 or 91003 can visit the First-Year Writing Program's website for information on course equivalency reviews.

Students who have received three credits or more of either ENGL 91002 or ENGL 91003 and/or have taken an additional course with a significant writing component may apply for a course equivalency review. Please visit the First-Year Writing Program's website for details and to find out if you qualify.

ENGL 1003, 1004, 1007, 1010, 1011: Understanding the Difference

ENGL 1003

  • English for Non-Native Speakers
  • Designed for multi-lingual writers who need support for writing in English

ENGL 1004

  • Introduction to Academic Writing
  • Designed to help students develop the reading and writing skills essential to university work
  • Students placed in ENGL 1004 must pass ENGL 1004 before taking ENGL 1010/1011
  • Students are encouraged to take ENGL 1004 before taking ENGL 1010/1011

ENGL 1007

  • Seminar in Writing and Multimodal Composition
  • Designed to teach rhetorical composition through a diverse range of technologies and communicative modes.
  • Emphasis on the transfer of writing and rhetorical skills to academic and daily life

ENGL 1010 (only offered at regional campuses)

  • Seminar in Academic Writing
  • Rhetorically based (typically includes non-fiction works of literature)
  • Enhances students’ understanding of grammar, mechanics of writing, and style

ENGL 1011 (only offered at regional campuses)

  • Seminar in Writing through Literature
  • Literary based (typically includes fictional works of literature)
  • Enhances students’ understanding of grammar, mechanics of writing, and style

Please contact the First-Year Writing Program for questions regarding the above requirements.

Quantitative (Q) Competency

Students must complete three “Q” courses, including one in mathematics or statistics. Students completing Bachelor of Science degrees will fulfill this requirement with their math and science sequences. All students looking to take MATH 1060Q (Pre-Calculus), MATH 1131Q & 1132Q (Calculus I & II), or 1151Q & 1152Q (Honors Calculus I & II) will be required to take the Math Placement Exam.


Math Placement Exam

UConn requires all undergraduate students seeking to register for MATH 1060Q (Pre-Calculus), MATH 1131Q (Calculus I), MATH 1132Q (Calculus II), MATH 1151Q (Honors Calculus I), or 1152Q (Honors Calculus II) to take the Mathematics Placement Exam (MPE) in order to determine student readiness for appropriate placement.

Students seeking to take MATH 1060Q must receive an MPE score of 17 or higher in order to qualify. Students seeking to take MATH 1131Q or 1132Q must earn an MPE score of 22 or higher in order to qualify.

Students who fail to earn qualifying scores after their first attempt are required to spend time on the preparatory and learning modules before re-taking the MPE. These learning modules have video instruction on individual topics, extra problem sets, and targeted built-in assessments.

If students fail to qualify after a third attempt, they can either:

  • Continue with the learning modules throughout the semester and register for calculus courses the following semester after earning a qualifying score.
  • Consult with their advisor regarding their choice of major.

*Credit Restriction: no more than 4 credits from STAT 1000Q and 1100Q will count toward a student’s degree.

Recommended Courses for the Q Requirement

Bachelor of arts

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts must complete three “Q” courses; one course must be from the mathematics department or the statistics department. Bachelor of Arts students can satisfy this MATH/STAT “Q” requirement with the following courses or through successful completion of a different “Q” course from the mathematics department or the statistics department.

MATH 1011Q: Introductory College Algebra and Mathematical Modeling
MATH 1020Q: Problem Solving
MATH 1030Q: Elementary Discrete Mathematics
MATH 1040Q: Elementary Mathematical Modeling
MATH 1060Q: Pre-calculus
MATH 1070Q: Math for Business and Economics
MATH 1071Q: Calculus for Business and Economics
STAT 1000Q*: Introduction to Statistics I
STAT 1100Q*: Elementary Concepts of Statistics

Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of Science students must complete MATH 1131Q & 1132Q (Calculus I & II) or 1151Q & 1152Q (Honors Calculus I & II) as part of their general education requirements. To enroll in these classes, students must take and pass the Math Placement Exam (MPE).


Note: In certain exceptional cases, students with learning disabilities may request an adjustment to their Second Language Competency and Quantitative (Q) Competency requirements. To learn more, please review the College's policy on academic adjustments for students with disabilities.

Environmental Literacy (E) Competency

All students must successfully complete one environmental literacy (E) course. These courses provide students with an understanding of the interactions between human society and the natural world.

Information Literacy Competency

Typically, the information literacy competency is embedded into coursework required in a students academic program of studies (major). For more information please discuss with your advisor.


Content Areas

General education requirements are organized by content area, or groups of courses that are clustered together by an overarching theme. Students are required to take courses in all of these content areas. The specific requirements differ depending on whether a student is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.

Click on the menus below to learn more about each content area. For specific questions about content areas, requirements, and mapping your academic plan, please contact your advisor or make an appointment with an advisor in the CLAS Academic Services Center.

For the most accurate information about CLAS general education requirements, University content areas, and courses, please visit the UConn Undergraduate Catalog website.

Content Area One—Arts and Humanities

Courses in this content area expose students to the artistic, cultural, and historical processes of humanity. These courses help students explore their own traditions, as well as those of different cultures, in order to develop a global and inclusive perspective.

Bachelor of Arts: Students must take five courses from the categories listed below: one course from each area A through D, and a fifth course from any area A through E. Courses from this content area must span at least four different academic units. (Note: Academic departments are also considered academic units.)

Bachelor of Science: Students must take four courses from the categories listed below, one course from each area A through D in at least four different academic units.

A. Arts
B. Literature
C. History
D. Philosophical/Ethical Analysis
E. World Cultures

Content Area Two—Social Sciences

The social sciences examine how individuals, groups, institutions, and societies behave and influence one another and their environments. Courses in this content area help students analyze and understand the many social factors that influence human behavior. Students will also learn about methods and theories to help them think critically about current social issues.

CLAS students must complete two courses from two different academic units.

Content Area Three—Science and Technology

Courses in this content area acquaint students with scientific thought, observation, experimentation, and formal hypothesis testing. Through these courses, students will acquire the basic vocabulary of science necessary to make informed assessments of the physical universe and of technological developments. Requirements differ for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

Bachelor of Arts: Students must complete two courses from two different academic units. At least one course must be a laboratory course.

Bachelor of Science: Students must complete the following math and science sequences below. Please note that the sequences differ for students pursuing a BS in economics.

 

Required Sequences for Content Area Three—Science and Technology (BS degrees only)

Students pursuing a BS in a major other than economics must take all four of the following sequences:

Subject Sequences
BIOL 1107—Principles of Biology I (Molecular/Cell Biology, Animal Anatomy/Physiology)
1108—Principles of Biology II (Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, and Plant Biology)
1110—Introduction to Botany (Relation of Plants to Human Life/Structure, Physiology, and Reproduction of Seed Plants)
CHEM 1124Q & 1125Q & 1126Q—Fundamentals of General Chemistry I, II, & III
1127Q & 1128Q—General Chemistry
1147Q & 1148Q—Honors General Chemistry
MATH 1131Q & 1132Q—Calculus I & II
PHYS 1201Q & 1202Q—General Physics
1401Q & 1402Q—General Physics with Calculus
1501Q & 1502Q—Physics for Engineers I & II
1601Q & 1602Q—Fundamentals of Physics I & II

Students pursuing a BS in economics must take one of the following sequences, plus one other content area three course in a different subject area:

Subject Sequences
BIOL 1107 & 1108 —Principles of Biology I (Molecular/Cell Biology, Animal Anatomy/Physiology) and 1108—Principles of Biology II (Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, and Plant Biology)
1107 & 1110— Principles of Biology I (Molecular/Cell Biology, Animal Anatomy/Physiology) and Introduction to Botany (Relation of Plants to Human Life/Structure, Physiology, and Reproduction of Seed Plants)
CHEM 1124Q & 1125Q & 1126Q—Fundamentals of General Chemistry I, II, & III
1127Q & 1128Q—General Chemistry
1147Q & 1148Q—Honors General Chemistry
PHYS 1201Q & 1202Q—General Physics
1401Q & 1402Q—General Physics with Calculus
1501Q & 1502Q—Physics for Engineers I & II
1601Q & 1602Q—Fundamentals of Physics I & II

Content Area Four—Diversity and Multiculturalism

In an increasingly interconnected and global community, individuals of any profession must be able to understand, appreciate, and function in cultures other than their own. Courses in this content area cover the ideas, history, values, and creative expressions of diverse groups, especially those that have been traditionally underrepresented, characterized by features such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual and romantic orientation, political systems, religious traditions, and ability. Through these courses, students explore different cultural perspectives and confront their own biases to promote a community of inclusion and collaboration.

Students must complete two courses; at least one must be on the list of international courses.