Academic Advising Center

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 to complete.

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

General Education Flags

Advising Considerations


Second Language

Dependent on the degree, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a second language. 

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.

Physical Education

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 requirement.

Writing Intensive

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).

Additional Information

General Education Section of the University Catalog