Jun 18, 2024  
2014-2015 EIU Undergraduate Catalog 
2014-2015 EIU Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education Course Library

General Education

Responsible Global Citizenship through Mindful Scholarship

General Education at Eastern Illinois University offers students an intellectual foundation for their future academic, professional, and personal lives.  Mindful scholarship necessitates not only dedicated study but also reflection on the purposes and consequences of that study.  By fostering serious and enthusiastic learning, Eastern Illinois University seeks to instill the value of intellectual curiosity and lifelong education in its students.  Equipped with the values and traditions of scholarship, students will be better prepared to fulfill their duties as responsible citizens and capable leaders in a diverse world.

The General Education program is aligned with the University’s mission to help students “refine their abilities to reason and to communicate clearly so as to become responsible citizens and leaders.” The program fulfills this purpose in two ways:

1. By exposing each student to the knowledge and means of inquiry in a broad array of disciplines;
2. By intentionally developing foundational, transferrable skills in the five University Learning Goals:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Writing and Critical Reading
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Responsible Citizenship

Writing, Critical Reading, Speaking, and Listening

Mindful scholarship requires that students listen and read critically as well as write and speak clearly and effectively.  Additionally, functioning in a global society requires an appreciation of communication within and among cultures through both the written and spoken word.  Therefore, a foundation for further exploration within the general education curriculum, for study in one’s major area, and for developing a successful career, requires both course work in and assessment of written and oral communication skills.

Critical Thinking and Quantitative Reasoning

Mindful scholars engage in a process of critical thinking learned through study in the traditional disciplines: physical and biological sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and humanities and fine arts.  Developing analytical thinking skills and working in the modern world require knowledge of mathematics.  Additionally, study in any of the sciences requires mathematical skills.  Consequently, the general education program requires one course from a select group in that discipline.

In physical and biological science courses, students experience the rigor and practice of scientific inquiry through classroom and laboratory experiences.  They learn to consider analytically the methods of describing, predicting, understanding, and explaining physical and biological phenomena.  In these courses, students confront the social, economic, political, and ethical implications of science and technology as well as the dilemmas they create.

The social and behavioral sciences focus more directly on understanding society and the individual.  In these courses, students will have the opportunity to apply various methods of inquiry and analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, to the study of the human condition.  These sciences emphasize the importance of understanding the diversity of human cultures, their socio-historical context, and one’s personal responsibility for being not only a good citizen, but also a steward of the environment.

The humanities provide sources and methods for reflection upon human experience in its historical, literary, philosophical, and religious dimensions.  The basis of instruction in these disciplines is primarily the interpretation and critical analysis of written texts.  The goal of humanities courses is to provide students with the foundations and methods necessary for a critical understanding of languages, cultures, and traditions, including those that are different from their own.  Courses in the fine arts provide students with a basis for understanding and evaluating musical, theatrical, and visual works in terms of their production and aesthetic reception.  In these areas students learn to apply historical, philosophical, and critical concepts to specific works and genres.  The goal of instruction in the fine arts is to provide students with the foundations and methods necessary for a critical appreciation of various artistic and aesthetic traditions, as well as the evaluation of particular musical, theatrical, or visual works.

In the general education program students explore the variety of ways of knowing through the disciplinary foundations of a liberal arts education.  These courses help students become more mindful of the relationships among self, society, and the environment.  Such preparation is vital as society becomes more complex, interdependent, and reflective of diversity.  Collectively, the courses in general education encourage students to develop critical and reflective thinking as an intellectual habit.

Responsible Citizenship

The general education curriculum is also designed to develop and strengthen those attitudes and behaviors integral to responsible global citizenship—ethical behavior, civic participation, an understanding of history, culture, and the sciences; and an appreciation of diversity both at home and abroad.  Responsible citizens not only comprehend world-shaping forces and events and the varied experiences that have shaped human culture, but also use that understanding to make informed, objective, and ethical decisions.  They understand their responsibility as educated members of society and actively participate in their communities.  Finally, responsible global citizens appreciate the diversity of the world in which they work and live.  As part of their general education program, all students are required to complete a course with a focus on cultural diversity.

Writing Across the General Education Curriculum

All of Eastern’s general education courses require writing.  Four of these courses–English 1001G and 1002G and their honors equivalents, 1091G and 1092G–are writing-centered.  In these courses students learn the principles and the process of writing in all of its stages, from inception to completion.  The quality of students’ writing is the principal determinant of the course grade.  The minimum writing requirement is 20 pages (5,000 words).

Other general education courses, including all senior seminars, are writing-intensive.  In such courses several writing assignments and writing activities are required.  These assignments and activities, which are to be spread over the course of the semester, serve the dual purpose of strengthening writing skills and deepening understanding of course content.  At least one writing assignment is to be revised by the student after it has been read and commented on by the instructor.  In writing-intensive courses, at least 35% of the final course grade should be based on writing activities.

Remaining general education courses are writing-active.  In writing-active courses, frequent, brief writing activities and assignments are required.  Such activities – some of which are to be graded – might include five-minute in-class writing assignments, journal keeping, lab reports, essay examinations, short papers, longer papers, or a variety of other writing-to-learn activities of the instructor’s invention.  Writing assignments and activities in writing-active courses are designed primarily to assist students in mastering course content, secondarily to strengthen students’ writing skills.

Assessment and General Education

The General Education program is constantly undergoing assessment by the faculty who participate in it.  The Committee for the Assessment of Student Learning (CASL) coordinates these activities and provides recommendations to the Council on Academic Affairs relative to student learning in the program.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad courses may be used to fulfill General Education area requirements. In order for a study abroad course to fulfill an area of General Education, it must either be indicated as such in the Study Abroad Course Database (hosted online by the Office of Study Abroad) or individually approved by the Department Chair of the department the course is housed in via the Course Approval Form (distributed by the Office of Study Abroad).

Semester Hour Requirements in the General Education Program


Humanities and Fine Arts

9 hours
Language 9 hours
Mathematics 3 hours
Scientific Awareness 7 hours
Social and Behavioral Sciences 9 hours
Senior Seminar or Study Abroad Capstone 3 hours
TOTAL 40 hours

Students following catalogs prior to Fall 2006 must satisfy the constitution requirement.

Please refer to the catalog section titled ”Academic Regulations” for the complete list of requirements for graduation.

General Education Courses Required of ALL Teacher Licensure Candidates Either as Part of the Above Required 40 s.h.  or in addition to the IAI Core or Transfer General Education:

  • A 3 sh Diversity Course or Third World/Non-Western Course

  • “C” or better in ENG 1001G, ENG 1002G, CMN 1310G or their equivalents (a minimum of 9 semester hours is required.)

  • “C” or better in 3 sh of college level math

  • PLS 1153G or HIS 3600G or an equivalent US Constitution course

Note: Post-baccalaureate Teacher Licensure Candidates must meet all general education requirements with the exception of Senior Seminar. 

*Cultural Diversity

Eastern Illinois University seeks to foster cultural understanding to assist its students to become responsible citizens in a diverse world. The general education curriculum furthers this objective by requiring students to complete at least one course carrying the cultural diversity designation.

To receive the cultural diversity designation, courses will:

  1. Include one or more of the following as their focus or as a means to explore some other topic:

a.  the study of diverse peoples (including issues of class, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation) in the U.S. and abroad; 

b.  the history, language, and/or traditions (anthropological, artistic, literary, philosophical, political, or sociological) of other countries or cultures; 

c.  the role of cultural sensitivity in making informed and ethical decisions.

  1. Reinforce the importance of attending to a plurality of voices (including those from traditionally underrepresented groups) to better understand human history, culture, and decision making.
  2. Include among their outcomes the goal of enabling students to appreciate, live, and work with people who are different from them.

Cultural diversity courses are marked with an asterisk following the course title.

General Education Courses Listed by Segment

Complete descriptions of courses are available in catalog section titled “Course Descriptions”.

Humanities and Fine Arts

(9 Semester Hours)

The student must successfully complete at least one course from humanities and one from fine arts; courses must represent at least two different disciplines.


Africana Studies

Fine Arts

Film Studies

Kinesiology & Sports Studies


(9 Semester Hours)

The requirement is three courses: two in reading and writing and one in listening and speaking.  These courses are graded A, B, C, N/C; courses transferred in fulfillment of these requirements will be accepted only if they were completed with grades of “C” or higher.

Note: A grade of “C” or better in English 1001G, English 1002G, and Communication Studies 1310G or in accepted substitutions is a requirement for the Bachelor’s degree at Eastern as well as a General Education requirement. 


(3 Semester Hours)

Scientific Awareness

(7 Semester Hours)

The requirement is at least one course in the biological sciences and one in the physical sciences.  At least one of the courses must be a laboratory course.

Physical Sciences

Applied Engineering & Technology

Earth Science


Social and Behavioral Sciences

(9 Semester Hours)

Courses must be selected from at least two different disciplines.



Health Studies

Recreation Administration

Women’s Studies

Senior Seminar or Study Abroad Capstone

(3 Semester Hours)

Senior Seminar

Senior seminars are offered in a number of subjects and disciplines each semester, each one organized around a particular subject/issue important to contemporary society. Each seminar is listed by title and instructor in the schedule of courses each semester. The student must successfully complete a seminar outside of his or her major. (Students may take a senior seminar once they have completed 75 semester hours. However, so that those nearing graduation will have first access to seats, only students who have earned or will have earned 90 hours may register without the assistance of the offering department.)

The Senior Seminar at Eastern Illinois University is designed to be a cross-disciplinary culminating experience that will provide students with an opportunity to apply concepts and use skills developed in both their general education and major courses. Information about topics of major importance, e.g. the Holocaust, Social Movements, Women in Science, Technology, Controversies in Education, Sociobiology, etc. will be read, analyzed, discussed, and written about in a three semester-hour seminar led by a faculty member of a discipline different from those of the students. To allow ample time for writing and discussion, senior seminars will be limited to a maximum of 25 students. As an element of the general education curriculum, each senior seminar shall focus on some aspect of citizenship.

Study Abroad Capstone

Study Abroad Program (2+ semester hours) and STA 4000G (1 semester hour) – Study Abroad is a high quality international academic opportunity that enables students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for leadership in an interdependent world. The University offers study abroad programs in more than 30 countries around the world. Competitive scholarships are available. Students should plan and apply early. After successful completion of an approved EIU study abroad program, and 75 semester hours, students are eligible to take STA 4000G. As a capstone, STA 4000G will require students to exercise their abilities to think critically about their global education experiences. STA 4000G incorporates university assessment activities, which may include tests, surveys and other instruments. To allow ample time for writing and discussion, STA 4000G, will be limited to a maximum of 25 students.