Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What are General Education Requirements (GERs)?
    GERs are courses that introduce you to academic life through a diverse selection of topics that encourage critical thinking, problem solving, and development of written and oral expression.
  2. Why does YSU require students to take general education courses?
    GERs add to the quality of your college experience by challenging you to think differently, exposing you to different fields of study, and ensuring that you master important foundational skills. They make you more adaptable and marketable by giving you opportunities to learn about different cultures and perspectives.
  3. Where can I find information about what GERs I have to take for my program?
    Some majors require specific GER courses. Talk to your academic advisor; they will provide you with a curriculum sheet for your major. The General Education website lists all of the courses that can be taken to meet the general education requirements.
  4. Do I have to meet the new General Education Requirements (the 2012 model)?
    If you began taking courses at YSU in the fall of 2012 or later you must meet the 2012 General Education requirements. If you began taking courses at YSU before the fall semester of 2012 you must either fulfill the 2012 requirements or the previous (year 2000) requirements. Consult your academic advisor as to which option will allow you to complete your degree more quickly.
  5. Can I use the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) to determine if I have fulfilled my GERs?
    Yes, if you select a catalog year and term before Fall 2012 the audit will use the 2000 requirements, if you select Fall 2012 or later it will use the 2012 requirements (click here for instructions). You should confirm the results of the DARS report with your academic advisor. DARS can be very helpful in evaluating your options but it is critical to confer with an advisor to make sure you have interpreted the results correctly.
  6. Can a course in my major count towards GERs?
    Yes. If a course in your major is listed as a GER course it will count towards the general education requirements.
  7. When should I take my GER courses?
    Take the skills courses (writing, speaking and mathematics) as early as possible. It’s also a good idea to take GER courses that are also courses in your major early to make sure that major is the right fit.
  8. Why is registering early important?
    Registering early increases your chance of getting the courses you want at convenient times. Fall registration begins in April of the previous semester; registration for Spring begins in November of the previous semester.
  9. Do I need to take Social and Personal Awareness (SPA) courses from more than one sub-category or can they all come from the same one?
    Your two SPA courses may come from the same sub-category. For example, you may take both courses from the Environmental Sustainability sub-category, or you may take one from Environmental Sustainability and one from any of the other three sub-categories.
  10. Why are the SPA courses divided into subcategories?
    The Social and Personal Awareness domain is a collection of four different groups of courses, each of which has a different learning outcome. The subcategories are listed to help clarify why the courses listed were included in the domain.
  11. If a course is listed in two domains does it count twice?
    No. Some courses are cross-listed, which means they cover learning outcomes in more than one domain. For example, a course may be listed both in the Social Science domain and the Social and Personal Awareness domain. You can use this course to count for Social Sciences or Social and Personal Awareness, but not both. You must take a total of nine knowledge domain courses.
  12. What are Knowledge Domains?
    Knowledge Domains are the different categories under which GER courses are classified. You are required to take courses in different knowledge domains to ensure breadth in your college experience. The new (2012) model has the following knowledge domains: Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, and Social and Personal Awareness. All courses in a given Knowledge Domain meet the goals of that domain.
  13. Where can I find descriptions about the GER classes?
    All course descriptions can be found in the YSU Undergraduate Bulletin. Descriptions are also available on the General Education website (select the “2012 Model menu”, then select “General Education Courses”, then select a domain).
  14. Do all colleges and majors have the same GER requirements?
    General education requirements apply to all majors, however some majors require that students take specific courses to meet the requirements. There are additional requirements associated with some degrees (for example, the AB from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences requires coursework in foreign language).
  15. Do my remedial writing or math classes count as GER courses?
    No. These classes are here to help you develop and strengthen your skills to prepare you for the GER writing and/or math courses.
  16. What grade do I need to pass a GER course?
    If you earn a grade of D or higher the course will count towards the general education requirements. However, you must earn a C or higher in all courses required for your major, including specific general education courses required for the major. Also, some programs (such as Nursing and Education) impose additional requirements.
  17. Can I just take the science lab and not the class?
    No, the lab must be associated with a lecture class.