First-Year Seminar

The First-Year Seminar (FYS) is an academically rigorous 1-3 credit course that introduces students to the five University Undergraduate Learning Outcomes (UULOs) of 1) intellectual breadth and lifelong learning; 2) inquiry and critical thinking; 3) communication; 4) global/multicultural knowledge and awareness; and 5) citizenship and ethics. All FYS courses must adhere to the FYS hallmarks established by UNLV. They also must use active learning, social interactions and collaboration, self-reflection, and critical thinking to help students develop a foundation for their undergraduate experience.

Colleges and departments offer FYS courses themed according to the contents of their disciplines. To fulfill the General Education Core requirement, all students are required to take an FYS course before completing 30 credits. All approved FYS courses fulfill the General Education Core requirement. Students can choose to take an FYS course in their major, but are not required to do so. Students changing majors do not need to repeat the University FYS requirement, but may be required to complete an additional 1 or 2-credit college or department requirement for their major.

The FYS fulfills 1-3 of the 17-21 required General Education Core credits. The FYS introduces students to the research university's academic expectations and prepares them for more intensive engagement with the UULOs in the Second-Year Seminar (SYS). Currently approved FYS courses (Revised: June, 2023) include:

Lee Business School
  • BUS 103: First Year Seminar- Business Connections
College of Fine Arts
  • CFA 100: First Year Symposia 
  • CFA 101: Introduction to Environmental Design 
  • CFA 102: Perspectives in Popular Music-Freshman Year Seminar
College of Education
  • COE 102: First Year Seminar 
  • COE 103: First Year Seminar- Civic Engagement
College of Liberal Arts
  • COLA 100E: First-Year Seminar- Academic Success Center
  • COLA 100I: First-Year Seminar- Intersection 
  • COLA 100LA: First Year Seminar
Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering
  • EGG 101: Introductory Engineering Experience, in combination with (1) EGG 202: Second Year Hands-on Design Experience in Engineering and Computer Science OR (2) ME 202: Professional Development and Design for Mechanical Engineers
Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
  • GSC 100: First Year Experience Seminar
Great Works
  • GWK 100: Introduction to Great Works of Philosophy and Literature
William F. Harrah College of Hospitality
  • HMD 100: Hospitality First Year Seminar
Honors College
  • HON 105: Honors Orientation Seminar
Division of Health Sciences
  • HSC 100: Introduction to Academia and Scholarship in Health Sciences
College of Science
  • SCI 101: Introduction to the University of Science Major

You can find descriptions for all General Education courses in the UNLV Undergraduate Catalog.

Second-Year Seminar

The Second-Year Seminar (SYS) is a 3-credit course that explores issues relevant to contemporary global society through the reading of original literature from antiquity to the present day. Students study these issues within their larger contexts, which include aspects of literature, history, politics, economics, philosophy, and scientific discovery. All SYS courses must adhere to the SYS hallmarks established by UNLV, which include reinforcing the University Undergraduate Learning Outcomes (UULOs) introduced in the First-Year Seminar (FYS).

Students from any college or major may take any approved SYS. To fulfill the General Education Core requirement, all students are required to take an SYS course before completing 60 credits. Prerequisites for SYS are ENG 101, ENG 102, and FYS (or equivalent). All approved SYS courses fulfill the General Education Core 3-credit requirement. Students who have already successfully passed an SYS course do not need to retake an SYS course, even if they declare or change their majors.

The SYS fulfills 3 of the 18-21 required General Education Core credits. The SYS course's intensive engagement with literature, writing, and critical thinking develops students' understanding of the UULOs and prepares students to engage with the UULOs in their upper-division and major-specific courses. Currently approved SYS courses (Revised: June, 2023) include:

Biology
  • BIOL 207: Phage Discovery
  • BIOL 217: Bacteriophage Genomics
College of Education
  • COE 202: Second-Year Seminar
  • COE 303: UNLV Transfer Student Seminar (also satisfies Multicultural requirement)
English
  • ENG 231: World Literature I
  • ENG 231E: World Literature for Exploring Majors
  • ENG 231S: World Literature for the Sciences
  • ENG 232: World Literature II
  • ENG 232A: World Literature for the School of Architecture
Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
  • GSC 300: Second-Year Seminar: Civil Engagement in Urban Communities
Honors College
  • HON 110: World Thought and Experience
Public Health
  • PBH 205: Introduction to Public Health
Philosophy
  • PHIL 242: Ethics For Engineers and Scientists
College of Science

SCI 201: The Scientist in the Anthropogenic World

You can find descriptions for all General Education courses in the UNLV Undergraduate Catalog.

English

English Composition is a 6 semester-credit General Education Core requirement. This requirement is based on the belief that the ability to read and analyze difficult texts, to write clearly and effectively, and to conduct high quality research is essential for success in college. The classes offered to satisfy the English Composition General Education Core requirement are designed to provide the basics of these skills, which will continue to develop throughout the student's undergraduate career.

To satisfy this requirement, students take the following two courses:

  • ENG 101: Composition I
  • ENG 102: Composition II

Students whose first language is not English may take and successfully complete:

  • ENG 113: Composition I for International and Multilingual Students as an alternative to ENG 101
  • ENG 114: Composition II for International and Multilingual Students as an alternative to ENG 102.

These courses are worth three credits each. They should be successfully completed during the student's first year at UNLV, and must be completed prior to the end of the second year. They are prerequisites for the Second-Year Seminar (SYS).

For information on alternate placement testing, please visit the UNLV English Composition Program's website. Please see the Admissions Section of the UNLV Undergraduate Catalog or the UNLV English Composition Program website for current ACT/SAT placement test scores that will guide your placement in the appropriate English Composition class. Students with ACT English scores of 30 or higher, or SAT Writing or Critical Reading scores of 680 or higher place out of ENG 101 and need only take and successfully complete ENG 102. Minimum CLEP scores and Advanced Placement scores that satisfy the ENG 101 requirement are listed in the Admissions section of the catalog under the heading Nontraditional Credit.

All students must take and successfully complete ENG 102 or ENG 114; there is no exemption at UNLV.

You can find descriptions for all General Education courses in the UNLV Undergraduate Catalog.

Math

The Mathematics requirement is a 3-credit General Education Core requirement. MATH 120E, MATH 124E, and MATH 126E only satisfy the UNLV General Education Mathematics requirement when completed in combination with the appropriate co-requisite support course (MATH 20B, MATH 24B, or MATH 26B, respectively). The Mathematics requirement should be satisfactorily completed during the student's first year at UNLV, and must be completed prior to the end of the second year.

UNLV determines mathematics course enrollment eligibility based on ACT, SAT, ALEKS, or Math Department placement test scores. More information on all math placement options is available on the UNLV Math Placement webpage.

Any 100 or 200-level UNLV Mathematics course (except MATH 115 or MATH 122) may satisfy the mathematics requirement, so long as that course satisfies a student’s major-specific mathematics requirement. Generally, mathematics courses that are numbered higher than a major-specific mathematics requirement also satisfy that requirement (except MATH 122 and MATH 123). For instance, if your major requires MATH 124 and you place into and pass MATH 126, you have satisfied your major’s mathematics requirement. Each major’s mathematics requirement is available on the UNLV Math Placement webpage. Students should confirm which Mathematics course they are required to complete with their college's Advising Center.

You can find descriptions for all General Education courses in the UNLV Undergraduate Catalog.

Constitutions

The Constitutions requirement is a 3-6 credit General Education Core requirement. All students must complete courses examining the Constitutions of both the United States and the State of Nevada. The following guidelines govern the constitutions requirement at UNLV:

  • A three credit UNLV course which satisfies both the US and Nevada Constitutions must have the Constitutions and their relation to American institutions and ideals as its sole content.
  • The Constitutions requirements may be met by courses based on historical perspectives beginning with the creation of the Constitution and tracing those origin’s continuing impacts on modern society, or which consider modern politics, institutions, and controversies, and elucidate their origins in historical context.
  • All courses that fulfill the constitutions requirements must include the following Learning Outcomes:
    • In courses that satisfy the U.S. Constitution requirement, students should be able to identify and/or explain:
      • The meaning of a constitution as a political framework as distinguished from legislative or administrative codification.
      • The purpose and overall structure of the U.S. Constitution, including the functions of its various articles.
      • The intellectual and political origins and models and the historical framework drawn upon by the framers of the U.S. Constitution.
      • Significant arguments against provisions or interpretations of the U.S. Constitution at the time of its inception and implementation, and how many of those arguments continue to shape American politics and institutions in the modern world.
      • Landmark judicial interpretations of the Constitution from the founding through today, and how they have shaped and continue to shape the meaning of the U.S. Constitution as a framework for government.
      • How the Constitution continues to be a living document which impacts the lives of students today through the evolution of American institutions and ideals, including pathways for civic engagement.
    • In courses that satisfy the Nevada Constitution requirement, students should be able to identify and/or explain:
      • The meaning of a constitution as a political framework as distinguished from legislative or administrative codification, and the framework and structure of the Nevada Constitution.
      • How the Nevada Constitution fits in the model of federalism created by the US Constitution, and the manner in which state constitutions may be used to support the unique economic and social environments of the various states.
      • The intellectual, economic, and political origins of the Nevada Constitution.
      • Significant amendments to the Nevada Constitution, especially those of social and economic significance of the 20th and 21st centuries, and the role of the people of the State of Nevada in amending its provisions.
      • How the Nevada Constitution continues to be a living document which impacts the lives of students today through the evolution of the state’s institutions and ideals, including pathways for civic engagement.

Current UNLV courses that satisfy the Constitutions requirements (Revised: June, 2023) are:

Satisfies US Constitution Requirement

Great Works
  • GWK 350: Theoretical Foundations of the United States Constitution
History
  • HIST 101: United States- Colonial Period to 1877
  • HIST 401: American Constitution and Legal History 
  • HIST 412: United States- Revolution and the New Republic
Political Science
  • PSC 304: The Legislative Process
  • PSC 330: Constitutional Law - Governmental Powers
  • PSC 409C: American Political Thought
Urban Studies
  • URST 241: Governance in the United States: An Urban Focus

Satisfies Nevada Constitution Requirement

History
  • HIST 102: United States Since 1877
  • HIST 217: Nevada History
  • HIST 402: American Constitutional and Legal History
  • HIST 417A: Nevada and the Far West
Political Science
  • PSC 100: Nevada Constitution
  • PSC 401D: State Politics

Satisfies Both US and Nevada Constitution Requirement

Economics
  • ECON 200: Capitalism, Constitutions and American Ideals
History
  • HIST 100: Historical Issues and Contemporary Society
Honors College
  • HON 111: Themes in American Civilization
  • HON 112: Exploring American Politics
Political Science
  • PSC 101: Introduction to American Politics

Transfer students who have already successfully completed a satisfactory 3 semester-credit U.S. Constitution course from a regionally-accredited institution must also satisfactorily complete a Nevada Constitution course. We recognize the satisfaction of U.S. and Nevada Constitution requirements upon transfer of courses from other NSHE Institutions which met either or both of those requirements at their originating NSHE institution.

You can find descriptions for all General Education courses in the UNLV Undergraduate Catalog.