General Education Advising
A student's coursework over a four-year career not only includes a major, but also
a broad study of the liberal arts in general education courses. As such, the classes
that students take for their general education requirements should be viewed as an
opportunity to explore and expand horizons, rather than as a checklist of requirements
The general education requirements vary slightly by degree; to view the requirements
by degree click here. Students should meet with their academic advisor if they have any questions regarding
their general education requirements.
It is the student’s responsibility to track his/her progress each semester towards
completing graduation requirements using the MyIWU degree evaluation tool.
General Education Program
General Education Categories
- Gateway Colloquium (GW)
- Analysis of Values (AV)
- The Arts (AR)
- Contemporary Social Institutions (CSI)
- Cultural and Historical Change (CHC)
- Formal Reasoning (FR)
- Intellectual Traditions (IT)
- Literature (LIT)
- Second Language (LA)
- The Natural Sciences: Life Science Issues (LSI), Life Science Lab (LSL), Physical
Science Issues (PSI), Physical Science Lab (PSL)
- Physical Education (PE)
General Education Flags
- Physical Education Fitness (PEF)
- Encountering Global Diversity (G)
- Encountering U.S. Diversity (U)
- Writing Intensive (W)
- In order to graduate in four years, students often take courses which fulfill both
a general education category and a general education flag.
- A course may fulfill a major requirement and a general education requirement.
- A course may fulfill a minor requirement and a general education requirement.
- No more than
general education units may come from a single department or school, excluding elementary
101 and 102 language courses.
- When scheduling, a student should have a balance of general education, major, minor
and elective courses.
Dependent on the degree, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a second
- Placement exams are offered to incoming students during new student orientation.
Results from language placement exams serve to recognize proficiency, to allow students
to enroll in an appropriate course level, or to fulfill the Second Language (LA) general
education requirement. IWU does not grant degree credit as a result of placement
- Fulfillment of the Second Language (LA) general education requirement can also be
met with the appropriate score on an AP language exam.
- Entering international students whose native language is not English are exempt from
the second language requirement under any one of the following circumstances: 1) they
were required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) for admission,
2) they provide a transcript from a secondary school where the primary language of
instruction was not English, or 3) they provide a transcript or other form of written
certification that documents satisfactory completion of more than four years of study
in one language other than English.
Even if students have fulfilled the second language requirement, students are encouraged
to pursue advanced study of a second language or even study a third language. However,
if students have fulfilled the second language requirement and wish to no longer continue
with language study, students have the opportunity to take general education, major,
minor, or elective courses in its place.
Students must complete the equivalent of 2 semesters of Physical Education courses
in order to graduate. Physical Education courses labeled as “X” meet the entire semester, and Physical Education
courses labeled as “Y” meet half of the semester. To fulfill the Physical Education
requirement, students must take 2 X courses, 4 Y courses, or 1X and 2 Y courses.
In addition, one X or one Y must also meet the general education fitness requirement.
Depending on a student’s schedule, the timing of when a student takes these courses
is flexible. However, it is recommended to complete them as soon as possible. Physical Education courses are non-credit bearing and can be taken in addition to
students’ regular course loads.
*Note: 2 seasons of participation in a varsity sport fulfills both the PE and PE fitness
In addition to the Gateway Colloquium, students must take two Writing Intensive (WI)
courses. One of these courses must be taken in the major, and one of the courses
must be completed by the end of the sophomore year. Students who have more than one
major must take a WI course in each major (for a total of two WI courses).
General Education Section of the University Catalog