Jul 14, 2024  
2013-2014 General Catalog 
2013-2014 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The General Education Component of Undergraduate Education

The general education of LSU students spans the four years of undergraduate study. In courses designated as general education, students begin a process of developing the University Learning Competencies that continue through their study in upper-level elective courses and courses in the major field of study.

Recognizing that the fundamental characteristics for effective participation in the marketplace and the community necessarily involve multidisciplinary study, each student designs a unique curriculum based on a major field of study and including 39 hours of general education courses across six areas of focus: English Composition, Analytical Reasoning, Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. In general education courses, students begin the development of the LSU Learning Outcomes, which are refined and focused in disciplinary courses taken during the junior and senior years, with the intention that all graduates, regardless of major, will develop a set of intellectual abilities, a degree of sophistication, and a civic-minded perspective that correspond to the high level of functionality represented in the outcomes taken as a whole.

University Learning Competencies

  1. An LSU graduate will demonstrate effective communication of complex knowledge and ideas through written, oral, visual, and technological media.
  2. An LSU graduate will demonstrate an understanding of historical, cultural, and philosophical complexity which supports sophisticated discourse.
  3. An LSU graduate will be able to conduct research-based inquiry, including articulation of complex disciplinary and interdisciplinary problems, effective evaluation and analysis of primary and secondary sources, and integration of relevant information into original discourse.
  4. An LSU graduate will be able to employ scientific and mathematical methods and technology in the resolution of laboratory and real-world problems.
  5. An LSU graduate will demonstrate an understanding of the factors associated with global interdependence, including economic, political, psychological, cultural, and linguistic forces.
  6. An LSU graduate will have the knowledge, skills, and disposition which attest to a commitment and ability to recognize and to participate in processes which improve the civic life of communities.

Area Breakdown of the 39 Credit Hours of General Education Coursework:

  • English composition (six hours)
  • Analytical reasoning (six hours)
  • Arts (three hours)
  • Humanities (nine hours)
  • Natural sciences (nine hours)
  • Social sciences (six hours)


  • Students must complete the 39-hour general education requirement prior to graduating from LSU. It is recommended that students complete the requirement during their first four semesters at the university.
  • Only those courses on the approved list below may be used to satisfy the general education requirement.
  • No more than six hours of credit taken through distance learning courses may be applied to a student’s general education requirement.
  • An entering student may receive three or six hours of credit in English composition on the basis of ACT scores and/or performance on approved placement tests.
  • An entering student may receive credit for one or more of the required mathematics courses on the basis of placement test scores.
  • Advanced placement and advanced standing credit may be used to satisfy the general education requirement.
  • General education courses will be graded on the “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “F” system. No courses taken on a pass/fail basis will count toward the general education requirement.
  • Appeals for an exception to the general education requirements: A “Request for an Exception to the General Education Requirement” must be submitted to the dean of the student’s college using the appropriate form. Scheduling difficulties or allegations of poor advising typically do not constitute a reasonable basis for an appeal. The dean’s evaluation as well as the student’s request must then be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs. A final decision will be made after consideration by the Faculty Senate Committee on General Education. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain a decision prior to registering for a LSU course intended to substitute for an approved general education course.

Transfer Course Approval

Deans are to determine the applicability of transfer courses to a component of LSU’s general education requirements.

If the course is deemed to be applicable, and there is no equivalent LSU course, deans are asked to enter a course substitution on the Student Records and Registration database, indicating that the course is accepted for general education credit. Documentation concerning this decision should be kept on file in the college.

If it is determined that a course is equivalent to an LSU course, colleges should notify the Office of Enrollment Management so the Admissions Transfer Table can be updated.

If the college does not approve a transfer course for general education credit, the student may petition the Office of Academic Affairs for a decision.

Regents’ Statewide Articulation

LSU participates in the Board of Regents’ Statewide Articulation Consortium. Students who plan to transfer to another Louisiana public institution should consult the Office of Enrollment Management for information about the course transfer agreement.

General Education Courses

In the list of courses in the “Courses of Instruction ” section of this catalog, general education courses are designated within the course description.

In the list below, cross-listed courses are identified by information enclosed in parentheses.