Humboldt State University

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General Education & All-university Requirements (GEAR)

GEAR at Humboldt from PamJD

  • Planning your Bachelor's Degree [pdf]
  • GEAR Planning Guide [pdf] / fillable [pdf]
  • GE Courses [pdf]
  • American Institutions [pdf]
  • GE Upper Division area B guide [pdf]
  • GE Learning Outcomes
  • Academic Planning Summary [pdf]
  • CSU Executive Order 1033 (guidelines for GE curriculum and college)

      The General Education Program

      The general education (GE) program meets CSU breadth requirements and helps students meet the goals of the baccalaureate degree program. The general education program educates students in three ways:

      • by developing the ability to think and communicate clearly and effectively;
      • by acquiring knowledge about the arts, humanities, science, and society; and
      • by understanding the methods, principles, and processes of human inquiry.

      Within various disciplines, general education courses enable the student to explore fundamental knowledge, perspectives, methods of inquiry, assumptions, and values. Such exploration helps the student perceive relationships between the disciplines in preparation for lifelong commitment to scholarship and learning.

      Important Provisions

      • Students may elect to take approved GE courses offered by their major department.
      • Do not substitute other Humboldt courses for the approved GE courses on the following pages.
      • Liberal Studies, Liberal Studies/Elementary Education, and Liberal Studies/Child Development (Elementary Education) majors have their GE requirements already incorporated into the major requirements.
      • Environmental Resources Engineering majors should consult their advisors regarding special provisions for fulfilling GE.
      • Students must complete GE Basic Subjects and Mathematical Concepts/Quantitative Reasoning courses with grades of C- or higher.
      • Students must complete GE Basic Subjects (Area A) and Mathematical Concepts/Quantitative Reasoning courses (a portion of Area B) by the time they earn 60 units. Transfer students who come to HSU with more than 30 units, must complete these courses by the time they earn 30 units at Humboldt.
      • Information and advice regarding GE requirements are available at the Advising Center, SBS 295.

      Lower Division Component

      Students must complete a minimum of 36 lower division units in approved GE courses. These break down to a minimum of nine units in each of four areas, designated A, B, C, and D. Each area has specific requirements and goals, described below.

      Area A — Basic Subjects

      Communication in the English language to include both oral and written communication and critical thinking Goals. Courses in area A sharpen a student's ability to think clearly and logically, to find and critically examine information, and to communicate orally and in writing. They help students write better papers, ask critical questions, and improve overall understanding of material.

      Requirements: Students need a minimum of nine lower division units in area A, including a 3-unit course in each of three categories: oral communication, written com-munication, and critical thinking. It is strongly recommended that students take these classes in the first year. It is required they be completed before earning 60 units. (Students who transfer in with more than 30 units must complete these before they complete 30 units at HSU.) A minimum grade of C- is required in each course.

      Area B: Inquiry into the physical universe and its life forms with some immediate participation in laboratory activity and into mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning and their applications.

      Goals: General education in the natural sciences and mathematics focuses on the physical universe and its life forms. This requirement helps students cope with, and participate in, the changing world. Recognizing the importance of scientific methods as investigative tools, the courses present science as a unified discipline with a major impact on the human condition.

      GE science courses:

      • provide an understanding of the nature, scope, and limits of science and its relation to other branches of human inquiry;
      • teach the language of science to facilitate cognition, interpretation, and communication;
      • develop scientific reasoning for use in the critical examination of information;
      • identify sources of information for the pursuit of scientific inquiry;
      • impart the facts and principles which form our understanding of the living and nonliving systems of our universe;
      • provide direct participation in a laboratory experience;
      • develop mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning and demonstrate their widespread applications in problem solving;
      • promote an understanding of the impact of scientific knowledge and technology on our civilization both past and present and recognize the contributions made by men and women; and
      • consider the moral and ethical implications of science so as to nurture a respect for human values.

      Complete a minimum of nine lower division units: at least three units in each of the three categories. One must be a laboratory course (L). Sometimes area B requirements may be met by course sequences (bearing the suffixes Y and Z) in which the total number of units taken is more than the minimum nine. Where courses or sequences exceed three units, only three units count toward GE requirements. At least three units from each category, one of which must be a laboratory course (L).

      Area C: Arts, literature, philosophy, modern languages

      Goals: Arts and humanities courses cultivate imagination, sensibility, and sensitivity in the cognitive, physical, and emotional aspects of human experience. Students are encouraged to respond to experience subjectively and to discriminate emotional responses of integrity.

      Some courses involve students in individual aesthetic and creative experiences in art, drama, and music. Others examine great works of the human imagination, thereby increasing appreciation of the subjective response to human experience as presented in literature, philosophy, and religion. All courses promote understanding of the relationships between the arts and humanities disciplines and other general education areas.

      Humanities courses:

      • develop understanding of the importance of arts and humanities to the overall understanding of human experience;
      • heighten students' perceptions of their own artistic and humanistic abilities;
      • make students more aware of and sensitive to their artistic environment and their own reaction to that environment;
      • and encourage active participation in developing critical standards for evaluating students' own and others' artistic works.

      Nine units from at least three different disciplines. For example, a student with nine units in art still has to take courses offered by two other disciplines. A student with courses in three disciplines, but only seven total units, still needs two more units. Please note that Spanish, French, German and American Sign Language courses all fall within the single discipline of Modern Languages.

      Area D: Human social, political, and economic institutions and behavior and their historical background

      Goals: These courses introduce the scholarly study of human experience: culture; ethnicity; place; time; the economy; the political community; behavioral, emotional, and cognitive processes; and human interaction and organization.

      Three courses are required, but not more than one course from any one discipline. One course from The American Institutions can also count unless a transfer American Institutions course has already been used in this area. The American Institutions course will be regarded as a distinct discipline. (For example, a student can satisfy Area D with COMM 105, HIST 104, and HIST 110 from the American Institutions list; or with ANTH 104, PSCI 104, and PSCI 110 from the American Institutions list; or with PSYC 104, ECON 104, and ECON 323 from the American Institutions list.)

      Area E:

      Lifelong understanding and integration of self

      Area E courses focus on disciplined inquiry leading to self-discovery and self-knowledge.

      Because successful completion of these courses requires a degree of knowledge and maturity usually attained by upper division students, area E courses can be taken only by students who have junior or senior status and who have completed area A general education requirements.

      Upper Division Component

      Upper division GE courses build upon knowledge and abilities developed in lower division GE courses. Students must complete nine upper division units: three units each from areas B, C, and D.

      In addition, all students need three units in an area E course (human integration). Humboldt State offers area E courses at an upper division level, but transfer students can sometimes meet the requirement with transferable lower division units.

      UDGE Area B:

      Students can also satisfy three units of upper division general education in area B by completing an approved minor in one of the disciplines in the College of Natural Resources and Sciences, excluding minors in psychology and computer information systems. Please note: a minor cannot be awarded to a student receiving a related major of the same name.

      Any of the following Communication and Ways of Thinking courses may be used to meet the upper division area B requirement. Students are limited to one CWT course within the upper division GE component.

      Area C:

      Communication and Ways of Thinking courses may be used to meet the upper division area C requirement. Students are limited to one CWT course within the upper division GE component.

      Area D:

      Any of the following Communication and Ways of Thinking courses may be used to meet the upper division area D requirement. Students are limited to one CWT course within the upper division GE component.

      Revolution, Reform, & Response: 20th Century Latin America ­ HIST 309, SPAN 309, WS 309. Taken as a group, these courses fulfill area C and D upper division GE. Students then need a non-CWT area B course to complete the upper division GE requirement.

      -->

      Important Provisions

      • Students may elect to take approved GE courses offered by their major department.
      • Do not substitute other Humboldt courses for the approved GE courses on the following pages.
      • Liberal Studies, Liberal Studies/Elementary Education, and Liberal Studies/Child Development (Elementary Education) majors have their GE requirements already incorporated into the major requirements.
      • Environmental Resources Engineering majors should consult their advisors regarding special provisions for fulfilling GE.
      • Students must complete GE Basic Subjects and Mathematical Concepts/Quantitative Reasoning courses with grades of C- or higher.
      • Students must complete GE Basic Subjects (Area A) and Mathematical Concepts/Quantitative Reasoning courses (a portion of Area B) by the time they earn 60 units. Transfer students who come to HSU with more than 30 units, must complete these courses by the time they earn 30 units at Humboldt.
      • Information and advice regarding GE requirements are available at the Advising Center, SBS 295.

      Lower Division Component

      Students must complete a minimum of 36 lower division units in approved GE courses. These break down to a minimum of nine units in each of four areas, designated A, B, C, and D. Each area has specific requirements and goals, described below.

      Area A — Basic Subjects

      Goals: Communication in the English language includes oral and written communication and critical thinking goals. Courses in area A sharpen a student's ability to think clearly and logically, to find and critically examine information, and to communicate orally and in writing. They help students write better papers, ask critical questions, and improve overall understanding of material.

      Requirements: Students need a minimum of nine lower division units in area A, including a 3-unit course in each of three categories: oral communication, written com-munication, and critical thinking. It is strongly recommended that students take these classes in the first year. It is required they be completed before earning 60 units. (Students who transfer in with more than 30 units must complete these before they complete 30 units at HSU.) A minimum grade of C- is required in each course.


      Area B - Natural Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning

      Inquiry into the physical universe and its life forms with some immediate participation in laboratory activity and into mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning and their applications.

      Goals: General education in the natural sciences and mathematics focuses on the physical universe and its life forms. This requirement helps students cope with, and participate in, the changing world. Recognizing the importance of scientific methods as investigative tools, the courses present science as a unified discipline with a major impact on the human condition.

      GE science courses:

      • provide an understanding of the nature, scope, and limits of science and its relation to other branches of human inquiry;
      • teach the language of science to facilitate cognition, interpretation, and communication;
      • develop scientific reasoning for use in the critical examination of information;
      • identify sources of information for the pursuit of scientific inquiry;
      • impart the facts and principles which form our understanding of the living and nonliving systems of our universe;
      • provide direct participation in a laboratory experience;
      • develop mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning and demonstrate their widespread applications in problem solving;
      • promote an understanding of the impact of scientific knowledge and technology on our civilization both past and present and recognize the contributions made by men and women; and
      • consider the moral and ethical implications of science so as to nurture a respect for human values.

      Complete a minimum of nine lower division units: at least three units in each of the three categories. One must be a laboratory course (L). Sometimes area B requirements may be met by course sequences (bearing the suffixes Y and Z) in which the total number of units taken is more than the minimum nine. Where courses or sequences exceed three units, only three units count toward GE requirements. At least three units from each category, one of which must be a laboratory course (L).


      Area C -
      Fine Arts and Humanities

      Goals: Arts and humanities courses cultivate imagination, sensibility, and sensitivity in the cognitive, physical, and emotional aspects of human experience. Students are encouraged to respond to experience subjectively and to discriminate emotional responses of integrity.

      Some courses involve students in individual aesthetic and creative experiences in art, drama, and music. Others examine great works of the human imagination, thereby increasing appreciation of the subjective response to human experience as presented in literature, philosophy, and religion. All courses promote understanding of the relationships between the arts and humanities disciplines and other general education areas.

      Humanities courses:

      • develop understanding of the importance of arts and humanities to the overall understanding of human experience;
      • heighten students' perceptions of their own artistic and humanistic abilities;
      • make students more aware of and sensitive to their artistic environment and their own reaction to that environment;
      • and encourage active participation in developing critical standards for evaluating students' own and others' artistic works.

      A minimum of nine semester units including at least one course in each of the following subareas: Arts, C1(Art, Cinema, Dance, Music, Theater); and Humanities, C2 (Literature,Philosophy, Languages other than English) (please see p. 62 of fall 2011 catalog)

      Area D - Social Sciences

      Goals: These courses introduce the scholarly study of human experience: culture; ethnicity; place; time; the economy; the political community; behavioral, emotional, and cognitive processes; and human interaction and organization.

      A minimum of nine semester units with courses being taken in more than one of the subareas below listed as D1 through D0: (please see p. 62-63 of fall 2011 catalog). One course from The American Institutions can also count in lower division GE area D, except when a transfer AI course has already been used in GE area D.

      Area E - Human Integration

      Lifelong understanding and integration of self

      Area E courses focus on disciplined inquiry leading to self-discovery and self-knowledge.

      Because successful completion of these courses requires a degree of knowledge and maturity usually attained by upper division students, area E courses can be taken only by students who have junior or senior status and who have completed area A general education requirements.


      Upper Division Component

      Upper division general education (UDGE) courses build upon knowledge and abilities developed in lower division GE courses. Students must complete 9 upper division units: three units each from areas B, C, and D.

      In addition, all students need three units in an area E course (human integration). Humboldt State offers area E courses at an upper division level, but transfer students can sometimes meet the requirement with transferable lower division units.

      Communication and Ways of Thinking (CWT) courses (numbered 309) may be used to meet upper division GE requirements. Students are limited to one CWT course within the upper division GE component. Please see the catalog for a complete list of CWT courses.

      UDGE Area B:

      Students can also satisfy three units of upper division general education in area B by completing an approved minor in one of the disciplines in the College of Natural Resources and Sciences, excluding minors in psychology and computer information systems. Please note: a minor cannot be awarded to a student receiving a related major of the same name.

      Communication and Ways of Thinking (CWT) courses may be used to meet the upper division area B requirement. Students are limited to one CWT course within the upper division GE component. Please see the catalog for a list of CWT courses that meet this requirement.

      UDGE Area C:

      Communication and Ways of Thinking courses may be used to meet the upper division area C requirement. Students are limited to one CWT course within the upper division GE component. Please see the catalog for a list of CWT courses that meet this requirement.


      UDGE Area D:

      Any of the following Communication and Ways of Thinking courses may be used to meet the upper division area D requirement. Students are limited to one CWT course within the upper division GE component. Please see the catalog for a list of CWT courses that meet this requirement.


  • Advising Center
    SBS 295 • 1 Harpst St., Arcata, CA 95521 • 707.826.5224 • Contact Us.