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Education for Tomorrow

Essential Education prepares students to become successful leaders in the technologically integrated world of tomorrow.

What is Essential Education?

Beginning in fall 2025, the Essential Education program will replace Michigan Tech’s current general education requirements in support of the University's Tech Forward Initiatives.

Essential Education is Michigan Technological University's forward-thinking, student-centered core education curriculum structured around four learning goals and 12 Essential Abilities—the critical skills that tomorrow's workforce needs. The program lets Huskies take ownership of their learning and prepare for success after Michigan Tech, both personally and professionally.


Undergraduate students chatting and studying outside with coffee

Through the Essential Education curriculum, students will:

  • Receive an introduction to the Michigan Tech experience and the wide range of opportunities available at the University.
  • Take courses that strengthen 12 Essential Abilities—including courses in both STEM and SHAPE* fields.
  • Think deeply and broadly about the big questions of our time, applying the tools and insights of multiple disciplines to become agile, culturally aware, and creative thinkers.
  • Participate in activities that promote their well-being and success.
  • Complete high-impact experiences, including first-year seminars, an ePortfolio to showcase their accomplishments during their time on campus, and more.

Plus, students will have the option to choose between two distinct pathways, with one allowing them to earn an interdisciplinary minor with no additional time or money.

* SHAPE: Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts for People and the Economy/Environment

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Ready to Learn More?

Essential Education is more than just general education, renamed. The program's Essential Abilities—based on the undergraduate student learning goals Think Critically, Communicate, Adapt, and Contribute/Transform—are emphasized throughout the curriculum in coursework, hands-on experiences, and more. Learn more about the Essential Abilities and why this new program will benefit students and employers alike.

Essential Education and You

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At Tech, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure that Huskies are prepared to enter and succeed in this changing world. Essential Education will give them the tools they need to become the culturally responsive, civically engaged leaders tomorrow needs.