Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is General Education and why do I need to take it?

The General Education curriculum at the University of Arizona provides the knowledge, skills and habits of mind that are the foundation of a lifetime commitment to learning, personal development, and social responsibility. General Education is university­-wide--that is, regardless of college or major, students hold their general education requirements in common. General Education courses at Arizona universities make up around one-third of the courses necessary for graduation. Students gain foundational skills, knowledge and a broad-based understanding of traditions and cultures, individuals and societies, arts, humanities, and the physical and biological sciences.

2. Where can I find a list of approved Tier One Courses?

The course descriptions are available on this site and through the Schedule of Classes, the Catalog, and through the student section of UAccess.

3. Where can I find a list of approved Tier Two Courses?

The course descriptions are available on this site and through the Schedule of Classes, the Catalog, and through the student section of UAccess.

4. Can I transfer my AP, IB, or CLEP credits to satisfy General Education?

Advanced Placement (AP) credit, based on your exam performance, may be counted toward your major or minor fields of study or for General Education requirements. See the AP credit table in the Catalog, and contact your UA academic advisor to confirm the use of this exam credit towards your degree program.  The UA accepts certain advanced AS-level and A-level Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) for credit.  See the CIE credit table in the Catalog, and contact your academic advisor to confirm the application of this exam credit towards your degree program.  The UA accepts certain higher­ level (HL) International Baccalaureate (IB) exams for credit.  See the IB credit table in the Catalog, and contact your academic advisor to confirm the use of this exam credit towards your degree program. The UA also accepts the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) for credit, provided that satisfactory scores are attained. Not all CLEP exams are awarded credit. Please refer to the CLEP credit table in the Catalog for the required scores for credit toward General Education requirements.

5. Can my Individuals & Societies, Traditions & Cultures, or Natural Sciences courses also meet my major requirement?

Tier One and Foundations courses cannot apply to a major or minor with the following exceptions: (a) any statistics or Math course at or above the level of Calculus I; (b) the two higher level courses taken to satisfy the fourth-semester skill level of the Second Language Requirement for a B.A. degree.  A maximum of two courses from Tier Two may be used to simultaneously satisfy General Education and minor requirements.

6. Can I substitute courses in Tier Two?

Substitutions are not encouraged, and will be granted only for extraordinary circumstances. The College Dean’s office considers all substitution requests other than those based on disability. Students requiring a substitution based on disability should first contact the Disability Resource Center. Students requesting a substitution for an approved Tier One, Tier Two, or Foundations course, for any reason, must request and receive approval for the substitution prior to enrolling in the substitute course. Contact your college advisor for more information about the approval process. In the absence of direct course equivalents, Arizona community college AGEC­-approved courses may be transferred and applied toward General Education requirements with the approval of the student’s college in advance of enrollment.  See the policy on transfer course work in the Catalog.  Tier One and Tier Two substitutions granted by one college/major will be honored by the student's subsequent college/major, if any. Substitutions for Foundations requirements (English composition, math, second language) may or may not be accepted by the student's new college/major.

7. Can I use one of my General Education courses to fulfill the Diversity Emphasis requirement (Gender, Race, Class, Ethnicity, Non-Western Culture, Sexual Orientation)?

One course in your degree program must focus on gender, race, class, ethnicity, non­-Western area studies or sexual orientation. The ‘diversity emphasis’ requirement can be met by taking an appropriate Tier One or Tier Two course or a designated course elsewhere in your major/minor.

8. How can I select a major based on a Tier One or Tier Two class?

First, meet with your professor to discuss your interest in the general discipline(s) that have been covered in the course. They will enjoy talking with you about their field of study and what major(s) you might consider for a career in the area. You could discuss your interests further with a career counselor in Career Services (SUMC 411). Also, visit with an academic advisor in the major(s) you are considering so you can learn about all of the requirements for a particular major. See the contact information for all college and mafor academic advisors.

9. If I change my major, will I lose some General Education credits?

No, the courses you have completed are applicable to all majors at the UA. Transfer and exam credits that have been adjusted on your Advisement Report as equivalent to a General Education requirement will carry over to your new major. It is important to check with the new major advisor about General Education requirements. Some majors have exceptions to the General Education requirements. This is especially true for science and engineering majors.

10. What is an Advisement Report and why do I need one?

An Advisement Report is an individualized report showing your progress toward completing your degree requirements. Found in UAccess, it lets you know where you are in completing your General Education requirements and your major and minor requirements.

11. Are Tier One courses assessed? Do they have measurable outcomes?

General Education courses, including Tier One courses, are periodically assessed to determine if they meet General Education standards and goals. Click here for information on assessment.  Each course has measureable outcomes. Click here for information on the expected outcomes of General Education courses.