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General Education

General Education Program - 1H1


    The purpose of baccalaureate education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) is to provide students with a solid foundation for intellectual development and an ability and desire to make contributions to society. As a public institution, SIUE strives to develop students who are well-informed, effective citizens; who provide leadership in civic and community affairs; who appreciate the arts; who have increased capacity for self-reflection, self-assessment and healthy living; and who will pursue life-long learning.

    The undergraduate curriculum encourages students to set the events of the world in broad perspective and to bring a reasoned approach to the challenges they may face.

    To achieve these purposes, the University seeks to impart the following abilities and knowledge to its students through their general education and study in their academic majors and minors:

    Analytic, Problem-solving, and Decision-making Skills

    Such skills include information literacy, quantitative literacy, the ability to understand and interpret written and oral texts, and to recognize, develop, evaluate, and defend or attack hypotheses and arguments. These skills are to be developed throughout all undergraduate programs in all courses.

    Oral and Written Communication Skills

    Skills in expository, argumentative, and creative writing, and in effective speaking and listening are to be developed through extensive and regular writing assignments, oral presentations, and participation in discussions.

    Foundation in Liberal Arts and Sciences

    All students will acquire a solid base of knowledge in liberal arts and sciences and of the contributions of these fields to civilization and to the quality of life. All undergraduate degree programs at SIUE, including professional programs, are rooted in the liberal arts and sciences through the integration of each major program with the general education program.

    Value of Diversity

    All students will gain an understanding of the traditions that influence American culture and of the traditions of other cultures in order to develop a respect for and sensitivity to human diversity. Students will gain a deeper understanding of global interdependence.

    Scientific Literacy

    All students will have experience in the methods of scientific inquiry in laboratory and field investigation and gain knowledge of scientific and technological developments and their influence on society.


    All students will understand the nature of value judgments, will have an ability to make reasoned and informed value judgments, and will appreciate the diversity among cultures with respect to mores and traditional standards of conduct.

    Preparation in an Academic or Professional Discipline

    Students completing the baccalaureate degree will have attained a level of achievement within an academic or professional discipline which will enable them either to begin a career in the discipline or to pursue graduate work in that or an appropriately related discipline.

  2. In order to prepare students to meet the objectives for the baccalaureate degree, the new general education program is composed of the following specific components:

    • FOUNDATIONS: All students are required to take five (5) Foundations courses which develop competencies in written and oral communication, logic, and quantitative literacy that form the bases of information literacy and scientific literacy;

    • BREADTH: All students are required to take at least three (3) credit hours in each of the six (6) Breadth areas (for a minimum of 18 credit hours) which provide the opportunity to explore the breadth of human knowledge by introducing students to the principles, substance, and methodology of disciplines beyond their major. These courses are distributed across six Breadth Areas: Fine and Performing Arts, Humanities, Information and Communication in Society, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences;

    • INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES: All students are required to take one (1) Interdisciplinary Studies course to foster awareness of the interrelationships among branches of human knowledge;


      • New Freshman Seminar: All new freshmen are required to enroll in a New Freshman Seminar that introduces students to university learning, expectations and procedures by exploring various topics of academic and civic interest with an experienced faculty member;

      • Laboratory Experience: All students are required to take a laboratory course in order to develop scientific literacy that helps shape informed citizens;

      • United States Cultures Experience: All students are required to take a course or complete an approved project or activity that explores the diverse, pluralistic population of the United States and the contributions these diverse groups have made to our shared culture;

      • Global Cultures Experience: All students are required to take a course or complete an approved project or activity that explores one or more non-U.S. cultures in order to gain an appreciation and understanding of human diversity in an increasingly globalized world;

      • Health Experience: All students are required to take a course or complete an approved project or activity in order to promote improved health and well-being.

    • SENIOR ASSIGNMENT: All seniors are required to complete the Senior Assignment that demonstrates breadth commensurate with SIUE's general education expectations and proficiency in the academic major. The Senior Assignment represents the culmination of the entire undergraduate experience at SIUE and should integrate the best aspects of each student's baccalaureate education. Each academic major has its own Senior Assignment, so the specifics of the requirement vary, but they share a challenge to each SIUE student to achieve individual academic excellence. This is what distinguishes baccalaureate education at SIUE.




    FOUNDATIONS 15 Credit Hours Required
       Written Expression I 3 English 101
       Written Expression II 3 English 102
       Oral Expression 3 Speech Communication 101
       Logic/Critical Thinking 3 Reasoning and Argumentation 101
       Quantitative Literacy 3 Quantitative Reasoning 101
    BREADTH 18 Credit Hours Required
       Fine and Performing Arts (FPA) 3 Course designated BFPA
       Humanities (HUM) 3 Course designated BHUM
       Information and Communication in Society (ICS) 3 Course designated BICS
       Life Sciences (LS) 3 Course designated BLS
       Physical Sciences (PS) 3 Course designated BPS
       Social Sciences (SS) 3 Course designated BSS
    INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES (IS) 3 3 Credit Hours Required
       Course with the prefix IS
    Total Credit Hours 36
       New Freshman Seminar (NFS) For incoming freshmen, course designated NFS
       Laboratory Experience (LAB) Course designated EL
       United States Cultures Experience (USC) Course or approved project or activity designated EUSC
       Global Cultures Experience (GC) Course or approved project or activity designated EGC
       Health Experience (H) Course or approved project or activity designated EH
    SENIOR ASSIGNMENT Requirements established by individual departments

    1. University departments have the authority, subject to established University procedures, to require of their degree candidates more specific or more extensive study in general education than the General Education program requires. This departmental authority, however, does not extend in the opposite direction to forgiveness or diminution of General Education requirements.
    2. Students must satisfy all general education components to obtain a baccalaureate degree at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Courses, projects, and activities that may be used to satisfy these requirements shall be approved by the General Education Committee and shall be designated in the Undergraduate Catalog. Courses, projects, and activities meeting these requirements may also be used to fulfill major, minor, elective or General Education requirements, subject to the provisions of a student's major or minor and other General Education program provisions.

Approved by Chancellor effective 5/18/15
This policy was issued on June 18, 2015, replacing the March 14, 2003 version.
Document Reference: 1H1
Origin: OP 6/4/84; CC 6-85/86; OP 2/2/87; CC 17-86/87; OP 11/18/91; CC 25-91/92; CC 34-91/92; CC 1-93/94; CC 2-93/94; OP 8/2/95; CC 2-98/99; CC 2-00/01; CC 15-00/01; CC 1-07/08 & CC 13-14/15

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