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General Education Requirements

A minimum of 40 credit hours of general education courses is required for graduation. The list of courses approved for general education credit is published in the Class Schedule. View list of courses here (PDF). Courses must be distributed among the following areas:

I. SYMBOLIC AND ORAL COMMUNICATION (3-6 courses, 9-22 hours)

  • English Composition (2 courses, 6 hours).
  • Foreign Language (2 courses, 6-10 hours). This requirement can be satisfied by successfully completing two semesters of the same foreign language at the college level equivalent to two semesters at OU. It also may be satisfied by successfully completing two years of the same foreign language in high school or by demonstrating an equivalent level of competence on an assessment test. (Note: the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of International Studies require students to complete three semesters of college-level foreign language or pass an assessment test. The College of Arts & Sciences and College of International Studies requirement cannot be met by high school coursework. Some majors require a fourth semester of foreign language.)
  • Mathematics (1 course, 3 hours).
  • Other. Courses in this category are not required, but may be used when additional credit hours are needed to bring the total hours completed to 40. Approved courses in this area include communication, logic and public speaking.

II. NATURAL SCIENCE (2 courses, 7-8 hours)

At least two courses of three or more credit hours each and totaling a minimum of seven credit hours are required. The courses must be from different disciplines, and at least one course must include a laboratory component, denoted by [L] in the list of general education courses. (Note: the College of Arts and Sciences requires its students to complete one course in the Biological Sciences and one course in the Physical Sciences.)


III. SOCIAL SCIENCE (2 courses, 6 hours)

One course must be Political Science 1113, “American Federal Government” (three hours)

IV. HUMANITIES (4 courses, 12 hours)

  • Understanding Artistic Forms (1 course, 3 hours)
  • Western Civilization and Culture (2 courses, 6 hours) One course must be History 1483, “United States 1492-1865,” or History 1493, “United States 1865 to Present.” The other course may not be History 1483 or History 1493.
  • Non-Western Culture (1 course, 3 hours)
  • Note: the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of International Studies require additional upper-division Humanities courses outside the major (2 courses, 6 hours).


Designed to culminate a student’s undergraduate field of study and place it in a larger social, intellectual and professional context, the capstone experience should be an intensive experience in the major or interdisciplinary field at the senior level of performance. The capstone must include an indepth writing component.


In addition to the Senior Capstone Experience, at least one of the courses (minimum of 3 hours) used to satisfy the general education requirements must be at the upper division level and outside of the student’s major.