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. Most students at MSU have the same broad requirements, which can be fulfilled by a wide variety of courses.
Gen Ed is organized into several categories, and every student is required to take one course in each required category. The required categories vary, depending upon which degree you are seeking.
Why am I required to take it?
The Gen Ed Program is intended to prepare you with the habits and capabilities to be a lifelong learner; to become an information literate, knowledgeable, active and discerning citizen; and develop into a culturally aware and self-reflective critical thinker who functions locally as well as in the nation and the global community.
The Program aims to do this by exposing you to a wide range of academic disciplines and perspectives that broaden your base of knowledge, challenge you to acquire key skills and perspectives, and give you opportunities to cultivate these universally-valuable virtues in multiple contexts.
The Program complements and supplements your major; while the focused study of a specific discipline is an important and valuable part of an undergraduate degree, students need a broader base of skills and knowledge to benefit from their major, and to succeed after graduation.
The goals of General Education are valuable in the workplace: surveys show employers place great importance on the skills and breadth of a liberal-arts education, often valuing them more than content knowledge in a major relevant to their careers. These goals are valuable beyond the workplace, both to you and to our society: higher education includes and extends beyond preparation for the workplace, and a vibrant democracy requires involved and informed citizens to function well.
Upon completing your Gen Ed requirements, you should not only be able to understand the important issues of the day but also be capable of reflecting upon and developing your own value system that is responsive to yourself and your community.