Regardless of what major students choose, everyone must complete a set of University-wide Graduation Requirements before receiving their Bachelor's degree. The Office of Undergraduate Studies is responsible for overseeing this program. Although there are very specific requirements to meet, for the most part, students can choose from a wide variety of courses to complete them.
A University Graduation Requirement Worksheet is provided in the Undergraduate Bulletin, available to students at the Office of Undergraduate Studies (Sill Center) or the University College Advising Center (450 SSB). This Bulletin also contains additional information about the U’s General Education and Bachelor Degree requirements and options for completing these requirements.
University College advisors can help new students* understand University-wide Graduation Requirements, interpret Degree Audit Reports (DARs), and select appropriate courses to complete the requirements. UC advisors can also answer questions about fulfilling U of U general requirements with transfer work. Call 801.581.8146 to schedule an appointment. Once a student is admitted into a major, the departmental advisor for that program can help the student understand the specific requirements for the major and assist with completing all university requirements.
*Note: Students who are considering a major in Business, Engineering, Fine Arts, Science, or Mines should see their departmental advisor as soon as possible and will receive assistance with all university requirements there.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I find out where my transfer work fits in to the general requirements?
- After you are admitted the Admissions Office will evaluate your transcripts and determine which courses at your previous school count toward General Education at the University of Utah. You will receive a Summary of Transfer Credit indicating how your transfer courses fit into the University of Utah's General Education requirements.
- Where do I go for help if I think that a transfer course should count toward general education?
- Make an appointment with an advisor at University College, 801.581.8146. Bring a course description or syllabus. We can evaluate the course based on the University's guidelines and determine if it fulfills the requirement.
- If a course is listed in two different IE areas can it count for both?
- No, it can count in either area, but not both. The Degree Audit Report System (DARS) will use the course where it is needed. For instance, if a course can count for either Fine Arts or Humanities and you have already taken two Humanities IE courses, the course will automatically be counted as a Fine Arts.
- Can a diversity course also "double count" as an IE course?
- Yes, as long as it is on the approved list for both requirements.
- When do I have to have my General Education done?
- The only time requirement is that all General Education requirements must be completed before you can graduate.
- Can courses for my major count toward General Education?
- Courses from your major can count toward General Education. However, some majors do not allow this so be sure to check with a departmental advisor in your major.
- What general education do I have left if I have an associates degree?
- If you have an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science from another school in Utah, all of your General Education is automatically completed. One possible exception could be the American Institutions requirement. If your Associates degree was earned at a school in another state, your IE courses and the lower division Writing requirements are automatically completed. Other General Education requirements are evaluated on a course by course basis. PLEASE NOTE--An Associate of Applied Science does not automatically clear General Education.
- What's the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. degree?
- A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) demonstrates proficiency in math while a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) demonstrates proficiency in a second language. A B.S. degree requires two Quantitative Intensive (QI) courses, and a B.A. degree requires fourth semester proficiency in a second language. Some majors allow you to choose to do either a B.A. or a B.S., while others do not offer you a choice.
- Where can I find the U of U courses that count towards general education?
- You can find the lists of General Education courses in the Undergraduate Studies Bulletin or in each semester Class Schedule.
- What's the difference between foundation and integration courses?
- Foundation courses tend to be more general and basic while Integration courses are more in depth and may require prerequisites. It does not matter which you take. In any area you can take two Foundation courses or two Integration courses, or one of each.
- May I take General Education courses credit/no credit?
- Not all of them can be taken CR/NC. IE courses and Writing courses must be taken for a grade and the rest can be taken credit/no credit unless also required for your major. (Classes for your major cannot be taken credit/no credit).
- May I test out of any of the general education requirements?
- Yes, the University of Utah accepts CLEP (College Level Examination Program) test credit for the four IE areas and lower division Writing. These tests, however, are not recommended for all students. You should see an advisor at University College before taking any CLEP tests.
- Will "old" lib ed courses fulfill the new general education requirements?
- Yes, many of them will. For instance, the old Core and Distribution courses fulfill IE requirements. Make an appointment with an advisor at University College if you have any questions.
Philosophy Behind the Requirements
Whereas students select their own major(s), the University-wide Graduation Requirements must be completed by all U of U students, regardless of their academic program. These include General Education and Bachelor Degree Requirements whose intent is to ensure that all students pursuing a Bachelor's degree receive a well-rounded education. Thus, through the Intellectual Exploration (IE) courses, Engineering students will explore the fine arts and History students will be exposed to science.
All students who receive a Bachelor's degree are expected to have adequate writing and communication skills to clearly express themselves. Therefore, all students must take a lower-division composition course (WR) and an upper-division communication/writing intensive course (CW). When possible, the upper division writing course should be related to the student's major.
The State of Utah requires that all students receiving a baccalaureate degree from a public university to have an understanding of the fundamentals of American history and the principles and form of government and economic system of the United States. The objective is to ensure that all students have at least a minimal basis for responsible citizenship. Students can choose from several courses to fulfill this American Institutions requirement (AI).
In order to prepare students for an increasingly information-based society in which the ability to use and critically evaluate information, especially numerical information, is central to the role requirements of an informed citizen, there are two Quantitative Reasoning requirements (QA andQB). Through the various courses offered in mathematics and logic to fulfill these requirements, students should acquire the skills necessary to make rational decisions based on real data.
The Diversity requirement (DV) stands as a University of Utah commitment to develop and teach ways of thinking drawn from multiple histories and cultural heritages that shape the United States. The goal of this requirement is to extend cross-cultural understanding and encourage students to better consider ethical and social decisions from multiple perspectives.
To learn more about the University-wide Graduation Requirements and see a list of courses that fulfill each requirement, view the Undergraduate Studies Bulletin.
The U of U offers several programs that incorporate courses that fulfill many University-wide Graduation Requirements. For more information on each of them, see below.
Honors Program, 134 Sill Center, 801.581.7383, honors.utah.edu
LEAP, Office of Undergraduate Studies, Sill Center, 801.581.3811, http://leap.utah.edu/