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General Education Requirements

Underlying all the university’s programs is the conviction that an educated person is one who knows that which is important for all people to know. Courses required for your major may prepare you for your vocation; the General Education program provides you the integrative intellectual experience common to all Chico graduates.

General Education (GE) will help you to see your major’s place in your total education by showing you that knowledge is not isolated, that what you know of one subject is related to what you know of another, that there is always more to know, and that what you know affects the way you live. By suggesting the essential unity and wholeness of knowledge, GE counteracts the sense of fragmentation you may feel while studying bits and pieces of issues and information through the various colleges, schools, and departments of the university.

You, like many new students, may be uncertain about your choice of a major or career field. Thus, in addition to the primary goal of broadening your awareness and understanding, an early focus on GE may help you become better acquainted with yourself and discover and deepen your interests and abilities in various academic disciplines and programs. If you are undeclared or uncertain about your major, carefully review programs you are considering, taking note of required GE courses and modifications. The Evaluations or Advising and Orientation Offices can help you plan your GE program in such a way that you take full advantage of GE as a powerful career exploration tool.


CSU, Chico revised its General Education Program effective fall semester 1987 and again in fall 1993. You must determine which of these programs you are to follow:

1. The Current 1993+ General Education Program. If you were admitted and enrolled (matriculated) as a first-time freshman beginning with the fall 1993 semester or thereafter, either at CSU, Chico or at another institution in The California State University or California Community College systems, follow the current GE program described in this section.

2. Prior General Education Programs. If you (1) established catalog rights in The California State University or the California Community Colleges prior to fall 1993; (2) earned transferable college credit during that time; and (3) have since remained “continuously enrolled,” you may elect to follow either the GE program in effect when you established your catalog rights, or the current 1993 or a subsequent GE program. See the section, “Election of Graduation Requirements,” in The University Catalog for a definition of “continuous enrollment.”

If you meet criterion 2, the Evaluations Office will automatically prepare your Course and Credit Evaluation using the appropriate GE program. You may obtain copies of descriptions of previous GE programs, including lists of courses which apply, from the Advising Office, MLIB 190. If instead you prefer to follow the 1993 GE program, notify the Evaluations Office, 530-898-5957.

All other students with prior college enrollment and who do not meet the criteria listed above will follow the General Education program described here. Enrollment in a summer school program, extension course work (including Open University), non-transferable college course work, or concurrent college courses while in high school do not constitute “matriculation” (formal admission and enrollment).

If you have questions regarding the General Education program you should follow, sign up in the Student Records Office windows in Meriam Library 180 for an appointment to see your evaluator, or call the Evaluations Office at 530-898-5957.

Important Notes To Help You With General Education Planning

1. No more than 39 semester units of GE credit may be certified by other institutions to apply to GE requirements at Chico.

NOTE: If you are a transfer student from a California community college who has completed the entire Intersegmental General Education Transfer

Curriculum (IGETC), you will not be held for additional lower-division GE requirements. However, you must complete CSU, Chico’s Ethnic and Non-Western requirements, if these courses were not taken within your IGETC program, and, if necessary, the American History and Ideals requirements, which cannot be included within the IGETC certification program. All students transferring with IGETC must complete the 9-unit Upper-Division Thematic GE requirement at Chico.

2. If, by virtue of transferring or readmission after an extended absence, you are required to switch from an earlier GE pattern, we will grant as much GE credit as possible for courses previously taken.

3. If you transfer to another CSU campus, Chico will certify a maximum of 39 GE units. The remaining 9 units must be completed at the campus awarding your degree.

4. Many courses which meet either the Ethnic Studies or the Non-Western Studies graduation requirement also meet specific GE Area requirements. These courses are identified both in the following GE program and on the Ethnic and Non-Western Studies course list at the end of this chapter. Other Ethnic and Non-Western courses not currently approved for GE are also listed at the end of this chapter.

5. Several majors require you to take specific GE courses and/or recommend certain GE courses as elective credit for the major. In a few high-unit majors we have made modifications in the GE requirement in order to reduce the total number of units required to complete the program. It is very important that you review the description of your major in The University Catalog with your adviser. You must determine whether or not specific GE courses are recommended or required or if there are modifications which you should consider for your major. The GE modifications are summarized later in this chapter.

6. Courses used to meet the History, Constitution, and American Ideals requirement (HIST 050 and POLS 055) do not count toward the 48 units of GE in most cases. There are exceptions: this requirement may count toward GE for students majoring in certain high-unit programs (See “Majors with Important Modifications to GE Requirements”). Exceptions will be noted on your transfer evaluation.

7. Passing scores on some Advanced Placement and CLEP exams can fulfill GE requirements. See the “Evaluation of Transfer Credit” section in The University Catalog and an evaluator in MLIB 180 or adviser in MLIB 190 for specifics.

General Education Evaluation

When you have completed at least 39 semester units of GE, review your degree audit via the Chico State Connection Portal (http://portal.csuchico.edu). If you have couse work taken prior to 1997, you may need to request a written Evaluation/Degree Audit from the Evaluations Office, MLIB 180. Evaluators will review your record and mail you a completed Degree Audit evaluation.

General Education Course Notation and Footnotes

Courses which may count toward both a major and General Education are identified by asterisks (*) in the program requirements description of a major in The University Catalog.

General Education courses listed in this section which are also applicable to the Ethnic or Non-Western requirements are footnoted Eth or NW respectively.

General Education Course Requirements Overview

You are to complete 48 units selected from designated General Education categories and courses. If you are enrolled in or are considering one of our high-unit majors, such as engineering, nursing, or liberal studies, carefully review the GE changes outlined in “Majors with Important Modifications to General Education Requirements” found later in this chapter.


1. Courses must be selected according to the following pattern of General Education: 12 units from core requirements (Area A); 27 units from breadth courses (Areas B, C, D, E); and 9 units from Upper-Division Themes.

2. The 9-unit Upper-Division Theme may not be taken until you have completed 45 semester units and GE core requirements.

3. A minimum of 9 of the 48 GE units must be taken at CSU, Chico.

4. Updates on GE offerings are published annually in The Class Schedule. Please refer to the GE section in the current Class Schedule when selecting your GE courses; GE courses are periodically reviewed and may be added to or deleted from the approved list.