General Education

UNC Charlotte's General Education program is designed to provide students with the broad liberal arts education that is an essential part of the college experience.  The General Education requirements students must meet will come to between 39 and 44 credits (13 or 14 classes).  These requirements fall into four major categories as described below.  Click on the heading for each section or on the list to the right to get more information about that aspect of the program and the courses fulfilling each requirement. 


Please click on the item below for the catalog:

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I. Development of Fundamental Skills of Inquiry, 9-10 credit hours

These courses are designed to help students develop the foundational skills necessary for obtaining the full benefits of a college education; they include basic college-level writing, basic use of information technology, and basic college-level mathematical and logical skills. 

II. Inquiry into the Sciences, 10 credit hours

These courses provide students with an understanding of the methods of scientific inquiry and the ways that knowledge is acquired and accredited in the natural and the social sciences.

III. Themes of Liberal Education for Private and Public Life, 12 credit hours

This aspect of your General Education requirements are unique to UNC Charlotte’s curriculum.  These courses are designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary for your role as an educated citizen in the twenty-first century through the integrated Liberal Studies curriculum. These courses are found in course schedule under the heading of LBST, and they cover four key areas of learning:  the arts and society, the Western historical and cultural tradition, global understanding, and ethical and cultural critique.  While all sections of the same course address the same overarching goals, individual faculty take quite different approaches to these topics.  Students are therefore urged to select a specific section based on the more detailed information provided in the semester course schedule.

IV. Critical Thinking and Communications , 0-3 credit hours

Critical thinking and communication skills are recognized as core competencies for students earning a baccalaureate degree, regardless of major.   While students continue to develop these skills in advanced courses in their major, the general education program provides an important foundation

V. Advanced Communication Skills , 6-9 credit hours

These courses are intended to further develop more specialized skills for writing in the discipline and oral presentations.

General Education and the Major

These are general education requirements that are applicable to all students at UNC Charlotte regardless of their college or major.  However, many academic programs prefer that you take particular courses within the general education program because those courses enhance your learning or preparation in a particular major.  Therefore it is always advisable to consult an advisor in your program as you plan your schedule.

Transfer of General Education Equivalent Courses

Students may meet any of the course requirements of the General Education Program with approved equivalent courses transferred from other regionally accredited institutions. At the time of admission, transcripts of work at other institutions are evaluated to determine equivalency. This includes equivalency for the Liberal Studies courses required in the General Education Program. See the page for transfer students


Students should seek advising on completing Gen Ed course work to ensure that all requirements are being satisfied and that you are taking advantage of the program’s flexibility to pursue areas of interest.  In addition to your assigned advisor, you may find it helpful to consult professional advisors in each of the college advising offices or the University Advising Center.  For general information on advising at UNC Charlotte, visit the Advising web pages.


Some transfer students are exempt from the lower division General Education requirements. The following groups of transfer students who enter the University in the Fall of 2003 or thereafter will have met the University's lower division general education requirements:

  • Students with AA, AS, or AFA degrees from a North Carolina Community College and students whose Associates Degree from another institution meets UNC Charlotte expectations
  • Students with AAS degrees in a transferable or 2 + 2 program (Note: Students MUST major in the program in which their AAS degree is transferable. If students change major, then they will lose the exemption benefit.)
  • Students who have met the academic core of the North Carolina Comprehensive Articulation Agreement from a North Carolina community college

All of these exemptions ONLY apply to lower-division General Education requirements. All students, regardless of transfer status will still have to take a writing in the discipline course in their major and foreign language classes if required in their major.

Transfer Credit

Students admitted with transfer credit from 4-year and/or 2-year institutions but without a formal degree will have those courses evaluated and applied to the UNC Charlotte General Education Requirements on a course-by-course basis. In some instances courses transfer in as a specific class that meets a UNC Charlotte requirement. In other cases students will get an exemption from the General Education requirement by virtue of a class they have taken, but they will also receive credit for that class. Students who wish to appeal the evaluation of a transfer course for the purposes of the General Education Requirements will need to submit a Transfer Credit Reevaluation Form. (Copies of the form are also available in the University Advising Center in Colvard 2200 and in College advising offices.) Students must attach documentation—a catalog course description or in some cases a syllabus—with their request.