What Can General Education Do for Me?

The General Education curriculum at UNLV is your door into the university and the knowledge you will need to immerse yourself in your major and to become an engaged, informed and productive member of the community. Our program consists of a well thought-out series of interrelated courses designed to provide you with rigorous and relevant academic content that will allow you to move forward with your education and enhance your ability to succeed. These courses are integrated around a set of common values established by the UNLV faculty called the University Undergraduate Learning Outcomes (UULOs). These are the basic tenets on which your education will be founded and include: (1) Inquiry and Critical Thinking; (2) Communication (both oral and written); (3) Global/Multicultural Knowledge and Awareness; (4) Citizenship and Ethics; and (5) Intellectual Breadth and Lifelong Learning.

The curriculum builds on itself starting with the First-Year Seminar (FYS) course. A First-Year Seminar is offered by each college, but you have a choice as to which course you want to take. This allows you to either focus on your major or explore an area that you may or may not decide to move into as your major. The FYS course will introduce you to the expectations and rigor of a research university as well as introduce you to the UULOs and provide you with the skills needed to be a successful student.

The FYS is followed by the Second-Year Seminar, which will be delivered by various colleges with an array of topics. The SYS is a reading- and writing-intensive course that reinforces your understanding of the UULOs through their application to an academic discipline. This course will challenge you intellectually through course assignments that build your critical thinking skills.

As you move into your major, a course or series of courses, known as the milestone experience, will be required that introduce you to the basic principles, knowledge, and professional expectations of the field. The milestone experience for your major is the foundation on which further course work and real-world experiences will be based. It will provide the knowledge required to be successful in your discipline. At the completion of your degree you will be required to demonstrate that you have learned and understand the fundamentals of your discipline through a culminating experience. The culminating experience can take many forms and may include a formal "Capstone" course, a series of linked courses, an exam, a professional licensor exam, a student portfolio, or another mechanism that allows a department to assess your mastery of knowledge, skills, and critical thinking in your major field of study.

Additionally, the General Education curriculum will provide you with the ability to speak in an informed way about areas outside your major area of study. You will be required to take courses outside your area of focus to fulfill your Distribution requirements. This breadth of experience will allow you to make rational and well-considered decisions as an informed member of our society and to contribute to discussions of social issues in an informed, logical and thoughtful way. These courses fulfilling distribution requirements span the breadth of the university and include the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, life & physical sciences and analytical thinking.

So, what will General Education do for you? It will provide the foundation on which you will base your academic career. It will launch you toward becoming a productive and informed professional. And it will enable you to be an involved member of your community.