General Education Requirements
General Education at Central Michigan University
General Education at Central Michigan University consists of two areas of liberal study and achievement, University Program and Competency Requirements, which are required of all students. A third area, Teacher Certification, is required of all candidates for teaching degrees.
A liberal undergraduate education serves as preparation for a thoughtful life and service to the community, as a source of learning from which all other university work must draw and to which that work must contribute, and as an opportunity to identify intellectual interests by exploring a variety of disciplines and categories of human knowledge.
Liberally educated persons know about basic forces, ideas and values that shape the world, and about the structure of organized human knowledge--the arts and humanities, natural and social sciences, and their values, perspectives and methods. They are skilled in reasoning, writing, speaking, problem solving, using and interpreting quantitative information, in working with others, including those of diverse ethnic and cultural background, and in thinking reflectively about themselves as individuals and as members of society. Such persons value rational inquiry, honesty in scholarship and life-long learning.
General Education is intended to assist the student in the following objectives:
Developing undergraduate college-level competencies in
reading comprehension, written communication, oral
communication, and quantitative reasoning and
Learning to examine and solve problems through
intellectual process skills, such as comprehension,
translation, interpretation, extrapolation, application,
analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Library and research
skills are important accompaniments of these processes.
Evaluating critically a broad range of personal and
Developing intellectual concerns to include:
- the logic and substance of science;
- an understanding of American society and culture;
- a cross-cultural perspective through the study of diverse cultures;
- an awareness of human nature from differing theoretical points of view;
- the fine arts
Understanding global cultures, where possible, through
Experiencing intellectual community.
Top of Page
The University Program requires at least 27-30 semester hours of coursework in Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Studies, and Integrative and Area Studies. The courses are divided into groups and subgroups, and you must complete at least 3 semester hours in each subgroup.
Students who receive credit for an approved study-abroad experience may satisfy their University Program requirement with a minimum of 27 hours. Students whose first collegiate-level foreign language course is at an advanced level (102 or higher) may satisfy their University Program requirement with a minimum of 27 hours. All other students may satisfy their University Program requirement with a minimum of 30 hours.
The following additional limitations must also be observed:
You may not take more than two courses or seven hours of
CR/NC in the University Program.
You must earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of
2.0 in University Program courses in order to graduate.
The University Program has been designed to encourage you to
explore as many different disciplines as possible;
therefore, you must choose your University Program courses
from different designators. Only one time may you take a
second course with the same designator to satisfy your
University Program requirement, with the exception of
foreign language courses and courses taken for study abroad
credit (see Subgroup IV-B), Typically you will be required
to take courses with nine (9) different designators. For
purposes of this paragraph, a course and its separately
numbered laboratory (GEL 102 Physical Geology Laboratory,
for example), count as a single course. All courses at CMU
are identified by a three-letter code called a designator,
as well as by a course number. Designators refer to the
areas of study within the university’s departments.
Although most departments have only one area of study and
thus one designator, some do have two or more. A complete
list of all designators may be found on page 242 of this
Group II, Natural Sciences, each student must select at least
one laboratory experience equivalent to at least one
laboratory credit hour. The following courses satisfy this
ANT 173 Laboratory in Physical Anthropology
AST 112 Introduction to Astronomical Observation
BIO 101 General Biology
BIO 105 Introductory Quantitative Biology
BIO 110 Concepts of Biology
CHM 101 Armchair Chemistry
CHM 127 Introductory Chemistry Laboratory
CHM 131 Introduction to Chemistry I
CHM 161 Principles of Chemistry
ESC 105 Physical Geography
ESC 240 Meteorology
GEL 100 Introduction to Earth Systems
GEL 102 Physical Geology Laboratory
GEL 130 Earth Processes
HON 140 Symmetry in Science: From Microscopic to Macroscopic Systems PHS 151 Introductory Physical Science I
PHS 371 Musical Acoustics
PHY 127 Table Top Physics
PHY 170 College Physics Laboratory I
PHY 175 University Physics Laboratory I
CLEP General Examination credit is not accepted for
University Program credit.
- Credit from prior learning may not be used to meet any University Program or Competency requirement.
Unless the degree specifically prohibits it, courses that
are required under Other Degree Requirements may also be
used to satisfy University Program requirements, provided
that the courses are also on the list of University
Program courses. University Program courses may also be
taken as part of a major or minor unless otherwise
- Three options are available for completing the Subgroup IV-B requirement.
- Subgroup IV-B may be completed by a minimum of 3 hours of approved study abroad experience. Appropriate experiences include study at any institution of higher education located outside the United States or Canada (except Quebec), or study in a CMU faculty-led course taught outside the United States or Canada (except Quebec) and approved by the General Education Sub-Committee. Such study is administered through the Office of International Education.
- Subgroup IV-B requirements can be met by completion of 3 credits of an internship, practicum, service learning, or other resident program among members of a culture substantially different than the student's own within the United States. Credit for study in such a culture will be determined on application to the General Education Sub-Committee. Applications are available in the Academic Senate Office.
- Subgroup IV-B may be completed by a minimum of 3 hours of approved coursework in global cultures or foreign language. These courses are listed below.
- If you are interested in participating in international programs, you should note that you may also apply to the General Education Subcommittee for further University Program credit for coursework done abroad on a course-by-course basis. Documentation of the nature of the work done in each course (such as syllabi, course outlines, and assignments) is essential. It is your responsibility to collect and provide such documentation. If you are interested, contact the Director of International Programs for further information.
- Three options are available for completing the Subgroup IV-B requirement.
- Retroactive credits may not be used to fulfill University Program requirements. Retroactive credits may not be used to fulfill University Program requirements. See the Admission Requirements, Retention and Termination Standards sections within individual foreign language majors and minors (French, German, and Spanish) for more information.
A course may fulfill only one subgroup.
Top of Page
Education Requirements for Transfer Students
MACRAO Agreement A person who transfers from a community college in Michigan with a transcript documented as having satisfied MACRAO Agreement will also have satisfied the University Program portion of the general education requirements at CMU.
Program Transfer Block Option
Transfer students not satisfying the MACRAO Agreement may satisfy the requirements for the University Program with courses transferred from other colleges or universities if they present a minimum of 27-30 semester hours distributed as follows:
I - Humanities
A minimum of six but not more than nine semester hours of coursework from at least two of the following disciplines: ENG (English, not including composition courses), ART (Art), BCA (Broadcasting), HST (History), MUS (Music), PHL (Philosophy), REL (Religion), TAI (Drama), HUM (General Humanities).
II- Natural Sciences
A minimum of six but not more than nine semester hours of coursework from at least two of the following disciplines. One course must include a laboratory section. AST (Astronomy), BIO (Biology), CHM (Chemistry), ESC (Earth Science), GEL (Geology), HSC (Health Promotion and Rehabilitation), MTH (Mathematics), PHY (Physics), PHS (Physical Sciences), SCI (General or Natural Science).
III- Social Sciences
A minimum of six but not more than nine hours of course work from at least two of the following disciplines: ANT (Anthropology), CDO (Communication Disorders), HEV (Human Environmental Studies: AMD, FNS, IND, HDF), PSC (Political Science), PSY (Psychology), SOC (Sociology), ECO (Economics), GEO (Geography), JRN (Journalism), SSC (Social Science).
IV- Integrative and Area Studies
This is identical to the CMU University Program. The student must transfer 6-9 hours of coursework on a course by course basis. Three hours must apply to Subgroup A, and three hours must apply to Subgroup C of Group IV of the CMU University Program. The requirement for Subgroup B may be met by the transfer of 3 hours of course work or demonstrated completion of any of the alternative experiences described in paragraph H above.
Transfer students who have no more than 12 semester hours
remaining on the University Program Transfer Block Option
with completed coursework as distributed above (and prior
to their first full-time enrollment at CMU) may use the
University Program Transfer Block Option. For purposes of
this rule, full-time means at least 12 hours attempted in
a single semester. Any additional courses needed to meet
the distribution requirements outlined above and to reach
a total of 27-30 credit hours must be chosen from the
appropriate categories within the list of CMU University
Program courses in this Bulletin. For example, any
deficiency in Group I transfer credit must be remedied by
taking CMU University Program courses listed under Group I
in this Bulletin. Any deficiency in transfer credit for
Group IV Subgroup A must be remedied by taking a CMU
course listed under Group IV Subgroup A in this Bulletin;
any deficiency in Group IV Subgroup B must be remedied by
taking a CMU course from Group IV Subgroup B; and any
deficiency in Group IV Subgroup C must be remedied by
taking a CMU course from Group IV Subgroup C. In choosing
CMU courses to complete their 30 hours, students must also
follow the rule that govern selection
of more than one course with the same designator.
the event a student is not eligible to follow the transfer
block option as distributed above, he/she will be
required to complete the entire CMU University Program.
Comparable course work at another college or university may
be transferred into the CMU University Program on a course
by course basis when (a) it transfers as an equivalent to a
CMU course previously approved as a University Program
course or (b) it transfers without a course number and has a
content congruent with the goals of the University Program
and the CMU courses approved on the University Program.
Competency requirements apply to all students regardless
of transfer status, including completion of competencies
before 56 credit hours. Transfer students who enter the
University with 44 or more credit hours must complete
competencies by the end of the second semester at CMU.
Six hours of English composition courses used to satisfy
CMU competency requirements may not be used as elective
hours on the CMU University Program. You must read the
Transfer students who have no comparable course work at
another college or university are required to meet the CMU
University Program requirements in the preceding section.
Top of Page