General Education Program


The General Education Program (GE) is the core of a University of the Pacific undergraduate education. The GE program cultivates habits of intellectual inquiry grounded in the liberal arts tradition and enriches a specialized field of study with an understanding of its scientific, humanistic, and artistic contexts. General education courses allow undergraduate students to collaborate across diverse intellectual and disciplinary boundaries and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to succeed in a diverse, complex, and constantly changing world.

Student Learning Outcomes

The general education program helps students become:

  • Critical and integrative thinkers: Students should be able to synthesize and transfer learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the Pacific community.
  • Creative problem solvers: Students should demonstrate an understanding of what it takes to move from ambiguous goals with incomplete information to design, evaluate, and implement strategies to achieve their desired goals.
  • Effective communicators: Students should be able to write, speak, and present their ideas and conclusions through a variety of mediums to diverse audiences.
  • Globally aware and ethically engaged citizens: Students should be able to articulate their own cultural understandings and how they differ from others, adapt empathically and ethically to unfamiliar ways of being, and participate in society in ways that are personally enriching and socially beneficial to their communities.


The course of study described below is required for all students completing a bachelor’s degree from the University. Students must complete two CORE seminars and a breadth program consisting of seven categories as well as diversity and inclusion coursework. Students must also satisfy the fundamental skills requirements in writing and quantitative analysis.

The CORE Seminars

The Pacific General Education CORE courses introduce and develop transferable skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and oral and written communication that are crucial for personal, academic, and professional success.

CORE 001: Problem Solving and Oral Communication

(3 seminar units)

CORE 001 introduces students to the demands of interdisciplinary, university-level inquiry. In CORE 001, students begin to acquire the skills necessary to become self-motivated learners who can work independently and collaboratively to solve complex problems. Such grounding will help students develop the agency and flexibility necessary to navigate a rapidly changing political, social, and economic environment.

Topics vary in CORE 001, but all sections introduce students to critical thinking, information literacy, problem solving and oral communication rather than a mandated series of readings or writing assignments. CORE 001 is taught by faculty who are committed to supporting students in their transition to university-level critical inquiry. CORE 001 sections frequently incorporate field trips, guest speakers, collaborative research, multimedia projects and active engagement in class activities.

Students entering Pacific as first-year students must pass CORE 001 and CORE 002. The CORE seminars cannot be repeated if students earn a “D” or higher and the courses must be taken for a letter grade.

CORE 002: Writing and Critical Thinking

(4 seminar units)

Students will develop the writing and critical thinking skills necessary for college-level academic writing and careful reasoning. Individual course sections will be thematic in nature and will vary to allow for focused exploration of complex issues and contexts though the active and engaged close reading of literary and other texts. Students will develop their reading and reasoning skills through seminar-style classroom discussion and receive writing instruction to help them develop prose that is clear, concise, nuanced, and persuasive.

Students entering Pacific as first-year students must pass CORE 001 and CORE 002.  The CORE seminars cannot be repeated if students earn a “D” or higher and the courses must be taken for a letter grade.

Co-requisites: (1) Completion of writing fundamental skills requirement OR concurrent enrollment in WRIT 010 and (2) freshman or sophomore class standing.

CORE Seminar Exemption Policy

All students who enter the University as first-year students must complete CORE 001 and CORE 002. All such students are required to take CORE 001 in their first year and should complete CORE 002 by the end of their first year.

Students who enter Pacific having completed 28 or more units of transferable, classroom college work after receiving their high school diploma are exempt from taking CORE 001 and CORE 002.

Students are not allowed to drop CORE 001 or CORE 002 for any reason, even if they plan to transfer to another college or university.

Students who place into WRIT 010 must take it before, or at the same time as taking CORE 002.

Students must pass CORE 001 and CORE 002 in order to graduate.  The Core Seminars cannot be repeated if students earn a “D” or higher and they must be taken for a letter grade.

CORE and Pacific Seminar Equivalencies

The CORE seminars have replaced the first two Pacific Seminars (PACS) from prior years.  For articulation purposes, CORE 001 can substitute for PACS 002 and vice versa.  Also, CORE 002 can substitute for PACS 001 and vice versa.

PACS 003 Policy for Students Who Entered Pacific AY2020-21 or Earlier

Students who entered Pacific in AY2020-21 or earlier may substitute a second course in either GE-2A (Language and Literature) or GE-2B (Worldviews and Ethics) OR an approved ethics course in lieu of PACS 003. The Director of General Education must approve the substitution of any ethics course not in the general education program.

The Breadth Program (Areas of Inquiry)

(7 Categories, 3-5 Units Each)

The General Education Program beyond the CORE Seminars provides students with considerable choice but within a framework that ensures they gain essential knowledge and skills. With the help of their advisors, students choose Areas of Inquiry courses that interest them or that relate to other courses in their planned course of study.

Students can take a maximum of two courses from a single department (as defined by subject code, e.g., HIST or ENGL or MPER) to satisfy the breadth requirement, with the exception of one-unit or two-unit courses. Students taking a series of one-unit or two-unit courses must take a total of at least three units in the same Area of Inquiry to meet the requirement. Courses in the breadth program component of the general education program normally have a value of three to five units.

Independent study courses cannot be used to satisfy general education requirements. Catalog year determines degree requirements; general education courses and transfer course articulations are subject to change. It is the responsibility of the student to be informed of any general education or transfer course articulation changes.

The Areas of Inquiry are: Artistic Process & Creation, Civic & Global Responsibility, Language & Narratives, Quantitative Reasoning, Scientific Inquiry, Social Inquiry, and World Perspectives & Ethics.

In addition, students will take at least one Diversity & Inclusion course. This course may also count in one of the Areas of Inquiry categories.

  1. Artistic Process & Creation courses give students an understanding of the creative arts through practice, performance, or analysis, providing students with opportunities to develop their own creative voice through creation and/or performance and to communicate ideas and information through art. In this context, the creative arts are defined as including traditional visual arts, digital media, performing arts, and creative writing.
  2. Civic & Global Responsibility courses guide students through analysis of the social and political considerations necessary for making a difference in the civic life of their communities or in the larger global community. Students completing this requirement will demonstrate an understanding of the need and avenues for civic engagement, an ability to engage respectfully with others with diverse perspectives, and an ability to reflect on their own role as a citizen.
  3. Language & Narratives courses help students understand structures of communication through literary or rhetorical analysis and/or language study, which may include digital communication.
  4. Quantitative Reasoning courses enable students to analyze and interpret information using quantitative methods.
  5. Scientific Inquiry courses foster student understanding of the concepts and methodologies of a scientific discipline. Students will gain practice in critical and integrative thinking through prediction and experimentation in a laboratory or field environment.
  6. Social Inquiry courses promote the understanding of social structures and human relationships. Students will be introduced to creative problem solving from available information and will demonstrate an ability to find and evaluate information from a variety of sources.
  7. World Perspectives & Ethics courses guide students to learn about value systems, ways of being, and ways of understanding the world from multiple, international perspectives, and to reflect on their own worldview.

The titles of the courses themselves are listed by category later in this section.

Students can satisfy GE requirements with a 4 or higher for Advanced Placement and a 5 or higher for Higher Level International Baccalaureate exams. A maximum of 28 units total from Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, DANTES and/or CLEP test results may be applied toward a Pacific degree, including General Education breadth areas.

Diversity & Inclusion Requirement

The Diversity & Inclusion course requirement serves as a key curricular component of the University of the Pacific’s commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence. The diversity and inclusion requirement contributes to students’ intercultural competencies and to an understanding of the complex connections among domestic diversity, globalism, and democracy. Diversity & Inclusion courses may appear in any of the above Areas of Inquiry, may meet major or minor requirements, or may stand alone. Diversity & Inclusion courses will help students to articulate, in both written and oral forms, how notions of difference work within frameworks of social hierarchy.  (Difference may be defined by such notions as age, class, citizenship, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, language, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, and/or socioeconomic status.)

The University of the Pacific requires that all students who earn a bachelor’s degree must successfully complete at least 3 units of officially designated diversity and inclusion coursework. While this is usually met by one course, 1-and 2-unit courses may be combined to meet the diversity requirement.

This requirement is applicable to all students who have enrolled at Pacific on or after fall 2010.

Transfer Courses

The University diversity requirement can be met entirely, or in part, by the successful completion of an approved course at Pacific or at an approved college and university. Students who wish to meet this requirement by taking a course at a different college or university must first complete a Transfer Course Approval Request form, available at the Office of the Registrar in Knoles Hall or online at

Students who wish to petition for a transfer course to meet the diversity requirement may contact the Director of General Education.

Fundamental Skills

As part of the General Education Program, all students are required to be competent in two fundamental skills at entrance: writing and quantitative analysis. Students may demonstrate competence in these skills in one of three ways:

  1. Completion of approved, college-level courses at an accredited college or university;
  2. Satisfactory performance on an approved, nationally administered examination; or
  3. Satisfactory performance on examinations administered through Pacific.

Students can meet these fundamental skills by taking course work to improve their skills as follows:

  • Students who do not meet fundamental writing skills though one of the above must pass WRIT 010 with at least a C- to fulfill the writing requirement.
  • To show competency in quantitative analysis (math), students must successfully complete MATH 005 (Intermediate Algebra), MATH 005E (Intermediate College Algebra and Lab), MATH 035 (Statistics) with a grade of C- or better, or complete an equivalent course from another accredited college or university with a grade of C or better during the first full year of study including summer sessions.
  • Successful completion of coursework in quantitative analysis and writing at Pacific requires a grade of C- or better. Coursework taken in quantitative analysis or writing at another college or university requires a grade of C or better and must be approved in advance via a Transfer Course Approval form.
  • Failure to make progress toward fulfilling Pacific’s fundamental skills requirements during the first year of study at Pacific is grounds for being placed on academic probation. Failure to satisfy the fundamental skills requirements (as summarized in the three points above) by the end of four semesters of full-time study at the University is grounds for academic disqualification.
  • Students with documented disabilities that directly affect their mastery of these skills or students concurrently enrolled in an approved English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) Program of instruction in reading and writing may seek a written extension of the deadline for demonstrating competence.
  • The quantitative analysis (math) and writing requirements must be met before a student graduates with a bachelor’s degree or a first professional degree.

Requirements for Transfer Students

CORE Seminar Requirements

Transfer students who have completed 28 or more units of transferable, classroom college work after receiving their high school diploma are exempt from CORE 001 and CORE 002.

Individual schools and colleges may impose general education graduation requirements, including skills requirements, beyond the University’s general education program.

Breadth Program Requirements

Transfer students with documented completion of a general education program from an accredited institution of higher education (e.g., the IGETC or CSU Breadth General Education Certification) prior to enrolling at Pacific satisfy Pacific's General Education Breadth program. Students who have not completed a general education program will have their courses articulated for general education credit on a course-by-course basis.

Transfer students matriculating with a seven-course pattern IGETC will need to complete a maximum of two additional courses (in lieu of CORE 001 and CORE 002) in any Area of Inquiry; and if not covered through an articulated course, one of those additional courses must satisfy the Diversity and Inclusion requirement.

Transfer students who have not completed either the seven-course IGETC or a complete general education program at an accredited institution are required to satisfy all Areas of Inquiry. Transfer students with multiple courses articulated into one Area of Inquiry may substitute one of those courses to satisfy another Area of Inquiry. A maximum of one substitution of this type is allowed and must be approved by the Director of General Education, upon referral from the student’s advisor.

Diversity & Inclusion Requirement

Transfer students are required to meet the Diversity and Inclusion Requirement and may do so using transfer coursework or coursework at Pacific.

Fundamental Skills Requirements

Fundamental skills requirements for transfer students include writing and quantitative analysis (math). Students may demonstrate competence in these skills in one of three ways:

  1. Completion of approved, college-level courses at an accredited college or university;
  2. Satisfactory performance on an approved, nationally administered examination; or
  3. Satisfactory performance on examinations administered through Pacific. Placement tests taken by transfer students at their previous institution do not replace Pacific’s assessments.

Requirements for Readmitted Students

Students who originally enter Pacific as freshmen are required to complete CORE 001 and CORE 002, even if the student chooses to leave Pacific and applies for readmission at a later date. A student is held to the rules based on their original admission regardless of readmission at a later point in time. A freshman who leaves the university and applies for readmission later is not then treated as a transfer student, regardless of how many units the student is able to transfer to Pacific as part of their readmission. Students who withdraw from Pacific and complete a general education program from an accredited institution of higher education (e.g., the IGETC or CSU Breadth General Education Certification) will be exempt from CORE 001 and CORE 002.

Requirements for Post Baccalaureate Students

Students who completed a Bachelor’s degree elsewhere and who are seeking an additional Bachelor’s degree at Pacific do not need to complete CORE 001 or CORE 002 to satisfy the GE and Fundamental Skills requirements.

Students who completed a Bachelor’s degree elsewhere and who are seeking an additional Bachelor’s degree at Pacific are exempt from the Diversity and Inclusion Requirement.

Breadth Course List for General Education

The courses listed below are approved as counting toward the breadth program requirement in each of the seven Areas of Inquiry categories. Students who wish to satisfy any category with a series of one-unit or two-unit courses must complete at least three units in the same Area of Inquiry to satisfy the category requirement (e.g., three, one-unit performance courses can satisfy the Artistic Process and Creation requirement). Although not always listed here, some “special topics’’ courses taught during a particular term may also be approved for general education.

The listing of general education courses being taught during a particular term can be found using the search for class by attribute function in the schedule of classes. 

Some professional schools on campus have more restrictive requirements under which only some of the courses listed in each area count for students pursuing those professional programs.

Catalog year determines degree requirements; however, GE courses and transfer course articulations are subject to change. It is the responsibility of the student to be informed of any GE or transfer course articulation changes.

Artistic Process & Creation
ARTS 003Visual Arts Exploration4
ARTS 005Drawing4
ARTS 007Principles of 2-D Design and Color4
ARTS 009Principles of 3-D Design4
ARTS 011Digital Photography4
ARTS 023Painting I4
ARTS 035Introduction to Ceramics4
ARTS 037Sculpture4
ARTS 075Introduction to Graphic Design4
ASIA 120Asian Cinemas4
EDUC 142Visual Arts in Education3
ENGL 031Aesthetics of Film4
ENGL 107Creative Writing: Nonfiction4
ENGL 112Playwriting3
ENGL 115Screenwriting4
ENGL 121Major Filmmakers4
ENGL 123Film, Literature, and the Arts4
ENGR 040Engineering Design thinking3
FREN 120Le Cinema Francais/French Cinema in English4
HIST 119History Goes to Hollywood4
MCOM 002Music Fundamentals3
MEDX 117Film Production4
MHIS 005Music Appreciation3
MHIS 007Topics in American Popular Music3
MMGT 011Introduction to Music Business3
MPER 066Jazz Ensemble1
MPER 070University Symphony Orchestra1
MPER 072Symphonic Wind Ensemble1
MPER 073Concert Band1
MPER 083University Chorus1
MPER 084Pacific Singers1
MUJZ 008Introduction to Jazz3
SPAN 114Latin American Women's Film4
THEA 011Introduction to the Theatre4
THEA 071Fundamentals of Acting3
Civic & Global Responsibility
BIOL 035Environment: Concepts and Issues4
BUSI 053The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business4
COMM 045Communication & Health3
ECON 051Economic Principles and Problems3
ECON 055Introductory Macroeconomics: Theory and Policy4
Service-Learning and Civic Action Part A
and Service-Learning and Civic Action Part B
ENGL 126Environmental Health and Literature4
GEND 011Introduction to Gender Studies4
GESC 044Introduction to Sustainability4
HHUM 051Introduction to Health & Humanities4
HIST 052John Muir and the Environmental Movement3
HIST 080Digital Narratives4
INTL 077Contemporary World Issues3
POLS 031Introduction to Law and Politics in the American Political System4
POLS 041U.S. Government and Politics4
POLS 051Introduction to International Relations4
Political Science Civic Action Part A
and Political Science Civic Action Part B
POLS 111Introduction to Health Policy4
RELI 134World Religions4
SOCI 041Social Problems4
Sociology Civic Action Part A
and Sociology Civic Action Part B
SOCI 111Environmental Health & Justice4
Language & Narratives
CHIN 011AFirst-Year Chinese, First Semester4
CHIN 011BFirst-Year Chinese, Second Semester4
CLAS 051Classical Mythology4
COMM 027Public Speaking3
ENGL 025English 254
ENGL 041British Literature before 18004
ENGL 043British Literature after 18004
ENGL 053American Literature after 18654
ENGL 082How English Works4
ENGL 128Science and Literature4
ENGL 130Digital Chaucer4
ENGL 131Shakespeare4
ENGL 145Diagnosis4
ENGL 162Asian American Literature4
FREN 011AFirst-Year French, First Semester4
FREN 011BFirst-Year French, Second Semester4
FREN 051French Literature in English4
FREN 112Civilisation Française A4
GERM 011AFirst-Year German, First Semester4
GERM 011BFirst-Year German, Second Semester4
GERM 023Intermediate German, Third Semester4
GERM 025Intermediate German, Fourth Semester4
JAPN 011AFirst-Year Japanese, First Semester4
HIST 023History of the Old Testament4
HIST 025The Earliest Christians4
JAPN 011AFirst-Year Japanese, First Semester4
JAPN 011BFirst-Year Japanese, Second Semester4
JAPN 125Advanced Japanese I4
RELI 023History of the Old Testament4
RELI 025The Earliest Christians4
SLPA 051Introduction to Communication Disorders3
SLPA 053Sign Language I3
SPAN 011AFirst-Year Spanish, First Semester4
SPAN 011BFirst-Year Spanish, Second Semester4
SPAN 103Introducción a la literatura hispánica4
SPAN 116Literature from the Margins3
SPAN 119Spanish for Health Professions3
SPAN 133Don Quijote4
Quantitative Reasoning
COMP 025Computers and Information Processing4
COMP 041Great Ideas in Computing4
COMP 047Discrete Math for Computer Science4
COMP 051Introduction to Computer Science4
COMP 061Introduction to Programming for Data Science4
INTL 101Social Science Research Methods4
MATH 033Elements of Calculus4
MATH 035Elementary Statistical Inference3
MATH 037Introduction to Statistics and Probability4
MATH 041Pre-calculus4
MATH 045Introduction to Finite Mathematics and Calculus3
MATH 051Calculus I4
MATH 053Calculus II4
PHIL 037Symbolic Logic4
POLS 133Political Science Research4
Scientific Inquiry
BIOL 011Human Anatomy and Physiology4
BIOL 041Introduction to Biology4
BIOL 074Biology of Insects4
BIOL 079California Flora4
CHEM 015Chemistry in Society3
CHEM 023Elements of Chemistry4
CHEM 024Fundamentals of Chem4
CHEM 025General Chemistry5
GESC 043Environmental Science for Informed Citizens4
GESC 047Introduction to Oceanography4
GESC 051Dynamic Planet4
GESC 053Earth and Life Through Time4
GESC 057Earth Systems Science4
GESC 061Geology of California4
GESC 065Regional Geology4
HLTH 041Health and Wellness for Life4
HLTH 045Nutrition for Health4
HLTH 155Motor Development and Learning3
PHYS 017Concepts of Physics4
PHYS 023General Physics I5
PHYS 025General Physics II5
PHYS 039Physics of Music3
PHYS 041Astronomy4
PHYS 053Principles of Physics I5
PHYS 055Principles of Physics II5
SLPA 057Hearing Health3
Social Inquiry
COMM 031Media, Culture, & Society3
COMM 043Introduction to Interpersonal Communication3
COMM 143Intercultural Communication4
ECON 053Introductory Microeconomics4
ETHN 011Introduction to Ethnic Studies4
HIST 015Global History of Sport3
HIST 020United States History I4
HIST 021United States History II4
HIST 040Colonialism in Latin America4
HIST 041Modern Latin America4
HIST 063History of Science and Technology4
HIST 064A History of Alcohol and Intoxicants4
HIST 100Renaissance and Reformation4
HIST 111Europe in Turmoil 1900-19454
HIST 120Native American History4
HIST 123Civil War Era4
HIST 132American Immigration4
HIST 133Women in United States History4
HIST 141Imperial China4
HIST 151People's History of Mexico4
HIST 167Gender in the History of Science/Medicine/Technology4
PHIL 015Introduction to Cognitive Science4
PHIL 061Philosophy of Science4
PHIL 079Sensation and Perception4
POLS 011Introduction to Comparative Politics4
PSYC 015Introduction to Cognitive Science4
PSYC 017Abnormal and Clinical Psychology4
PSYC 029Developmental Psychology4
PSYC 031Introduction to Psychology4
PSYC 079Sensation and Perception4
RELI 031Jerusalem through the Ages4
RELI 034Introduction to Religion4
SOCI 031Deviant Behavior4
SOCI 033Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice4
SOCI 051Introduction to Sociology4
SOCI 125Sociology of Health and Illness4
World Perspectives & Ethics
ANTH 053Cultural Anthropology3
ARTH 007Survey of World Art to 14004
ARTH 009Survey of World Art After 14004
ARTH 101Design Thinking4
ASIA 124Society, Gender and Culture in East Asia4
CHIN 023Intermediate Chinese, Third Semester4
CHIN 025Intermediate Chinese, Fourth Semester4
CHIN 125Advanced Chinese I4
ENGL 063Masterpieces of World Literature4
ENGL 141Topics in British Literature Pre-18004
ENGL 144Medival Women Readers and Writers4
ENGR 030Engineering and Computing Ethics in Society3
FREN 023Intermediate French, Third Semester4
FREN 025Intermediate French, Fourth Semester4
HIST 010Western Civilization I4
HIST 011Western Civilization II4
HIST 030Asian Civilizations4
HIST 031Modernity, Identity, and Global Culture in Modern East Asia4
HIST 050World History I4
HIST 051World History II4
HIST 060A History of Medicine4
HIST 061Global History of Food4
HIST 062History of Warfare4
HIST 067Jerusalem through the Ages4
HIST 068Comparative History of Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam4
HIST 103Pirates, Sailors & Smugglers at Sea4
HIST 107History of Ancient Egypt and the Near East4
HIST 113Global Europe from WWII to 9/114
HIST 135Women in Time and Place4
INTL 081Perspectives on World History3
JAPN 023Intermediate Japanese, Third Semester4
JAPN 025Intermediate Japanese, Fourth Semester4
MHIS 006Music of the World's Peoples3
PHIL 011Introduction to Philosophy4
PHIL 021Moral Problems4
PHIL 027Fundamentals of Ethics4
PHIL 035Environmental Ethics4
PHIL 044Philosophy of Sex and Love4
PHIL 053Ancient Greek & Roman Philosophy4
PHIL 055Modern and Contemporary Philosophy4
PHIL 124God, Faith, and Reason4
PHIL 126Digital Well-Being4
PHIL 127Philosophy of Sport4
PHIL 142Business Ethics4
PHIL 145Biomedical Ethics4
POLS 021Introduction to Political Theory4
POLS 130Ancient to Medieval Political Theory4
POLS 132Modern to Contemporary Political Theory4
POLS 134American Political Thought4
RELI 030Comparative History of Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam4
RELI 035Judaism4
RELI 043Social Ethics4
RELI 102History of Ancient Egypt and the Near East4
SPAN 023Intermediate Spanish, Third Semester4
SPAN 025Intermediate Spanish, Fourth Semester4