UB’s New General Education Program:
Education for the 21st Century
UB’s new general education program builds a cross-disciplinary foundation that prepares students for success in work and life in the new millennium by:
- promoting integrative learning
- prioritizing shared intellectual experiences, improved communication skills, critical thinking and ethical reasoning
- preparing students for a diverse, global and rapidly changing world
The new program comprises 40 credits of study and includes:
- a first-year or transfer seminar
- a communication literacy sequence
- a math and quantitative reasoning course
- a scientific literacy and inquiry sequence
- a thematic pathway
- a global pathway
- an integrative capstone
- a domestic diversity learning requirement
UB Seminar (3 or 1 credit)
The UB Seminars are “big ideas” courses taught by faculty members in discussion-based settings that ensure that students have the skills necessary for college-level study, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning and communication. Seminars orient students to the intellectual life of UB, to the UB general education program and to what is expected of them in their major. Students take the seminar in their first semester at UB.
- The one-credit seminar is specifically designed for transfer students entering UB with 45 or more credits.
- Transfer students who enter UB with fewer than 45 credits will take the three-credit seminar.
Communication Literacy 1 (4 credits)
Communication Literacy 1 will build a strong foundation in writing and a range of communication and research skills. Students will learn how to compose and revise formal written assignments, utilize visual and digital composing methods, and conduct research.
Communication Literacy 2 (3 credits)
Communication Literacy 2 will be an upper-division course that teaches discipline-specific writing. Students will learn how to apply the writing process to academic, professional and workplace settings in their field of study.
Math and Quantitative Reasoning (4 credits)
Math and Quantitative Reasoning will provide a basis for students to develop skills in mathematical and quantitative thinking, especially those needed in everyday life. The course assumes that students have three full years of college preparatory mathematics.
Scientific Literacy and Inquiry (7 credits)
This is an interdisciplinary sequence that promotes scientific literacy through a basic understanding of the sciences covered, along with an active exploration of how scientific discoveries are made and their impact on society. The sequence will comprise six credits of lecture and one credit hour of lab.
Students will be required to complete a minimum of four separate UB areas that correspond to the knowledge areas of the SUNY-GER for arts, humanities, U.S. history, Western civilization, other world civilizations, social science and foreign language as they fulfill their pathways (two for each pathway). The pathways give students freedom of choice as they move through their curriculum and encourage them to reflect on their learning as a continuum and create connections between multiple disciplines and modes of experience.
- Thematic Integrative Pathways (9 credits): Students will complete three courses within one of the institutional themes of health, humanity, innovation, justice or environment.
- Global Integrative Pathways (choose one of 3 tracks) (9 credits): Students will complete their Global Integrative Pathway through one of the following tracks:
- Global track: Students will complete three courses that discuss global issues, policies and/or history.
- Language and Culture track: Students will complete nine credits of one foreign language.
- International Experience track: Students will take part in an approved study abroad experience. Where necessary, study abroad experiences are combined with courses from the preceding tracks. For example, a student who takes a three-week winter session international experience could then take two courses that discuss the culture or history of the area the student visited.
Integrative Capstone (1 credit)
All students will complete an Integrative Capstone experience using an e-portfolio platform provided to them as incoming freshmen or transfers. The Capstone is the culminating experience of the general education program. Students will utilize the e-portfolio to reflect and integrate their learning, bringing together seemingly disparate general education classes and making connections across them.
Domestic Diversity Learning requirement
The Domestic Diversity Learning requirement is designed to ensure that UB graduates are able to demonstrate some measure of cultural competency about the diverse communities of the U.S. and particularly New York State. Students will learn to think critically about contemporary and historical issues that arise from domestic diversity (including race, class, gender, indigeneity, sexual orientation and disability) and challenges inherent in a diverse society. Students may select from approved courses in their major, the general education curriculum or elective coursework to fulfill this requirement.
- Additional program information is available at UB’s general education website.
- Frequently asked questions
Last updated: July 20, 2018 11:35 am EST