General Universtiy Program Requirements

The University requires all baccalaureate degree students to satisfy a common core of course work known as the General Education Requirements. Course work in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is also an integral part of the engineering program. Courses must be taken and distributed to cover the Four Content Areas and the Five Competencies listed below. Please see the University of Connecticut General Catalog for more detailed information.

Note that students must earn at least a 2.0 grade point average for all calculable course work to receive a degree.

General Education Requirements

Content Areas

There are four Content Areas:

  • Arts and Humanities. Six credits.
  • Social Sciences. Six credits.
  • Science and Technology. Six to seven credits.
  • Diversity and Multiculturalism. Six credits.

The courses in Content Areas One, Two, and Three must be taken in six different academic units. Content Area courses may be counted toward the major.

Normally, the six credits required as a minimum for each Content Area will be met by two three-credit courses. However, in Content Area One, one-credit performance courses may be included. Students may use no more than three credits of such courses to meet the requirement.

In Content Area Four, at least three credits shall address issues of diversity and/or multiculturalism outside of the United States (International courses).

One, and only one, Content Area Four course may also serve as a Content Area One, Content Area Two, or Content Area Three requirement.

Content Area 1: Arts and Humanities

Arts and Humanities courses provide a broad vision of artistic and humanist themes. These courses enable students themselves to study and understand the artistic, cultural and historical processes of humanity. They encourage students to explore their own traditions and their places within the larger world so that they, as informed citizens, may participate more fully in the rich diversity of human languages and cultures. All CS majors are required to take PHIL 104, as one of the two courses to satisfy this content area. Link to courses that satisfy the Content Area 1 requirement.

Content Area 2: Social Sciences

The social sciences examine how individuals, groups, institutions, and societies behave and influence one another and the natural environment. Courses in this group enable students to analyze and understand interactions of the numerous social factors that influence behavior at the individual, cultural, societal, national, or international level. They use the methods and theories of social science inquiry to develop critical thought about current social issues and problems. Link to courses that satisfy the Content Area 2 requirement.

Content Area 3: Science and Technology

These courses acquaint students with scientific thought, observation, experimentation, and formal hypothesis testing, and enable students to consider the impact that developments in science and technology have on the nature and quality of life. Knowledge of the basic vocabulary of science and technology is a prerequisite for informed assessments of the physical universe and of technological developments. CS majors will satisfy this requirement by taking the science courses required by the degree. Link to courses that satisfy the Content Area 3 requirement.

Content Area 4: Diversity and Multiculturalism

In this interconnected global community, individuals of any profession need to be able to understand, appreciate, and function in cultures other than their own. Diversity and multiculturalism in the university curriculum contribute to this essential aspect of education by bringing to the fore the historical truths about different cultural perspectives, especially those of groups that traditionally have been under-represented. These groups might be characterized by such features as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identities, political systems, or religious traditions, or by persons with disabilities. By studying the ideas, history, values, and creative expressions of diverse groups, students gain appreciation for differences as well as commonalities among people. Link to courses that satisfy the Content Area 4 requirement.


University of Connecticut undergraduates need to demonstrate competency in five fundamental areas – computer technology, information literacy, quantitative skills, second language proficiency and writing. The development of these competencies involves two parts: one establishing entry-level expectations and the second establishing graduation expectations. The entry-level expectations apply to all incoming students. The exit expectations may vary for different major fields of study.

Computer Technology Competency

Entering students are expected to have the basic computer technology skills required to begin university study. Students should take online assessments of knowledge and competency and utilize available workshops/online tutorials to make up any gaps. Each major has established expectations for the computer technology competencies of its graduates and built the development of these into the major curriculum. CS majors satisfy this requirement by completing the required CS coursework in the major

Information Literacy Competency

Information literacy involves a general understanding of how information is created, disseminated and organized, and an ability to access, evaluate, synthesize and incorporate information into written, oral, or media presentations. Basic information literacy is taught to all freshmen as an integral part of ENGL 1010/1011, in collaboration with the staff of the University Libraries. Each major program has considered the information literacy competencies required of its graduates and built those expectations into the upper-level research and writing requirements in the major. In addition to the basic competency achieved in ENGL 1010/1011 or equivalent, all Engineering students will receive instructions in ENGR 1000 or equivalent on how to conduct effective information searches, both in the library and on the web. As the student progresses, successive courses will require an increased level of Information Literacy competency. An advanced level of Information Literacy will be achieved at the completion of the programs major design experience course, CSE 4939W.

Quantitative (Q) Competency

All students must pass two Q courses, which may also satisfy Content Area requirements. One Q course must be from Mathematics or Statistics. CS majors satisfy this requirement with the mathematics courses required for the major.

Second Language Competency

A student meets the minimum requirement if admitted to the University with three years of a single foreign language in high school, or the equivalent. When the years of study have been split between high school and earlier grades, the requirement is met if the student has successfully completed the third-year high school level course. With anything less than that, the student must pass the second semester course in the first year sequence of college level study in a single language.

Writing (W) Competency

All students must take either ENGL 1010 or 1011. Students passing ENGL 3800 are considered to have met the ENGL 1010 or 1011 requirement. Additionally, all students must take two writing-intensive (W) courses, which may also satisfy Content Area requirements. One of these must be at the 200-level

and associated with the student's major. Approved courses for each major are listed in their sections of this catalog. (Note: ENGL 1010 or 1011 is a prerequisite to all writing-intensive courses. CS majors must complete the two required writing (W) courses, CSE 2300W and CSE 4939W.

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