All Cal State East Bay undergraduate students participate in the GE Program, along with their major program, to develop and bolster a breadth of their knowledge and skills. Cal State East Bay has a vibrant and meaningful GE Program that includes both state-mandated and CSUEB-specific (“local”) requirements.
Effective from Fall 2018, CSU policy (Executive Order 1100) mandates that all baccalaureate students must complete a minimum of 48 semester units of GE distributed over five areas. Transfer students who have earned lower division GE credit from a California community college, another CSU, or the University of California prior to attending Cal State East Bay will have those lower division credits honored. However, transfer students still must complete 9 semester units of upper division GE at a CSU.
GE and major pathways should be planned carefully. Important semester GE policies and requirements as well as other graduation requirements under semesters (effective from Fall 2018) are described below. First-time freshmen or transfer students entering into CSUEB from Fall 2018 should fulfill these requirements according to this "semester pattern." Continuing students who entered CSUEB before Fall 2018 can decide whether they want to fulfill GE requirements under the "quarter pattern" or the "semester pattern."
Download a GE and Graduation Requirement Checklist.
The GE Program requires a minimum of 48 semester units of GE, including a minimum of 9 semester units of upper-division GE, distributed over five areas (GE Areas A-E), as specified in the GE Area descriptions below. Transfer students must earn a minimum of 39 semester units in lower-division GE courses that meet the requirements of the CSU or IGETC transfer plan and complete a minimum of 9 semester units of upper-division GE at a CSU.
At least 9 of the 48 semester units of GE must be from approved upper-division GE courses taken within the CSU. At CSUEB, upper-division courses are numbered 300 and above. Upper-division GE should not be taken until earning a minimum of 60 semester units in all baccalaureate-level coursework. Lower-division GE courses in Areas A1, A2, A3, and B4 must be passed with grades of C- (CR) or better before enrolling in any upper-division GE course.
At least 9 semester units must be from upper-division GE courses completed at CSUEB (or another CSU campus).
Grades of C- (CR) or better are required in Communication in Oral Communication (GE Area A1), Written Communication (A2), Critical Thinking (A3), and Quantitative Reasoning (B4). In all other GE areas, grades of D (or CR) or better are required.
Major courses and campus-wide required courses that are approved for GE credit will also fulfill (double count for) the GE requirement.
For Areas A, B, C, and D, no one course or test can be used to clear more than one GE Area requirement. American Institutions (U.S. Code) courses may be double-counted to meet GE requirements, provided the Code courses are certified for GE. Transfer students from institutions that allow U.S. Code courses to double-count with GE will have those agreements honored. Students who take a course that is approved for both GE and Overlay may count that course for both requirements. Students who take a course that is approved for Second Composition and one of GE Areas A3, B, C, or D may count that course for both requirements.
Students should complete this area of the GE requirements (along with GE Subarea B4) during their freshman year. Students must one course (minimum 3 semester units) from each GE Subarea: A1, A2, and A3.
Students taking courses in fulfillment of GE Subareas A1 and A2 will develop knowledge and understanding of the form, content, context, and effectiveness of communication. Students will develop proficiency in oral and written communication in English, examining communication from the rhetorical perspective and practicing reasoning and advocacy, organization, and accuracy. Students will enhance their skills in the discovery, critical evaluation, and reporting of information, as well as reading, writing, and listening effectively.
Subarea A1 courses emphasize communication theory and provide several speaking and listening experiences in multiple modes, e.g., small-group discussion, interpersonal communication, and persuasive discourse presented extemporaneously. Upon completion of the A1 requirement, students will be able to:
The A1 course must be passed with a C- (CR) or better to satisfy GE Subarea A1. Any approved A1 course with an In Progress Grade (i.e., I, RP, or RD) will not be counted in Subarea A1 until a passing final course grade is posted. As appropriate, American Sign Language may be substituted for oral communication.
Courses approved for Subarea A1 are listed here: GE Area A1 Courses
Subarea A2 courses emphasize the rhetorical principles that govern reading and writing. These principles are fundamental to logical thinking and clear expression. For reading, they presume open-mindedness combined with critical thinking and analytical skills. For writing, they presume an awareness of audience, context, and purpose. Upon completion of the A2 requirement, students will be able to:
The A2 course must be passed with a C- (CR) or better to satisfy GE Subarea A2. Any approved A2 course with an In Progress Grade (i.e., I, RP, or RD) will not be counted in Subarea A2 until a passing final course grade is posted.
Courses approved for Subarea A2 are listed here: GE Area A2 Courses
In Subarea A3 courses emphasize the development of clarity and rigor in reasoning and its presentation, and the ability to understand, represent, and evaluate the presentations of reasoning made by others. Upon completion of the A3 requirement, students will be able to:
The A3 course must be passed with a C- (CR) or better satisfy GE Subarea A3. Any approved A3 course with an In Progress Grade (i.e., I, RP, or RD) will not be counted in Subarea A3 until a passing final course grade is posted.
Courses approved for Subarea A3 are listed here: GE Area A3 Courses
Lower-division Area B courses emphasize the key principles and concepts in the natural sciences and mathematics or statistics and the important roles that scientific practice and inquiry play in advancing scientific knowledge and discovery.
Students must choose one course from each lower-division GE Subarea B: B1, B2, and B4. At least one of these courses must have a laboratory component, prerequisite, or co-requisite to satisfy GE Subarea B3.
Upon completion of the B1 requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Subarea B1 are listed here: GE Area B1 Courses
Upon completion of the B2 requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Subarea B2 are listed here: GE Area B2 Courses
Subarea B3 courses emphasize active engagement, collaboration, and hands-on experiences that facilitate understanding of science concepts and the development of sound science practices and habits of mind. Upon completion of the B3 requirement, students will be able to:
Laboratory activities that are not a component of a B1 or B2 course must be a prerequisite or co-requisite of a B1 or B2 course in the same discipline.
Courses approved for Subarea B3 are listed here: GE Area B3 Courses
Area B4 courses provide practice in computational skills as well as engagement in more complex mathematical work. Upon completion of the B4 requirement, students will be able to:
The B4 course must be passed with a C- (CR) or better satisfy GE Subarea B4. Any approved B4 course with an In Progress Grade (i.e., I, RP, or RD) will not be counted in Subarea B4 until a passing final course grade is posted. Students will complete this area of the GE requirement (along with GE Subareas A1 - 3) during their freshman year.
Courses approved for Subarea B4 are listed here: GE Area B4 Courses
Across the disciplines in Area C coursework, students will cultivate intellect, imagination, sensibility and sensitivity. Students will respond subjectively as well as objectively to aesthetic experiences and will develop an understanding of the integrity of both emotional and intellectual responses. Students will cultivate and refine their affective, cognitive, and physical faculties through studying works of the human imagination. In their intellectual and subjective considerations, students will develop a better understanding of the interrelationship between the self and the creative arts and of the humanities in a variety of cultures.
Students must choose three courses (minimum 9 units) from GE Subareas C1 (Arts) and C2 (Humanities). Area C must be completed with courses from at least three different disciplines (including upper-division GE Subarea C4) as represented by course prefix, e.g., ART, ENGEL, MLL, MUS, PHIL.
Subarea C1 courses integrate the evaluative and descriptive aspects of the history, theory, aesthetics, and criticism of different works, forms, styles, and schools of art. Upon completion of the C1 requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Subarea C1 are listed here: GE Area C1 Courses
Subarea C2 courses emphasize the ideas and theories behind the intellectual and cultural traditions of humans using historical, linguistic, literary, philosophical, and rhetorical approaches and methods. Upon completion of the C2 requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Subarea C2 are listed here: GE Area C2 Courses
Students learn from courses in multiple Area D disciplines that human social, political and economic institutions and behavior are inextricably interwoven. Through fulfillment of the Area D requirement, students will develop an understanding of problems and issues from the respective disciplinary perspectives and will examine issues in their contemporary as well as historical settings and in a variety of cultural contexts. Students will explore the principles, methodologies, value systems and ethics employed in social scientific inquiry.
Students must choose three lower-division courses (minimum 3 units each) approved for GE Subareas D1-3. Area D must be completed with courses from at least three different disciplines (including upper-division GE Subarea D4) as represented by course prefix, e.g., ANTH, HIST, POSC, SOC.
Upon completion of the lower-division Area D requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Subareas D1-3 are listed here: GE Area D1-3 Courses
Transfer students who have not already satisfied Area E prior to transfer must take at least 3 units of Area E approved courses. Area E courses may address topics such as human behavior, sexuality, nutrition, physical and mental health, stress management, physical literacy, information literacy, financial literacy, social relationships, relationships with the environment, implications of death and dying, and avenues for lifelong learning. Note: transfer students may satisfy Area E in an approved upper division course, if the requirement was not satisfied at the previous institution.
For first-time freshmen at CSUEB, Area E requirements will be satisfied via 2 semester units of General Studies courses taken during each term (1 unit per term) of the freshman year and 1 semester unit of information literacy taken during the sophomore year (preferably concurrently with a Second Composition course). General Studies courses focus on self-efficacy, understanding of working styles, engagement in collaborative learning and community, and academic skill development. Information literacy courses focus on the skills needed to find relevant resources; access, evaluate, and organize information; understand the ethical, social, and legal dimensions; and select and use appropriate technology.
Upon the completion of the Area E requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Area E are listed here: GE Area E Courses
Subarea B6 courses integrate and build upon the quantitative analysis/reasoning skills and science content knowledge attained through lower-division Area B. Upon completion of the B6 requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Subarea B6 are listed here: GE Area B6 Courses
Subarea C4 courses integrate and build upon the skills and content knowledge attained through lower-division GE coursework, particularly in Subareas A1, A2, A3, C, and E. Subarea C4 courses require skills in advanced writing, critical thinking, information literacy, oral communication (or sign language), and collaboration with peers. Upon completion of the C4 requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Subarea C4 are listed here: GE Area C4 Courses
Subarea D4 courses integrate and build upon the skills and content knowledge attained through lower-division GE coursework, particularly in Subareas A1, A2, A3, D, and E. Subarea D4 courses require skills in advanced writing, critical thinking, information literacy, oral communication (or sign language), and collaboration with peers. Upon completion of the D4 requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Subarea D4 are listed here: GE Area D4 Courses
Students must complete the Second English Composition requirement by the time they reach "junior" standing. Before taking the Second Composition course, students must pass a course satisfying GE Subarea A2 with a grade of "C-" or above or "CR." Second Composition courses may also be GE certified. Transfer students who did not satisfy this requirement at their previous college must take Second Composition during their first semester at CSUEB. Some California community colleges refer to Second Composition as the "A4" requirement. The student learning outcomes for all Second Composition courses are described below.
Upon successful completion of Second English Composition, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Second Composition are listed here: Second Composition Courses
An “Overlay” is a graduation requirement that is fulfilled by completing an approved course. This requirement “lays over” the GE and major programs, because an Overlay course may be lower division or upper division and may also satisfy a GE or major requirement. Thus, the student should not need to take additional courses to meet the Overlay requirements. Please consult with your academic advisor to plan your coursework for your Overlay requirements.
A minimum of 9 semester units of coursework (3 units for each Overlay) is required in courses that are linked to three of the University’s Institutional Learning Outcomes: Diversity Overlay, Social Justice Overlay, and Sustainability Overlay.
After completion of a course designated as fulfilling the Diversity Overlay requirement, students will be able to:
“Cultural group(s)” refers to historically oppressed groups in the United States, such as African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Latinx, American Indians, Arab Americans, women, and GLBTQ (gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and queer identified people).
Students who satisfied the “Cultural Groups and Women’s Requirement” prior to Fall Semester, 2018 are considered to have satisfied this requirement.
Courses approved for the Diversity Overlay are listed here: Diversity Overlay Courses
After completion of a course designated as fulfilling the Social Justice Overlay requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Social Justice Overlay are listed here: Social Justice Overlay Courses
After completion of a course designated as fulfilling the Sustainability Overlay requirement, students will be able to:
Courses approved for Sustainability Overlay are listed here: Sustainability Overlay Courses
The American Institutions Requirement is a requirement for graduation that is mandated by California Education Code (Title 5, Section 40404). CSU graduates are expected to have knowledge of significant events in U.S. history; the role of major ethnic and social groups in these events; the political, economic, social, and geographic context of these events; the U.S. Constitution, U.S. political institutions and processes; the rights and obligations of U.S. citizens; the California Constitution; federal-state relations; and California state and local government, and political processes.
The American Institutions Requirement is also known as the Code Requirement. You must demonstrate your competence in three Code areas (covering the topics described above):
The main ways to satisfy the requirement include the following:
Be aware that receiving credit for any US Code courses through a national test such as Advanced Placement, CLEP, or at an out-of-state institution will not satisfy US-3 California State and Local Government.
Students who have completed part of the Code requirement at a California Community College should consult an academic advisor to avoid duplicating coursework.
We urge you to consult with your academic advisor to make sure you are taking the correct courses and/or exams to meet all Code requirements.
CSUEB Code courses are listed here: U.S. Code
CSUEB students who plan to satisfy the U.S. Code requirement through courses alone are required to complete two different Code courses, even if one course covers all three Code areas. As a guide, students should take one course from Category A and one course from Cateogry B as shown in the tables below. Each Code course also provides GE or Overlay credit, as indicated.
∗ Because the two Ethnic Studies courses (ES 120 and ES 121) each covers all three Code areas, they are interchangeable in the above lists.
Additional details of these and other graduation requirements are provided in the Requirements, Exams & Testing chapter of the catalog.