General Education

Education at a college or university has traditionally had two equally important components—depth and breadth. Depth is provided by the academic major which a student chooses and which prepares him or her for a useful vocation; breadth of knowledge is the concern and aim of the general education curriculum. Since men and women first began to discuss the nature and purpose of education, they have seen in it something more than the mere acquisition of specific knowledge or skills, important as these may be. This something they called a liberal or general education and the need for it has been based on the ideal that a breadth of knowledge is necessary for an individual to become an informed and literate member of society.

Goals and Objectives for General Education 

Required Skills and Competencies

At Shippensburg, the study and investigation begins with the completion of courses, usually taken during a student’s first or second year at the university, in four required basic skills.

 To achieve these basic skills, undergraduates are required to take five courses for a total of 15 credit hours in the following areas:

  • Fluency in Writing. Students must take one of the following for 3 credit hours: ENG106 Writing Intensive First-Year Seminar, ENG101 College Writing or ENG110 Advanced Placement Writing.
  • Fluency in Speaking. Students must take HCS100 Introduction to Human Communication for 3 credit hours.
  • Mathematical Competency. Students must take one mathematics course numbered 100 or higher, for 3 credit hours, or must place at the Advanced Level through the university placement policy.
  • Historical Perspectives. Students must take the following two courses for a total of 6 credit hours: HIS105 World History I and HIS106 World History II.

Categories of Knowledge

The second component of the general education curriculum at Shippensburg is the completion of eleven courses distributed among five categories of knowledge.

Category A—Logic and Numbers for Rational Thinking (One course - 3 credit hours)

One course must be taken from any of the following, with the exception the mathematics course selected under Basic Skills and Competencies may not be used for this requirement.

  • CSC103 Overview of Computer Science
  • CSC104 Programming in Python
  • CSC120 Introduction to Computer Science and Metacognition
  • CSC180 Microcomputer Basic
  • CSC190 General Education Special Topics
  • CSC191 General Education Special Topics
  • MAT105 Mathematics for Liberal Studies
  • MAT107 Mathematics Models Applied to Money
  • MAT110 Fundamentals of Mathematics I
  • MAT117 Applied Statistics
  • MAT120 Basic Mathematics Models
  • MAT140A College Algebra - 4 Credits
  • MAT140B College Algebra - 3 Credits
  • MAT175 Precalculus
  • MAT181 Applied Calculus
  • MAT190 General Education Special Topics
  • MAT191 General Education Special Topics
  • MAT211 Calculus I
  • MAT217 Statistics I
  • PHL101 Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHL102 Critical Thinking
  • PHL105 Ethical Theories and Problems
  • PHL190 General Education Special Topics

Category B—Linguistic, Literary, Artistic and Cultural Traditions (Three courses - 9 credit hours)

One course must be taken from those listed under Literature and two courses in different disciplines from those listed under Humanities.

Literature (one course)  

  • ENG190 General Education Special Topics
  • ENG243 The Art of the Film
  • ENG248 Introduction to Culturally Diverse Literature of the United States
  • ENG250 Introduction to Literature
  • FRN330 Masterpieces of French Literature
  • FRN331 Masterpieces of Francophone Literature
  • GER151 German Cinema
  • GER320 Berlin
  • GER322 Readings in German Literature
  • SPN152 Latino Literature
  • SPN360 Masterpieces of Spanish Literature
  • SPN361 Masterpieces of Spanish-American Literature

Humanities (two courses – different disciplines)  

  • ART101 Art Appreciation
  • ART190 General Education Special Topics
  • ART231 Art History I
  • ART232 Art History II
  • ART233 Art History III
  • ART274 Introduction to Cultural Studio
  • ART339 History of American Art
  • CHN101 Beginner's Chinese
  • CHN102 Beginner's Chinese II
  • CHN103 Intermediate Chinese
  • COM190 General Education Special Topics
  • FL190 General Education Special Topics
  • FRN101 Beginning French I
  • FRN102 Beginning French II
  • FRN103 Intermediate French
  • FRN150 French Civilization
  • FRN190 General Education Special Topics
  • FRN202 Intermediate French Conversation
  • FRN204 Ideas & Cultures From the French-Speaking World
  • FRN320 French for the Professions
  • GER101 Beginning German I
  • GER102 Beginning German II
  • GER103 Intermediate German
  • GER150 German Civilization & Culture
  • GER190 General Education Special Topics
  • GER203 Intermediate German Communication
  • GER204 Ideas & Cultures From the German-Speaking World
  • GER215 German for the Professions
  • HCS190 General Education Special Topics
  • HIS190 General Education Special Topics
  • IAP111 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Arts
  • IAP190 General Education Special Topics
  • MUS121 Introduction to Music
  • MUS129 American Popular Music
  • MUS190 General Education Special Topics
  • MUS227 Opera & Music Theatre
  • MUS261 World Music
  • SOC370 Sociology of the Arts
  • SPN101 Beginning Spanish I
  • SPN102 Beginning Spanish II
  • SPN103 Intermediate Spanish
  • SPN150 Spanish Civilization & Culture
  • SPN153 Latino Popular Culture
  • SPN190 General Education Special Topics
  • SPN202 Intermediate Conversation
  • SPN204 Ideas & Cultures From the Hispanic-Speaking World
  • SPN215 Intermediate Spanish for Heritage and Native Speakers
  • SPN330 Spanish for the Professions
  • SPN385 Aspectos de la civilizacion hispana
  • THE121 Introduction to Theatre
  • THE190 General Education Special Topics

Category C—Biological and Physical Sciences (Three courses - 9 credit hours)

One course must be taken from those listed in three of the following disciplines.

  • ANT121 Physical Anthropology
  • BIO100 Basic Biology
  • BIO142 Introduction to Ecology
  • BIO145 Environmental Biology
  • BIO150 Human Biology
  • BIO161 Principles of Biology: Cell Structure and Function
  • BIO162 Principles of Biology: Organismal Diversity
  • BIO190 General Education Special Topics
  • BIO191 General Education Special Topics
  • BIO208 Field Biology
  • BIO237 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • CHM103 Chemistry: A Cultural Approach
  • CHM105 Chemistry: An Observational Approach
  • CHM121 Chemical Bonding
  • ESS108 Conservation of Natural Resources
  • ESS110 Introduction to Geology
  • ESS111 Introduction to the Atmosphere
  • ESS190 General Education Special Topics
  • ESS191 General Education Special Topics
  • ESS210 Physical Geology
  • PHY108 Astronomy
  • PHY110 Physics for Society
  • PHY121 Introduction to Physics I
  • PHY122 Introduction to Physics II
  • PHY190 General Education Special Topics
  • PHY205 Intermediate Physics I

Category D—Political, Economic and Geographic Sciences (Two courses - 6 credit hours)

One course must be taken from those listed in two of the following disciplines.

  • ECO101 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECO102 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECO113 Principles of Economics
  • ECO190 General Education Special Topics
  • GEO101 World Geography
  • GEO103 Geography of the United States and Canada
  • GEO190 General Education Special Topics
  • PLS100 U.S. Government and Politics
  • PLS141 Introduction to International Politics
  • PLS190 General Education Special Topics

Category E—Social and Behavioral Sciences (Two courses - 6 credit hours)

One course must be taken from those listed in two of the following disciplines.

  • ANT105 Great Discoveries in Archaeology
  • ANT111 Cultural Anthropology
  • ANT190 General Education Special Topics
  • DS100 Introduction to Diversity Studies
  • ETH100 Introduction to Ethnic Studies
  • ETH101 Introduction to African American Studies
  • ETH102 Introduction to Latino Studies
  • ETH190 General Education Special Topics
  • GEO140 Cultural Geography
  • HCS125 Survery of Communication Studies
  • HCS190 General Education Special Topics
  • INT190 General Education Special Topics
  • PSY101 General Psychology
  • SOC101 Introduction to Sociology: Society and Diversity
  • SOC190 General Education Special Topics
  • WST100 Introduction to Women’s Studies
  • WST190 General Education Special Topics

University Diversity Requirement

Shippensburg University expects its students to understand the diverse nature of the United States—its currently diverse society as well as its diverse historical and cultural roots. Students should also gain awareness of how the country continues to emerge and be shaped by 
the interaction of people with different views. Finally, students should understand how cultural, ethnic and racial heritage, as well as gender, age, social class, sexual orientation, and abilities have shaped their attitudes, perspectives, beliefs, and values.  To complete the university diversity requirement, undergraduates are required to take one approved diversity course for a total of 3 credit hours. The following courses currently satisfy the university’s diversity requirement.
  • ART101 Art Appreciation
  • CRJ452 Race, Ethnicity, and Crime
  • DS100 Introduction to Disability Studies
  • ECH460 Family, School, and Community Partnerships
  • EEC273 Introduction to Exceptionalities: Understanding Diverse Learners
  • ENG248 Introduction to Culturally Diverse Literature of the United States
  • ETH100 Introduction to Ethnic Studies
  • ETH101 Introduction to African American Studies
  • ETH102 Introduction to Latino Studies
  • GEO103 Geography of the U.S. and Canada
  • GEO140 Cultural Geography
  • HIS201 Early History of the United States
  • HIS342 U.S. Immigration and Ethnicity
  • MGT447 Business and Society
  • SOC101 Introduction to Sociology: Society and Diversity
  • SWK265 Understanding Diversity for Social Work Practice
  • WST100 Introduction to Women’s Studies




More Information

For more information on the General Education program requirements, see the undergraduate catalog.