General Education Requirements


Christina Potenza - Explore

I took Intro to World Art and Intro to Renaissance Art as gen eds. I fell in love with the subject and decided to pursue it as a second major.

-Christina Potenza (history of art and architecture, psychology, exercise science)

General Education Requirements (GERs) are a buffet for your brain—more than just requirements, they are your opportunity to discover interests you never knew you had, all while earning credits toward graduation. And, no matter what your future holds, be it a career or grad school, GERs prepare you by emphasizing skills employers want (like critical thinking, problem solving, written and oral communication) and giving you the opportunity to become more aware of our increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

The Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences provides a liberal arts and pre-professional education for undergraduate students that is grounded in scholarly excellence. Pitt offers you the knowledge, understanding, analytical tools, and communication skills you need to become perceptive, reflective, and intellectually self-conscious citizens within a diverse and rapidly changing world. GERs are at the core of our education.

Foundations for Excellence

The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences is committed to providing the best possible education for its undergraduate students. This is best served through a clear and innovative curriculum that provides students with the skills, knowledge, and analytical skills, disciplinary understanding, intellectual curiosity, and creative opportunities that will allow them to engage and adapt in an increasingly diverse and rapidly changing world. Diversity and inclusion are part of the core mission of our school and the university and are key matters for our students and society. Of allied importance is the understanding of complex global issues and different cultures.

A. Writing

Written communication is central to almost all disciplines and professions. Developing writing proficiency is a lifelong process, and it is especially important that undergraduate education accelerates and directs that process toward the achievement of writing skills t hat will provide a base appropriate for professional or graduate education or for professional employment. The school requires that all students complete the following writing courses during their undergraduate career.

  1. An Introductory Composition Course
  2. Two Writing - Intensive Courses

B. Quantitative and Formal Reasoning

All students are required to take and pass with a grade of C - or better at least one course in university - level mathematics (other than trigonometry) for which algebra is a prerequisite , or an approved course in statistics or mathematical or formal logic.

C. Language A Sequence of Two Courses in a Second Language

All students are required to complete with a grade of C - or better two terms of university - level study in a second language other than English. Exemptions will be granted to students who can demonstrate elementary proficiency in a second language through one of the following: 1. Having completed three years of high school study of a second language with a grade of B or better in each course; 2. Passing a special proficiency examination; 3. Transferring credits for two terms or more of approved university - level instruction in a second language with grades of C or better; 4. Having a native language other than English.

D. Diversity

The Dietrich School will work to create a framework for pedagogical support for instructors who wish to build diversity into their courses, both to increase awareness of diversity across the curriculum, and to broaden the range of courses that might be offered to fulfill this requirement. Diversity courses focus centrally and intensively on issues of diversity, and do so in a manner that promotes understanding of difference. They provide students with analytical skills with which to understand structural inequities and the knowledge to be able to participate more effectively in our increasingly diverse and multicultural society. The courses may address, though not be limited to, such issues as race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religious difference, ability difference, and/or economic disparity. All students must complete one course that is designated as a Diversity course but may take this course within their major field of study. Diversity courses may also be courses that fulfill other General Education Requirements.

E. Division Requirements in the Humanities and Arts, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Each student is required to take nine courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences distributed as below. Such courses allow students to pursue their own interests while they explore diverse views of a broad range of human cultures, modes of thought, and bodies of knowledge. The courses that fulfill these requirements are truly courses in the disciplines that draw on the unique resources of a research university.

  1. A Course in Literature
  2. A Course in the Arts
  3. A Course in Creative Work
  4. A Course in Philosophical Thinking or Ethics
  5. A Social Science Course
  6. A Course in Historical Analysis
  7. Three Courses in the Natural Sciences

F. Global Awareness and Cultural Understanding

Each student must complete three courses in global awareness and cultural understanding distributed as below.

  1. A Course in Global Issues
  2. A Course in a Specific Geographic Region
  3. A Course in Cross - Cultural Awareness