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University of California Santa Barbara

185. General Education Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts, College of Letters and Science

The General Education program provides a body of knowledge and skills of general intellectual value that gives the undergraduate student a broad educational experience. The program emphasizes an appreciation of the humanities, the fine arts, the natural and social sciences, and the cultural traditions and diversity of the modern world.

The candidate shall satisfy the General Education requirements in both Special and General Subject Areas. A list of General Education courses will be approved annually by the Divisional Committee on General Education. Students may petition the Committee on General Education to receive General Education credit for courses not on the approved course list.

All courses acceptable in satisfaction of the requirements must have a value of at least 3 units.

Special Subject Area Requirements

All Special Subject Area courses may simultaneously fulfill General Subject Area Requirements.

  • Writing Requirements: Students must take a minimum of six courses that require the writing of one or more papers, totaling at least 1,800 words.
  • World Cultures Requirement: Students must take at least one course that focuses on a culture outside the European Traditions.
  • European Traditions: Students must take at least one course that focuses on European cultures or on cultures in the European Traditions.
  • Ethnicity Requirement: Students must take one course which concentrates on the intellectual, social and cultural experience and history of one of the following: Native-Americans, Afro-Americans, Chicanos/Latinos, Asian-Americans, or a course that provides a comparative and integrative context for understanding the experiences of oppressed and excluded racial minorities in the United States. Courses satisfying this requirement may also be used in satisfaction of the University American History and Institutions Requirement.
  • Quantitative Relationships Requirement: Students must take at least one course emphasizing quantitative relationships.

General Subject Area Requirements

Any given General Education course can be applied to only one of the General Subject Area Requirements. Students may also petition the Committee on General Education to construct an "Individualized GE Program" under guidelines determined by the Committee.

  • Area A: English Reading and Composition The student must complete two courses designed to develop skills in English reading and composition.
  • Area B: Foreign Language This requirement may be satisfied in one of the following three ways:
    1. The completion of Language 3 (third quarter) or the equivalent in one language.
    2. The completion with an average of at least C of the third year of one language in high school.
    3. The passing of the appropriate level of the placement examination recommended by the Foreign Language Department concerned and approved by the Executive Committee of the College and the Committee on General Education. This examination can be taken before admission to UCSB.
  • Area C: Science, Mathematics and Technology

    Objective: To provide an understanding of the methods and applications of science and mathematics, and the fundamental laws that govern the biological and physical worlds.

    The student must complete three courses.

  • Area D: Social Science

    Objective: To provide an understanding of what determines or influences the behavior and beliefs of individuals and groups.

    The students must complete three courses.

  • Area E: Culture and Thought

    Objective: To provide a perspective on world cultures through the study of human history and thought.

    The student must complete three courses.

  • Area F: Arts

    Objective: To develop an appreciation of the arts through historical study, analysis of master works, and aesthetically creative activity.

    The student must complete two courses.

  • Area G: Literature

    Objective: To develop an appreciation of literature through historical study, analysis of master works, and aesthetically creative activity.

    The student must complete two courses.

(Adopted 4 Mar 94; AM 27 May 04)