Part 3 - Core Requirements

2.7.3  In each undergraduate degree program, the institution requires the successful completion of a general education component at the collegiate level that (1) is a substantial component of each undergraduate degree, (2) ensures breadth of knowledge, and (3) is based on a coherent rationale. For degree completion in associate programs, the component constitutes a minimum of 15 semester hours or the equivalent; for baccalaureate programs, a minimum of 30 semester hours or the equivalent. These credit hours are to be drawn from and include at least one course from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural science/mathematics. The courses do not narrowly focus on those skills, techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession. If an institution uses a unit other than semester credit hours, it provides an explanation for the equivalency. The institution also provides a justification if it allows for fewer than the required number of semester credit hours or its equivalent unit of general education courses. (General Education)

Partial Compliance


The Institution Requires the Successful Completion of a General Education Component at the Collegiate Level

The Louisiana Board of Regents defines general education requirements for all undergraduate programs of study.  The University of Louisiana System defines baccalaureate degree requirements, including general education, in accordance with the Louisiana Board of Regents.  UNO policy is in compliance with the requirements of both the coordinating board (LA BOR) and the governing board (UL System): general education requirements are published in the Catalog and on the general education website.

General Education Requirements

To become eligible for a baccalaureate degree from the University of New Orleans, a student must fulfill the following general education requirements (39 credit hours total) defined by the Louisiana Board of Regents and implemented by the University of Louisiana System:

  1. Complete the following courses: 

a. English Composition - 6 hours. English 1157 and 1158/1159 or their equivalent. Completion of 1158 or 1159 with a grade of C or better.

b. Mathematics/Analytical Reasoning - 6 hours. 

c. Natural/Life/Physical Sciences - 9 hours, including a six hour sequence in one science and an additional three hour course in another.  One of the sciences must be Biological Sciences and the other one must be Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, or Physics.

d. Humanities  - 9 hours to include:

                 i. 3 hours  in Literature.

ii. 6 additional hours to be taken from the Departments of Film and Theater; English; Foreign Languages; History; Philosophy; Women’s and Gender Studies.

e. Social/Behavioral Sciences - 6 hours from Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and/or Urban Studies. 

f. Fine Arts - 3 hours to be taken from the Fine Arts, Music, or theatre/dance/film-related courses in Film and Theater.

  1. Earn a minimum of 120 hours including at least 25 percent of the credit hours for the degree through instruction offered by the university and
  2. Achieve a quality point ratio of 2.0 or better in:
  • all work attempted (the Cumulative Grade Point Average or CGPA),
  • all work taken at UNO (the UNO CGPA or UGPA), and,
  • the major subject (the Degree Grade Point Average or DGPA).

Since each curriculum has requirements in addition to those listed above, students are encouraged to consult the appropriate section of this Catalog to determine such additional requirements and restrictions as may apply to the particular degree program.

  1. Writing, linguistics, and grammar studies are not considered literature.
  2. Transfer courses in religious studies may be used to fulfill Humanities requirement(s).
  3. Other subjects under the Social Sciences in Area of Concentration may not count for this General Degree Requirement.
  4. Transfer courses in architecture, dance, interior design or landscape architecture may be used to meet the Arts requirement.
  5. No more than one-half the semester hours required for the completion of a degree program may be transferred from a community/junior college.

The General Education Course Menu, published in the Catalog and website, lists the courses that may be used to satisfy general education requirements.

Note:  There are some program-specific exceptions to this list as noted in the degree requirements of the program pursued which are identified in the Catalog.  A course identified as an exception may only be applied to that specific program of study.  Students are encouraged to consult an advisor prior to enrolling to determine whether a course satisfies the general education requirements for their particular academic degree program.

The Satisfaction of General Education Degree Requirements table, which is published in the Catalog and website, illustrates how specific student scenarios may impact satisfaction of general education requirements.

Substantial Component of Each Undergraduate Degree

In compliance with the Louisiana Board of Regents requirements, the University of New Orleans’ core general education requirements consist of 39 credit hours.  Undergraduate programs at the University range from 120 to 127 credit hours; therefore, general education courses constitute a substantial component (approximately one third) of each undergraduate degree.

The degree requirements for each undergraduate program of study are detailed in a template that includes the following sections:  1) general education requirements, 2) other requirements, 3) major requirements, and 4) concentration or option requirements (if applicable).  These templates are published by program in the Catalog and website to assist with planning and advising.  One degree program example is presented from each college.

Ensures Breadth of Knowledge

The general education core curriculum at the University of New Orleans is a set of course requirements designed to expose students to a wide range of academic disciplines. Through general education, students learn basic content and methodology of fundamental knowledge areas including humanities and fine arts, social and behavioral sciences, as well as natural sciences and mathematics.  This broad educational experience is intended to encourage intellectual inquiry and provide a solid foundation for all undergraduate students.

The University promotes intellectual inquiry by requiring a breadth of knowledge from all students, regardless of major.  The importance that the University places on this educational experience can be inferred from the courses included on the General Education Course Menu.  Content included on the general education website and in the general education section of the Catalog is designed to inform faculty, staff, and students about this important component of the undergraduate degree.

Based on a Coherent Rationale

General education at the University of New Orleans is founded on a coherent rationale.  A multi-university task force was formed by the Board of Regents to determine statewide general education requirements.  Representatives from all general education disciplines were included.

The General Education Committee

The General Education Committee is a university-wide, standing committee charged with providing leadership for the overall direction and support of the general education curriculum.  The committee monitors general education requirements and reviews changes made to the program.  The committee oversees general education assessment and evaluation to ensure integrated, meaningful and sustained improvement.

The responsibilities of the committee consist of the following:

  • Develop and maintain criteria for general education courses
  • Oversee assessment and evaluation of general education goals and student learning outcomes
  • Steward data for improvement purposes
  • Provide recommendations for budgeting and strategic planning based on assessment results
  • Communicate the results of assessment efforts to appropriate campus and external stakeholders to promote accountability and transparency
  • Serve as a resource for general education efforts on campus

The committee membership is comprised of faculty representation from each college, including at least one Faculty Senate representative, as well as representation from the Office of Academic Affairs.  The committee reports to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Sample minutes from the 2013-14 academic year are presented.

Evidence of Rationale that Serves as Basis for Including Selected Courses

The University recently transitioned to a reduced general education course menu.  As of the 2013-14 academic year, there were 1725 courses that satisfied general education requirements.  The General Education Committee compiled a reduced menu of 59 courses for student learning outcome assessment and improvement purposes.  Only those courses included on the reduced menu will be used to satisfy general education requirements, effective for the 2014-15 academic year.

The courses included on the new general education menu were selected based on the following:

  1. LA BOR AA Policy 2.16: Statewide General Education Requirements
  2. UL System Bylaw C-II, Section VIII: Baccalaureate Degrees Requirements
  3. UNO general education requirements
  4. SACSCOC standards 2.73, 3.51, 3.53
  5. Conducting student learning assessment for improvement purposes
  6. Supporting the curriculum in a cost effective manner
  7. Enrollment data review
  8. Program degree requirement review
  9. Peer institution review
  10. Faculty input
  11. Office of Academic Affairs input

The general education menu is flexible in that a process is in place for departments to propose new and existing courses to be added to the menu.  Certain criteria are required, including enrollment estimates to determine demand and strategies to align with the general education student learning outcome assessment plan. The General Education Committee will review these submissions annually. 

As previously noted, there are some program-specific exceptions to this list as noted in the degree requirements of the program pursued which is identified in the Catalog.  A course identified as an exception may only be applied to that specific program of study.  Students are encouraged to consult an advisor prior to enrolling to determine whether a course satisfies the general education requirements for their particular academic degree program. 


Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document IconDegree_Requirements_SampleExamples of degree requirement templates identifying general education courses
Document IconGen_Ed_Committee_Members_1314General Education Committee Membership 2013-14
Document IconGen_Ed_Committee_Minutes_1314General Education Committee Meeting Minutes 2013-14
Document IconLA_BOR_AA_Policy_2.16_Gen_Ed_RequirementsLouisiana Board of Regents Academic Affairs Policy 2.16: Statewide General Education Requirements
Document IconTable_1_General_Education_Course_MenuGeneral Education Course Menu
Document IconTable_2_Satisfaction_of_General_Education_Degree_ RequirementsSatisfaction of General Education Degree Requirements
Document IconUL_System_Bylaw_Ch_2_VIII_Baccalaureate Degrees RequirementUniversity of Louisiana System Bylaw, Chapter II, Section VIII: Baccalaureate Degrees Requirements
Document IconUNO_Catalog_Course_MenuUniversity of New Orleans Catalog - Courses to Satisfy General Education Requirements
Document IconUNO_Catalog_Gen_Ed_ReqUniversity of New Orleans Catalog - General Education Requirements
Document IconUNO_Catalog_Gen_Ed_Satisfaction_RequirementsUniversity of New Orleans Catalog - General Education Satisfaction Requirements
Document IconUNO_Website_Gen_Ed_Assessment_MatrixUniversity of New Orleans Website: General Education Assessment Matrix
Document IconUNO_Website_Gen_Ed_Course_MenuUniversity of New Orleans Website: General Education Course Menu
Document IconUNO_Website_Gen_Ed_HomepageUniversity of New Orleans Website: General Education Home Page
Document IconUNO_Website_Gen_Ed_RequirementsUniversity of New Orleans Website: General Education Requirements
Document IconUNO_Website_Gen_Ed_Satisfaction_RequirementsUniversity of New Orleans Website: Satisfaction of General Education Requirements