General Education Program

Well-Rounded Learning

Wichita State strives to offer the most complete college experience possible to produce well-rounded, successful Shocker graduates. Through general education courses, students explore subjects outside of their major, expanding their knowledge, perspective and skills and making a positive impact on their career and life.

Benefits of general education courses:

  • Improved critical thinking skills
  • Better communication, written and spoken
  • Increased analytical reasoning and problem solving
  • An acquired knowledge of natural and social science, the arts and humanities

Improve skills by taking courses that include diversity content, study abroad experiences, service learning and experience-based learning.

General Education Course Requirements

The 42-hour general education program at WSU consists of three tiers containing four kinds of courses.

Tier 1 Foundation Courses

Complete four courses within the first 48 hours of enrollment with a grade of C- or better. Foundation courses cover the fundamental skills needed throughout college and should be taken at the very beginning of a student’s studies.

Tier 2 Introductory Courses in the Disciplines

Complete seven courses.2, 4

These courses introduce students to the scope of human knowledge and inquiry. Skills learned in Tier 1 are used in these courses.

Fine Arts (Division A) Humanities (Division A) Social/Behavioral Sciences (Division B) Mathematics and Natural Sciences (Division C)3;
Subject Area Subject Area Subject Area Subject Area
Art History Communication5 Anthropology Anthropology
Dance English5 Criminal Justice Biological Sciences
Musicology/Composition History Economics Chemistry
Theater Modern and Classical Languages & Literature Entrepreneurship Computer Science
Linguistics Ethnic Studies Geology
Philosophy Geography Mathematics/Statistics5
Religion Political Science Physics
Women's Studies Psychology Public Health
Social Work
Requirement Requirement Requirement Requirement
one course two courses, one in each of two subject areas two courses, one in each of two subject areas two courses, one in each of two subject areas

Tier 3 Advanced Further Study and Issues & Perspectives Courses in the Disciplines

Complete three courses6

From addressing broad issues to providing more focused studies, these courses allow students to follow up on interests developed during Tier-2 courses in the following divisions:

  • Fine Arts and Humanities (division A)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (division B)
  • Mathematics and Natural Sciences (division C)

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Additional College/School General Education Requirements

  • Business requires MATH 144 or MATH 242 and ECON 201 and ECON 202. MATH 111 or MATH 112 meets the prerequisite for MATH 144. Philosophy requirements: PHIL 105 counts as an introductory course and PHIL 306, an advanced issues and perspectives course.
  • Education requires PSY 111. Teacher education students must take STAT 370 (Secondary Math majors must take MATH 242 instead of STAT 370). MATH 111 is a prerequisite for STAT 370. Elementary majors must earn a C (2.000) or higher in MATH 111 in order to take higher level MATH courses.
  • Engineering students:
    • Foundation courses: All WSU students must complete three courses in communication skills: ENGL 101 or ENGL 100 (for non-native speakers), ENGL 102 and COMM 111, each with a grade of C or better and within their first 48 credit hours.
    • Four introductory courses in the disciplines, to include one course in fine arts, one course in humanities, and two courses in two different disciplines in social and behavioral sciences.
    • PHIL 385 for engineering students, or PHIL 354 for students in computer engineering and computer science, and one advanced further study course in fine arts, humanities, or social and behavioral sciences.
    • All WSU students also must complete courses in the division of mathematics and natural sciences; however, because the engineering curriculum requires 32–35 credit hours of mathematics and natural sciences, engineering students automatically satisfy the requirements in this division.

  • Fine Arts students majoring in art education, music education and special education music are required to take PSY 111 and STAT 370 (or a higher level MATH course).
  • Health Professions requirements are listed by major. General education requirements vary.
  • Honors College requires the following:
    • Honors students fulfill general education requirements set by their major college. Honors students have dual advising: They should meet first with their major college advisor and then as needed with an Honors advisor to choose Honors courses that meet general education requirements.
    • Students working toward the Emory Lindquist Honors Scholar distinction or the Honors Baccalaureate degree are required to fulfill any 3 of their general education credits with an HNRS seminar.
    • Honors Baccalaureate students meet with an honors advisor to select additional courses to fulfill the 42-hour general education program.
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences requires the following:
    • English or foreign language literature (humanities)
    • HIST 131, HIST 132 (humanities) or POLS 121 (social science)
    • Three natural science courses: At least one biology course and one physical sciences course; one must have a laboratory experience (does not include mathematics, personal computing, statistics, or computer science)
    • Foreign language in all BA degrees and the BS degree in criminal justice
      Exploratory students meet with an academic advisor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Advising Center. Students who have not declared a major may want to take a variety of courses to help clarify interests and identify possible majors and remain academically flexible.

Amendment to WSU General Education Policy – May 2014

Community College Transfers

  • A student transferring to WSU having earned an AA or AS degree from a Kansas public community college will be considered to have satisfied WSU’s general education curriculum provided that he or she successfully completes at WSU (with a grade of C- or better) two Tier 3 general education courses numbered 300 or above (Tier 3 courses are those designated as advanced further study or issues & perspectives). The two courses must be in two separate divisions or subject areas. Students must also complete the foundation skills courses of ENGL 101 and ENGL 102, COMM 111, and MATH 111 or equivalent.

RN-to-BSN and Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Students

  • A student enrolled in WSU’s RN-to-BSN degree completion program having earned an associate degree in nursing will be considered to have satisfied WSU’s general education curriculum provided that he or she successfully completes (with a grade of C- or better) two issues & perspectives courses.
  • A student enrolled in WSU’s dental hygiene degree completion program having earned an associate degree in dental hygiene will be considered to have satisfied WSU’s general education curriculum provided that he or she successfully completes (with a grade of C- or better) two issues & perspectives courses.

These policies are effective for any student graduating from WSU fall 2014 or beyond.

Our Advice? Go See an Advisor

The best way to stay on course toward graduation is to meet with an advisor each semester before registering for classes. Advisors will help in selecting and sequencing classes that meet particular degree requirements. To schedule a meeting, contact the advising office in the college of your major.

  • Business - 316-978-3203
  • Applied Studies - 316-978-3300
  • Engineering - 316-978-3400
  • Health Professions - 316-978-3304
  • Honors - 316-978-3375
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences - 316-978-3700
  • Fine Arts - 316-978-6634