Jun 24, 2024  
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog 
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Requirements

Goals of General Education

East Tennessee State University’s faculty and staff believe every student should experience certain benefits of an undergraduate education, regardless of his or her chosen field of study. ETSU’s general education program aims to enable and encourage students to:

  • apply the standards of reasoned argument to what they read and hear, write and say;
  • engage in lifelong learning and personal growth;
  • gain greater insight into their lives and the world in which they live;
  • resolve conflicts nonviolently and solve problems creatively, often in collaboration with others;
  • appreciate cultural diversity and respect people with viewpoints different from their own;
  • be responsible, enlightened, active citizens in their communities and the world beyond their communities;
  • find joy, meaning, and fulfillment in their lives and help others do the same.

To gain these benefits, students need a foundation of skills and knowledge which they can apply at work, in their personal lives, and in their communities. By successfully completing ETSU’s general education requirements and other graduation requirements, students enhance their proficiency in reading, writing, oral communication, mathematics, and using information technology. They become acquainted with ideas, information, and modes of inquiry which they can draw upon in every area of their lives. In addition, students learn how to perceive relationships between different fields of study.

General Education Course Requirements

ETSU’s general education requirements are described below. These requirements apply to all undergraduate students pursuing a baccalaureate degree. Many majors and degree programs require students to take specific courses to fulfill general education requirements. Students should consult the catalog and their advisors regarding specific general education requirements applicable to their majors and degree programs.


9 credits, consisting of 6 credits of written composition and 3 credits of oral communication.

Written Composition

Complete both of the following:


Students eligible to enroll in ENGL 1010  must do so during their first term at ETSU. Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in ENGL 1010  and ENGL 1020 . Students who take Developmental Studies Writing (DSPW) courses should enroll in ENGL 1010  the next term after completing DSPW 0800 .

Oral Communication

Complete one of the following:


When one of the oral communication courses listed above is completed to meet the general education core requirement, that course will not count toward ETSU’s oral communication-intensive requirement. (See “Other Graduation Requirements,” below.) Any additional course from this list that is completed will count toward the oral communication-intensive requirement.

Humanities and Fine Arts

9 credits, consisting of 3 credits of literature, 3 credits of fine arts, and 3 credits of humanities electives.


6 credits, consisting of both of the following:


HIST 2030 - History of Tennessee  (3 credits) may be substituted for 3 credits of United States History.

Natural Sciences

8 credits, consisting of two of the following (required labs are shown with the lecture numbers):


 3-4 credits, consisting of one of the following:


Students eligible to enroll in one of these math courses must do so during their first calendar year of enrollment or prior to accumulating 33 semester credits at ETSU. Students who take Developmental Studies Math (DSPM) courses should complete the general education math requirement after completing DSPM courses and must do so in the next calendar year or prior to accumulating 33 more semester credits at ETSU.


Completion of IBMS 1100  and IBMS 1200  satisfies both the Mathematics requirement and the Natural Sciences requirement. Students must complete the entire two-course sequence in order to fulfill the Mathematics and Natural Sciences blocks. Students who complete only one of the courses (not recommended) will be considered to have met four credit hours of the Natural Sciences requirement.

Transferring General Education Courses within the Tennessee Board of Regents System

All institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) System share a common general education core curriculum of forty-one (41) semester credits for baccalaureate degrees and the Associate of Arts and Associate mandated by Tennessee law. Students who plan to transfer to University of Tennessee System universities or to out-of-state or private universities should check requirements at those schools and take the appropriate courses.

  • Upon completion of an A.A. or A.S. degree at a TBR institution, including completion of the U.S. History requirement mandated by state law, general education core requirements will be complete and all TBR institutions will recognize completions of these requirements in the transfer process.
  • If an A.A. or A.S. is not obtained or if a student is pursuing a baccalaureate degree at a TBR university, transfer of completed general education requirements will be based upon completion of subject blocks. When a student completes a subject category requirement (e.g., if all eight credits in the category of Natural Sciences are complete), completion of that block will be recognized by all TBR institutions. When a student has taken courses that fulfill only part of a subject block requirement, the application of transferred courses to the receiving institution’s general education requirements will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis.
  • Some institutions or particular academic departments within institutions require a minimum grade of ‘C’ in certain general education courses. These minimum grade requirements will also apply to the transfer of general education courses. Even if transfer credit hours are granted for a course, any requirement for a minimum grade of ‘C’ by the receiving institution will be enforced.
  • Certain majors require students to take particular courses to fulfill general education requirements. Students and their academic advisors should note any major-specific stipulations regarding fulfillment of general education requirements.