General Education

This section of the Internal Transcript Guide outlines the UC Davis General Education requirements. The new General Education (GE) requirements, often called "GE3" because they represent the third iteration of UC Davis GE, went into effect in Fall Quarter 2011. There are two main areas in the new GE requirements, "Topical Breadth" and "Core Literacies." Rationale for changing GE requirements and a detailed discussion of the change may be found at the GE Requirements Overview.

  • Detailed descriptions of the new GE categories may be found in the General Catalog and the Revised General Education Requirement white paper.
  • Students matriculating on or after Fall Quarter 2011 are required to follow these new requirements.
  • GE courses may count towards both Topical Breadth and Core Literacies but may not overlap between subcategories (ABC or I-IV).
  • GE3 course articulation does not currently appear on the internal transcript (as of Fall 2012). For students who are fulfilling GE3 requirements, the articulation will have to be done by hand.
  • College of Engineering: Students in the College of Engineering are not permitted to take GE classes for p/np credit. Students in the other colleges may take GE classes for p/np credit, except as restricted by university p/np regulations.
  • College of Letters and Science: Students pursuing an Bachelor of Arts degree are no longer required to complete a minor (or mini-minor) to satisfy graduation requirements -- the Area Breadth Requirement has been lifted for students completing GE3. (Note: this is not the case for the College of Biological Sciences).
  • College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: GE "Theme" programs are only available to students who matriculated before Fall 2011 and are completing GE2 requirements. Themes are not available under GE3.
  • IGETC will continue to satisfy GE Requirements under GE3. DD Reg 522(D)7 states, "Transfer students who have successfully completed the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) are exempt from all General Education requirements that may be met with lower-division courses."

GE3 Requirements Summarized

Topical Breadth (52 units)

Arts & Humanities (AH) Science & Engineering (SE) Social Sciences (SS)

12-20 units total

12-20 units total

12-20 units total

Total units required for Topical Breadth:

AH units + SE units + SS units = 52 units minimum

Core Literacies (35 units)

Literacy w/Words and Images Civic & Cultural Literacy

20 units total

a. English Composition Requirement** - 8 units or equivalent

b. Writing Experience (WE) - 6 units

c. Oral Literacy (OL) or additional writing experience - 3 units

d. Visual Literacy (VL) - 3 units

9 units total

a. American Cultures, Governance & History (ACGH)

  • 6 units total
  • At least 3 of the 6 ACGH units must be Domestic Diversity (DD)

b. World Cultures (WC) - 3 units  

Quantitative Literacy (QL) Scientific Literacy (SL) 

3 units total

3 units total

**English Composition requirements vary by college: CAES, CBS, ENG, L&S

Total units required for Core Literacies:

35 units minimum

Former GE Requirement - Pre-Fall 2011

Topical Breadth Component - Six courses total (three from each group not satisfied by the student's major):

  • Arts & Humanities (AH).
  • Social Sciences (SS).
  • Science and Engineering (SE).

Socio-Cultural Diversity Requirement (D) - One course total.

Writing Experience (W) - Three courses total.

NOTE: Classes applied to AH, SS, and SE may not be applied simultaneously in another Topical Breadth area. However, these classes may simultaneously be applied to one of the Topical Breadth areas and to Socio-Cultural Diversity and/or Writing.