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General Education Program

GEP Category Requirements

The NC State General Education Program (GEP) for undergraduates at NC State was approved by the Provost on February 1, 2008 to be effective beginning Summer II, 2009

Mission Statement

The mission of general education is to provide students the opportunity to experience diverse and integrative disciplinary perspectives. General education enhances students’ intellectual engagement in their majors, prepares them for the changing demands of professional careers, equips them for a lifetime of learning, and lays the foundation for involvement in their communities as responsible citizens and leaders.

General Education Program Rationale

General Education at NC State provides the opportunity for a broad and informed understanding of the world, offering our students the foundation for rich and productive lives.  General education is valuable for students because logical and creative thinking are fundamental to improving the human condition; because a respect for the value of diversity and an understanding of human history and cultures are essential to true citizenship; because the development of global knowledge has become increasingly important in response to international interdependence; because knowledge of science and the ability to apply scientific reasoning provide the basis for an appreciation of the workings of the universe and the richness, variety, and ecological interconnectedness of the world around us; because well-considered moral, philosophical, aesthetic, and intellectual convictions are necessary for contributing to human thought and achievement; because effective communication is central to productive engagement in academic, professional, and civic communities; because an ability to understand and evaluate the interaction among science, technology, and society is important in a world that is changing through technological innovation and scientific discovery; and because the development of attitudes and skills for a healthy life is essential to social, mental, and physical well-being.

GEP Special Topics Course offering forms Note

GEP Courses should have at least 25% of seats non-restricted (i.e. open to all students) and no more than ONE prerequisite.

General Education Program

Mathematical Sciences6At least one course must have an MA or ST prefix
Natural Sciences7At least one laboratory course or course with a laboratory
Humanities6Selected courses must be from two different disciplines
Social Sciences6Selected courses must be from two different disciplines
Additional Breadth3Select Additional Breadth course from either the Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts course lists or Mathematics/Natural Sciences/Engineering course lists depending on the Major
Interdisciplinary Perspectives5
Health and Exercise Studies2Must include one Fitness and Wellness HESF 100-level course
Introduction to Writing4Credit from ENG 101 with a C- or better
US DiversityCo-requisite
Global KnowledgeCo-requisite
FLx 102 level proficiency
Communication in the MajorRequirement fulfilled within the curriculum requirements
Technology FluencyRequirement fulfilled within the curriculum requirements

GEP Thematic Track Option

A thematic track within the GEP is a 12 credit hour option. Upon completion of an approved thematic track, the title will be noted on the student’s transcript.

Upon completion of the thematic track requirements, the Application for Thematic Track Option form should be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Courses and Curricula for approval and notation on the transcript.

Click here for the Thematic Track Application Form.

Approved thematic tracks available:

All students have three options for thematic tracks within the General Education Program (GEP).

A student may:

  • Choose a thematic track that has been approved by the Council on Undergraduate Education (CUE). Completion of one approved thematic track will be noted in the student’s official transcript upon graduation provided that the student selects the thematic track prior to completion of degree requirements.
  • Create a thematic track of their own choice.  In this case, the thematic track will not be noted in the student’s transcript.
  • Choose to complete the GEP without a thematic track.

Requirement for completion of a thematic track (12 credit hours)

  • Choose a total of twelve credit hours in the thematic track category as a combination of four courses (12 credit hours) – which are linked by a common theme or topic.
  • One course must come from the university approved GEP Mathematical Sciences /Natural Sciences/ Engineering lists. One course must come from the GEP Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts lists.
  • The remaining courses are also to be chosen from approved GEP lists.


  • A course taken to satisfy a major requirement may be used as part of a thematic track provided the course is on an approved GEP thematic track list.
  • A course that satisfies the thematic track requirement may also satisfy the Global Knowledge or U.S. Diversity co-requisite if the course also exists on either university approved GEP co-requisite course list.

Guidelines and instructions for proposing, revising, or discontinuing a thematic track:

The rationale and objective for a thematic track should be considered in development.


The purpose of thematic tracks is to encourage students to connect knowledge from different disciplinary areas while focusing on a unifying theme or topic. It is well suited to students who have an interest in a particular topic and who would benefit by exploring that topic from multiple disciplinary perspectives. In contrast to minors, which are generally centered on a single discipline, thematic tracks involve multiple disciplinary perspectives.  Students will be credited with no more than one thematic track.


Thematic tracks will provide educational experiences that help students to use critical thinking skills to connect multiple disciplinary perspectives around a common topic or theme.

  • All proposals for a new thematic track or revision to an existing thematic track may be proposed by faculty and students for consideration by CUE and must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Courses and Curricula, Box 7105, NCSU Campus.
  • Courses listed in a thematic track should be offered every year and must be on one of the approved GEP course lists. Courses with restrictions or seating limits should not be required to complete a thematic track.
  • A proposal to create/revise/discontinue a thematic track should be made in memo format and addressed to the Chair of the Council on Undergraduate Education.
    • For a new thematic track, the memo should include:
      • proposed title and description of the thematic track
      • list of the GEP courses selected as follows: (see an approved thematic track for example of layout)
        • minimum 12 credit hours
        • at least one course from GEP MA/NS/ENGIN lists and one course from GEP HUM/SS/VPA lists
        • indicate if courses have a pre-requisite and which GEP category the course satisfies
      • statement on how the courses relate to the central theme.
    • A proposal to revise a thematic track should be made in memo format and addressed to the Chair of the Council on Undergraduate Education
      • The memo should provide the title of the thematic track, the proposed revision and reason.
      • Attach to the memo a copy of the posted requirements for the existing thematic track and mark with changes being requested.
    • A proposal to discontinue a thematic track should be made in memo format and addressed to the Chair of the Council on Undergraduate Education
      • The memo should provide the title of the thematic track, the reason for the discontinuation and effective date for discontinuation.

AGI Core Requirements

While the AAS program is designed as a stand-alone degree, its general education courses are transferable to a baccalaureate program.  Required courses in the core areas of humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural science/mathematics are all included on NC State’s approved baccalaureate-level GEP course list.  The GEP program also requires a one-credit course, Introduction to the Agricultural Institute, and two writing courses designed specifically for the AAS program.  As a pair, these two writing courses are equivalent to and transfer to NC State as freshman composition (English 101).

Course NumberCredit HoursGEP Category
AGI/CS/HS 1011College requirement
WRT 1113Writing
WRT 1143Writing
MA 103A3Mathematical Sciences
SOC 203A3Social Sciences/US Diversity
ARE 201A3Social Sciences
Elective3Additional Breadth (HUM/VPA/SS)
Elective1Health and Exercise Studies
All general education courses are transferable into an NC State baccalaureate program if the student earns a C- or better, and if they satisfy requirements of the particular curriculum to which the student applies.