Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education Degree Requirements

Consistent with its heritage since its founding in 1770, the College of Charleston retains a strong liberal arts undergraduate general education curriculum. The Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education requirement serves all students, regardless of major, and assures that students are exposed to a breadth of intellectual inquiry distributed across seven areas of the curriculum: History, Humanities, Mathematics and Logic, Foreign Language, Natural Science, Social Science, and Writing.  The general education program emphasizes acquisition of knowledge, communication and languages, analysis, explanation and problem-solving.  Faculty have defined specific learning outcomes for each of the distribution areas. The fields of knowledge reflected in the College’s seven general education distribution areas draw nearly equally from two dominant models: the mid-twentieth century “core distribution areas” (humanities, social science, natural science, and later mathematics) and the “traditional liberal arts” originating in a classical curriculum (literature, history, philosophy, and foreign languages).

The College’s general education distribution requirement provides a measure of structure by specifying which fields of learning every student must include, but allows each student the flexibility to select specific courses from among those approved for inclusion in each of the seven distribution areas. General education courses are designed to provide students with a solid foundation for further study as well as allow for intellectual exploration within the liberal arts and sciences. General education coursework in the liberal arts and sciences is an essential part of each undergraduate’s education at the College of Charleston.

Students must fulfill the general education requirements in effect at the time of their matriculation at the College of Charleston. Matriculation is defined as the first term of degree seeking enrollment or first term of readmission at the College. The general education requirements catalog year remains fixed during the period of time a student is continuously enrolled.

The College may administer placement examinations to determine the level at which entering students are prepared to begin their work in a foreign language and mathematics.  Approved courses are subject to all academic rules and regulations. Each year faculty review courses that satisfy general education degree requirements.  They may make course additions or deletions.  Please consult your degree audit in Degree Works and course lists in the General Education section of the academic catalog.  Questions regarding general education degree requirements or approved courses can be emailed to