General Education Program
The General Education program is an integral element of a student’s educational experience at UNC Charlotte. Central to this is the idea that the elements of a student’s education are connected in ways that enable them to develop the knowledge, insights, and abilities that will prepare them for their future careers and to be educated citizens who can contribute to our communities. As such, general education has a critical role to play in a students’ education, providing a broad foundation of learning that ensures that students can apply knowledge and skills in a variety of contexts and disciplines.
At UNC Charlotte, the General Education program is organized around four competencies. Designed to ensure that students connect the breadth of learning that comes from exploring ways of knowing across a diverse range of disciplines to the in-depth knowledge and skills that they experience in their major. That integrative vision is accomplished by the Core Competencies - Communication, Quantitative / Data, Critical Thinking and Intercultural that frame the entire general education curriculum. These competencies are visibly interwoven into the different elements of the lower-division general education breadth requirements so that students can develop the ability to apply these competencies in different contexts. These competencies are also fully integrated into the requirements for each major with intentional connections back to foundational courses which will enable students to re-engage with and deepen their mastery of these competencies in the context of the discipline.
Students should seek advice concerning completion of their General Education requirements from an advisor in their department or college.
The General Education Program is administered by University College, but individual courses are taught by faculty from all of the colleges. Thus, requests for exceptions to any aspects of the General Education requirements for individual students must be approved by the Dean of University College, but matters relating to the course itself need to be addressed by the department and college offering the course. Some transfer students may be exempt from the General Education Requirements; see the Transfer Credit and Advanced Academic Standing section for details.
I. Communication Competency (3-4 credit hours)
The communication competency teaches students to create, use, and interpret messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts. Students are required to take either WRDS 1103 or WRDS 1104 , which serves as the foundational course for this competency. WRDS 1104 includes the same face-to-face content as WRDS 1103 , but also includes an online writing studio that provides students with additional opportunities to develop skills. After completing one of these courses, students are expected to be prepared to produce effective college-level writing and editing.
Select one of the following:
II. Quantitative/Data Competency Courses (6 credit hours)
The Quantitative / Data competency develops a student’s ability to analyze, manipulate, and interpret quantitative information and data. Students are required to complete 6 credit hours in mathematics, statistics, deductive logic or computer science from the following list, and of those at least 3 credit hours must be designated as a MATH or a STAT course. These courses serve as the foundation for the quantitative/data competency.
Mathematics, Statistics, Deductive Logic, or Computer Science
Students should consult with their advisor to determine which courses are appropriate.
Note: Most undergraduates at UNC Charlotte major in programs that require mathematics or statistics as related work. For these students, the related mathematics requirements determine the courses taken to meet the General Education requirement. Students in majors that do not require related work in mathematics should consult with their advisor to determine which courses they should take.
III. Critical Thinking Competency (3 credit hours)
The critical thinking competency develops a student’s ability to identify and analyze problems, evidence, and solutions. CTCM 2530 serves as the foundational course for this competency. This course also builds on the foundation of the communication competency that was introduced in WRDS 1103 or WRDS 1104 . Critical thinking and communication skills are recognized as core competencies for students earning a baccalaureate degree, regardless of major. While students continue to develop these skills in advanced courses in their major, the General Education program provides an important foundation. Therefore, all students must take one General Education course that carries the Critical Thinking and Communication (CTC) attribute. Students meet this requirement by taking CTCM 2530 .
Select the following:
Students must pass WRDS 1103 or WRDS 1104 with a grade of C or above AND have Sophomore standing or higher to register for CTCM 2530 .
Transfer students may or may not have met the Critical Thinking and Communication (CTC) requirement in courses taken at previous institutions. Students should check their degree audit in DegreeWorks to see if they have met this requirement.
IV. Global and Local Themes (12 credit hours)
UNC Charlotte’s General Education program ensures that students have opportunities to engage in sustained informed inquiry into complex and challenging questions that we face as a society. This integrative vision is accomplished by the four Global and Local Themes courses. These theme courses will provide students with the opportunity to explore related sets of questions from the perspective of the social sciences, arts, and humanities, through sustained informed inquiry. These courses also serve as the foundation for developing a student’s intercultural competency.
Global Intersections and Engagement Theme
The Global Intersections and Engagement Theme is grounded in the premise that it is essential for students to understand and engage with the increasingly interconnected global society in which we live both as individuals and as members of society. The courses in the Global Theme will give students this opportunity by exploring the many different ways in which - as individuals and as members of our society - we interact with and are influenced by individuals, cultures, and communities from across the globe. Students should take one global course in the social sciences and one global course in the arts/humanities for a total of two global themes courses.
Global Social Science (3 credit hours)
Students are required to complete one Global Social Science course selected from the list below:
Global Arts/Humanities (3 credit hours)
Students are required to complete one Global Arts/Humanities course selected from the list below:
Local Intersections and Engagement Theme
The Local Intersections and Engagement Theme is grounded in the premise that it is essential for students to understand and engage with the fact that we live in a nation that has been shaped by a range of cultural, social, economic, and political identities that influence how different groups experience their lives. The courses within the Local Theme will give students this opportunity by exploring the many different ways in which - as individuals and as members of communities - we interact with and are influenced by other individuals, cultures, and communities in our society. Students should take one local course in the social sciences and one local course in the arts/humanities for a total of two local themes courses.
Local Social Science (3 credit hours)
Students are required to complete one Local Social Science course selected from the list below:
Local Arts/Humanities (3 credit hours)
Students are required to complete one Local Arts/Humanities course selected from the list below:
V. Natural Sciences (7 credit hours)
The critical thinking and quantitative/data competencies are reinforced in the natural sciences. These courses introduce students to the methods of various science disciplines, provide an understanding of the current scientific knowledge of the world, how that knowledge is secured, and how scientific knowledge changes over time. Students must take two courses from the list below, one of which must be taken with its corresponding laboratory (L) course, for a total of 7 credits in the natural sciences. Students should consult with their advisor to determine which courses are appropriate.
Select two courses, one of which must be taken with its corresponding laboratory (L) course: