General Education Lower Division

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For an overview of the SF State General Education program visit our Introduction to General Education.

 

Student Learning Outcomes have been developed for every area of General Education and a link to them can be found on the General Education website.

 

Some students come to SF State with high enough AP, CLEP and IB scores to receive college credit. Go to the following links to see what GE requirements are satisfied by these scores. Consult with your major department to see whether any of the credit can count toward your major.

Advanced Placement (AP) Test Scores

College-level Examination Program (CLEP) Test Scores

International Baccalaureate (IB) Course Scores

 

Continuing Students

Continuing students who were enrolled at SF State prior to Fall 2014 follow the General Education program that was in effect when they came to SF State, with a few modifications. Please visit the Division of Undergraduate Studies website (http://ugs.sfsu.edu/bacc-reqs) for more information about your General Education requirements and approved courses. Please note that although General Education courses are available to students in any major, registration in some sections of specific courses may be restricted to students in the Metro Academies.

 

Freshman Students

Students who begin at SF State as first-time college students in Fall 2014 or later, must complete General Education as outlined below. Please note that although General Education courses are available to students in any major, registration in some sections of specific courses may be restricted to students in the Metro Academies.

 

Transfer Students

Transfer students who begin at SF State in Fall 2014 or later may complete the 39 units of lower division General Education (GE) requirements (Area A-E), as well as lower division requirements in a major, minor, or certificate program at another campus if those units have been approved through an articulation agreement or an approved evaluation process. Regardless of the number of units a student took to fulfill General Education requirements at other schools, they must complete a total of 39 units of lower division General Education plus 9 units of upper division GE coursework to graduate. Any lower division GE coursework not taken in transfer must be taken at SF State from the list of courses below.

 

  • Transfer students who have not completed the equivalent of Written English Communication II will have to do so at SF State. It is a prerequisite to the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) requirement. Transfer students often satisfy Written English Communication II while also satisfying Area A3 at another campus. If so, no additional units in Area A are required. However, students still are required to complete 39 units total of lower division GE. If units are still lacking, these units may be taken in Areas B, C, D, or E.
  • Transfer students who have not completed the US History and Government requirements must do so at SF State.
  • Transfer students who complete the US History and Government requirements without completing 9 units in Area D must take additional Area D courses to total 9 units.
  • Transfer students must complete 9-units of lower division Area C coursework with at least one Area C1 and one Area C2 class, but are not required to take an Area C3 course.
  • Transfer students must complete overlay requirements at San Francisco State University. Most, if not all, of these requirements will be completed while satisfying the Upper Division GE requirements. Students transferring with an AA‑T or AS‑T (SB‑1440) degree do not have to complete the overlay requirements (see below).

 

Overlay Requirements

Overlay courses fulfill graduation requirements, but do not have specific unit requirements. They are meant to ensure that students take at least one course in areas that the campus feels are important to graduates of our university. There are four overlay requirements that students must meet: American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM), Environmental Sustainability (ES), Global Perspectives (GP) and Social Justice (SJ). Courses certified as meeting the Overlays requirements may be upper or lower division, may be in General Education, a major or minor, or may be an elective. Overlay requirements that are met in the GE courses below are indicated after the course title.

 

Area A: English Language Communication and Critical Thinking — 12 units

Students taking courses in fulfillment of Areas A1, A2 and A4 will develop knowledge and understanding of the form, content, context, and effectiveness of communication. Students will develop proficiency in oral and written communication in English, examining communication from the rhetorical perspective and practicing reasoning and advocacy, organization, and accuracy. Students will practice the discovery, critical evaluation, and reporting of information, as well as reading, writing, and listening effectively.

 

In critical thinking (Area A3) courses, students will understand logic and its relation to language; elementary inductive and deductive processes, including an understanding of the formal and informal fallacies of language and thought; and the ability to distinguish matters of fact from issues of judgment or opinion. In Area A3 courses, students will develop the abilities to analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas; to reason inductively and deductively; and to reach well-supported factual or judgmental conclusions.

 

Requirements: Students must complete a minimum of twelve units in Area A, including a minimum of three units in each of the following four areas: Oral Communication, Written English Communication I, Critical Thinking, and Written English Communication II. Specific test and course prerequisites are printed in the Undergraduate Graduation Requirements section of the Bulletin. Beginning in Fall 2014, all Area A courses must be completed with a grade of CR or C- or better to fulfill the General Education requirement.

 

Note: Transfer students often satisfy Written English Communication II while also satisfying Area A3 at another campus. If so, no additional units in Area A are required. However, students still are required to have 39 units total of lower division GE. If units are still lacking, these units may be taken in Areas B, C, D, or E.

 

Note: At the time of Bulletin publication, some courses were still in review for General Education certification. These courses have been provisionally approved for the 2014-15 academic year only.

 

 

Area B: Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning — 9 units

In Areas B1-B3, students develop knowledge of scientific theories, concepts, and data about both living and non-living systems. Students will achieve an understanding and appreciation of scientific principles and the scientific method, as well as the potential limits of scientific endeavors and the value systems and ethics associated with human inquiry.

 

In Area B4 courses, students shall develop skills and understanding beyond the level of intermediate algebra. Students will not just practice computational skills, but will be able to explain and apply basic mathematical concepts and will be able to solve problems through quantitative reasoning.

 

Requirements: All students must complete a minimum of nine units in Area B including a minimum of three units in each of the following three areas: Physical Science, Life Science, and Quantitative reasoning. Additionally, a course that satisfies the Laboratory Science requirement must also be taken.

 

Specific test and course prerequisites are printed in the Undergraduate Graduation Requirements section of the Bulletin.

 

Note: Some majors require advanced coursework in Areas B1, B2 and/or B3. For students pursuing these majors, some Area B requirements will be met in major or pre-major coursework. For more information please see the Bulletin description for your major.

 

Area B1: Physical Science (3 units minimum required)

 

Area B2: Life Science (3 units required)

 

Area B3: Laboratory Science (0 - 1 units required)

 

Area B4: Quantitative Reasoning (3 units required)

Details on test and course prerequisites are printed in the Undergraduate Graduation Requirements section of the Bulletin.

 

Summary of Quantitative Reasoning Requirements

Students who register for a GE quantitative reasoning course at SF State must

  1. have passed the ELM examination with a score of 50 or above; or
  2. have obtained an approved ELM exemption; or
  3. after taking the ELM examination, have passed Algebra II (MATH 70) at SF State or an equivalent course elsewhere with a grade of credit (CR) or C- or better. Beginning in Fall 2014, all Area A courses must be completed with a grade of CR or C- or better to fulfill the General Education requirement.

 

 

Area C: Arts and Humanities — 9 units

In their Area C coursework, students will develop a better understanding of the interrelationship between the self and the creative arts and of the humanities in a variety of cultures. In Area C3, students will explore the humanities with a specific focus on literature.

 

Requirements: All students must complete a minimum of nine units in Area C including a minimum of three units in the areas of Arts (C1) and Humanities: Literature (C3). Students must select an additional three units in either Arts (C1) or Humanities (C2).

 

Area C1: Arts

 

Area C2: Humanities

 

Area C3: Humanities: Literature

 

Area D: Social Sciences — 9 units

Through fulfillment of the Area D requirement, students will develop an understanding of problems and issues from a social science perspective and will examine issues in their contemporary as well as historical settings and in a variety of cultural contexts. Students will explore the principles, methodologies, value systems and ethics employed in social scientific inquiry.

 

The CSU American Institutions/US History and Government requirement (Areas D2 and D3) may be met either by examination (AP, CLEP, or SF State competency exam) or by taking at least one course in both Areas D2 and D3.

 

In U.S. History courses (Area D2), students will learn about the relationships among regions within the area of study and with external regions and states and the role of major ethnic and social groups in such events and the contexts in which the events have occurred.

 

In U.S. and California Government courses (Area D3), students will learn about the political philosophies of the framers of the Constitution and the nature and operation of United States political institutions and processes. Students will also learn about California government, particularly the constitution of the State of California within the framework of evolution of Federal-State relations and the nature and processes of State and local government under that Constitution.

 

Requirements All students must complete a minimum of nine units in Area D including a minimum of three units in each of the following areas: Social Sciences, Social Sciences: US History, and Social Sciences: US and California Government.

 

Area D1: Social Sciences (3 units required)

 

Area D2: Social Sciences: U.S. History (3 units required)

 

Area D3: Social Sciences: U.S. and California Government (3 units required)

 

Area E: Lifelong Learning and Self-development (LLD)

Courses in Area E address topics such as human behavior, sexuality, nutrition, physical and mental health, stress management, financial literacy, social relationships and relationships with the environment, as well as implications of death and dying and avenues for lifelong learning.

 

Courses certified as meeting the Area E requirement are a minimum of three units and may be upper or lower division, in General Education, a major or minor, or an elective. Overlay requirements that are met in Area E courses are indicated after the course title.

 

Area E: Lifelong Learning and Self-development

 

The General Education section of Undergraduate Education continues in General Education Program, Upper Division or visit our General Education Table of Contents.