University General Education Program

Room 800, Wilder Tower

The University General Education Program promotes a shared core learning experience for all undergraduate students at the University of Memphis and provides a framework upon which the college major can build. The major purpose of the Program is to provide students the opportunity to acquire tools, develop skills and awareness necessary for completing a college career and assuming the roles of a lifelong learner and an active, informed participant in contemporary society.

The University of Memphis General Education Program consists of 41 hours of coursework from a variety of disciplines. Students should consult their advisors on specific General Education Program courses that may be required for the major. The following are the General Education Program categories and their approved courses. Former course numbers appear in parentheses.

A. Communication (9 hours)

ENGL 1010 (1101) English Composition - Expository writing, emphasizing content, organization, and style.
ENGL 1020 (1102) English Composition and Analysis - Expository writing emphasizing synthesis, including library work and documented papers.

[All candidates for graduation at the University of Memphis are required to complete English 1010 and 1020, or their equivalents, with a grade of "C" or better. Before enrolling in English 1010, a student must have either (1) an ACT English score of 18 or above, or (2) an SAT verbal score of 450 or above, or (3) a satisfactory completion of a placement test administered by the University of Memphis Testing Center. Those who do not meet the requirements above, must successfully complete DSPW 0800 with a grade of "C" or better before proceeding to English 1010. English 1010 and 1020 must be taken in sequence; no credit will be allowed for English 1020 until 1010 has been completed successfully.]

COMM 2381 Oral Communication - Basic oral communication, includes speaking, critical listening, and decision-making.

B. Mathematics (3 hours)

MATH 1420 (1182) Foundations of Mathematics (3) - Algebra review and applications.
MATH 1530 (1601) Introduction to Statistical Reasoning and Application (3)
MATH 1710 (1211) College Algebra (3) - Analysis of functions, partial fractions, equations, and applications.
MATH 1730 (1213) Pre-Calculus (4) - Exponents, radicals, quatradatic functions, laws of sines and cosines.
MATH 1830 (1312) Elementary Calculus (3) - An introductory course to calculus.
MATH 1910 (1321) Calculus I (4) - Calculus for the following majors: math, computer science, science, and engineering.

C. Humanities / Fine Arts (9 hours)

ENGL 2201 Literary Heritage - Major literary texts exemplifying narrative, lyric and dramatic modes of discourse.
ENGL 2202 Literary Heritage: African-American Emphasis

Plus two of the following courses

ART 1030 (1101) Introduction to Art - Fundamental principles of visual artistic expression as the basis for understanding Western and non-Western traditions.
ARTH 2010 (2101) World Art I - Development of visual arts from prehistoric times through medieval period.
ARTH 2020 (2102) World Art II - Continues World Art I; development of visual arts from medieval period through Renaissance to present.
CLAS 2481 Mythology - Thematic study of ancient myths.
COMM 1851 Introduction to Film - Film as a cultural, artistic, and social phenomenon.
DANC 1151 Introduction to Dance - Dance as an expressive art form, a symbolic language, and an integral aspect of world cultures.
JDST 2850 Religions of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam - Religious traditions arising from ancient Near East.

MUS 1030
(MUHL 1101)

Music Appreciation - Music of various Western and non-Western cultures.
MUS 1040 Music in America - Music history, sources and current styles of American music.
PHIL 1101 Fundamental Issues in Philosophy - Critical exploration of such issues as knowledge, reality, and the good life.
PHIL 1102 Values and the Modern World - Introduction to social and ethical issues: good and evil, science, religion, sex, race.
POLS 1101 Introduction to Ancient Political Thought - Fundamental questions of ancient political thought.
POLS 1102 Introduction to Modern Political Thought - Fundamental questions of modern political thought.
RLGN 1100 Introduction to Religion -  The world's major spiritual traditions from ancient times to the present
THEA 1030 (1551) Introduction to Theatre - Experiential, conceptual, historical, and cultural study of theatre.
UNIV 3580 Hebrew and Greek Legacy - Interdisciplinary examination of major traditions of ancient Hebraic and Greek cultures.
UNIV 3581 Faith, Reason and Imagination - Interdisciplinary examination of the religious, rationalist, and aesthetic viewpoints as distinctive ways of understanding.

D. History (6 hours)*

ANTH 3282 Cultural History of American Communities
HIST 1110 (1301) Development of World Civilization I - Traces civilization from ancient times to circa 1500.
HIST 1120 (1302) Development of World Civilization II - Forms of civilization from 1500 to the present.
HIST 2010 (2601) The United States to 1877- United States from discovery to end of political reconstruction.
HIST 2020 (2602) United States Since 1877
HIST 2030 History of Tennessee
HIST 3863 Social and Intellectual History of the United States
HIST 3881 African-American History
HIST 4851 History of Women in America
POLS 4212 Constitutional Law: The Origins and Evolution of Civil Liberties in the United States
POLS 4405 Origin and Development of American Political Thought
SOCI 3422 Racial and Ethnic Minorities

*Students who have not completed one year of American History in high school must complete 6 credit hours of American History or 3 credit hours of American History plus 3 credit hours of Tennessee History in order to satisfy the History General Education requirement.

E. Social / Behavioral Sciences (6 hours)

ANTH 1100 Biological Anthropology and Prehistory- Origins of humans and human society, behavior, and culture.
ANTH 1200 Cultural Anthropology - Origins and development of human culture throughout the world.
CSED 2101 The Family in Global Perspective - Interdisciplinary overview of the family as a primary, global, social institution.
ECON 2010 (2110) Macroeconomics - Nature and functions of the national economy in a global context.
ECON 2020 (2120) Microeconomics - Operations of the market economy at the individual and firm level.
ESCI 1301
(GEOG 1301)
Survey of World Regions - Survey of economic, cultural, and physical traits characteristic of developing and industrialized nations.
ESCI 1401
(GEOG 1401)
Introduction to Cultural Geography - Geographical aspects of human behavior.
FIR 1220 Personal Financial Management in Society - Financial literacy.
JOUR 1700 Survey of Mass Communication - History and cultural roles of major forms of mass communication.
POLS 1030 (1100) American Government - Development, structures, and processes of the American system of government.
POLS 1301 Intro to Comparative Politics - Comparisons of political issues and systems in a variety of European, Asian, and African countries.
POLS 1501 International Relations - Conflict, competition, and cooperation among global factors in the world arena.
PSYC 1030 (1200) General Psychology - Introduction to social aspects of psychology as a science of behavior.
PSYC 3510 Deviance: Its Role in History and Culture - Defamation and glorification of concepts of deviance across cultures.
SOCI 1010 (1111) Introduction to Sociology - Concepts and methods of sociology, social structure, and social institutions.
SOCI 2100 Sociology of International Development - Social change in an increasingly interdependent world.
WMST 2100 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies - Exploration of racially diverse women's experience, focus on contemporary gender issues; overview of different disciplinary and theoretical approaches.

F. Natural Science: (8 hours)

BIOL 1010/1011 (1071/1072) Introduction to Biology I/Lab - General overview of cellular structure and function, genes and biodiversity.
BIOL 1020/1021 (1081/1082) Introduction to Biology II/Lab - A study of the biosphere and the structure and functions of its plants and animals.
BIOL 1110/1111 (1151/1152) General Biology I/Lab - Unifying principles of biology: cell structure, cell function, heredity, origin and development of life.
BIOL 1120/1121 (1161/1162) General Biology II/Lab - Continuation of BIOL 1110 with emphasis on origin and diversity of life; structure, functions, and ecology of organisms.
BIOL 2010/2011 Anatomy & Physiology I - Detailed study of structure and functions of human organism- skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems
BIOL 2020/2021 Anatomy & Physiology II - Continuation of BIOL 2010; circulatory, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems
CHEM 1010/1011 (1101) Chemistry of Materials/Lab - Fundamental laws of chemistry and their impact on modern society.
CHEM 1020/1021 (1102) Chemistry of Life/Lab - Basics of organic and biological chemistry.
CHEM 1110/1111 (1131/1121) General Chemistry I/General Chemistry I Lab - Laws of chemistry.
CHEM 1120/1121 (1132/1122) General Chemistry II/General Chemistry II Lab - Continuation of CHEM 1110.
ESCI 1010
(ESCI 1011; GEOG 1001/1011, 1010/1011)
Weather and Climate - Atmospheric processes and geographic distribution of radiation, moisture, pressure, and circulation interacting to create weather systems and storms.
ESCI 1020
(ESCI 1021; GEOG 1002/1022, 1020/1021)
Landforms - Agents and processes of landform development and geographic relationships of landscapes. 
ESCI 1040 (GEOL 1101, 1040) Physical Geology - Introduction to minerals and rocks and the Earth's internal forces that cause mountain-building, volcano eruptions, and earthquakes.
ESCI 1103 (GEOL 1103) Humans and the Environmental Earth Sciences – Archaeological and geological study of human and environmental interactions.
ESCI 1050 (GEOL 1102, 1050) Historical Geology - Overview of the history of earth and its life.
PHYS 1010/1001 Introduction to Physics/Lab - Physics for non-technical students; natural laws of motion, heat, sound, light.
PHYS 1020/1002 Survey of Astronomy/Lab - Astronomy for non-technical students; earth, moon, stars, planets.
PHYS 2110/2111 (2510/2003) Physics I for Science and Engineering - Calculus/ Physics I Lab
PHYS 2120/2121 (2520/2004) Physics II for Science and Engineering - Calculus/ Physics II Lab


To receive a bachelor's degree from any of the colleges in the University, students must have a U of M grade point average (Institution GPA) of at least 2.00 and an inclusive grade point average (U of M GPA plus college level transfer work) of at least 2.00.  

*Until Summer 2015, the overall GPA will reflect all college-level coursework—U of M and transfer.  Beginning Summer 2015, the overall GPA will reflect all college-level work—U of M and any transfer coursework processed prior to Summer 2015; however, the overall GPA will reflect ONLY U OF M coursework for those students whose transfer credit is processed Summer 2015 and later. 

NOTE:  Beginning Summer 2015, a Tennessee Board of Regents’ state-wide policy on transfer credit and GPA calculations takes effect.  Beginning Summer 2015, transfer credit will be reflected in earned hours, but will no longer apply to the overall GPA (used to determine undergraduate graduation, graduation with distinction, and athletic eligibility) or to the overall combined GPA (used to determine academic standing, financial aid, and scholarship eligibility, except for HOPE):

  1. For New Transfer students admitted Summer 2015 and later, no transfer credit will count in the overall or the overall combined GPA.
  2. For Readmitted students readmitted Summer 2015 and later, no transfer credit taken since last attending the U of M will count in the overall or the overall combined GPA.  Any transfer work previously processed will continue to be reflected in the GPAs.
  3. For Continuing students, no transfer credit submitted to and received by the U of M Summer 2015 or later will count in the overall or the overall combined GPA.  Any transfer work previously processed will continue to be reflected in the GPAs.


Any or all students may be required to take one or more tests designed to measure general education achievement and achievement in their major as a prerequisite to graduation, for the purpose of evaluation of academic programs. Unless otherwise provided for in any individual program, no minimum score or level of achievement is required for graduation. Participation in testing may be required for all students, for students in selected programs, and for students selected on a sample basis. Details concerning these regulations and the dates of the examinations will appear in the online class listings each semester.


All students are required to apply to graduate during the semester preceding the semester of graduation. The deadlines for the application to graduate are included on the Registrar's website. It is the responsibility of the student to insure that this deadline is met.