General Education Information for Advisors

General Education Information for Advisors

New GE requirements

The new GE structure requires fewer credit hours dedicated to GE components and is flexible enough to be implemented across campuses and colleges to support students' mobility at Ohio State. Students will be better enabled to change majors without losing credit for GE categories, add additional programs of study, engage in meaningful learning via high-impact practices, and explore areas of additional learning through the expanded availability of elective credit hours.

Video: Structure of a Degree and the New GE

This image contains a chart of the structure of the New GE. You being with a 1 hour launch seminar,. In Themes, you take 8-12 hours combined beginning with Citizenship for a Diverse and Just World, and choose one of the following: Health and Well-Being, Sustainability, Lived Environments, Traditions, Cultures and Transformations, Number, Nature, Mind, Origins and Evolution, Migration, Mobility, and Immobility, with more Themes being developed. Then you move to Foundations and take 22-25 hours combined of the following three hour topics: Race, Ethnicity and Gender Diversity, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Historical and Cultural Studies, Writing and Information Literacy, Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts, Natural Sciences, Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning. Your last class is a 1 hour course, Reflection Seminar.

Bookend courses

The Launch Seminar and Reflection Seminars are known as the Bookend courses. These courses explain the GE's role in helping students meet their educational goals, develop intercultural knowledge and build skills for responsible citizenship. (Any student clearly identified as pursuing an Associate of Arts degree will not be required to take Bookend courses.)


Foundations courses introduce students to academic disciplines and their approaches to problem solving and academic inquiry.


Theme areas are intended to encourage students to consider a broad, complex topic from historical and current contexts, as well as potential future impacts, using interdisciplinary methods. All students in the new GE are required to complete the theme Citizenship for a Diverse and Just World, plus one additional Theme of their choice. Each Theme is satisfied by either

  • two courses that approach the subject from different disciplinary perspectives, or
  • one course that uses high impact practices like instruction in a world language, education away, service learning, research and creative inquiry, or interdisciplinary team teaching to provide diverse perspectives on the Theme.

To support the new GE's continued relevance to students and our communities, the university has created a mechanism for faculty and staff to propose additional theme areas.

Embedded literacies

Some of the key competencies previously in General Education have been shifted to the major program as Embedded Literacies. These competencies advanced writing, data analysis and technology are now embedded in courses within the major program, providing opportunities for students to develop specific communication, statistical and technological skills relevant to their academic discipline. Students encounter these Embedded Literacies as they take required coursework within their major program.

GE requirements

Students enrolled before autumn 2022

Students who enrolled to the university prior to autumn session 2022 will complete the Legacy GE and major curriculum that was in place at the time that they matriculated.

Certain programs of study, for accreditation purposes, will be unable to continue offering the Legacy GE and major curriculum after AU22.

Students who matriculated prior to the autumn 2022 semester (or who transfer to Ohio State in AU22) who declare one of those programs during or after autumn 2022 will need to complete the new GE requirements.

Transfer students
Impact on Students

Ohio State is committed to ensuring that implementation of the new GE will not adversely affect any student's progress toward degree completion. The university will offer a petition process for students who have been working toward transitioning to Ohio State between the autumn 2022 and summer 2024 sessions. Students who have demonstrated a prior commitment to completing an Ohio State program of study by completing at least 30 hours of Legacy GE coursework can request permission to complete the Legacy GE and major program if their advisor determines that such a change supports their progress toward degree completion. This is not possible in those programs where the Legacy GE has been discontinued due to accreditation requirements.

Transfer Credit

Students will still be able to use to identify whether an approved course equivalent at another university will meet a specific New GE requirement.

Information about Ohio State's transfer credit policies, as well as a link to the university's Quick Equivalencies document, can be found at

Ohio State's Degree Audit team is currently working on coding program requirements into u.achieve and will ensure that the updates are pushed to Transferology once the builds are complete.

Some key competencies such as writing, data analysis and technology are now embedded in courses within the major program, providing opportunities for students to develop specific communication, statistical and technological skills relevant to their academic discipline. As a result, some previously approved course equivalents may need to be reassessed. Students planning to transfer to Ohio State should save copies of their syllabi in case they need to provide documentation of the content for a completed course.

Download GE program changes