General Education Program
The purpose of general education at NDSU is to ensure that students acquire knowledge, perspectives, and skills basic to a university education. The program is designed so that graduates will be able to adapt to and anticipate changes in their profession and in society. Graduates also will be able to integrate and use the knowledge and perspectives they have gained to live productive, intellectually rewarding and meaningful lives.
Intended Student Outcomes
The intended student outcomes resulting from general education include the following abilities:
- Communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and formats.
- Locate and use information for making appropriate personal and professional decisions.
- Comprehend the concepts and perspectives needed to function in national and international societies.
- Comprehend intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics.
- Comprehend concepts and methods of inquiry in science and technology, and their applications for society.
- Integrate knowledge and ideas in a coherent and meaningful manner.
- Comprehend the need for lifelong learning.
General Education Requirements
General Education Category Descriptions
The following descriptions are elaborations of the general education categories approved by the University Senate.
General Education Program Assessment
General education assessment has three basic purposes:
- To improve student learning and development by identifying the intended student outcomes for the program.
- To provide feedback on the progress toward the intended student outcomes.
- To use the feedback to modify aspects of the program to ensure that the outcomes are being achieved and that student learning is improved.
Assessment activities are valued at NDSU and include the participation of students. Results will not be used to penalize students or faculty. Student performance on assessment of the general education program will not become part of the transcript.
General Education Administrative Policies
- General education courses may be used to satisfy requirements for both general education requirements and the major, minor, and program emphases, where applicable.
- Departments or colleges may preclude their students from double counting general education courses with major courses.
- Department or college requirements for graduation may include general education courses that exceed the university minimum required for general education.
- Except for courses that meet the cultural diversity or global perspectives requirements, no course can fulfill the requirements for more than one general education category.
- General education requirements can be met through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DSST, International Baccalaureate (IB), departmental examinations, the Advanced Placement program (AP) of the College Entrance Examination Board, or equivalents.
- General education requirements can be met by successful completion of a course for which an approved general education course in the same department is a prerequisite or by successful completion of an advanced course in the same department with comparable course content.
- No general education course may be taken for graduate credit.
- Except for courses offered only on a pass/fail basis, no courses taken to meet the general education requirements may be taken for pass/fail grades.
- The general education minimum requirements apply to all baccalaureate degree programs.
- Transfer students who have only partially fulfilled general education category requirements by transfer-approved courses must complete the requirements in approved courses within the NDSU deficient categories. No category credit requirement may be deficient by more than a partial semester credit. However, in the communication category, if the transfer course(s) have been evaluated as equivalent to ENGL 110, 120, and COMM 110 and total no less than eight semester credits, the lower-division category requirement has been met. Transfer students meet NDSU's general education "College Composition I and/or College Composition II" requirement in the lower-division Communication category if they have credit in any English course (in composition, composition and literature, or the equivalent) totaling at least 2.67 semester credits per course. The total for all general education categories must be at least 39/40 semester credits for new students.
- Students may receive placement credit for ENGL 110 based on a minimum English ACT score (or SAT equivalent) and satisfactory performance (grade of 'C' or better) in ENGL 120 or equivalent.
- A student who has completed a general education program consisting of a minimum of 36 semester credits at a regionally accredited institution and who transfers to NDSU or who pursues a second baccalaureate degree at NDSU is considered to have completed his or her lower-division general education requirements at NDSU.
- General education courses at other accredited institutions, which do not have equivalent courses or general education status at NDSU, may be accepted in transfer as part of the general education requirements at NDSU.
General Education Transfer
Students transferring lower-division general education credits within the North Dakota University System need to consult with advisers in their academic programs at NDSU for two reasons. First, degree requirements of individual programs and colleges at NDSU may exceed the university-wide general education requirements. Second, meeting the university-wide lower-division general education requirements by transfer credits may not necessarily prepare students for advanced, upper-division study in an academic major at NDSU.
North Dakota University System Transfer Agreement
The North Dakota University System (NDUS) General Education Requirements Transfer Agreement (GERTA) was established by the State Board of Higher Education to ease student transfers within the system. Although subject to revision by the board, the policies at the time of this printing were as follows:
- If students have completed the lower-division general education course requirements (36 credits or more) at one NDUS institution and transfer to another NDUS institution, then the lower-division general education requirements will have been met.
- If the lower-division general education requirements have not been completed before transferring, the general education courses from the indicated areas are applicable to an appropriate general education requirement of the institution to which they are transferred. In these cases, the number of credits required to complete the general education requirement in each area is determined by the policies of the institution to which the courses are transferred.
Students transferring from non-ND University System institutions will have their general education requirements evaluated on a course-by-course basis when they enter NDSU.