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General Education

General Education

The General Education Program at ESU provides a coherent, well-rounded curriculum, consisting of a body of knowledge and skills designed to prepare a person to function successfully and effectively in a global society and workplace. This Program is at the core of the college experience at ESU and complements a student’s major program of study. 

Students studying in front of Schallenkamp Residence Hall

The General Education mission is to enhance major programs of study through broadly shared educational experiences and academic preparation to become knowledgeable, civic-minded, culturally competent, lifelong learners, and adaptive leaders in a diverse global society.


Emporia State University aspires to be a premier comprehensive university focused on academic excellence, student success, leadership, and community and global engagement. The general education core curriculum design is for students to develop and achieve these goals by providing a liberal arts education. One important component of this curriculum is the completion of all designated general education requirements. This general education core curriculum is the heart of the college experience at ESU and is integral to the students' major program. The goals of this general education program reflect the mission of this institution and are common to all student programs, regardless of majors and career goals. The general education curriculum provides the intellectual background and skills necessary to be "an educated person," as it improves and enhances quality of life.

As a result of completing the general education program, graduates of Emporia State University will be knowledgeable of our pluralistic society and be able to think with breadth and comprehension, to communicate effectively, to understand what it means to be human, and to function with skill and knowledge in the everyday world.


Core Skills

Demonstrate effective skills in written communication, speaking/presentational communication, quantitative/mathematical/analytical reasoning, information technology, and information literacy.

Breadth of Knowledge

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the ideas, concepts, principles, and skills from a wide range of academic disciplines that can be used to inform civic, social, cultural, political, educational, scientific, health, and business decisions.

Cultural Awareness and Cultural Competence

Demonstrate the cultural awareness knowledge and cultural competency skills necessary to harmoniously live and successfully work as members of a diverse, global community.

Creative Thinking

Demonstrate the knowledge and abilities to combine or synthesize new or existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and the application of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way characterized by a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking.

Critical Thinking

Demonstrate the ability to define an issue, idea, or problem, gather relevant data, critically evaluate its context, conduct appropriate analyses, and use this information to develop well-reasoned arguments and make well-informed decisions.

Integrative Learning

Demonstrate understanding and apply skills learned across the curriculum and co-curriculum in making connections among ideas and experiences from different disciplines, to synthesize concepts, and transfer learning to complex situations and problems.


The overall general education program is the responsibility of the designated Director of General Education. ESU's Council on General Education, which is composed of faculty, students and administrators, assists the director and has responsibility for approving, monitoring, and reviewing all policies, procedures, and curricula pertaining to general education.