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Undergraduate Education

East Tennessee State University

General Education

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ETSU's General Education Program offers a liberal education that includes 41 - 42 semester hours of courses from across the university that address the General Education goals of critical and creative thinking, effective communication, lifelong learning, conflict resolution, problem solving, and understanding and appreciating cultural diversity.


Check the current undergraduate catalog for general education requirements.
Contact your advisor if you have questions or concerns related to meeting general education requirements.
Contact the Center for Academic Achievement to schedule individual or group tutoring for general education subjects.

Course Proposal Form

General Education Core Course Proposals 

Proposals to add courses to the general education core or remove courses from it require approval by ETSU’s General Education Advisory Council (GEAC).

Additions to the general education core approved by February 1st will take effect in the next academic year.  We recommend that department submit course proposals to GEAC by September 1st to allow time for review, revision and entry into the undergraduate catalog. 

We recommend that faculty meet with the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education prior to writing a proposal to add a course to the general education core.  Call (423) 439-4219 to schedule an appointment



Associate's Degree

Students who have completed an associate degree designed for transfer at a regionally accredited college or university have satisfied ETSU's general education requirements.

Second Bachelor's Degree
ETSU's general education requirements do not apply to students who have completed a baccalaureate degree at ETSU or another regionally accredited college or university and are pursuing a second bachelor's degree. 
Transferring from TBR Institutions

General education requirements in the TBR system comprise blocks, such as Communication and Natural Sciences.  Students who complete general education blocks at other TBR institutions before they transfer to ETSU have also met those blocks at ETSU, even if the courses they took to satisfy the blocks are not equivalent to courses in ETSU’s general education core.  Students who partially complete a block at another TBR institution have also partially completed it at ETSU.

Transferring  from Non-TBR Institutions

Student transferring from non-TBR institutions must meet all general education requirements at ETSU, regardless of how courses taken at other institutions may have met general education requirements at the previous non-TBR institutions.

Advanced Placement Credit, Course Substitutions and Waivers of Requirements Granted by Other Institutions

ETSU does not recognize completion of general education blocks when previous institutions, within or outside the TBR system, (a) award advanced placement credit, (b) permit general education course substitutions or (c) waive general education requirements.  Any advanced placement credit, substitutions or waivers related to general education must meet standards approved by ETSU.

Other Guidelines Regarding General Education and Transfer

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.

General Education History Requirement: Rules for Transfer Students

Transfer students may meet the general education History requirement as follows:

Transfer students from University of Tennessee (UT) System institutions who met the general education History requirement while attending those schools will also have met ETSU’s History requirement, as will transfer students who met UT History requirements while attending TBR community colleges.
Transfer students who earned credit for two of the following courses at any TBR institution will also have met ETSU’s History requirement: HIST 1110, World History & Civilization to 1500; HIST 1120, World History & Civilization Since 1500; HIST 2010, U.S. to 1877; HIST 2020, U.S. Since 1877; HIST 2030, Tennessee History.
Transfer students from institutions  outside the TBR and UT systems who completed courses equivalent to those listed above may apply those courses to ETSU’s History requirement.
Students who completed only one of the courses listed above prior to transferring to ETSU can complete the History requirement by taking HIST 2010, HIST 2020 or HIST 2030.
All students must present evidence of completing one year of American History in high school.  Students lacking such documentation must satisfy a high school deficiency by completing HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 2030.  Completing one of these courses to remove the deficiency will also count toward completion of the general education History requirement.
Transfer students who use HIST 1110 or HIST 1120 to meet the general education History requirement cannot also use it to meet the general education humanities requirement. 




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