Jun 12, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education

Mission Statement

In order to become informed and productive citizens, undergraduate students need to think critically and creatively about substantive and often interlinked aesthetic, cultural, 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.

Global Challenges
Students will demonstrate critical thinking through analysis of global challenges; evaluate how varying perspectives influence global challenges; and demonstrate the integration of ethics into analysis of global challenges.


An undergraduate student whose enrollment in a curriculum occurs after May 15, 2022, 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 student’s curriculum year will be changed to the one in effect at the time of the return for students with fewer than 90 credits. The curriculum year will remain the same as when they were last enrolled for seniors (90 credits or more). The student’s major department can approve an exception. Students should submit a Change of Academic Program Request via iROAR to request the approval.

Requirements (31 Credit Hours)

To meet general education student learning outcomes, 31 total credit hours are required, distributed as follows.

Note: General education requirements in some major courses of study are more restrictive than those shown below.

A. Communication (minimum of 6 credit hours)

English Composition (3 credit hours)

Or an approved cluster of courses such as:

B. Mathematics (minimum of 3 credit hours)

C. Natural Sciences with Lab (minimum of 4 credit hours)

D. Arts and Humanities (minimum of 6 credit hours)

Non-Literature (3 credit hours)

E. Social Sciences (minimum of 6 credit hours)

Social Sciences credit hours must be selected from two different fields.

F. Global Challenges (minimum of 6 credit hours)

Global Challenges credit hours must be selected from two different fields unless identified below as interdisciplinary. At least three credit hours must be selected from a course(s) at the 3000-level or higher. A transfer course may not be used to satisfy the General Education Global Challenges Requirement. While a transfer course may fulfill other degree requirements, students must enroll in a Clemson course(s) on the Global Challenges list to fulfill the Global Challenges Requirement.