2012 General Education Requirements

In 2018, CSULB aligned our GE requirements with Executive Order 1100 from the CSU Chancellor’s Office. Beginning Fall 2019, CSULB will be realigning its GE Category designations with the rest of the CSU.  The below table outlines all of the designation changes as well as the changes introduced with Executive Order 1100.

ge grid f2019

LD = Lower Division (100 and 200 level courses); UD = Upper Division (300 and 400 level courses)  Students under earlier G.E. plans or who need help with the above chart should contact their College Advising Center or the University Center for Undergraduate Advising.

Students who began continuous enrollment in Fall 2012 or later at a California Community College or other California State University must follow this pattern.

The following is an overview of the General Education requirements beginning with the Fall 2012 catalog. Click the link in the "List of Approved Courses" column to see current lists of all courses approved for that requirement. Refer to the online schedule of classes to see which specific sections of courses are being offered for a specific term. You can also run your Academic Requirements Report in MyCSULB to see your current status in completing General Education requirements.

  • The Foundation (A1, A2, A3 and B2 Courses)
  • Explorations (B1a, B1b, C1, C2 (a,b,c)/C3, and D1a, D1b, D2 and E Courses)
  • Capstone (Category F Courses -  Advanced Skills, Service Learning, Interdisciplinary, Integrative Learning and Writing Intensive)
  • Additional GE Requirements (Global Issues and Human Diversity)

These courses will provide you with the basic essential skills of a college-educated person including written communication and oral communication in the English language, critical thinking, and mathematics/quantitative reasoning.

In these courses, you will develop and improve fundamental academic skills that are critical to success in college.

All GE Foundation Courses must be completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better within the first 36 CSULB baccalaureate units.

The Foundation
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
Written Communication in English A1 3 A1 courses
Oral Communication in English A2 3 A2 courses
Critical Thinking A3 3 A3 courses
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning B2 3 B2 courses


These courses will provide you with opportunities to explore human knowledge in a variety of disciplines.

You will be able to select courses from all across the university, so the topics you can explore are nearly unlimited. You will also refine the skills you developed in the Foundation courses, and you will be expected to practice additional skills like ethical reasoning, solving complex problems, creativity, respect for different points of view, and understanding your part in a democratic society and global community.

Natural Sciences (B1)
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
Life Sciences* B1a 3 B1a courses
Physical Sciences* B1b 3 B1b courses

*In this category either Life or Physical Sciences must include a lab component.

Arts and Humanities (C)
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
Arts C1 3 or 6*  C1 courses
(Literature, Philosophy,
Foreign Languages or
Other Humanities)
C2/C3 3 or 6* C2a courses C2b courses C2c courses C3 courses  

*In this category students must complete 6 units in either Arts or Humanities and 3 units in the other area.

Social Science and Citizenship (D)
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
U.S. History D1a 3 D1a courses
Constitution and American Ideals D1b 3 D1b courses
Social Sciences and Citizenship D2 3 D2 Courses


Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (E)
Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
Lifelong Learning and Self Development E 3 E courses

These last nine units in GE represent the culmination of the GE experience and are designed to reinforce knowledge and skills acquired from many areas. Capstones are designated as Interdisciplinary, Service Learning, Advanced Skills, Integrative Learning or Writing Intensive. Capstone courses may be used to meet the Global Issues and Human Diversity in the U.S. requirements, if those have not been met by other courses.

All capstone courses must reinforce advanced college skills, including writing, synthesis and application of knowledge, analysis, critique, and research.

Area of Study GE Category Units Required List of Approved Courses
Capstone Any 9

*Beginning Fall 2016, all newly admitted students are required to complete one Writing Intensive capstone course in order to meet the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement.


While you are fulfilling the GE Category requirements given above, you must select courses that also complete the following additional requirements:

  • Global Issues (3 units)
  • Human Diversity in the United States (3 units)

Be aware that courses satisfying these Additional GE Requirements fit into the A-F category requirements above, so with careful planning, you can avoid taking "extra" courses to meet these requirements.

Global Issues
A course in Global Issues is designed to introduce you to cultures and places beyond the boundaries of the United States.

This is your opportunity to explore worldviews that often contrast greatly with those of our own Western traditions.

Human Diversity in the United States
The learning goals of the CSULB faculty include fostering respect for human diversity in the USA and to promote the understanding of diversity to encourage tolerance and acceptance of others.

A course in Human Diversity is designed to introduce you to life experiences of others who are less familiar to you. This course will help you to recognize the significant influence of diverse populations and cultures within the USA.