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Academic Programs / General Education

General Education

The General Education (GenEd) Program serves as Temple University's liberal education requirements for all undergraduate students and provides a foundation for learning and development practices that help students succeed academically and professionally.

A recent survey of more than 300 employers nationwide conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities indicated that the majority of employers seek graduates with 4-year degrees with a mix of deep disciplinary skills and knowledge and a broad base of skills and abilities. Skills and abilities which employers ranked most important for schools and colleges to develop included communication skills, critical thinking skills, the ability to apply abstract theories and ideas to concrete experiences and practices, and problem-solving skills.

The GenEd program attempts to foster the development of such skills through its curriculum by providing students multiple opportunities to exercise, in multiple contexts and settings, their communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills and we attempt to do so by helping students make connections from academic knowledge to experience.

“The Philadelphia Experience” has become a hallmark of the new GenEd, with many courses taking students into the city for direct encounters connected to their studies. A science course takes students to the Waterworks to study 19th century sewage treatment. A course in educational policy takes students into schools and community centers. A course in sustainability challenges them to design a solution for storm-water run-off.  A course in creativity assigns them to go to First Friday to interview an artist.

These and other modes of stretching and contextualizing traditional disciplinary content prepare students to deal with a rapidly globalizing world, in which the resolution of complicated issues increasingly calls upon the ability to see a problem from many angles and to synthesize divergent perspectives.

Ultimately, GenEd is about equipping our students to make connections between what they learn, their lives and their communities.

Find out more about General Education at http://gened.temple.edu.

Program Framework

The General Education curriculum introduces students to nine areas of learning and a total of eleven courses, divided into Foundation courses and Breadth courses.

Foundation Courses


General Education Attribute Area Requirement
GW Analytical Reading & Writing 1 course, 4 credit hours
GQ Quantitative Literacy 1 course, 4 credit hours
GY Mosaic I 1 course, 3 credit hours
GZ Mosaic II 1 course, 3 credit hours


Course Sequencing

Students are advised to take the three-semester sequence formed by Analytical Reading & Writing, Mosaic I and Mosaic II as soon as possible after entering Temple in order and in successive semesters.

GenEd also considers Quantitative Literacy a foundational course. Accordingly, students are advised to take a GenEd Quantitative Literacy course as soon as possible after entering Temple and before enrolling in Science & Technology courses.


Breadth Courses


General Education Attribute Area Requirement
GA Arts 1 course, 3 or 4 credit hours
GB Human Behavior 1 course, 3 credit hours
GD Race & Diversity 1 course, 3 credit hours
GG World Society 1 course, 3 credit hours
GS Science & Technology 2 courses, 3 credit hours each
GU U.S. Society 1 course, 3 credit hours


Finding GenEd Courses

Each General Education area has a list of courses that satisfy the requirements for that area. Descriptions of the areas and their approved courses can be found by clicking on the links under the GenEd Areas heading on the left side of this web page, and at http://gened.temple.edu (select "Students", then "Courses"). Students may also download a 2012-2013 orientation booklet with course descriptions here.

To find GenEd courses offered in a given semester or term, students may locate the information in two primary ways:

  1. Go directly to the Class Schedule Search page on the university's web site.
  1. Go to Self-Service Banner (SSB), which is available on the TUportal.

Students must log onto the TUportal with their username and password. Select the Student tab from the SSB page. Clicking the Registration button will allow users to select and Look Up Classes

Select the relevant term or semester from the drop down box to begin a search.

Students may select one or many criteria in searching for specific classes; however the more criteria selected, the fewer the number of courses returned.

To get all of the courses fulfilling a GenEd area, in the Subject box, select Accounting and hold the SHIFT key and select Women's Studies to highlight all subject areas. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the General Education or Core Attributes box to select the relevant GenEd area, and hit the Class Search button at the bottom of the page.  The results will list all relevant courses in the selected GenEd area for the selected term.

General Education Policies and Requirements


In general, students should be aware of the following:

Every Temple undergraduate fulfills the requirements of the General Education Curriculum in some way.

  • Students entering Temple with fewer than 45 transfer credits complete the full General Education Curriculum.
  • Students with an Associate degree approved for GenEd-to-GenEd, Core-to-GenEd, or Core-to-Core Transfer meet most GenEd requirements with the general education courses taken for the Associate degree. Associate degrees are approved for GenEd-to-GenEd, Core-to-GenEd, and Core-to-Core Transfer by two university-wide faculty committees. See GenEd Transfer Programs for information on the policy and a list of approved community college Associate degrees.

A GenEd course counts in one GenEd area only.

A student may use no more than two courses from a single department to satisfy GenEd requirements. (Foundation and transfer courses are excluded.)

All GenEd courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher to satisfy a GenEd requirement.

All GenEd course numbers begin with "08XX." GenEd Honors courses begin with "09XX."  Students may use only Temple University courses at the 0800- and 0900-levels or specified waiver courses to satisfy General Education requirements.  See the GenEd Transfer Programs section of this Bulletin for information on completing GenEd requirements with transfer credits.

In GenEd, courses may be offered in multiple departments. These courses, regardless of the sponsoring department, are the same course and will have the same number and course title.


Repeat & Withdraw Policy

Students should be aware that opportunities are limited for repeating a course to replace a failing grade under University policy. Repeating a Course (# prohibits students from retaking a course more than twice unless the course is specifically designated as a course that may be taken for credit multiple times.

If, after a third attempt, students are unable to complete the following General Education requirements with a C- or better, they will be dismissed from the university. These course requirements include:

    • GW Analytical Reading & Writing
    • GY Mosaic: Humanities Seminar I
    • GZ Mosaic: Humanities Seminar II

If a student drops a class after the official drop/add period, a “W” will appear on the student's transcript to indicate the student withdrew from the course. A course withdrawal or a “W” is counted as an attempted repeat. 


Departments, Majors, Minors and GenEd

GenEd courses may not be required introductions to a specific major or minor. A GenEd course may be accepted by a major or minor to fulfill elective requirements.

Departments and colleges may not single out a specific GenEd course as a requirement.

A curriculum or degree program may identify a GenEd course as part of an array for its majors or minors. (An array is defined as a set of options from which the student may choose. The array must present at least three options for any one course chosen.)

A student may use no more than two courses from a single department to satisfy GenEd requirements. (Foundation and transfer courses are excluded.)


Early Progress Reports

All GenEd course instructors will submit Academic Progress Reports.


Credit/No Credit

Students may not take GenEd courses for credit/no credit.


General Education Waivers

Select waivers have been adopted in recognition of repetitive and substantial exposure to key habits of mind, skills, and/or bodies of knowledge and for which programs have submitted requests.

Once a student fulfills a GenEd requirement with an approved waiver – a placement test, course or series of courses – the waiver follows the student. Advisors will need to process DARS exceptions for students who complete a waiver identified with a particular major/school/college but are not in the identified major/school/college.

If a waiver for a GenEd requirement is comprised of a series of courses, students must successfully complete all courses to receive the waiver. Courses must be completed with a C- or better to satisfy GenEd waiver requirements. Departments, schools and/or colleges may stipulate a higher grade to satisfy its own requirements.


Quantitative Literacy (GQ)

Students considering undergraduate degrees with advanced mathematical or statistical requirements may satisfy the GenEd Quantitative Literacy requirement  through alternative coursework.

A student successfully satisfies the GenEd Quantitative Literacy requirement upon earning a C- or better in any of the following:

      • Any General Education Quantitative Literacy course.
      • Mathematics 1031, 1041, 1042, 1941, 1942, or 2043. 
      • Statistics 2101, 2910 or 2103, 2903 or an equivalent transfer course (primarily for FSBM and STHM majors and FSBM minors).
      • Completion of a three-course sequence to include Math 1015, Math 1021, and Early Childhood Education 3107.  All courses must be completed to receive the wavier (primarily for Early Childhood Elementary Education majors).
      • Completion of a four-course sequence to include Math 1015, Math 1021, Math 1022 and Math Education (Secondary) 3145. All courses must be completed to receive the waiver (primarily for Middle Grades Education majors concentrating in Science and Language Arts). 
      • Completion of a four-course sequence to include Math 1021, Psychology 1167 (or Sociology  1167 or Sociology 3201), Nursing 3261, and Nursing 3262 (primarily for Nursing majors)

Consult an academic advisor for more information.


Arts (GA)

Students pursuing undergraduate degrees in the Boyer College of Music and Dance and the Tyler School of Art may be exempted from the GenEd Arts requirement upon completion of collegiate requirements.

A student successfully satisfies the GenEd Arts requirement upon completion of the following four-course sequence:

      • Music Studies 1711, Music Studies 1712, Music Studies 2711, and Music Studies 2712.  All courses must be completed with a C- or better to receive waiver.

Waivers are pending approval for students pursuing the following degree programs in the Tyler School of Art: BA in Visual Studies, BS in Art Education and a BFA from the Tyler School of Art.

Waivers are pending approval for students pursuing the BFA in Dance in the Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Consult an academic advisor for more information.


Human Behavior (GB)

Students pursuing undergraduate and/or professional degrees in Education may be exempted from the GenEd Human Behavior requirement upon completion of collegiate and/or degree requirements.

A student successfully satisfies the GenEd Human Behavior requirement upon completion of the following three-course sequence:

    • Education 2109: Adolescent Development for Educators, Special Education 2231: Introduction to Inclusive Education, and English Education (Secondary) 3338: Foundations of Language Teaching: Teaching English Language Learners in Middle and Secondary Grades. All courses must be completed with a C- or better to receive waiver.  

Consult an academic advisor for more information.


Science & Technology (GS)

Many majors and programs of study require substantive studies of science to develop the expertise necessary in their fields. The sciences include studies of anatomy and physiology in human health, chemistry as the basis of human health, matter and motion, and natural phenomena. General Education would like to accommodate those students interested in pursuing such studies and have developed, in conjunction with the College of Science & Technology, a number of two-semester course sequences that would exempt students from the GenEd Science & Technology requirement.

Therefore, students considering undergraduate degrees with scientific, engineering or technical components may satisfy the GenEd Science & Technology requirement  through alternative coursework. (See waiver information below.)

A student successfully satisfies the GenEd Science & Technology requirement upon completing with a C- or better any of the following two course sequences:

      • Botany 1111 – Horticulture 2114
      • Biology 1011 – Biology 1012
      • Biology 1111 – Biology 2112 
      • Biology 1911 – Biology 2912 (honors)
      • Chemistry 1021/1023 – Chemistry 1022/1024 
      • Chemistry 1031/1033 – Chemistry 1032/1034
      • Chemistry 1041/1043 – Chemistry 1042/1044
      • Chemistry 1951/1953 – Chemistry 1952/1954 (honors)
      • EES 1001 – EES 2011
      • EES 1001 – EES 2015 
      • EES 1001 – EES 2021
      • EES 1001 -  EES 2022
      • EES 1001 – EES 2061
      • EES 2001 – EES 2011 
      • EES 2001 - EES 2015 
      • EES 2001 – EES 2021 
      • EES 2001 – EES 2022 
      • EES 2001 – EES 2061
      • Kinesiology 1223 – Kinesiology 1224
      • Physics 1001 – Physics 1002 
      • Physics 1001 – Physics 1004   
      • Physics 1011 – Physics 1012  
      • Physics 1021 – Physics 1022   
      • Physics 1061 – Physics 1062 
      • Physics 2021 – Physics 2022
      • Physics 2921 – Physics 2922
      • Physics 0121 – Physics 0122


Students who change their course of study prior to completing the second course of any of the specified two-course sequence, may complete their GenEd Science & Technology requirement by earning a C- or better with:

  • One GenEd GS course and one course from either List I or List II, or
  • One course from List I and one course from List II

List I
Botany 1111
Biology 1011 
Biology 1111
Biology 1911 (honors) 
Chemistry 1021/1023
Chemistry 1031/1033
Chemistry 1041/1043
Chemistry 1951/1953 (honors) 
EES 1001
EES 2001 
Kinesiology 1223
Physics 1001 
Physics 1011 
Physics 1021 
Physics 1061 
Physics 2021 
Physics 2921 (honors)

List II
Horticulture 2114
Biology 1012
Biology 2112
Biology 2912 (honors)
Chemistry 1022/1024
Chemistry 1032/1034
Chemistry 1042/1044
Chemistry 1952/1954 (honors)
EES 2011
EES 2015
EES 2021
EES 2022
EES 2061
Kinesiology 1224
Physics 1002
Physics 1004
Physics 1012
Physics 1022 
Physics 1062
Physics 2022
Physics 2922 (honors)

Consult an academic advisor for more information.


World Society (GG)

An approved summer or semester study abroad program will satisfy the World Society requirement. Consult an academic advisor for more information.

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