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General Education

As an important part of your undergraduate education, you will spend approximately one-third of your college years studying in the General Education (GE) program. The GE requirement is the "breadth" requirement of your education at SDSU. It is designed to give you a broad base of knowledge about the world in which you live, how you impact that world, and how it impacts you. General Education is a place where you are free to take a broad range of classes, explore new areas of interest, and begin to formulate ideas about what you might like to choose as a major.

The GE program has four major objectives: (1) to develop your intellectual capabilities necessary to the enterprise of learning; (2) to introduce you to modes of thought characteristics of diverse academic disciplines; (3) to help you understand the conditions and forces that shape you as a human being and influence your life; and (4) to help you apply critical and informed judgments to the achievements of your own and other cultures.

SDSU's General Education requirements consist of 49 semester units divided into four sections.

  1. Communications and Critical Thinking (9 units)
  2. Foundations (28 units)
  • Natural Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Humanities
  1. American Institutions (3 units)
  2. Explorations (9 units)

Each section of the GE program has specific educational objectives and courses designed to meet these objectives.

  • Courses in Section I, Communication and Critical Thinking, are designed to develop your skills in the areas of written and oral communication, and in reasoning.
  • Courses in Section II, Foundations, use the skills developed in Section I, and provide an introduction to various areas of study. The knowledge you gain in Foundations will help prepare you to live in our multicultural society.
  • Section III, American Institutions courses provide you with knowledge of American democracy and enable you to contribute as a responsible and constructive citizen.
  • Section IV, Explorations, courses are upper division and cannot be used to fulfill this requirement if taken before you reach junior standing (passing 60 units). Explorations courses build on the knowledge you gained in the first three sections, and provide more specialized or thematic study in the disciplines included in Foundations.

To learn more about these GE requirements, review the materials you received at New Student Orientation, your online degree evaluation, General Catalog, and the Major Academic Plan (MAP) for your major. The Academic Advising Center is also available to answer your questions.