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General Education Program

UIC's General Education Program provides students with a breadth of exposure to the academic disciplines and serves as the foundation for the knowledge, skills, and competencies essential to becoming well-educated college graduates and citizens. Collectively, General Education courses are designed to help students develop a range of skills that will enable them to become lifelong learners, including understanding and critically evaluating information; developing and presenting cogent written and oral arguments; analyzing and evaluating arguments; and thinking critically about how individuals influence, and are influenced by, political, economic, cultural, and family institutions.

General Education Program Requirements Heading link

All undergraduates must complete the General Education Program. Students must complete two required components of the program:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in written English, as demonstrated by successful completion of ENGL 160 and ENGL 161 or by certain scores on placement or other tests.
  • Complete a minimum of 24 semester hours in general education courses, which must include at least one course in each of the following six categories:
    • Analyzing the Natural World
    • Exploring World Cultures
    • Understanding the Creative Arts
    • Understanding the Individual and Society
    • Understanding the Past
    • Understanding U.S. Society

Note: Individual colleges may have additional General Education requirements and proficiencies.

View the General Education Program policy and the UIC Academic Catalog for additional information about the general education program, program requirements, and to explore general education courses.

General Education Course Requirements Heading link

General education courses must meet the following criteria:

1. Must be at the 100 level or 200 level.

2. Inclusion of the course in the chosen general education category or categories must be justified. The categories include: Analyzing the Natural World, Exploring World Cultures, Understanding the Creative Arts, Understanding the Individual and Society, Understanding the Past, and Understanding U.S. Society.

3. Must address at least one of the general education learning outcomes for a selected category.

4. Must identify at least one assessment method for at least one general education learning outcome in a category that has been selected.

5. Must provide evidence that the course includes at least one of the following: a laboratory; a substantial paper writing assignment appropriate for the subject matter (a minimum of one 5-7 page paper or two 2-3 page papers); assignments that include either problem sets or written data analysis.

6. Must connect the course learning outcomes to the general education learning outcomes. Course outcomes must be observable and measurable and linked to appropriate assessment methods.

General Education Course Approval Process Heading link

  • General education courses must first be approved by the offering unit (e.g., department, division) and the college, following academic procedures established by the college.
  • Requests to add, change, or drop general education courses need to be entered into CRS.
  • Academic Programs reviews any requests and may recommend edits before routing these through campus governance.
  • To ensure that general education courses meet the requirements of the program, the General Education Council is responsible for the review and approval of requests. The General Education Council is a subcommittee of the UIC Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP). It is composed of faculty from the numerous colleges across campus that offer undergraduate courses. The General Education Council Handbook provides an overview of the General Education program and includes examples of approved general education courses.
  • General education courses are also approved by SCEP and then reported to the UIC Senate for information.