General Education (GE) and Baccalaureate Degree (BD) requirements make up the University of Utah’s curriculum that reaches all undergraduate students, regardless of major. GE is mandated by Utah’s State Code R470 while the BD requirements reflect unique priorities at the U. Both work in concert to support students’ success to completion and long after graduation.
While the GE/BD curriculum accounts for half of the student credit hours taken annually at the U, it has not been holistically reviewed since at least 1998. The General Education Curriculum Committee (GECC), a representative group of faculty, took on this much-needed work in spring 2022. Robyn Moreno, assistant dean of undergraduate studies and GECC chair, shared that “The recommendations from the GECC include a new requirement structure that is better for students. It’s easy to navigate, creates clear curricular pathways into and through the U and supports transfer students.” Beyond the classroom, the new structure supports career-ready graduates. A strong general education is essential for developing the global perspectives, critical thinking, and communication skills valued in tomorrow’s world of work.
GECC recommendations garnered support from academic deans, student groups like the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU), as well as the Utah System for Higher Education (USHE) and the Utah Board of Higher Education (UBHE). Approved by the Board of Trustees in 2023, the changes go into effect in the Fall 2024 Semester.
General Education Reimagined resulted in a total reduction of GE/BD credits that will save many students up to a full semester of tuition and fees. Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, T. Chase Hagood confirmed that “these changes reflect the U’s commitment to persistence and timely completion for all students. Colleges and schools have an exciting opportunity to create innovative courses and to think strategically about how students move through their majors. With new flexibility in requirements, students will have space to pursue double majors, minors, and certificates that will set them up for future success here and beyond the U.”
Wondering how this impacts incoming or currently enrolled students? The incoming fall 2024 class will receive information about the new requirements at orientations this summer. Students who enrolled before the Fall 2024 Semester and who are interested in taking advantage of the new requirement structure should reach out to their academic advisor and visit generaleducation.utah.edu for more information.