General Education Program

Wayne State has had a University-wide Program in General Education since 1987 for all undergraduate students pursuing bachelor's degrees regardless of their academic specialties. These requirements contribute to the goal of ensuring that all students have the basic skills fundamental to success in college while simultaneously achieving the intellectual breadth necessary to place specialized and professional curricula in proper perspective. By means of the General Education Program, undergraduate students improve their skills and are introduced to methods of inquiry, modes of thought, bodies of knowledge, and representative ideas drawn from a wide range of academic disciplines.

Effective Fall 2018, the university has adopted major revisions to the general education curriculum. While aspects of the new curriculum are shared with the old curriculum, existing topics were revised and new topics created to specifically align with university's mission and strategic plan. This includes commitments to global learning, diversity, equity and inclusion, and support for students' transition into the Wayne State University academic community. A maximum of 35 credits of Competencies, Group Requirements, and Wayne Experience Requirements shall comprise the General Education Program.

The General Education Requirements for students matriculating or graduating under the 2018-19 University Bulletin are organized into the categories below. Please contact your advisor if you have questions about General Education Requirements specific to your academic plan of work.

Competency Requirements

Learning Objectives: Competency Requirements ensure that students develop and demonstrate early in their academic careers fundamental skills in the following areas that underlie and make possible the acquisition of knowledge.

  • Quantitative Experience (QE), satisfied through an appropriate course in mathematics, statistics, or quantitative reasoning.
  • Oral Communication (OC)
  • Written Communication (Basic Composition - BC, and Intermediate Composition - IC)

General Education Group Requirements 

Learning Objectives: Group Requirements have a two-fold purpose:

  1. to enable students to acquire knowledge and demonstrate understanding in a broad range of representative branches of knowledge; and
  2. to enable students to develop and demonstrate the ability to apply methodological skills which encourage continued exploration on an independent level throughout their lives.

Group Requirements are organized in the following categories of inquiry:

  • Cultural Inquiry (CI)
  • Natural Scientific Inquiry (NSI)
  • Social Inquiry (SI)
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Inquiry (DEI)
  • Global Learning Inquiry (GL)
  • Civic Literacy (CIV)

Wayne Experience Requirements

The Wayne Experience (WE), a one-credit course a required group of various one credit courses required of all first-year students, will play an instrumental role in socializing students into the university community by providing activities that will increase their connections with fellow students, academic advising staff, and their instructors. The essential goals for this requirement are to enhance student engagement, success, and retention by implementing high-impact practices (HIPS) within a student’s first year in college. Wayne Experience will also help students build key skills and habits that will allow them to successfully navigate the university and manage their busy lives. These range from time management to, study and test-taking skills to and engaging in community activities both on and off campus. Student motivation, engagement, learning, achievement, persistence and degree attainment all can be fostered by these transformative educational experiences.

Exemptions for Second Degree and Transfer Students (General Education Program)

Students who hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and who seek a second bachelor's degree are exempt from the University-wide General Education Requirements, but must satisfy all School/College, department and program requirements.  

Equivalent courses taken at another institution may satisfy General Education Requirements. In cases where this would exceed the limitation of sixty-four credits from a community college accepted on a transfer basis, such courses shall satisfy the requirements, but the credits will not count towards the degree.  Transfer students who have satisfied all requirements of the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) are exempted from University General Education Requirements, but must satisfy all School/College, department and program requirements.