General Education Learning Outcomes


Intellectual Foundations Program:

FAU's General Education Curriculum

Print PDF

FAU believes that higher education should go well beyond the preparation of individuals for demanding careers in their chosen fields. It should also provide broad intellectual enrichment through systematic exposure to a diversity of academic experiences. The purpose of the general education curriculum in this endeavor is to develop the intellectual skills, habits of thought, ethical values, and love of learning that transcend the choice of major. These are the hallmarks of educated men and women capable of meeting effectively the social, political, and economic challenges of contemporary life. Perhaps at no other time in history has a well-rounded, inquiring intellect been more important and useful than in the world of rapid technological change and ever increasing globalization in which we now live. Thus, the mission of a comprehensive university education is to produce graduates who can intelligently analyze information, appreciate diverse peoples and ideas, and adapt to change through the self-motivated acquisition of new knowledge.


Consequently, the FAU general education curriculum is a carefully devised program that draws on many subject areas to provide and reinforce essential skills and values from different points of view. It equips students with the academic tools they will need to succeed, not only as undergraduates in their degree programs but also as responsible citizens in a complex world. .  The courses that comprise the FAU general education curriculum combine to develop:

    1.  Substantive knowledge and/or skills in a breadth of foundation areas
    2.  The ability to think critically;
    3.  The ability to communicate effectively.

Students are invited to select from a number of courses, all at the lower-division level, in completing their general education requirements. All of the courses contribute to meeting the overall goals of the general education curriculum, thereby allowing flexibility in making individual choices. Students must complete a minimum of thirty-six credit hours of general education coursework, distributed as indicated in the six categories below.


Students who enter Florida Atlantic University without an Associate of Arts degree must fulfill the University’s general education curriculum requirements as described below. A course may be used to simultaneously satisfy a general education curriculum requirement and a requirement of the student’s major program. All course selections should be made in consultation with an advisor.


I.  Foundations of Written Communication (6 Credit hours required; a grade of “C” or higher is required in each course)
Learning to communicate effectively is much more than the putting of thoughts and ideas into words. Writing, in particular, allows us to develop and organize our thoughts and ideas in intelligible and meaningful ways. Effective communication involves the examination of evidence, the development of ideas, and the clear expression of those ideas. Communication also involves the application of ethical standards when using words or ideas that are not one’s own. Courses that fulfill this requirement are designed not only to develop students’ writing skills but their ability to think critically – to question habitual ways of thinking, to move beyond obvious responses, and to develop new ways to see themselves and the world around them.
Students who complete the Written Communication requirement will be able to:
  • demonstrate effective written communication skills by exhibiting the control of rhetorical elements that include clarity, coherence, comprehensiveness, and mechanical correctness.
  • analyze, interpret and evaluate information to formulate critical conclusions and arguments.
  • identify and apply standards of academic integrity.
Students must choose from among the following courses:
           ENC 1101 College Writing I (required)
           ENC 1102 College Writing II

The following courses may be substituted for ENC 1102:

          ANT 1471 Cultural Difference in a Globalized Society
          ENC 1930 University Honors Seminar in Writing (for students in the UHP only)
          ENC 1939 Special Topic: College Writing
          ENC 2452 Honors Composition for Science
          HIS 2934 Writing History: The American Revolution
          NSP 1195 Being Cared For: Reflections from Other Side of Bed
Note: Students must take four Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) courses, two of which must be taken from the Foundations of Written Communications category.
II. Foundations of Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 credit hours required)

Mathematics is a peculiarly human endeavor that attempts to organize our experience in a quantitative fashion.  It aids and supplements our intuitions about the physical universe and about human behavior.


The Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning requirement is intended to give students an appreciation of mathematics and to prepare them to think precisely and critically about quantitative problems.

Students who satisfy the Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning requirement will be able to:
  • identify and explain mathematical theories and their applications.
  • determine and apply appropriate mathematical and/or computational models and methods in problem solving.
  • display quantitative literacy.
Students must take two of the following courses, one of which must be from group A. The second course may be from group A or group B.
                        Group A
                               MAC 1105 College Algebra
                               MAC 2311 Calculus I with Analytic Geometry
                               MGF 1106 Math for the Liberal Arts 1
                               MGF 1107 Math for the Liberal Arts 2
                               STA 2023 Introductory Statistics
                               or any mathematics course for which one of the above courses
                                              is the direct prerequisite.
                         Group B
                                MAC 1114 Trigonometry
                                MAC 1140 Precalculus Algebra
                                MAC 1147 Precalculus Algebra & Trigonometry (5 cr)
                                MAC 2233 Methods of Calculus
                                PHI 2102 Logic
                                MAC 2312 Calculus with Analytic Geometry 2
III. Foundations of Science and the Natural World (6 credit hours required)

Scientific principles are behind what we find in nature and in natural occurrences. Scientific issues, such as those dealing with stem-cell research, cloning, and global warming, are hotly debated by policy makers.


Courses that meet this requirement share the goal of seeking to understand patterns and principles behind phenomena and occurrences, both in the inorganic world and in the living world. They typically fall within either the physical sciences (Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, and the Earth Sciences) or the Biological sciences.

Students who satisfy the Science and the Natural World requirement will be able to:
  • explain important scientific concepts, principles and paradigms.
  • explain how principles of scientific inquiry and ethical standards are used to develop and investigate research questions.
  • explain the limits of scientific knowledge and of how scientific knowledge changes.
  • critically evaluate scientific claims, arguments and methodology.
After completion of the associated lab, the student will be able to:
  • demonstrate and explain how experiments are conducted.
  • analyze resulting data and draw appropriate conclusions from such data.
Students must take two of the following courses, one of which must be from group A. The second course may be from group A or group B. One of the courses must have a lab.
                        Group A
                                AST 2002 Introduction to Astronomy
                                BSC 1005 General Biology
                                BSC 1010 Biological Principles I
                                BSC 2085 Anatomy and Physiology I
                                HM 1020C Contemporary Chemical Issues
                                CHM 2045 General Chemistry I
                                ESC 2000 Blue Planet
                                PHY 2048 General Physics I
                                PHY 2053 College Physics I
                                or any course in the natural sciences for which one of the above
                                              courses is the direct prerequisite.
                         Group B
                                ANT 2511 Introduction to Biological Anthropology
                                CHM 2083 Chemistry in Modern Life
                                ETG 2831 Nature: Intersections of Science, Engineering,
                                                & the Humanities
                                GLY 2010 Physical Geology
                                GLY 2100 History of Earth and Life
                                CHM 2032 Chemistry for Health Sciences
                                EGN 2095 Engineering Chemistry
                                PHY 2043 Physics for Engineers I
                                BSC 1011 Biodiversity
                                MET 2010 Weather and Climate
                                PSC 2121 Physical Science
IV. Foundations of Society and Human Behavior (6 credit hours required)

Courses in this area examine the forces that shape human behavior and societies. The disciplines represented in this foundation area study individuals, groups, societies, cultures, markets, and nations. Their scope is broad: the formation of attitudes; how institutions develop, function, and change; the forces that transform society and social institutions; how societies change the environment and respond to environmental change; the relationships between individuals and society; and the scope and complexity of systems of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and social class.

Students who satisfy the Society and Human Behavior requirement will demonstrate the ability to:
  • describe patterns of human behavior.
  • describe how political, social, cultural, or economic institutions influence human behavior and how humans influence these institutions.
  • apply appropriate disciplinary methods and/or theories to the analysis of social, cultural, psychological, ethical, political, technological, or economic issues or problems.
Students must take two of the following courses, one of which must be from group A. The second course may be from group A or group B.
                        Group A
                                 AMH 2020 United States History Since 1877
                                 ANT 2000 Introduction to Anthropology
                                 ECO 2013 Macroeconomics Principles
                                 POS 2041 Government of the United States
                                 PSY 1012 Introduction to Psychology
                                 SYG 1000 Principles of Sociology
                         Group B
                                 AMH 2010 United States History to 1877
                                 ECO 2023 Microeconomic Principles
                                 ECO 2002 Contemporary Economic Issues
                                 EEX 2091 Disability and Society
                                 EVR 2017 Environment and Society
                                 PAD 2258 Changing Environment of Soc., Bus., & Government
                                 SYD 2790 Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality
                                 SYG 2010 Social Problems
                                 URP 2051 Designing the City

V. Foundations in Global Citizenship (6 credit hours required)
FAU students live in a region that is increasingly diverse as a consequence of immigration and international connections. They live in a world in which individuals, societies, and governments are becoming more and more interconnected across national boundaries. To succeed in this world, students must have an understanding of diverse national and regional cultures and interests; they must understand the challenges and necessity of being able to communicate across these diverse cultures; they must understand the global forces that shape societies and nations and the relationships between and among them; they must have an awareness of global connectedness and interdependence, understanding how their actions can affect other peoples and places.
Students completing the Global Citizenship requirement will be able to describe the:
  • origins and consequences of different individual, cultural, and national identities.
  • economic, political, environmental, and/or social processes that influence human events across place and time.
  • causes and consequences of interaction between and among cultures, societies and nations.
Students must choose two courses from among the following:
                           ANT 2410 Culture and Society
                          EDF 2854 Educated Citizen in Global Context
                          AGEA 2000 World Geography
                          INR 2002 Introduction to World Politics
                          LAS 2000 Intro to Caribbean & Latin American Studies
                          LIN 2607 Global Perspectives on Language
                          SOW 1005 Global Perspectives of Social Services
                          SYP 2450 Global Society
                          WOH 2012 History of Civilization I
                          A WOH 2022 History of Civilization II
VI. Foundations of Humanities (6 credit hours required)
Through literature, the creative and performing arts, philosophy, and architecture, individuals and cultures interpret, express, and define their values and ideals. They also explore human potential, the human condition, and the imagination.
Students fulfilling the Humanities requirement will:
  • reflect critically on the human condition.
  • demonstrate the theory or methods behind forms of human expression.
Students must take at least one of the courses from group A. The second course may be from group A or group B.  
                        Group A
                                 ARH 2000 Art Appreciation
                                 MUL 2010 Music Appreciation
                                 PHI 2010 Introduction to Philosophy
                                THE 2000 Theatre Appreciation
                        Group B
                                 ARC 2208 Culture & Architecture
                                 DAN 2100 Appreciation of Dance
                                 FIL 2000 Film Appreciation
                                 LIT 2100 Introduction to World Literature
                                 ALIT 2010 Interpretation of Fiction
                                 LIT 2030 Interpretation of Poetry
                                 LIT 2040 Interpretation of Drama
                                 LIT 2070 Interpretation of Creative Nonfiction
Revised:  May 2015

Privacy Policy | University Regulations and Policies | Emergency Information | Get Help | Contact Us

An Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Institution
© Copyright 2016. Florida Atlantic University.
Florida Atlantic University
 Last Modified 5/5/15