General Education Requirements

General Education Program

 What is General Education? . . .

Montclair State University’s General Education program consists of a collection of courses that all undergraduate students are required to take – in addition to coursework in their major. There are two parts of our program, known as GenEd 2002: the New Student Seminar and Distribution requirements.

The New Student Seminar (GNED 199 or its equivalent in your major) is designed to enable you to achieve academic success and to adjust successfully to the challenges of college life. This one-hour course must be taken in your first semester.

The Distribution requirements cover several areas of study – writing and speech; the arts and humanities; math, science, and computer science; physical education; and the social sciences.

. . . and why am I required to take it?

General Education is the core of the educational experience at Montclair State University.

It gives you a common academic experience that you share with your fellow students.

It provides you with a firm foundation of knowledge and “cultural literacy” in both traditional and contemporary fields of study.

It prepares you for the working world where employers repeatedly report that what they value most highly in new employees are: a) excellent communications skills, b) exceptional analytic skills, and c) the ability to understand and think critically about complex issues.

In response to the challenges we know students will face both academically at the university and professionally when they enter the workforce, Montclair State faculty reviewed and revised our general education program in the late 1990s. Faculty then designed GenEd 2002 as a program that would provide students with . . .

  • Writing, writing, and more writing skills
  • A solid base of knowledge
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • The ability to retrieve and evaluate information
  • An understanding of our democratic processes
  • Multicultural and transnational awareness
  • Awareness of issues related to diversity
  • An understanding of world and national issues
  • Ethical decision-making skills

Before any course can be included in the GenEd 2002 program, it has to go through a thorough review by a faculty committee in order to ensure that it will provide students with these ten basic skills and abilities. Some courses provide certain of these skills more than others: College Writing may emphasize writing skills more than it will ethical decision-making, for example. But as a body of courses, the General Education program prepares you for more in-depth study in your major while also preparing you for a career.

What are Montclair State University’s General Education Requirements?

At Montclair State, we require that students complete General Education coursework in several main areas of study: writing and speech; the arts and the humanities; math, science, and computer science; physical education; and the social sciences. The current GenEd 2002 requirements and courses may be found here. (After the jump, follow the link to your particular degree.)

Please note that the Interdisciplinary Core requirement -- Scientific Issues and GNED 202/303 -- has been eliminated. Please refer to the Provost's 9 March 2012 memo, emailed to all Montclair State email users, for details.