Jun 23, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog (As of 12-14-18) 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog (As of 12-14-18) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Requirements

Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education Requirements

Consistent with its heritage since its founding in 1770, the College of Charleston retains a strong liberal arts undergraduate general education curriculum. The Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education requirement serves all students, regardless of major, and assures that students are exposed to a breadth of intellectual inquiry distributed across seven areas of the curriculum: History, Humanities, Mathematics and Logic, Foreign Language, Natural Science, Social Science, and Writing.  The general education program emphasizes acquisition of knowledge, communication and languages, analysis, explanation and problem-solving.  Faculty have defined specific learning outcomes for each of the distribution areas. The fields of knowledge reflected in the College’s seven general education distribution areas draw nearly equally from two dominant models: the mid-twentieth century “core distribution areas” (humanities, social science, natural science, and later mathematics) and the “traditional liberal arts” originating in a classical curriculum (literature, history, philosophy, and foreign languages).

The College’s general education distribution requirement provides a measure of structure by specifying which fields of learning every student must include, but allows each student the flexibility to select specific courses from among those approved for inclusion in each of the seven distribution areas. General education courses are designed to provide students with a solid foundation for further study as well as allow for intellectual exploration within the liberal arts and sciences. General education coursework in the liberal arts and sciences is an essential part of each undergraduate’s education at the College of Charleston.

Students must fulfill the general education requirements in effect at the time of their matriculation at the College of Charleston. Matriculation is defined as the first term of degree seeking enrollment or first term of readmission at the College. The general education requirements catalog year remains fixed during the period of time a student is continuously enrolled.

Each year faculty review courses that satisfy general education degree requirements.  They may make course additions or deletions.  Please consult course lists in future catalogs and/or your degree audit in Degree Works.

All undergraduate A.B., B.A., B.G.S., and B.S. degrees require students to complete the following General Education Requirements:

First Year Writing

Complete ENGL 110 Introduction to Academic Writing (4)  or one of the approved course credit combinations satisfying the first-year writing general education requirement.

Approved Courses and Course Credit Combinations

ENGL 110 Introduction to Academic Writing (4)  or HONS 110 Honors Academic Writing (4)  


English (ENGL) 101* AND English (ENGL) 102*


ENGL (ENGL) 101* AND ENGL 215 Interdisciplinary Composition (3)  


English (ENGL) 101* AND ENGL 110 Introduction to Academic Writing (4)  or HONS 110 Honors Academic Writing (4)  


English (ENGL) 101* AND an approved portfolio**


International Baccalaureate (IB) exam score of 6 or higher on the Extended Essay + Higher-Level (HL) English Language 1A Exam AND an approved portfolio**


A score of 4 on the AP Language Exam, the AP Capstone Research exam, or the AP Capstone Seminar exam AND an approved portfolio**


English (ENGL) 102* AND ENGL 110 Introduction to Academic Writing (4)  or HONS 110 Honors Academic Writing (4)  


English (ENGL) 102* AND ENGL 215 Interdisciplinary Composition (3)  


*English 101 and 102 are not offered by the College of Charleston but continue to be available through approved transfer credit [Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Transfer (TR)].

**In certain limited cases, students may apply for an exemption from the first-year writing requirement by using a combination of AP scores, IB evidence, or transfer credit and submission of a portfolio of writing. Click English portfolio review process for details.

Note: Students are expected to complete the first-year writing requirement within the first year of enrollment.



For Native Speakers of Languages Other Than English: A student whose native language is not English but who has received formal instruction or can demonstrate a high level of literacy in his or her first language, may be exempted from the general education requirement for language study. Such students must still complete a minimum of 122 credit hours to earn a degree. For more information, contact the Associate Dean of the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs. =



Complete one course in pre-modern history and one course in modern history from the list of approved courses satisfying the history general education requirement (6 credit hours). The two courses do not have to be taken from the same department or in sequence.

Approved Courses



Complete 12 credit hours from the list of approved courses satisfying the humanities general education requirement with no more than 6 credit hours from the same course acronym.

Approved Courses


*Students may take more than 6 credit hours of HONS courses toward the humanities requirement.

**ITAL 390  - When content covers literature, culture, or history.  See the department.



Natural Science

Complete 8 credit hours of an introductory or higher sequence (of which 2 credit hours must be earned in the accompanying laboratories) from the list of approved course sequences satisfying the natural science general education requirement.

Approved Course Sequences


Social Sciences

Complete 6 credit hours from the list of approved courses satisfying the social science general education requirement.

Approved Courses