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 General Education List of Approved Courses

The University identifies five areas in which you gain knowledge to enrich your lives and your academic experience. These five areas are Fine Arts, Humanities, Social/Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Math/Quantitative Reasoning. Your choices within these areas are listed below. The knowledge you gain in these courses provides an academic foundation that will help prepare you for your major and minor course areas and will encourage you to become a life-long learner in many different and divergent fields of study.


General Education Requirements (often called "Gen Eds") assist you in developing the following:

1. The ability to communicate both in writing and orally;

2. The skills required to gather, analyze, document, and integrate information;

3. An understanding of historical processes and cultural differences; aesthetic and literary sensitivity;

4. An understanding of the modes of thought, concerns, and methodologies of the fine arts, the humanities, the social and behavioral sciences, and the natural sciences;

5. And the ability to use quantitative methods in the natural, social, and behavioral sciences.

A minimum of 39 credit hours of General Education courses are required. These courses are distributed as described below, and require you to take two courses in the Fine Arts, three courses in the Humanities, four courses in the Social/Behavioral Sciences, three Natural Science courses (including one laboratory course, and one Math/Quantitative reasoning Course.A college level Math course with a minimum grade of "C" is required to fulfill the Math/Quantitative reasoning area of general education).Transfer students may fulfill General Education requirements with courses taken at other colleges or universities. Students who transfer with an approved Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) Model Associate of Arts or Sciences degree or have completed the Illinois General Education Core Curriculum prior to transferring to Northeastern Illinois University will have met our General Education requirement.For information regarding the Illinois General Education Core Curriculum, visit the web site at If you are seeking a teaching certificate, you may be required to take additional course work.

Fine Arts

6 credit hours (2 courses) from two of the following areas of study: Art, CMT(Media and Theatre only), Music (including Dance) . Courses are noted in the Schedule of Classes as FA.


9 credit hours (3 courses) from at least two of the following areas of study: CMT (Communications only), English, Linguistics, Philosophy, Women's and Gender Studies, World Languages & Cultures. Courses are noted in the Schedule of Classes as HU.

Social/Behavioral Sciences

12 credit hours (4 courses) from at least two of the following areas of study: African /African American Studies, Anthropology, Computer Science, Economics, Geography, History, Latina/o & Latin American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology. Courses are noted in the Schedule of Classes as SB.

Natural Science

9 credit hours (3 courses) from at least two of the following areas of study: one course must have a laboratory component: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Physics. Courses are noted in the Schedule of Classes as NS.

Math/Quantitative Reasoning

3 credit hours (1 course) that has Intermediate Algebra as a stated prerequisite OR is on the General Education Program List of Approved Courses. Courses are noted in the Schedule of Classes as MA.

General Education Guidelines:

  • Only courses found on the General Education List of Approved Courses during the term of enrollment are applicable towards the General Education requirements.
  • The Pass/Fail option may not be used to meet any General Education requirement.
  • You may use up to six (6) hours of "D" grades to meet the distribution area requirements.
  • By the tenth week of the Fall and Springs semesters, faculty teaching General Education courses must notify any student with less than a "C" average of his/her grade in the course.
  • Majors in the Fine Arts, Humanities, and Behavioral/Social Sciences may waive up to six (6) credit hours of General Education requirements in the corresponding distribution area.
  • Majors in the Natural Sciences may waive nine credit hours of General Education in the Natural Science distribution area.
  • You may use up to two (2) courses from any one area of study (including courses transferred to Northeastern) to meet the distribution requirements in Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. Only one course from any area of study (including transferred courses) may be used to meet the Fine Arts distribution requirements.
  • Transfer courses will be evaluated by the Admissions Office to determine appropriate General Education credit.
  • Contact your Academic Advisor with specific questions about general education requirements. You may also consult with the Coordinator of General Education, in the Dean's Office, College of Arts and Sciences, Bernard Brommel Hall, room 158.
  • Freshman and transfer students who require developmental courses in reading, writing and/or mathematics must take the indicated courses during their first 30 credit hours at NEIU.

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