General Education Core

All UNLV undergraduates must fulfill the following Core requirements by successfully completing approved courses to satisfy each of the five requirements.

First-Year Seminar

The First-Year Seminar (FYS) is an academically rigorous 2-3 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. The FYS also provides students with an understanding of the General Education curriculum, academic success strategies, an introduction to the research university environment and career exploration. All FYS courses 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. Currently approved FYS courses include: BUS 103, CFA 100, CFA 101, CFA 102, COE 102, COLA 100LA, COLA 100E, EGG 101, GSC 100, HSC 100, SCI 101, and TCA 103.

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 2-credit University FYS requirement, but may be required to complete an additional 1-credit college or department requirement for their major.

The FYS fulfills 2-3 of the 18-21 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).

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. The SYS reinforces the University Undergraduate Learning Outcomes (UULOs) introduced in the First-Year Seminar (FYS).

Students from any college or major may take any approved SYS. Currently approved SYS courses include: COE 202, ENG 231, ENG 231E, ENG 231S, ENG 232, ENG 232A, GSC 300, HSC 210, PBH 205, and PHIL 242.

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.

English Composition

English Composition is a 6 semester-credit General Education Core requirement. To satisfy this requirement, students take English 101 and 102, worth 3 semester-credits each. These courses 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 pre-requisites for the Second-Year Seminar (SYS).

Students whose first language is not English may take and successfully complete ENG 113 as an alternative to ENG 101 and ENG 114 as an alternative to ENG 102.

Students interested in alternate placement testing should contact the English Composition Program. Please see the catalog Admissions Section or the UNLV English Composition Program website for current ACT/SAT placement test scores that will guide 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.

Mathematics

The Mathematics requirement is a 3-credit General Education Core requirement. Any 100 or 200-level Mathematics course except MATH 115 or MATH 122 may satisfy the requirements.

Mathematics course requirements are major-specific. All students should check with their college's Advising Center to determine which Mathematics course they are required to complete. Check the UNLV Advising website to find your major's Advising Center.

This course should be satisfactorily completed during the student's first year at UNLV, and must be completed prior to the end of the second year. Please see the catalog Admissions Section for current ACT/SAT placement test scores that will guide placement in the appropriate math class. Students interested in alternate placement testing should contact the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Academic Advising also has a great FAQ page for students about the General Education Core math requirement.

Constitutions

The Constitutions requirement is a 4-6 credit General Education Core requirement. All students must complete courses examining the Constitutions of both the United States and the State of Nevada. Current UNLV courses that satisfy the Constitutions requirements are:

  • United States Constitution - HIST 101, HIST 401, HIST 412, PSC 304, PSC 330, PSC 409C, PUA 241, and URST 241.
  • Nevada Constitution - HIST 102, HIST 217, HIST 402, HIST 417A, PSC 100, and PSC 401D.
  • Both United States and Nevada Constitutions - ECON 200, HIST 100, HON 111H, HON 112H, and PSC 101.

Transfer students who have already successfully completed a satisfactory 3 semester-credit U.S. Constitutions course from a regionally-accredited institution must also complete a satisfactory Nevada Constitutions course.