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Undergraduate Catalog

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General Education Requirement

All undergraduate students (except those transferring to UF with an AA from a Florida public community college or an AA from a Florida public state university) are required to complete the 36-hour General Education requirement to graduate.

Common collective knowledge about the world enables us to communicate, to make informed decisions about many aspects of our lives, to understand and to participate fully as informed citizens in local, national and global matters.

By attaining competency in composition, the humanities, physical and biological sciences, mathematics and social and behavioral sciences, we can better understand ourselves, our neighbors, other cultures and times, and the principles governing the natural world and the universe. In general education courses, students gain fresh perspectives, methods and tools for understanding the traditional and the newly discovered.

The general education program requires courses in the following areas shown on the next page:

Area Credits

Composition (C)

Mathematical Sciences (M)6
Humanities (H) 9
Social and Behavioral Sciences (S) 9
Physical (P) and Biological (B) Sciences 9
International /Diversity Focus (I) 6 credits taken in conjunction with H,S,P or B
Total Credit Requirements:36

* Three of the six credits must be approved mathematics courses.

Certain classes offer general education credit in more than one category (the same class may count as a "C" or an "H", for example). In these classes, a student may CHOOSE which ONE credit he or she wants the class to count for. One class may not count for multiple general education credits, except for "I" credits, which may be earned concurrently with other credits. For example, a student may earn both a "C" and an "I" credit or both an "H" and an "I" credit for a single class, but not both a "C" and an "H" credit.


Composition courses equip students with the skills necessary to complete successfully the reading and writing requirements of their disciplines. In addition to fulfilling a portion of the writing requirement, composition courses offer instruction in methods of writing, conventions of standard written English, reading and comprehension skills, and ways of making expository and argumentative prose accessible to readers in varied situations. These courses are writing-intensive and require extensive practice, and each writer receives feedback for revision.

Mathematical Sciences

Courses in mathematical sciences help students acquire concepts and skills in logic, inductive and deductive reasoning, and abstract and quantitative thinking. Students also learn to reason critically, solve problems creatively, assess statistical evidence, use technology effectively and form conclusions.

Students must take at least three hours of approved mathematics courses; the other three credits can be from approved courses such as statistics and computer science courses outside the math department.


The humanities requirement enables students to think critically about what artists and thinkers (past and present) have to teach us about the non-material qualities of human beings and human values. In courses in the arts and humanities, students become acquainted with the enduring products—in words, sounds, paint, stone, metal and many other media—in which thoughtful and gifted human beings have attempted to meet our individual and collective needs for emotional, spiritual and intellectual fulfillment.

Arts and humanities courses address major intellectual, cultural and aesthetic achievements. Students consider questions of ultimate meaning and study human activities, artifacts and values in the context of the ages in which they were produced.

Social and Behavioral Sciences

In the social and behavioral sciences, students investigate human behavior in its social context. Students analyze the characteristics and structure of individuals, families, groups and institutions to develop an understanding of the human species. Often using scientific and quantitative methods, students examine the processes and means by which participants in society make personal and group decisions.

Natural Sciences —Physical and Biological Sciences

Courses in the natural sciences introduce students to the basic concepts of science and the scientific method and enhance awareness of scientific developments and their impact on society and the environment. This area provides students with an understanding of scientific terms, concepts and theories, and the ability to formulate empirically testable hypotheses derived from the study of physical processes and living things.

International/Diversity Focus

The United States is part of the global community and is increasingly diverse as a nation. The international and diversity requirement provides basic concepts and tools to help students understand and appreciate diversity among people. Courses focus on diversity among nations (the international component) and within a nation (including the U.S.). This includes differences such as gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality or culture.

Courses meeting this requirement may make students aware of non-Western influences or they may immerse students in a culture quite different from mainstream U.S. culture. These courses give students new lenses through which to view, and thereby understand, people and world events.

Six credits of course work must have an international or diversity focus. Courses in this category will always fulfill another Gen Ed category as well.

Study abroad courses can apply toward this six-hour requirement, in addition to fulfilling credit in other categories. Such courses must be approved in advance by a department adviser, certified by the UF International Center (UFIC) and taken in a foreign setting.

Identifying General Education Courses

All general education courses are identified at the back of the catalog under department course listings. General education courses have a letter designation(s) after the course entry, which corresponds to the first letter of the Gen Ed category. For example: AMH 2010, United States to 1877, fulfills three credits in the Humanities (H) category.

In addition, the Schedule of Courses includes a list of all courses that fulfill each category as well as the department that teaches the course.General education courses are also designated by code in the Course Listings section of the Schedule of Courses (consult the "G.E." column).

Selecting General Education Courses

Students should choose general education courses appropriate to their particular major. Some majors require or recommend specific general education courses. Refer to the major’s semester-by-semester plan in the college section of this catalog for specific information. In addition, students in some colleges may increase their hours in humanities, social and behavioral sciences, or physical and biological sciences by three hours (for a total of 12 hours in that category) and take only six hours in either of the other two categories. Again, students should refer to the major information in the college section to determine if this option is available to them

Students can take courses at the 1000- to 4000- level; in most colleges, students can complete the General Education requirements throughout their undergraduate experience. First-year students generally take introductory classes to complete area requirements. Those who have the academic background and the interest can take more advanced classes, but they should first consult an academic adviser.

Requirements M (mathematical sciences), P (physical sciences) and B (biological sciences) include the study of pure science (e.g., physics, chemistry and calculus) and their technological applications (e.g., nuclear energy, environmental science and computer theory). Students should pursue a balanced program of pure and applied sciences to complete these requirements. Students should remember that three of the six credits for the mathematical sciences requirement must be in approved mathematics courses.

How Incoming Credits Apply to General Education

AICE, AP, IB or CLEP credit counts toward completion of the General Education requirement if the UF course identified on the equivalency chart awards Gen Ed credit.

Dual enrollment and other transfer credit will fulfill the General Education requirements that the same UF course fulfills if the course is equivalent. Courses from Florida public community colleges and State University System schools generally adhere to the Statewide Course Numbering System. If the prefix (first three letters) and the last three digits of the course number are the same, then the course is considered equivalent (see the section on Florida’s Statewide Course Numbering System for more details). If the course does not have a common-numbered equivalent at UF (either because UF does not offer the course or because the transfer course was not taken in the state system), then the student’s college needs to evaluate the course to determine whether it fulfills a General Education area requirement.

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