What on Earth are General Education Requirements?!

With class registration for the fall in full swing, our office is getting a lot of questions from incoming freshmen about what courses they should take. One question we get asked frequently is “What are general education requirements?” In addition to the courses a student will take for their degree, they will also spend time taking GE courses – but what does that mean? I could just send you over to PUC’S General Catalog, but I thought I would try to break it down for you here. You can check out the Catalog for specifics.

There are basic ideas and concepts which PUC wants all of its graduates to know. These are learned through the GE courses. By the time they graduate, each student should possess:

– A knowledge of human cultures and the natural world;

– Seventh-day Adventist Christian values, including integrity, justice, compassion, and wholeness;

– The following skills:

  • To communicate effectively in both written and spoken English;
  • To think critically and creatively about information, ideas, and arguments;
  • To locate and use appropriately a broad variety of resources and information; and
  • To learn and work collaboratively.

PUC’s GE requirements are divided into eight sections: Foundations of Learning, Foundations of Faith, History and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Math and Science, Health and Fitness, Practical and Applied Arts, and Foreign Language (BA only). When compared to public universities, what’s unique about PUC’s GE requirements are the religion courses. Every student that graduates from PUC is required to take at least 18 credits of religion. Beyond taking religion courses though, all classes at PUC are committed to strengthening a student’s connection to Christ by creating an academic community dedicated to deepening an understanding of the world He created.

Typically, students have a choice between several courses to fulfill a GE requirement, though there are times when a choice isn’t available and a particular course must be taken (sorry!). Since PUC is a liberal arts college, through GE courses students are exposed to all sorts of different subjects, unlike students who attend trade and technical schools that only focus on one subject. Some GE courses I took and enjoyed were Adventist Heritage, Intro to American Government, General Psychology, History of Western Art, Nutrition, and Personal Money Management, just to name a few. The idea behind taking these courses is to develop well-rounded individuals – which means you’ll have the skills to appreciate modern art in a museum, understand how the U.S. Senate works, know the basic laws of physics, and more.  This is one of the many benefits of a liberal arts education. Ask your Enrollment Counselor which GEs they took and which they’d recommend for you. Everyone does it a little differently!

One advantage of the GE package is the opportunity to take a course as an introduction to that major, which can help you decide whether you like a subject enough to major in it. My freshman year, I thought I would like to study Psychology or Communication so I made sure to take those courses to check-off a few GE requirements and to see whether or not those majors were for me. Ultimately, I decided that the subjects were interesting, but the degrees weren’t for me.

I hope this post helped clear things up about PUC’s GE requirements. If you have any questions, be sure to contact our Enrollment Office at 800.862.7080 option 2 or enroll@puc.edu. Any of our six Enrollment Counselors will be happy to talk with you!

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