General Education

General Education

Most colleges and universities around the country include as part of their students’ educational process an element of what is commonly called “General Education.” The combination of the broad-based General Education courses and focused major coursework results in what has been historically identified as a “Liberal Education.”

According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities:

Liberal Education is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g. science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest. A liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

The broad goals of liberal education have been enduring even as the courses and requirements that comprise a liberal education have changed over the years. Today, a liberal education usually includes a general education curriculum that provides broad learning in multiple disciplines and ways of knowing, along with more in-depth study in a major. (Emphasis added)

In keeping with these precepts and the standards required by the California State University system, the General Education Program at CSUDH is designed to complement the major program and electives completed by each baccalaureate candidate in order to assure that graduates have made noteworthy progress toward becoming truly educated persons.

Through GE, CSUDH students take part in a wide range of human interests and activities; confront personal, cultural, moral, and social problems that are an inevitable part of human life; and cultivate both the requisite skills and enthusiasm for lifelong learning.

Courses included in GE are responsive to the need for students to develop knowledge of, or skills related to, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, intellectual inquiry, global awareness and understanding, human diversity, civic engagement, communication competence, ethical decision-making, environmental systems, technology, lifelong learning and self-development, and physical and emotional health throughout a lifetime.

The General Education Program requires 49 semester units: (A) 9 units of Basic Skills; (B-E) 31 units of lower division General Education divided among Natural Sciences and Quantitative Reasoning (10 units), Humanities (9 units), Social Sciences (9 units), and Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (3 units), and (F) 9 units of upper division Integrative Studies. 9 semester units in General Education at CSU Dominguez Hills. 

For more information on approved General Education courses, please go to the current university catalog

General Education Program Learning Outcomes

Area A: Communication in the English Language and Critical Thinking (9 units)
Courses in Area A introduce students to college-level skills necessary for their continued success at the university and after graduation. Area A courses refine students’ abilities to read, write, and speak effectively in a variety of rhetorical situations; to distinguish sound, forceful reasoning from faulty reasoning; to publicly present their own ideas and research; and to locate, interpret, evaluate, and effectively and ethically use source materials. Because of the foundational nature of these courses, students must complete this section of General Education within their first 60 units. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in Area A courses to satisfy these GE requirements. Skills acquired in Area A courses will be developed further in other GE and major courses.

Area B: Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning (10 units)
In Area B1-3 courses, students develop their knowledge of scientific theories, concepts, and data about both living and non-living systems, as well as an understanding and appreciation of scientific principles and the scientific method, including the potential limits of scientific endeavors. Scientific literacy also includes the ability to think in an informed manner about social, legal, ethical, and political issues that involve science and technology.

In Area B4 courses, students will engage with meaningful mathematics and will be prepared for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) courses or for quantitative courses in other majors. Mathematical literacy helps students develop quantitative reasoning skills to solve problems of everyday life. Quantitative reasoning includes proportional reasoning, modeling, statistical literacy, and problem solving. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in Area B4 courses to satisfy these GE requirements; skills acquired in Area B4 courses will be developed further in other GE and major courses.

Area C: Arts and Humanities (9 units)
In Area C courses, students develop an understanding and appreciation of the works of the human mind and imagination. Arts and Humanities coursework explores the rich history and diversity of human knowledge and creativity as expressed in the arts, literatures, religions, and philosophies of their own and other cultures. By viewing such human endeavors in an historical and aesthetic context, students learn not only to analyze critically but also to value the rich cultural products of our complex world. Area C courses educate students to be global citizens who are equipped to make independent judgments using their own imagination and reason.

Area D: Social Sciences (9 units)
Courses in the Social Sciences help students better understand how social, political, and economic institutions and behavior are intricately interwoven. In an increasingly complex, interdependent, and changing world, individuals must learn how to cope with pressing social problems and how to manage and improve the conditions, institutions, and outcomes that affect them. Area D courses introduce students to the primary structural levels of analysis used in the various disciplines and demonstrate the significance of historical backgrounds to contemporary behavior.

Area E: Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (3 units)
Area E courses are designed to equip learners for lifelong understanding and development of themselves as integrated physiological, social, and psychological beings. Drawn from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives, Area E courses focus on the development of skills, abilities, and dispositions that not only promote students’ academic success but also enhance their lives after college.

Area F: Upper Division Integrative Studies (9 units)
Upper division integrative coursework is the capstone and completion of the General Education Program, building on the knowledge and skills students have acquired in lower division GE courses. Because of the advanced nature of these courses, upper division integrative studies courses must be taken after 60 semester units and the lower division components of General Education have been completed.

Area F1. Integrative Studies in the Humanities (3 units)
The lower division General Education courses in Area C acquaint students with the cultural and historical background as well as the critical and perceptual training that help them develop aesthetic sensibility, rational and intuitive thought, and creative imagination. Upper division General Education courses in the Humanities build on that base, fostering interdisciplinary insights into intellectual and creative endeavors from around the world.

Area F2. Integrative Studies in the Natural Sciences (3 units)
Courses in Integrative Studies in the Natural Sciences and Technology are interdisciplinary courses that build upon the scientific and technological knowledge students have acquired by completing their lower division coursework in Area B. While these upper division courses will include content from other areas of study, their primary focus is on integration of knowledge within the natural sciences and technology.

Area F3. Integrative Studies in the Social Sciences (3 units)
Upper division General Education courses in the Social Sciences present integrative themes and research applications introduced in Area D courses as well as explore issues related to cultural pluralism. By focusing on specific topics, students will investigate the conceptual and methodological links among the Social Sciences or subfields of a discipline. Courses will stress contemporary research, interpretations, issues, and trends.