Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog

General Education Program Requirements by Content Category

The significance of a university degree is that the graduate possesses certain valuable and important characteristics that transcend any particular major or professional training. Shawnee State University’s General Education Program (GEP), which all graduates must complete, is designed to enhance the various major courses of study in order to ensure that every graduate is a well-educated person. Well-educated people are guided by a spirit of inquiry; they are independent learners, broadly learned and capable of seeking out and understanding new information; they are creative and careful thinkers and communicators; and they are able to take a historical, global, and ethical perspective, which helps them to imagine and pursue change. Most importantly, well-educated people are able to recognize the interconnectivity of ideas from a variety of disciplines. They are also able to balance varying disciplinary perspectives and remain comfortable with ambiguity.

A more complete description of the essential learning outcomes for each category can be found here https://www.shawnee.edu/areas-study/university-college/general-education-program/learning-outcomes

For more information

Erik Larson, GEP Director
General Education Program

Massie Hall, Room 025
Shawnee State University
940 Second Street
Portsmouth, Ohio 45662-4344

Phone: 740.351.3144
Fax: 740.351.3501 (Provost’s Office)
E-mail:  GEP@shawnee.edu


It is suggested that you begin by taking courses in English and mathematics and continue to take courses in these areas until you have completed requirements in English composition and quantitative reasoning.

A more complete description of each category follows. Specific course descriptions are found in their own section of this catalog.

English Composition Minimum 6 Hours
Oral Communication 3 Hours
Literature 3 Hours
Fine Arts 3 Hours
Natural Sciences Minimum 7 Hours
Quantitative Reasoning 3 Hours
Engaged Citizenry 3 Hours
Global Perspectives 3 Hours
Historical Perspectives 3 Hours
Ethical Insight and Reasoning 3 Hours
Human Behavior 3 Hours
Total Hours Required 40 Hours

Note: Additionally, students must take a capstone course and two writing intensive (WI) courses.  For students enrolling in 2016 with under 30 semester hours, a required one-credit FYE course must be completed.

GEP Writing Intensive Course Requirements

As part of the General Education Program, all Bachelor-degree seeking students at Shawnee State University are required to pass two courses designated as Writing Intensive (WI), including courses marked as WI from within the GEP categories.  The English composition sequence and the capstone course may not be counted toward the GEP Writing Intensive Course requirement.  Such courses shall be flagged as WI in both the Course Catalog and Schedule of Classes.

Writing Intensive courses should, whenever possible, be courses within a student’s chosen major.  In such cases where a program of study does not offer at least two Writing Intensive courses, any two Writing Intensive courses may be chosen.

To be flagged as Writing Intensive, a course must meet, at a minimum the following conditions:

  1. The course requires a minimum of 3000 words of total writing.  Such writing may include both formal and informal writing.  Of this total, a minimum of 2000 words must be academically-sourced, formal writing.  This total may reflect multiple assignments.
  2. Students in the course receive feedback on their writing early enough to allow for alterations and revisions of their written work on future assignments. For example: students may be assigned multiple drafts of one assignment with feedback regarding the revision of that assignment; or, multiple assignments with feedback on each assignment that can help the student improve their writing for the next assignment.
  3. As writing intensive courses require significant grading and feedback to student, class size may not exceed 30 students.

English Composition (6 Hours Minimum)

These courses provide an opportunity for you to develop as a writer. Their goal is for you to learn to write clearly, concisely, and creatively in a variety of formats.


Two English composition courses must be completed prior to taking coursework at the Integrative Level of the GEP.

Oral Communication (3 Hours Minimum)

Quantitative Reasoning (3 Hours Minimum)

This component of the General Education Program addresses the nature of mathematical thought and its impact on modern life. To fulfill the quantitative reasoning component of the GEP, each course contains active communication about mathematics (which includes reading and/or writing and/or speaking), exercises designed to stimulate critical thinking, the use of mathematical-related technology, and an emphasis on problem-solving. In addition, each course stresses data and data analysis, demonstrates the application of mathematics to a variety of disciplines, and incorporates activity-based learning.

Engaged Citizenry (3 Hours Minimum)

Ethical Insight & Reasoning (3 Hours Minimum)

Fine and Performing Arts (3 Hours Minimum)

Global Perspectives (3 Hours Minimum)

Historical Perspectives (3 Hours Minimum)

Human Behavior (3 Hours Minimum)

Literature (3 Hours Minimum)

Natural Sciences (7 Hours Minimum)

The natural science component of the General Education Program addresses scientific reasoning.

Choose two courses for a minimum of seven semester hours from the following list.  At least one course must have a lab (all courses have a lab component except for GEOL1401, NTSC 1110, and NTSC 1501).  (These twelve courses are recommended for students who are not science majors and for students who do not have science courses required in support of their majors:  BIOL 1120, BIOL 2253, CHEM 1121, GEOL 1201, GEOL 1202, GEOL 1350, GEOL 1401, NTSC1110, NTSC 1501, NTSC 3850, PHYS 2210, PSCI 2251.)


Credit is not allowed for both CHEM 1121/2200 and CHEM 1141/1142.

Writing Intensive Courses (WI)

The following additional courses were also approved for credit towards the Writing Intensive requirements of the GEP:

Capstone Courses