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 mathematics and the physical sciences
  • 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:

  • Four core courses (12 credits)
  • Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS)/Distribution requirement (12 credits)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) requirement (16 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 Helene Hiner or Christa Walck for 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.

Modern Language Option for Global Issues (UN1025). 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. 

Humanities & Fine Arts (HUFA) 2000-level courses.  Students must take 3 credits from the following list that emphasizes critical and creative thinking.

  • FA2330   Art Appreciation
  • FA2520   Music Appreciation
  • FA2720   Audio Arts Appreciation
  • FA2820   Theater Appreciation
  • HU2130   Introduction to Rhetoric
  • HU2501   American Experience in Literature
  • HU2538   British Experience in Literature
  • HU2700   Introduction to Philosophy
  • HU2820   Communication and Culture
  • HU2910   Language and Mind

Social and Behavioral Sciences  (SBS) 2000-level courses.  Students must take 3 credits from the following list that emphasizes knowledge of human culture & global literacy and values & civic engagement.

  • EC2001    Principles of Economics
  • PSY2000  Principles of Psychology
  • SS2100    World Peoples and Environments
  • SS2200    Prehistory and Archaeology
  • SS2400     Introduction to Human Geography
  • SS2500     Introduction to History:  US to 1877
  • SS2501     Introduction to History:  US since 1877
  • SS2502     Introduction to History: Europe to 1650
  • SS2503     Introduction to History: Europe since 1650
  • SS2504     Introduction to History:  World to 1500
  • SS2505     Introduction to History: World since 1500
  • SS2600     American Government and Politics
  • SS 2700    Introduction to Sociology

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) Distribution List with the following limitations:

    • 6 credit hours must be at the 3000 or 4000 level.
    • No more than 3 credits from the HASS Creative Endeavors list may be used to satisfy the HASS Distribution list requirements.
    • No more than 3 credits from the HASS Supplemental List may be used to satisfy the HASS Distribution list requirements.
  • HASS Distribution List

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Requirement (16 credits)

  • All Michigan Tech baccalaureate graduates must take a minimum of 16 credits of science, technology, engineering,
  • mathematics, or computer science. Check with your department or advisor for major-specific requirements. Some
  • programs specify all 16 credits; others may not. For example, a computer science course may be a requirement for
  • some departments but not others.
  • Note the following restrictions:
    1. At least 12 of those credits must be outside the student's major field.
    2. Students must complete 4 credits or more in mathematics. See list (link below).
    3. Students must complete one laboratory science course. See list (link below).
  • For curricula that do not specify mathematics and lab science requirements, students can meet these requirements by taking courses listed here: STEM Courses (Math/Lab Science Requirement)

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.
  • 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.

    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 course descriptions list, which is effective fall 2001. These are identified in the course descriptions list, which is available here: Cocurricular Courses

International Study Abroad for Distribution 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) without regard to specific distribution list requirements. 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. Michigan Tech courses taken as study-abroad will be applied to distribution list requirements based upon the distribution list the course is on.

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.