General Education - Distributive Learning Program
The General Education-Distributive Learning Program, part of the University Core Curriculum, consists of four areas in which undergraduate students gain knowledge to enrich their lives and enhance their academic experience. These four areas are Fine Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences. Every degree-seeking undergraduate student must take courses from the General Education-Distributive Learning List of Approved Courses to meet these requirements.
It is expected that the knowledge gained in these courses will provide an academic foundation that will help prepare students for the major and minor course areas and will encourage students to become life-long learners in many different and divergent fields of study.
The goal of the General Education-Distributive Learning Program (often called ‘Gen Ed’) is to assist students in developing the following:
- the ability to communicate both in writing and orally;
- the skills required to gather, analyze, document, and integrate information;
- an understanding of historical processes and cultural differences; aesthetic and literary sensitivity;
- an understanding of the modes of thought, concerns, and methodologies of the fine arts, the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences;
- and the ability to use quantitative methods in the natural, social, and behavioral sciences.
Students are required to take a minimum of 33 credit hours of General Education-Distributive Learning courses. Transfer students may fulfill General Education-Distributive Learning requirements with courses taken at other colleges or universities. Students who transfer with an approved Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) Model Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.) degree or have completed the Illinois General Education Core Curriculum after transferring to Northeastern Illinois University will have met their General Education-Distributive Learning requirements. For information regarding the Illinois General Education Core Curriculum, visit the web site at http://www.iTransfer.org.
Students are encouraged to complete their General Education-Distributive Learning courses during their first 75 hours of course work. These courses are distributed as described in detail below, and require students to take two courses in the Fine Arts, three courses in the Humanities, three courses in the Social/ Behavioral Sciences, and three Natural Science courses (including one laboratory course). Students seeking a teaching license may be required to take additional coursework.
Fine Arts (FA)
2 courses, 6 credit hours from two of the following areas of study: Art, CMT (Mass Media or Theatre only), Music (includes Dance).
3 courses, 9 credit hours from at least two of the following areas of study: CMT (Communication only), English, Linguistics, Philosophy, Women's and Gender Studies, World Languages and Cultures, (Note: No more than two foreign language courses may be used to fulfill this requirement.)
Social/Behavioral Sciences (SB)
3 courses, 9 credit hours from at least two of the following areas of study: African & African American Studies, Anthropology, Computer Science, Economics, Geography & Environmental Studies, History, Justice Studies, Latino & Latin American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work. (Note: Students admitted or readmitted before Fall 2016, must complete 4 courses (12 credit hours) of Social/Behavioral Sciences courses in at least two of the above areas of study.)
Natural Sciences (NS and NSL)
3 courses, 9 credit hours from at least two of the following areas of study; one course must have a laboratory component (NSL): Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics (Note: If an FYE Anthropology course that counts as Natural Science is taken, then only one Biology course may be used for Natural Science).
Please note the following requirements regarding the General Education-Distributive Learning Program:
- Only courses included on the General Education-Distributive Learning Program List of Approved Courses during the term of enrollment are applicable towards the General Education-Distributive Learning requirements.
- The Pass/Fail option may not be used to meet any General Education-Distributive Learning requirements.
- A student may use no more than six (6) hours of “D” to meet the distribution area requirements.
- By the tenth week of the Fall and Spring semesters, faculty teaching General Education-Distributive Learning courses must notify any student with less than a “C” average of his/her grade in the course.
- Majors in the Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social/Behavioral Sciences may waive up to six credit hours of General Education-Distributive Learning requirements in the corresponding distribution area.
- Majors in the Natural Sciences may waive up to nine credit hours of General Education-Distributive Learning in the Natural Science distribution area.
- A student may use no more than two courses from any one area of study (including courses transferred to Northeastern) to meet the distribution requirements in Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences. No more than one course from any area of study (including transferred courses) may be used to meet the Fine Arts distribution requirements.
- Courses completed elsewhere by students transferring to Northeastern may be applied to General Education-Distributive Learning requirements. Transfer courses will be evaluated by the Admissions Office to determine appropriate General Education-Distributive Learning credit.
- Students who have specific questions about General Education-Distributive Learning should contact either their academic advisor or the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office. Departments who have questions regarding the Engaged Learning Experiences should contact the Coordinator of the University Core Curriculum Program.
Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAIS) General Education-Distributive Learning Program
The Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies General Education-Distributive Learning program was designed to help returning adult students complete their foundational work, thereby allowing them to move into more advanced coursework as soon as they meet criteria. Below are the General Education-Distributive Learning requirements for students who are majoring in the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAIS) program.
Humanities and Arts (12 credit hours)
- Communication, Media, and Theatre
- Music and Dance
- World Languages and Cultures
Social Sciences (12 credit hours)
- Geography and Environmental Studies
- Justice Studies
- Political Science
Natural Sciences (12 credit hours)
- Computer Science
- Earth Science