University General Education Requirements

All freshmen and transfer students entering the university must satisfy these general education requirements. The purpose of the general education curriculum is to develop students’ abilities in four areas:

  1. judgment, expression, and computation;
  2. understanding of Western and non-Western cultures;
  3. awareness and understanding of ecological, ethical, social, economic, and political problems; and,
  4. understanding of alternative, integrated cultural, intellectual, and historical perspectives. A distinctive element of the general education curriculum is that it offers interdisciplinary approaches and encourages active student learning through discussion, writing, laboratory, and field experiences.

General Education Curriculum

Effective for all students who enroll for the fall 2007 semester and after.

The General Education curriculum consists of 36 credit hours including two components:

  1. Core Requirements 15 credit hours
  2. General Requirements 21 credit hours

Core Requirements

The core requirements, which include writing, computing, and reasoning are enabling skills students need to participate successfully in the intellectual life of the university and pursue any degree successfully. Coursework in these areas provides the fundamental background essential to developing proficiency in individual majors. Courses which teach these skills should be taken during the freshman year.

General Requirements

The general requirements provide students with exposure to the content, tradition, and methods of mathematics and the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. They provide an appreciation of the complexity and interdependence of these broad areas of knowledge, and they afford a familiarity with a common pool of knowledge generally

used to understand and approach problems in society.

Core Requirements (15 credit hours)

(6) Composition: English 1230/123 or 1270/127 and English 128/0128

(6) Foreign Language: (two-semester sequence in a single foreign language).

AFL 1100/110, FREN 2120/212 may not be used to satisfy the language requirement.

(3) Mathematics

General Requirements (21 credit hours)

(6) Humanities (at least 3 credit hours must be in the area of fine arts), chosen from: Art; Music; English; Communication Media Arts, and Theatre; Philosophy; or Foreign Language

(6) Physical and Life Sciences (one course must have a lab), chosen from: Biology; Chemistry; Physics or Physical Science

(9) Social Sciences (at least two disciplines), chosen from: African American Studies; Anthropology; Economics; Geography; History; Political Science; Psychology; or Sociology

Embedded General Education Requirements

Embedded requirements are requirements that can be satisfied at the same time other requirements are satisfied. For example, Sociology 1250/125 fulfills both a social science requirement and the diversity requirement.

(3) Critical Thinking *** : Critical Thinking Courses 3 credit hours– choose from the list below: ECON 1000/100; GEOG 1200/100; PHIL 1020/204; PHIL 1030/221; PH S 1080/108; POL 1000/100; MATH 1010/140; MATH 1020/141; MATH 1800/123; MATH 1200/162.

(3) Diversity *** : Diversity Requirement 3credit hours – choose from the list below:

AFAM 1020/102; AF L 1100/110; ANTH 101/1010; ANTH 2160/205; CJ 2245/245; CMAT 2140/2140; ENG 2210, 2410; SOC 1250/125; SOC 1200/255; SOC 2230/270; GEOG 1000/101; GEOG 1100/110; HIST 2200/220; HIST 2840/284; HIST 2850/285; ANTH 2010/203; MUS 2285/285; MUS 2286; MUS 2287; ART 2150/200; PHIL 2730/207, 2710/205; ART 2110/201; ART 2150/200; ART 2122; WS 200/2000; REC 2050.

((3) Fine Arts : Fine Arts Courses 3 credit hours— choose from the list below


ART 1100/101; 2105/202; 2120/235; 2140/213; 2150/200; 2110/201; 2130/269; 2101/296; 2102/297


ENG 1260/126; 2160/216; 2330/233; 2340/234; 2410/241; 2440/244; 2910/291; 2940/294


CMAT 1750/175; 2040/204; 2140/214; 2310/231


MUS 1134/134; 2215/215; 2216/216; 2217/217; 2285/285. 

** Lists are subject to change due to the addition of interdisciplinary courses approved by the College of Arts and Sciences.

*** Lists of Critical Thinking and Diversity Courses are subject to change due to further course approvals by the University General Education Committee.

Graduation Requirements:

  1. Pass State and Federal constitution exam.
  2. Completion of two Writing Emphasis courses within the major.
  3. Successful completion of the appropriate English and reading qualifying exams.

Note: students who transfer to Chicago State University with an associate of arts or associate of science degree are not required to take and pass the Math, Reading or English proficiency examinations in order to graduate.

Upon completion of the General Education program students will be able to:

  1. use the standard dialect of American English in speaking, reading and writing;
  2. find information, evaluate it critically in terms of reliability, and use it appropriately in their own thinking and writing;
  3. articulate how artistic expression and the creative processes are developed in the literary, visual, and performing arts, including those of non-Western cultures;
  4. express the relationships among the arts, culture and cultural values;
  5. apply the basic methods, questions, and vocabularies of the humanities, mathematics, the natural sciences and the social sciences;
  6. demonstrate proficiency in the language of mathematics as a means of modeling and communicating ideas and information in verbal, analytical, numerical and graphical forms;
  7. recognize the role of creativity in problem-solving, addressing issues and concerns, and generating new knowledge;
  8. demonstrate an understanding of the interaction among human beings, human cultures, and the natural environments within which they live;
  9. apply the basics of the scientific method, including the formulation and testing of hypotheses using empirical observations and data collection;
  10. demonstrate how scientific inquiry has affected human understanding of the natural world in which they live;
  11. apply analytical skills including mathematical reasoning, to the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities;
  12. use computer software and applications;
  13. recognize the inherent implications of the use of technology on the natural environment and human societies;
  14. articulate the role of education in the functioning of a society;
  15. demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language;
  16. articulate the inter-relatedness of culture, race, class gender, and human identity and personality;
  17. demonstrate a knowledge of philosophical, religious, ethical, political and scientific ideas of diverse cultures.

Additional Requirements

All students, regardless of college and program in which they are enrolled, must complete the following university requirements for graduation:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours of college level credits.
  2. Formal admission into the university.
  3. Formal admission into the college and department of their choice.
  4. Completion of all curriculum requirements as specified in the required program.
  5. Completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours of college-level credit.
  6. Completion of 54 hours from a four-year accredited college or university.
  7. Completion of the last 30 semester hours at Chicago State University including six hours in the major field of study. Credit earned through proficiency examinations with the exception of university proficiency examinations, and/or military training may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
  8. Minimum overall cumulative Chicago State University grade point average of C (2.00) at the time of graduation.
  9. Successful completion of the examination on the state and federal constitutions.
  10. Education majors must complete certification requirements for the State of Illinois.
  11. All students must successfully complete the university general education requirements.
  12. Successful completion of the English, and reading qualifying examinations or documentation of having passed the Illinois Certification Test of Basic Skills (ICTBS). (Note: The successful completion of the qualifying examinations is not a university graduation requirement for students seeking a second baccalaureate degree or for students who come to Chicago State University with a completed Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree.)
  13. Effective fall 2010, all undergraduate students who enroll fall 2010 or thereafter and who graduate in spring 2015 or thereafter will be required to complete a senior thesis (project/research paper) as defined by the student's program of study to satisfy one of the culminating university requirements for graduation.

College of Arts and Sciences Constitution Requirement: Constitution Examination

College of Arts and Sciences requires all prospective graduates to pass a written examination on the state and federal constitutions. Students may transfer the results of the examination on the state and federal constitutions if they satisfy the following:

  1. The examination was taken at an accredited Illinois college or university.
  2. The date and passing of the examination is indicated on an official transcript issued by the institution.
  3. The examination was taken at the college level. Students enrolled at Chicago State University may satisfy the constitution requirement by successfully completing Political Science 1010/101, History 1300/130 or History 1310/131. Credit will not be given for the constitution examination if History 1300/130 and 1310/131 were taken prior to January 1, 1975. Students who do not satisfy the constitution requirement by the prescribed methods mentioned above are required to take a written examination on the state and federal constitutions administered by the Office of Examinations.

Graduation Application Procedure

The commencement exercise takes place once a year, following the spring semester. The awarding of degrees also occurs at the end of the fall and summer terms even though there are no commencement exercises. The student must file an application for graduation in the Office of Academic Evaluation and Advisement in accordance with the following schedule:

Undergraduate students who plan to complete degree requirements must apply no later than:  

Application Date

Graduation Date

February 11, 2011

May 2011

June 24, 2011

Aug. 2011*

September 29, 2011

Dec. 2011

* There is no commencement ceremony for those graduating in August. These students may participate in the December Commencement Ceremony.

The responsibility for meeting the deadline for making application for graduation rests with the student. Failure to do so will result in a deferment of the student’s graduation.

Graduation Fee

All undergraduate students are required to pay a $25.00 graduation fee to cover the cost of graduation and the degree. This fee does not cover the cost of the cap, gown, or announcements.

Students who do not graduate in the term for which they have applied who have paid their graduation fee do not have to pay the fee again. However, they must file another application for graduation. Students who graduate in absentia should arrange with the Office of Academic Evaluation and Advisement to have their diplomas mailed to them. Because graduation fees cover

only a small part of commencement expenses, students who graduate in absentia are not excused from paying the graduation fee.

Student Responsibility

Each student is held responsible for keeping an accurate record of his/her progress toward graduation. Students are required to meet with their departmental advisor at least once a term prior to registration. A student is responsible for meeting the degree requirements in effect at the time of his/her initial registration at Chicago State University. Should these requirements subsequently be changed by the university, students are assured that necessary adjustments will be made and, if they maintain passing grades, no additional time will be required of them because of these changes.

Where programs include requirements established by agencies external to the university, every effort will be made to follow this same principle so far as possible. However, students following a program leading to teacher certification are responsible for meeting the program requirements in effect at the time they officially register in that teacher education program, regardless of when they entered the university.

Should subsequent changes in curricular requirements work to the students’ advantage, they may request to graduate under the new requirements rather than those contained herein. If students interrupt their residence at the university for two calendar years or more, they will be subject to the curricular requirements in effect at the time of their reentry. If a student does not complete all university, departmental and major requirements by the day on which the term officially ends, his/her graduation will be deferred until the next semester or term. The student is required to file another application for graduation. If a student completes the degree requirements during a semester or term, it is possible to have the actual date of completion recorded on the academic records. However, the diplomas will reflect the term the degree is to be conferred.