General Education Curriculum (GEC)

The Purpose of General Education

WVU aims to provide students with a foundation of skills and knowledge necessary to reason clearly, communicate effectively, and contribute to society. The General Education Curriculum is designed to ensure that students meet these goals through inquiry-based learning across the disciplines. In conjunction with a major field, and in consultation with their advisors, students will design programs of study that satisfy the GEC’s Objectives. The learning objectives reflect the fact that, in an increasingly interdependent world, it is crucial that students learn to interact constructively with people from different cultures, to understand viewpoints different from their own, and to identify and resolve issues of personal and professional ethics. The GEC strives to help students to become thoughtful participants in a democratic society, and to achieve the intellectual integration and awareness they will need to meet changes and challenges in their personal, social, and professional lives.

Policies Governing this Curriculum

1. Students will take between 41 and 43 credits in this curriculum.

2. Most courses fulfill two GEC objectives. The student will choose which one of those objectives a particular course will fulfill.

3. Unless disallowed by the major, courses satisfying GEC objectives may also satisfy course requirements for the major.

4. Students may fulfill up to three of the GEC objectives 2 through 9 (including 2A, 2B lab, 2B other, and 2C) with courses in one subject area (as defined by a common prefix, such as POLS or SOCA) and may fulfill up to two GEC objectives 2 through 9 with courses in each of any other subject areas. For example, a student might complete objectives 2 through 9 with three PSYC courses, two BIOL courses, two PHIL courses, one MATH course, one CS course, one ART course, and one RELG course. Another student might complete objectives 2 through 9 with two STAT courses, two GEOL courses, two ARHS courses, two ENGL courses, two HUM courses and a THET course. Another student might take courses in 11 different subjects to complete these objectives.

General Education Curricular Objectives

1. Communication

Students are expected to communicate effectively in English. 6 credits

Requirements

  • Successful completion of English 101 and 102 or 103.
    Courses fulfilling this objective: ENGL 101, 102, 103.

2. Basic Mathematical Skills and Scientific Inquiry

Students are expected to use quantitative and scientific knowledge effectively. 13-14 credits

Requirements

  • Successful completion of one course in mathematics or statistics. This course may also satisfy major course requirements. Courses satisfying this requirement appear in Group A. 3 credits
  • Successful completion of two courses in the natural or physical sciences of which one course has a lab requirement. These courses may also satisfy major course requirements. Courses satisfying this requirement appear in Group B. 7-8 credits
  • Successful completion of either one additional course in mathematics or statistics, one course in the natural or physical sciences, or one course in the areas of natural resources and the environment. This course may also satisfy major course requirements. Courses satisfying this requirement may be selected from Groups A, B, or C. 3 credits

3. The Past and Its Traditions

Students are expected to apply knowledge, methods, and principles of inquiry to understanding the past. 3 credits

Requirement

  • Successful completion of one course focused upon the historical, cultural, or
    intellectual development of society over time or on a particular period critical to that development. This course may also satisfy a major course requirement.

4. Issues of Contemporary Society

Students are expected to apply knowledge, methods, and principles of inquiry to contemporary problems, ideas, and/or values. 3-4 credits.

Requirement

  • Successful completion of one course focused upon methods of critical thought
    and principles of inquiry concerning contemporary issues, ideas, and/or values as seen from a humanistic or scientific perspective. This course may also satisfy a major course requirement.

5. Artistic Expression

Students are expected to apply methods and principles of critical inquiry to the analysis of literary or artistic expression. 3 credits

Requirement

  • Successful completion of one course focused upon critical inquiry in art, dance, literature, music, or theater. This course may also satisfy a major course requirement.

6. The Individual in Society

Students are expected to develop an awareness of human experience, including both personal and social dimensions. 4 credits

Requirements

  • University 101 or equivalent course. 1 credit
  • Successful completion of one additional course addressing at least one of the following: personality motivation, cognition, behavior, social interactions, critical
    reasoning, ethical judgment, psychological and physiological growth and development, health, and well-being. This course may also satisfy a major course requirement. 3 credits

7. American Culture

Students are expected to develop knowledge critical to the understanding of the issues that shape the culture of the United States. 3 credits

Requirement

  • Successful completion of one course that explores issues that have shaped the development of society in the United States including but not limited to issues pertaining to age, ethnicity, race, region, religion, or social class. This course may also satisfy a major course requirement.

8. Western Culture

Students are expected to analyze historical, cultural, and/or political issues of a Western nation in an international context. 3 credits

Requirement

  • Successful completion of one course that explores historical, cultural, and/or political issues pertaining to a western nation in an international context. This course may also satisfy a major course requirement.

9. Non-Western Culture

Students are expected to analyze historical, cultural, and/or political issues of a non-Western area or nation. 3 credits

Requirement

  • Successful completion of one course that explores historical, cultural, and/or political issues pertaining to a non-Western region or nation. This course may also satisfy a major course requirement.