General Education at Ohio State

General Education at Ohio State

In autumn 2022, Ohio State launched a new General Education (GE) program that reduces the number of required GE credit hours, provides undergraduate students more flexibility in scheduling, streamlines time to degree, and better prepares them for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. It is the first major overhaul of the GE curriculum in more than 30 years.

The new GE program is an essential component of a three-part academic experience for Ohio State undergraduates

  • General Education program
  • One or more major program(s)
  • Electives

The university is committed to ensuring that implementation of the new GE will not adversely affect any student's progress toward degree completion. New first-year students starting at Ohio State in the autumn 2022 semester or later will complete the new GE program as part of their bachelor's degree requirements.

Transfer students who begin in autumn 2022 can petition to participate in the legacy (college-specific) GE rather than the new GE . Advisors will help students with the decision and with the filing of the petition.

Benefits of the new GE

The new GE is an integrated, broad-based, core education that envelopes multiple disciplines, enhances a student's major program, and inspires critical thinking and innovation.

  • GE requirements have been reduced, giving students more flexibility to pursue electives, minors or second majors.
    • Old credit requirement: 44-69 hours
    • New credit requirement: 32-39 hours
  • All undergraduate colleges will adhere strictly to the same GE model; there will no longer be college-specific GEs. This means students who change majors or add a second major won't find themselves trying to meet two different GE requirements.
  • The new GE defines clear learning objectives and recognizes that data analysis, technology and advanced writing are essential for a contemporary undergraduate education.
  • The new GE embeds assessment mechanisms to monitor effectiveness and student success. Consequently, the new GE will be reviewed regularly and updated as needed.
  • The new GE is a multiyear program in which courses build upon each other, rather than a menu of unconnected courses. It begins with an introductory seminar and concludes with a capstone in which students demonstrate how their thinking has evolved over the course of their undergraduate studies. Consequently, these Bookend courses give the program cohesiveness.

General Education pathway

A circular chart of the General Education pathway. Step 1 is the launch seminar that introduces you to the broad goals of the GE and the skills you will need to succeed. Step 2 is the foundations courses that introduce you to a variety of academic disciplines to better understand different ways of analyzing and understanding the world. Students will take one course in each of seven distinct categories. Step 3 is the themes courses that develop a deeper understanding of complex topics that are vital to addressing major 21st-century questions. All students are required to take Citizenship for a Diverse and Just World plus one additional course in a theme of their choosing. Step 4 is the reflection seminar that helps you document and reflect on your academic and personal growth. It also prepares you to explain to potential employers what skills and knowledge you gained from college.

The new GE is a coherent three-part program requiring 32 to 39 hours (reduced from 44 to 69 hours). The new GE consists of:

  1. Bookend courses (2 hours) Students will take a launch seminar and a concluding reflection seminar to begin and end the GE program.
  2. Foundation courses (22-25 hours) -- Students will take one course in each of seven distinct disciplines.
  3. Theme courses (8-12 hours) -- All students will take courses in the Citizenship for a Diverse and Just World Theme (4-6 hours) and in one additional Theme of their choosing:
  • Lived Environments (4-6 hours)
  • Migration, Mobility, Immobility (4-6 hours)
  • Number, Nature, Mind (4-6 hours)
  • Origins and Evolution (4-6 hours)
  • Sustainability (4-6 hours)
  • Traditions, Cultures, and Transformations (4-6 hours)
  • Health and Well-being (4-6 hours)


Meg Daly
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education

Senior Director of the Bookends program
Dr. Melissa Beers

Assistant Vice Provost Alan Kalish