General Education Requirements
General Education provides students with a broad, common foundation of study upon which to build an undergraduate education. The program develops skills of oral and written communication, logical and scientific reasoning, and quantitative analysis. Courses in General Education explore ways of knowing in the various disciplines through examination of significant historical, social, cultural, and scientific issues. Students will take most General Education courses during their freshman and sophomore years, along with some courses in their major or other elective courses.
General Education Requirement Options
There are three ways to complete general education requirements for Illinois State University. These three general education programs have different requirements and affect only certain types of students.
1. The first way is to complete Illinois State University's General Education Program. The General Education Program requires 13 courses (39 semester hours). View courses that satisfy ISU's General Education Program
The following categories of students must complete the Illinois State University General Education Program requirements:
- Beginning Freshmen (refer to the Admissions section of this catalog for complete definition).
- Students who were admitted as beginning freshmen at Illinois State University, who were readmitted and who have not completed a baccalaureate-oriented associate’s degree (A.A. or A.S.—the A.S. must include the complete IAI General Education Core Curriculum) from an Illinois public community college and are not eligible for an earlier catalog.
- Transfer Students who have not completed a baccalaureate-oriented associates degree (A.A. or A.S.) from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution and who are not eligible to complete the Illinois Transferable General Education core curriculum described below.
2. The second way is to complete the Illinois Transferable General Education Core Curriculum available through the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI). View ISU courses that satisfy the IAI General Education Core Curriculum
- This program is a statewide agreement between participating public colleges and universities and some private schools that is designed to facilitate timely degree completion for students who transfer between institutions. The Illinois Transferable General Education Core Curriculum structure consists of 12 to 13 courses (37 to 41 semester credits) distributed among five subject areas. Completion of these courses at any participating institution satisfies general education requirements for Illinois State University. The IAI Transferable Core is presented in the section entitled General Education - Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI). More information about this system and participating institutions can be found at iTransfer.org.
- The following categories of students may complete the Illinois Transferable General Education Core Curriculum:
- Transfer students (See Admissions section of this catalog for a complete description) who began the Illinois Transferable General Education Core Curriculum at a participating IAI institution and transferred to Illinois State may choose to complete the program by enrolling in Illinois State approved IAI courses presented in the section entitled Illinois Articulation Initiative Courses at Illinois State. Transfer students should note, however, that IAI course availability may be limited.
- Transfer students who have completed at least one transfer course that is articulated to an IAI core requirement.
- Students who have completed the Illinois Transferable General Education Core Curriculum at a participating IAI institution are considered to have met Illinois State University's General Education requirements.
- For those transferring from an Illinois college or university, the A.S. degree must include the complete IAI General Education Core Curriculum (GECC) or the student must complete the GECC to fulfill Illinois State’s General Education requirement.
- Any transfer student may choose to complete Illinois State University's General Education Program and should speak with an academic advisor regarding documentation of that change on their academic record.