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General Studies

Designed for Undecided Students

Not sure of a career path? General studies could be a viable option for your major. Declaring general studies is simply stating that you are undecided. Here are some answers about the program. Stop by the office to discuss if this is the right option for you.

Academic Scheduling and Placement-Testing Center

Noss Hall, Room 210
724-938-1608 or 724-938-5779
Office Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday - Friday

General Studies FAQ

Q: Why should I choose general studies, why can't I just choose a major and change later?

A: Studies show that up to 75% of students will change their majors during their academic careers.  The problem with simply choosing a major and then switching is that classes may count for one major but not for another.  By declaring yourself undecided (general studies), you can take courses that will count for whatever major you eventually choose. All academic advisers are experienced in dealing with undecided students.

Q: When choosing general studies, I pick a college. What does this mean?

A: When you choose general studies, you have three options: 1) general studies science and technology, 2) general studies liberal arts, and 3) general studies education. If you know you want to do something in science, engineering or computer science but have no idea what specifically you want, then general studies science and technology would be a great option. If you want to do something in education, but have no idea what specifically you would want to do, then general studies education would be a better option. If you may be interested in the humanities, then general studies liberal arts would be a good choice.

Q: What are general education requirements?

A: Every major is required to take 49 to 51 credits of general education courses. The breakdown of general education courses and the number of credits required in each area are as follows:

  • Building a Sense of Community - 1 credit
  • Critical Thinking Skills - 3 credits
  • Public Speaking - 3 credits
  • Composition - 6 credits
  • Mathematics - 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences - 6-8 credits (one course must be a lab component course)
  • Social Sciences - 6 credits
  • Humanities and Fine Arts - 6 credits
  • Multicultural Awareness - 3 credits
  • Values - 3 credits
  • Health and Wellness - 3 credits
  • Technological Literacy - 6 credits
  • Two upper level division writing courses - these courses are taken in the major where writing is emphasized.

Q: Are there any required courses that need to be taken as a general studies student?

A: You should take general education courses.  During your second semester you should take XCP 194 - Career Planning, a one-credit career planning course. The course is intended primarily for general studies students but is open to any student interested in career planning.  The course, which does not have a prerequisite, will discuss testing available to students trying to figure out a major or students wanting to make a career change.  The goal of the course is to help students understand their interests, match interests with a major area and set goals to achieving their career objective.  The course is offered in the spring. 

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