Jul 23, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education

Mission Statement

In order to become informed and productive citizens, undergraduate students need to think critically and synthetically about substantive and often interlinked aesthetic, ethical, historical, linguistic, philosophical, societal, scientific, and quantitative global challenges and issues.

Therefore, in addition to being prepared to complete a major course of study, Clemson University undergraduate students are required to undertake a general education core course of study to develop and to demonstrate the ability to synthesize information relevant to complex issues, to evaluate the quality and utility of the information, and to use the outcomes of their analysis to reach persuasive logical conclusions.

The Clemson University undergraduate curriculum is designed such that arts and humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, and written and oral communication contribute to the holistic development of its students.

General Education Student Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate competence in communication through organization of a central message with supporting materials in the chosen medium.

Arts and Humanities
Students will analyze, interpret, and employ aesthetic, ethical, linguistic, and/or philosophical discourse in relevant contexts; or students will create, perform, interpret, reinterpret, and/or criticize artistic works.

Students will demonstrate mathematical literacy through interpretation of mathematical forms and performing calculations.

Natural Sciences
Students will demonstrate the process of scientific reasoning through experimental activity and critical comparison of their results to those predicted by accepted natural science principles.

Social Sciences
Students will use social science concepts and evidence to explain human actions or behaviors in the past, the present, and/or the future.

Cross-Cultural Awareness
Explain how aspects of culture are integrated into a comprehensive worldview; and then demonstrate how culture influences human behavior.

Science and Technology in Society
Demonstrate an understanding of issues created by the complex interactions among science, technology, and society.

Critical Thinking
Demonstrate the ability to assemble information relevant to a significant, complex issue, evaluate the quality and utility of the information, and use the outcome of the analysis to reach a logical conclusion about the issue.

Ethical Judgment
Demonstrate an ability to identify, comprehend, and deal with ethical problems and their ramifications in a systematic, thorough, and responsible way.

An undergraduate student whose enrollment in a curriculum occurs after May 15, 2005, must fulfill the general education requirements in effect at that time. If a student withdraws from the University and subsequently returns or does not remain continuously enrolled (summers excluded), the requirements in effect at the time of return will normally prevail. Any variation in curricular or general education requirements shall be considered under the curriculum year change or the substitution procedure.

Requirements-31 Credit Hours

To meet general education student learning outcomes, 31 total credit hours are required, distributed as follows: I. General Education Coursework-31 credit hours; II. Distributed Coursework-included in majors.

I. General Education Coursework-31 hours required

General education requirements in some curricula are more restrictive than those shown below. Science and Technology in Society and Cross-Cultural Awareness requirements may be satisfied by other General Education courses, as indicated in the footnotes below, as long as the student completes a total of 31 hours in area I and satisfies requirements A-F below:

A. Communication: at least 6 credits

English Composition 3 credits

Oral Communication 3 credits

* May be satisfied either by the courses below or by an approved departmental cluster of courses. Students taking clusters must still earn at least 31 hours from the General Education Coursework list.

B. Mathematical, Scientific, and Technological Literacy: at least 10 credits

Mathematics 3 credits

Natural Science with Lab 4 credits

C. Arts and Humanities: at least 6 credits

Non-Literature 3 credits

D. Social Sciences: at least 6 credits

Selected from two different fields 6 credits

NOTE: AGRB and ECON are considered the same field.


Cross-Cultural Awareness and Science and Technology in Society requirements may be satisfied by other General Education courses, as indicated in the footnotes below, as long as the student completes a total of 31 hours in area I.

E. Cross-Cultural Awareness: at least 3 credits, if not satisfied by a course in groups A-D

F. Science and Technology in Society: at least 3 credits, if not satisfied by a course in groups A-E


1 This course also satisfies the Science and Technology in Society Requirement.

2 This course also satisfies the Cross-Cultural Awareness Requirement.

II. Distributed Coursework

Courses in the majors incorporate critical thinking, ethical judgment, and both written and oral communication skills into the curriculum. Some curricula use a cluster of courses to meet the oral communication student outcome.