College of LAS « Illinois

LAS Gen Ed distribution requirements

The importance | LAS Gen Ed requirements | Gen Ed course lists | Grand Challenge Learning courses | Restrictions on Gen Ed courses

The importance of general education coursework

All undergraduates at the University of Illinois are required to satisfy general education requirements—certain core courses that all students must take in order to graduate.

These requirements are an important component of students’ education at the University of Illinois. Besides specializing in a major and training for a career, students should become familiar with some of the many rapidly changing disciplines. Through these requirements, Illinois undergraduates:

  • expand their historical, aesthetic, cultural, literary, scientific, and philosophical perspectives
  • improve critical and analytical thinking; and
  • acquire skills in finding, managing, and communicating knowledge.

This breadth of preparation is particularly important for students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. We believe that the learning you do here should prepare you not just for a career, but for life.

LAS Gen Ed requirements

LAS students generally have a great deal of flexibility in fulfilling their general education requirements, which include the following:

  • Non-Primary Language
    4 levels of one language or 3 levels of two different languages
  • Composition I
  • Advanced Composition (ACP)
    Some curricula may require a specific course
  • 6 hours Humanities & Arts (HP or LA)
    Historical & Philosophical Perspectives
    Literature & the Arts
  • 6 hours Social & Behavioral Sciences (SS or BS)
    Social Sciences
    Behavioral Sciences
  • 6 hours Natural Sciences & Technology (LS or PS)
    Life Sciences
    Physical Sciences
  • Quantitative Reasoning I (QR1)
    One course
  • Quantitative Reasoning II (QR1 or QR2)
    One course

Students beginning at Illinois in summer 2018 and beyond must complete three cultural studies courses:

  • Western Cultures (W)
  • Non-Western Cultures (NW)
  • U.S. Minority Cultures (US)

Students who entered Illinois during or before the spring 2018 term must complete:

  • Western Cultures (W)
    One course
  • Non-Western Cultures/U.S. Minority (NW or US)
    One course

General Ed course lists

The Course Explorer includes a current listing of the general education categories and individual courses that satisfy each requirement on this campus.

Students are advised that some general education requirements may be fulfilled by courses already required in the major. See the individual major requirements in the academic catalog for more information.

  • Students in specialized curricula should check with their advisors about restrictions that may apply to their general education coursework.
  • Students in secondary education curricula should note that teacher certification requirements may require them to complete their general education requirements by taking specific courses.

Grand Challenge Learning courses

The Grand Challenge Learning courses offer a new kind of Gen Ed experience. These courses offer a hands-on, interdisciplinary look at topics like health, inequality, and sustainability. They're open for registration, and many count toward more than one Gen Ed requirement.

Restrictions on General Ed courses

The Credit/No Credit option may not be used for courses that are taken to meet general education requirements. Courses taken to satisfy requirements for a major may be used to satisfy general education requirements as long as they appear on the campus list.