General Education Classes 101
Figuring out which General Education classes to take can be confusing, especially when different majors have different requirements. Below you will find answers to the most common General Education confusions, specific for pre-public health and public health students.
Tier 1 - 150, 160, and 170, classes (INDIVS, TRADS, and NATS)
The most important things to know about Tier I classes are:
- You need two 150 classes (INDIVS or Individuals and Society) and two 160 classes (TRADS or Traditions and Cultures)
- For Public Health you DO NOT need to take any 170 classes (NATS or Natural Sciences)
Tier II - Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Diversity and Individuals and Societies
Tier II classes are your second level of general education classes.
Things that are important about Tier II classes are:
- You do not need to finish your Tier I classes to move on to Tier II
Public Health students only need one Tier II Arts OR Humanities (not both!)
- Some Tier II Arts classes are only 1 credit (dance is a popular one). If you choose to take that sort of class you will have to take another 2 credits. You must have a total of 3 Tier II Arts or Humanities Credits.
- Public Health students only need one Tier II Individuals and Societies (INDIV)
- Unlike Tier 1 classes, Tier II are usually classes found within a major, most are not specifically created for general education purposes. This means if you take a 300 level pottery class to fulfill your Tier II Arts it will be 300 level work. Know that going into it.
Public Health students DO NOT need to take Tier II NATS or Natural Science Classes
- Public Health students DO NOT need to take a separate Diversity Emphasis course because HPS 387 (required) fulfills that requirement.
- Because PHPM 310 and HPS 387 are required for the public health major, these courses cannot fulfill your Tier II INDIV category.
How Do I Know Which Ones To Take?
In order to be successful in your Gen Ed classes, consider these questions:
- Are you interested in the topic? If not, pass. You will be more successful and able to focus if you take something that sounds interesting versus choosing it because your best friend is taking it.
- Have you ever taken anything like it before? If you are interested in something but don't have a background in it, start at the 100 level and work your way up.
- Is it at a time that you can be successful? While you shouldn't choose a class solely based on time, if you are not a morning person don't expect to magically become one during your college years. If you know mornings are not your favorite time of the day, choose an option that is not the 8am class.
- Do you learn best with a certain style of course offering? Some general education course are offered online, while many are offered in person. Consider how it is offered and your learning style when deciding which course is best for you.
In order to ensure that you meet the 120 credits needed to graduate with your Bachelor's Degree, Public Health also requires that you take 14-15 general elective credits. These are separate from your General Education classes.
These may be fulfilled by classes you took at a community college that transferred in, if you choose to minor in something, if you are planning to go to medical school and need to take extra science classes, or from a course that you took just because it was interesting to you. All of these course options could count toward your general elective credits.