General Education Requirements and Learning Outcomes

Beginning in the Fall of 2016, undergraduate students entering the university will follow the General Education requirements listed below. Students following previous catalog years should review their respective catalog for their specific General Education requirements. Archived catalogs can be found at: For information regarding changing your catalog year please refer to Graduation Requirements.

General education consists of 40 credits. Each of the twelve outcomes (A1-D1) must be met by at least 3 credits.  A single course may meet more than one outcome, but cannot be double counted towards the 40 credit total.  At least one course must be a Grand Challenge (G designation). No more than twelve credits used to meet general education may be from the same course code, with the exception of honors HPR courses, which may have more than 12 credits. General education courses may also be used to meet requirements of the major or minor when appropriate.

General Education encompasses the following four key objectives (A-D), met by the following twelve outcomes:

A-Build knowledge of diverse peoples and cultures and of the natural and physical world through the following four outcomes:

A1 – Understand and apply theories and methods of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) disciplines.

A2 – Understand theories and methods of the social and behavioral sciences.

A3 – Understand the context and significance of the humanities using theoretical, historical, and experiential perspectives.

A4– Understand the context and significance of arts and design using aesthetic and technical perspectives on form, creativity, and performance.


B-Develop intellectual and interdisciplinary competencies for academic and lifelong learning through the following four outcomes:

B1 – Write effective and precise texts that fulfill their communicative purposes and address various audiences.

B2- Communicate effectively via understanding audiences, listening, delivering oral presentations, and actively participating in teams or group work.

B3 – Apply the appropriate mathematical, statistical, or computational strategies to problem solving.

B4 Develop information literacy to independently research complex issues.


C-Exercise individual and social responsibilities through the following three outcomes:

C1- Develop and engage in civic knowledge and responsibilities.

C2- Develop and exercise global responsibilities.

C3– Develop and exercise responsibilities relating to diversity and inclusion responsibilities.


D-Integrate and apply these abilities and capacities, adapting them to new settings, questions, and responsibilities to lay the foundation for lifelong learning.

D1 Demonstrate the ability to synthesize multiple knowledge perspectives, competencies and responsibilities


G-Grand Challenge – Exploration of multiple perspectives of areas of contemporary significance, including their ethical implications

G1-  A student must take one (1) course from those courses designated as Grand Challenge courses by the suffix “G” following the course code and number (e.g. COM 100G).

Students in the Honors Program can receive general education credit for honors sections of courses that have been approved for general education credit.

Transfer students can receive general education credit for courses taken at other institutions as long as such credits are in courses equivalent to courses given general education credit at URI.