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Frequently Asked Questions

General Education

General Education: Frequently Asked Questions

Which students are subject to the General Education requirement?

Commencing with the Fall 2001 entering classes, all new undergraduate degree students, both freshmen and transfers, must complete the General Education requirement.

In general, continuing students are subject to the rules under which they entered.

More information below gives the information that was in effect for previous entering classes.

What are the requirements for a degree?

There are a number of important requirements for the undergraduate degree. The full set of requirements can be found on the Information page. Four of them are especially important, as regards course selection. A student must:

  • Satisfy the General Education requirements 
  • Satisfy college and major distribution requirements 
  • Complete the requirements for a Major 
  • Complete thirty credits of advanced and specialized courses.

How do general education requirements interrelate with other requirements?

Any course used in satisfying a Gen Ed requirement may also be used to satisfy any other requirement. That is, Gen Ed is an "overlay" requirement, not a separate requirement. Advisors should help students select Gen Ed courses so as to maximize thier meeting of other requirements as well.

How can General Education requirements be met through transfer credit?

Course equilivancies are determined in the transfer credit approval process. Transfer credit evaluators, such as department chairpersons, make judgements about the equilivancy of courses from other schools for our general education requirement. If a course from elsewhere is found equilivant to a UMass Dartmouth course or category of courses that satisfies a Gen Ed requirement, the transferred-in course will satisfy that same requirement. Courses not equilivant to a specific UMass Dartmouth Gen Ed course may still be found to satisfy a UMass Dartmouth Gen Ed requirement.

What about students with AP or CLEP credit?

All courses that have been accepted for AP or CLEP credit can also recieve Gen Ed credit if the course equilivant qualifies for Gen Ed credit. For example, if a student is awarded CLEP credit for American History I (HST 115), the diversity Gen Ed requirement is met, since HST 115 meets that requirement. Credit for ENL 101 and ENL 102, however, does not carry credit for the Information and Computer Literacy requirements.

Gen Ed is a "work in progress."

Additional courses will surely be added in subsequent years. Similarly, work is progressing in many departments to determine how upper division or advanced level requirements will be met within that major.

Can one Gen Ed course satisfy ore than one Gen Ed requirement?

In the case of courses that satisfy a General Education content requirement, that Gen Ed course cannot satisfy two different Gen Ed course requirements for a student, even if listed on two lists. For example, if a course is listed as satisfying both the Global Awareness and Diversity requirements, a student can use it to satisfy only one of those requirements.

A course that has a General Education skills component embedded within it may satisfy that skills component and also a content requirement such as C, G, D, S, or M.


Approvals, Exclusions, and Prerequisites

The course listings have been approved by the General Education Committee, upon requests made by the academic departments. Those in the present listing reflect all approvals made by the Committee through the fall semester 2001. New courses have been added to the list, and a few courses previously eligible may no longer be so.

Exclusions: Pass/Fail grading option is not allowed in any course used to satisfy a Gen Ed requirement. Remedial/developmental courses - courses that do not recieved graduation credit - may not be used to satisfy a Gen Ed requirement. Also excluded are experiential Learning/internship, independent study/research, and directed study courses. Graduate courses are generally not taken by undergraduates and so are not shown as satisfying General Education requirements.

Prerequisites: Some courses require the student first to have taken some other preliminary course(s). Any such prerequisites apply to Gen Ed designated courses.

"Permanent" vs. "Contingent" course designation:

  • Permanent Designation: A course has been approved to meet a Gen Ed requirement based on its official university description. Regardless of when it is taught or by whom, this course will satisfy the requirement. These will be indicated in the General Catalog.

  • Contingent Designation: A course has been approved to meet a Gen Ed requirement depending on the instructor teaching it or semester when it is offered. These are listed in the semester Schedule of Courses booklets when they can be known at the time that the booklet is printed. They are not shown in the General Catalog.

Gen Ed requirement for students entering in previous years

Freshmen students
All new UMass Dartmouth freshmen students entering in academic year 1998-1999 and beyond have been subject to the General Education requirement.

Transfer students
Transfer students entering in the academic year 2000-2001 (in the fall 2000 or spring 2001) were subject to the requirement if they recieved fewer than 60 transfer credits. Transfer students who entered in 1999-2000 were subject to the requirement if they recieved fewer than 30 transfer credits but not if they recieved more than 30 credits. Transfer students who entered in 1998-1999 were not subject to the requirement.


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