General Education Requirements

All UVA Wise students take a required broad-based liberal arts core designed to cultivate the qualities that define educated people.

This core curriculum is as essential to the education of students as is the major. The courses required of students in their first two years at the College serve not only to acquaint them with the many different disciplines, but more significantly to introduce students to the accumulated knowledge of the world in which they live.

These courses help provide an understanding of the underpinnings of society, a knowledge of how that society functions, an awareness of culture, ours and others, and insights into the values on which our civilization is built. They impart to students insights into our interconnectedness with the environment, with society, with the world, and with our past and present. They develop and enhance analytical and communication skills. They seek to instill in students an appreciation for the products of mankind’s creativity, aspirations and ingenuity. They aim to inspire in students the desire to learn and to continue learning long after leaving the College. In all of these endeavors, the purpose of the liberal arts core of courses is to prepare students to participate in society as responsible citizens and effective leaders.

Goals for the Liberal Arts Core

The overarching goals for the liberal arts core are the following:

  1. To promote proficiency in all forms of communication: writing, reading, oral communication, and foreign language;
  2. To promote proficiency in quantitative reasoning/mathematics;
  3. To instill an appreciation for the arts and their role in society;
  4. To develop an understanding of the interrelationships of global culture;
  5. To inspire the desire to learn/ to develop intellectual curiosity;
  6. To foster and promote the ability to think critically and the willingness to question;
  7. To provide students with the foundation they need to become leaders; and
  8. To prepare and encourage students to become ethical and responsible participants in society.

All students pursuing a baccalaureate degree will complete 52 – 53 semester hours of general education, a broad distribution of courses selected according to a College-wide formula. Many of the courses that meet the general education requirements are prerequisites for advanced study in the various majors. Students are encouraged to consult the requirements of their prospective majors and select their general education courses carefully.

General Education Formula

  • English Composition (6 semester hours)
  • Literature (3 semester hours)
  • Mathematics (6 semester hours)
  • Physical Education (1 semester hour)
  • Freshman Seminar (1-2 semester hours)
  • Foreign Language (6 semester hours)
  • Western Heritage (6 semester hours)
  • Natural Science (8 semester hours)
  • Arts (3 semester hours)
  • Humanities (3 semester hours)
  • Social Sciences (9 semester hours)
  • Cultural Activities**

Total Semester Hours: 52 – 53

** Student must attend 4 cultural activities freshman year and 4 cultural activities junior year.