General Education Mission

In support of the University’s mission, the Nicholls General Education Program is a common integrative learning experience that promotes intellectual curiosity in all undergraduates, regardless of their major or program of study. Nicholls is committed to providing a lasting foundation for critical and innovative thinking, effective communication, information and technology literacy, ethical reasoning, and quantitative reasoning to all students. Through the development of these competencies within foundational courses in fine arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics, and natural sciences, our students acquire a broad education to support the achievement of their life goals.

General Education Courses for 2023-24 Catalog

What is General Education?

The phrase “General Education” refers to the educational foundation of skills, knowledge, habits of mind, and values that prepares students for success in their majors and in their personal and professional lives after graduation. This educational foundation is developed primarily through a set of general education course requirements that all students, regardless of their major, must meet.

Can I get a General Education degree?

No and Yes! General Education is what we call a set of courses that all students take for every major, so it is not a degree of its own. But, you can get an Associate of General Studies or Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree. Contact Ms. Karen Cheramie in the department of English, Modern Languages, and Cultural Studies for more information.

What courses do students take as part of the General Education program?

Students choose from a wide variety of courses across many disciplines. See the full list below on this website. Bachelor degree students will complete the 39 hour general education program by taking breadth of knowledge classes including:

  • 6 hours of English Composition
  • 6 hours of Mathematics
  • 3 hours of Fine Arts
  • 9 hours of Humanities
  • 9 hours of Natural Sciences
  • 6 hours of Social/Behavioral Science

What is different starting in Fall 2021?

The new program is centered around 5 Core Competencies: Communication, Critical & Innovative Thinking, Ethical Reasoning, Information & Technology Literacy, and Quantitative Reasoning. Students will encounter and practice these competencies in all of their general education courses across the disciplines.

The goal of general education at Nicholls is to create intellectually curious, productive citizens who can contribute to the culture, society, and economy of the Bayou Region regardless of their major or future career. To achieve that goal, the general education program combines exposure to an array of worldviews through breadth of knowledge courses with integrated practice of Core Competencies.

Integrating the Core Competencies across the disciplines allows students to apply what they know in different contexts, building skill and flexibility. Developing Core Competencies also prepares students to meet the needs of employers in the modern economy, making general education immediately relevant and practical.

General Education CourseS

Nicholls requires additional writing intensive, oral communication, and computer literacy courses. Please see University Education Requirements in the catalog for more information.

3 Hours of English Composition I: ENGL 100, 101, or 111

3 Hours of English Composition II: ENGL 102 or 112

6 hours in Mathematics, Statistics, or Symbolic Logic.

MATH 100/101. College Algebra.
MATH 102. Trigonometry.
MATH 106. Calculus with Business and Economic Applications.
MATH 108. Pre-Calculus.
MATH 113. Honors Pre-Calculus.
MATH 114. Honors Trigonometry.
MATH 115. Essentials of College Math.
MATH 116. Contemporary Mathematics and Quantitative Analysis with Pre-Algebra.
MATH 117. Contemporary Mathematics and Quantitative Analysis.
MATH 118. Contemporary Mathematics and Quantitative Analysis II
MATH 214. Introductory Statistics.

3 hours in Music, Visual Arts, Applied Arts, Theatre, Dance, or Interdisciplinary

ART 110. Art Appreciation.
ART 111. Honors Art Appreciation.
ART 180. Major Art Monuments and Collections.
ENGL 240. Introduction to Film.
ENGL 340. Film Genres.
ENGL 341. Major Filmmakers.
MUS 105. General Music Appreciation.
MUS 107. Honors Music Appreciation.
MUS 240. Survey of Music Lit.
MUS 319. Jazz History.
MUS 320. History of Rock and Roll.
MUS 321. History of Opera and Broadway.
MUS 326. History of Hip Hop.
MUS 407. World Music.
SPCH 300. Theater Appreciation

Fine Arts Skills Courses
A student may not take only skills courses to complete the combined Fine Arts and Humanities requirements. One Fine Arts OR Humanities course must NOT be a Skills course.

ART 201. Beginning Drawing.
MUS 193. Concert Choir.
MUS 393. Concert Choir.
SPCH 210. Acting.

9 hours (3 hrs for Assoc.) in Literature, Foreign Languages, History, Classical Studies, Communications, Philosophy, Religious Studies, or Interdisciplinary. 

For Bachelor’s Degrees, 9 hours shall be earned from any of the Humanities courses listed with no more than 6 hours from a single discipline (e.g., ART, ENGL, HIST, etc.).

ART 280. Art History: Ancient Art.
ART 281. Art History: Non-Western Art.
ART 282. Art History: Italian Renaissance Art.
CULA 101. Culinary History and Development.
ENGL 211. Honors Studies in Literature and Culture.
ENGL 212. Children’s Literature.
ENGL 213. Young Adult Literature.
ENGL 215. Introduction to Thematic Approaches to Literature.
ENGL 216. Appreciation of Literary Genres.
ENGL 217. Survey of Literary and Media Studies.
ENGL 313. World Literature I.
ENGL 314. World Literature II.
ENGL 315. Survey of British Literature I.
ENGL 316. Survey of British Literature II.
ENGL 321. Survey of American Lit I.
ENGL 322. Survey of American Lit II.
ENGL 323. Survey of African-American Literature.
ENGL 324. Survey of Women in Literature.
ENGL 330. Introduction to Poetry.
ENGL 331. Introduction to the Novel.
ENGL 358. Introduction to the Short Story.
GOVT 355. Political Theory.
HIST 101. History of Western Civilization.
HIST 102. History of Western Civilization.
HIST 105. Honors Western Civilization.
HIST 106. Honors Western Civilization.
HIST 150. World History.
HIST 151. World History.
HIST 160. Honors World History I.
HIST 161. Honors World History II.
HIST 255. American History.
HIST 256. American History.
HUMA 120. Ethics in the Humanities.
HUMA 204. International Humanities.
MACO 101. Survey of Mass Communication.
MACO 355. History & Principles of Mass Communication.
MUS 340. Music History: 400-1750.
MUS 341. Music History: 1750-present.
PHIL 203. Introduction to Philosophy.
SPCH 201. Interpersonal Communication.
SPCH 302. Persuasive Communication.

Humanities Skills Courses

A student may not take only skills courses to complete the combined Fine Arts and Humanities requirements. One Fine Arts OR Humanities course must NOT be a Skills course.

COMD 350. Sign Language
FREN 101. Elementary French I.
FREN 102. Elementary French II.
SPAN 101. Elementary Spanish I.
SPAN 102. Elementary Spanish II.

9 hours (6 hrs for Assoc.) in Life Science (e.g., Biology, Biochemistry, Botany, Zoology) and Physical Science (e.g., Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Astronomy/Meteorology).

For Bachelor’s Degrees, 6 hours shall be earned in a single life or physical science discipline, and 3 hours shall be earned in the natural science area (life or physical) other than that selected to fulfill the six-hour requirement, as specified by the major/minor/concentration/certification. Both life and physical science must be taken to fulfill this requirement.


Life Science

BIOL 105. Basic Biology I – Principles of Biology.
BIOL 106. Basic Biology II – The Diversity of Life.
BIOL 114. Human Anatomy and Physiology I.
BIOL 116. Human Anatomy and Physiology II.
BIOL 155. General Biology I.
BIOL 156. General Biology II.
BIOL 215. Pirogue Biology.


Physical Science

ASTR 101. Astronomy of the Solar System.
ASTR 102. Astronomy of Stars and Galaxies.
CHEM 105. Introductory Chemistry I.
CHEM 106. Introductory Chemistry II.
CHEM 109. General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry for Nursing.
CHEM 208. Organic and Biological Chemistry for the Health Sciences.
GEOL 101. Physical Geology.
GEOL 102. Historical Geology.
GEOL 203. Petroleum Geology.
GEOL 300. Oceanography.
GEOL 310. Coastal Geology.
GEOL 370. Environmental Geology.
PHSC 101. Introductory Physical Science I.
PHSC 102. Introductory Physical Science II.
PHSC 103. Introductory Physical Science III.
PHYS 101. Basic Physics.
PHYS 102. Basic Physics.
PHYS 151. Physics for Allied Health.
PHYS 161. Physics of the Universe.
PHYS 171. Physics of Earth.
PHYS 201. General Physics.
PHYS 202. General Physics.


6 hours (3 hrs for A.S.) in Social Science (e.g., Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Geography, International Studies, Interdisciplinary, Political Science) and Behavioral Science (e.g., Psychology, Sociology).

CRJU 290. Principles of Policing.
CRJU 291. Principles of Criminal Justice.
ECON 211. Principles of Microeconomics.
ECON 212. Principles of Macroeconomics.
ECON 255. Survey of Economic Principles.
GEOG 103. Physical Geography.
GEOG 104. World Regional Geography.
GEOG 340. Cultural Geography.
GOVT 101. American National Government.
GOVT 250. Contemporary Political Ideologies.
GOVT 252. State and Local Government.
GOVT 391. International Relations and Politics.
GOVT 399. Civil Liberties.
GOVT 416. Comparative Government.
PSYC 101. General Psychology.
PSYC 206. Child Psychology.
PSYC 210. Adolescent and Adult Development.
PSYC 212. Life Span Developmental Psychology.
PSYC 311. Educational Psychology.
SOCI 151. Introductory Sociology.
SOCI 155. Honors Introductory Sociology.
SOCI 201. Social Problems.
SOCI 204. Cultural Diversity in American Society.
SOCI 205. Social Research I.

For Faculty

General Education courses are assessed on a 3-year cycle using the core competencies rubrics.

YEAR3 Year Assessment Cycle by CompetencyBy Primary Discipline
2021-22Crit. & Innov. Thinking and Ethical ReasoniingFine Arts, Natural Sci & Soci/Beahv Sci
2022-23CommunicationEnglish & Humanities
2023-24Quant. Reasoning and Info/Tech LitMath
2024-25Crit. & Innov. Thinking and Ethical ReasoningFine Arts, Natural Sci, & Soci/Behav Sci

Learning Objectives and Rubrics

New courses may be proposed to the General Education Committee using the Criteria Worksheet and Course Review Form. Please contact the Gen Ed Program Coordinator for more information.


General Education courses should indicate which Core Competencies are covered in the course on the syllabus.

Syllabus Template

Ideas and tips for teaching and assessing the Core Competencies.


Information & Technology Literacy

Critical & Innovative Thinking or Info & Tech Literacy

Bring your questions and suggestions to your Department Assessment Contact or General Education Committee Representative.

Assessment and GECo Contacts

Contact Us

Program Coordinator
Heather Gamel

Assessment Coordinator

Michael Martin

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