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2014-15 Catalog

General Education Requirements (GER) for Baccalaureate Degrees

General Education Requirements (GERs) provide students with a common educational experience in order to provide a foundation for further study and broaden the educational experience of every degree-seeking student. It is designed to promote an elevation of the student’s level in basic, college-level skills (Tier 1), a breadth of exposure to traditional academic disciplines (Tier 2), and experience in applying his/her education in understanding and responding to the evolving state of knowledge and the world in the 21st century (Tier 3).


The UAA GERs begins with basic college-level skills enhancement in written communication, oral communication, and quantitative skills:

  • Courses in written communication and oral communication develop the critical reading, thinking, and communication skills (writing, speaking, and listening) necessary for personal and professional success.
  • Courses in quantitative skills foster the analytical and mathematical abilities necessary for success in undergraduate study and professional life. Baccalaureate students are required to complete the 12 credits of basic college-level skills (oral, written, and quantitative) before completing 60 total degree applicable credits. Students may select approved basic college level skills, which may also fulfill requirements in their intended major. Faculty in English, communication, and mathematics provide placement criteria (which may require the completion of preparatory coursework).


GERs continue with courses in four required disciplinary areas categorized by course content and academic discipline that are designed to guarantee a breadth of academic experience. These are fine arts, humanities, natural science, and social science:

  • Courses in the fine arts examine the historical, aesthetic, critical, and creative aspects of art.
  • Courses in the humanities consider the cultural, historical, literary, aesthetic, ethical, and spiritual traditions shaping the contemporary world.
  • Courses in natural science present theoretical and descriptive approaches to understanding the natural and physical worlds. Lab courses in the natural sciences emphasize gathering data and analyzing hypotheses according to the scientific method.
  • Courses in the social sciences explore insights about individuals, groups, and cultures derived from empirical methodologies.


For baccalaureate students, the GER experience culminates with an integrative capstone, which includes courses from across the university that require students to integrate knowledge of GER basic college-level skills (Tier 1) and/or disciplinary areas (Tier 2) as part of their course design.

Tier 3 (Integrative Capstone) courses may be taken only after the student has completed all Tier 1 (Basic College-Level Skills) requirements.

GER advising note: All students should consult a faculty or academic advisor for appropriate course selections.

  • Baccalaureate students are required to complete 12 credits of basic college-level skills (oral, written, and quantitative) before completing 60 total degree applicable credits.
  • Each of the eight General Education classifications has a list of approved courses (see the General Education Classification List in this chapter). Only courses from the GER Classification List may be used to satisfy a distribution area requirement.
  • Courses used to satisfy distribution area requirements in General Education can be used to satisfy school/college requirements and/or degree/program requirements, but no course may be counted in more than one General Education category.
  • Courses ending with numbers _93 or _94 cannot satisfy a GER, and UAA courses not on the approved GER Classification List cannot be petitioned to meet a GER. 




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