General Education

General Education Goals

General Education is an important and required component of every Michigan Tech degree. Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission requires that general education “imparts broad knowledge and intellectual concepts to students and develop skills and attitudes that the institution believes every college-educated person should possess.” At Michigan Tech, the General Education program enables all students, regardless of major, to develop an understanding of science and the social and cultural contexts of our contemporary world. The goals of the General Education program are included in the University Student Learning Goals:

  • Knowledge of the physical and natural world
  • Global literacy
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Communication
  • Information literacy
  • Social responsibility and ethical reasoning

General Education Curriculum

The General Education curriculum consists of the following requirements:

  • Core courses (12 credits)
  • Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) requirement (12 credits)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) requirement (15 credits)
  • Cocurricular activities (3 semester units, typically 6 half-credit classes)

General Education Requirements

General Education requirements are not normally waived, substituted, or modified. Advisors may submit requests if students have received incorrect advice. Requests are reviewed on an individual basis by the General Education Council.

Core Courses (12 credits) The core courses emphasize developing competencies in the six General Education Learning Goals
         Composition (UN1015) - 3 credits.  This first-year writing intensive course emphasizes developing competencies in communication and information literacy.

Global Issues (UN1025) - 3 credits.  This first-year course emphasizes understanding human cultures and developing competencies in global and information literacy.

or Modern Language Option for Global Issues. A 3000 level language course or higher may be used in place of UN1025 Global Issues. Students with prior language background who have completed Michigan Tech's WebCape modern language placement exam online must take the validation course on campus and receive a grade of B or higher  to receive advanced placement credit for lower level language courses. Students with transfer or AP language credit, or who plan to study abroad, should see the Humanities Department modern language director for advice. 

Goal 4 Critical and Creative Thinking - 2000-level courses.  Students must take 3 credits from the Goal 4 list.

Goal 8 Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning -  2000-level courses.  Students must take 3 credits from the Goal 8 list 

HASS (Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences) (12 credits; prior to Fall 2013, 15 credits)
Students must take 12 credits from the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) list as follows: 

  • 3 credits from each of the following:
    • Composition or Communication (3 credits)
    • Humanities or Fine Arts (3 credits)
    • Social/Behavioral Sciences (3 credits)
    • Any HASS or HASS Restricted list (3 credits)
  • 6 credit hours must be at the 3000 or 4000 level.
    • No more than 3 credits from the HASS Restricted list may be used to satisfy HASS requirements.
    • Courses that appear on both HASS and STEM lists can only be counted once on a degree audit.
    • Each course can satisfy only one requirement.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Requirement (15 credits; prior to Fall 2015, 16 credits)
Students must take a minimum of 15 credits of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics from the STEM list, with the following conditions: 

  • At least 4 credits from the Mathematics list
  • At least 7 credits from the Science list 
    • At least two courses
    • Courses in two different disciplines
    • One course must be taken with the accompanying laboratory 
  • No more than 4 credits from the STEM Restricted list may be used to satisfy STEM requirements.
  • Courses that appear on both HASS and STEM lists can only be counted once on a degree audit.
  • Some degree programs specify some or all of the STEM credits.  Students should check with their academic advisor for major-specific requirements.

Cocurricular Requirement (3 units)
Three cocurricular Activities units are required for graduation. A unit involves the same time commitment as an academic semester credit but is not included in calculation of the GPA or in the overall degree-credit requirement. Repeatable courses may not be repeated for cocurricular general education credit.  Please note that most physical education activities will last for seven and one-half weeks, or one-half semester. A student would need six of these 0.5-semester units to fulfill the 3-semester-unit cocurricular requirement. Some ROTC courses are also approved for cocurricular activity, and a few of these (and a few PE courses) are a full semester in length and count for 1 semester unit. These are identified in the Cocurricular list.

  • As a part of the cocurriculum, titles of activities successfully completed will appear on the student’s transcript with a pass/fail grade. These hours will be included as “earned hours” but will not be included in “GPA hours.”

    Enrollment in a cocurricular activity will count toward satisfactory progress for financial aid purposes and toward status as a full-time student. Some cocurricular activities may have lab fees.

International Study Abroad for General Education Courses
General Education International transfer credit for study abroad students (students with transfer credit from institutions outside of the US) will be assigned by International Programs and Services (IPS).  It is understood that IPS will apply non-Michigan Tech courses to distribution based on their being equivalent or congruent with existing general education distribution courses. 

Transfer credit 
Students are permitted to transfer courses from other institutions to satisfy these requirements. Students must check with the Michigan Tech Transfer Services Office to find out which courses qualify for transfer from a specific institution before a class is taken off-campus.

Michigan Transfer Agreement 
The Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) is for students transferring to Michigan Technological University from Michigan community colleges. All 30 credits of the MTA must be completed for students to be eligible for general education credit based on the MTA.