General Education (GE) courses teach essential university-level skills and introduce fundamental ideas in arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

General Education (GE) courses introduce students to the fundamental ideas and intellectual activities that scholars across campus—in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences—draw on in their work. Courses in the GE curriculum offer diverse perspectives on how human beings think and feel, solve problems, express ideas, and create and discover new knowledge. These courses also help students acquire the skills essential to university-level learning: they challenge students to assess information critically; frame and deliver reasoned and persuasive arguments orally and in writing; and identify, acquire, and use the knowledge necessary to solve problems. GE is the foundation of a UCLA education.

GE regulations and application of GE credit vary among the College and schools. A summary of campuswide GE requirements is available, as is a GE course master list. Students should consult their respective counseling office to determine which courses best fulfill their GE requirements.

Students follow a general education curriculum that is grouped into three foundational areas: Arts and Humanities, Society and Culture, and Scientific Inquiry, with subcategories in each group.

Foundations of the Arts and Humanities

  • Literary and Cultural Analysis
  • Philosophical and Linguistic Analysis
  • Visual and Performance Arts Analysis and Practice

Courses in this area offer perspectives and intellectual skills necessary to comprehend and think critically about our situation in the world as human beings. In particular, the courses provide the basic means to appreciate and evaluate the ongoing efforts of humans to explain, translate, and transform their diverse experiences of the world through such media as language, literature, philosophical systems, images, sounds, and performances. The courses introduce students to the historical development and fundamental intellectual and ethical issues associated with the arts and humanities, and may also investigate the complex relations between artistic and humanistic expression and other facets of society and culture.

Foundations of Society and Culture

  • Historical Analysis
  • Social Analysis

Courses in this area introduce students to the ways in which humans organize, structure, rationalize, and govern their diverse societies and cultures over time. The courses focus on a particular historical question, societal problem, or topic of political and economic concern in an effort to demonstrate how issues are objectified for study, how data is collected and analyzed, and how new understandings of social phenomena are achieved and evaluated.

Foundations of Scientific Inquiry

  • Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences

Courses in this area ensure that students gain a fundamental understanding of how scientists formulate and answer questions about the operation of the physical and biological world. The courses also deal with some of the most important issues, developments, and methodologies in contemporary science, addressing such topics as the origin of the universe, environmental degradation, and the decoding of the human genome. Through lectures, laboratory experiences, writing, and intensive discussions, students consider the important roles played by the laws of physics and chemistry in society, biology, earth and environmental sciences, and astrophysics and cosmology.