General Education Requirements

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Student in Prof. Raynor's class

The University of Washington Tacoma has established minimum general education and basic skills requirements for baccalaureate degrees. Each academic program and major meets or exceeds these minimum requirements.

Minimum Requirements

  • Cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 for all work done in residence at the university.
  • 180 academic credits minimum to include:
    • 15 credits in writing to include no fewer than 5 credits in English composition [C] (with a minimum 2.0 grade) and 10 additional credits in writing-intensive [W] courses
    • 5 credits in quantitative/symbolic reasoning [QSR]
      (Students who first enrolled in college prior to 1985 are exempt from this requirement.)
    • 3 credits minimum in diversity coursework; designated courses which focus on the sociocultural, political and economic diversity of human experience and help students develop an understanding of the complexities of living in increasingly diverse and interconnected societies. For students admitted as of Autumn 2014.
    • 40 credits of areas of knowledge courses including no fewer than 10 credits in each area of study:
      • Natural World [NW]
      • Individual and Societies [I&S]
      • Visual, Literary and Performing Arts [VLPA]

Courses taken to fulfill the writing [W], reasoning [QSR] and academic major requirements may apply as appropriate to the Areas of Knowledge requirement.

Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts [VLPA]

Courses in this area focus on the history, interpretation, criticism and practice of the arts. The requirement is meant to help you develop a personal appreciation of the creative process. Some of the courses that fall in this area address the arts, communication, film, foreign languages, history, literature, philosophy and writing.

Individuals and Societies [I&S]

This area includes a wide variety of options for the study of human beings and societies. Courses focus on the history, development, and dynamics of human behavior, as well as social and cultural institutions and practices. Some of the courses that fall in this area address the arts, communication, economics, history, non-profit public affairs, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, sociology and women studies.

The Natural World [NW]

Courses in this area focus on the disciplined, scientific study of the natural world. The area can be divided into three broad categories: the mathematical sciences, the physical sciences, and the biological sciences. Some of the courses that fall in this area address business, environmental science, urban studies and mathematics.

Additional Requirement

  • 10 credits in a single foreign language (or two years in high school). To meet the requirement, study must be devoted to a single foreign language and must be in sequence, with no repetition of any prior term of study. Any world language other than English that has been formally studied may be used to satisfy this requirement. 

More information on general university graduation requirements for undergraduate students.