Core Literacies (8 courses)

There are six Core Literacy categories, in which eight courses are required. All students must complete one course in each of the Arts, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Quantitative Reasoning, and two courses in each of Humanistic Inquiry and Social Analysis.

GE-A The Arts (1 course)
GE-B Humanistic Inquiry (2 courses)
GE-C Social Analysis (2 courses)
GE-D Life Sciences (1 course)
GE-E Physical Sciences (1 course)
GE-F Quantitative Reasoning (1 course)


Global Perspectives (2 courses)

The two requirements in Global Perspectives prepare students to act as socially responsible members of the global community, respectful of the values and traditions of diverse cultures, aware of the structures of power that affect people differently by race, class, gender, and other socially constructed categories, sensitive to the interplay between worldwide problems and specific, local challenges.

The first requirement, GE-G, examines the contemporary situation, while the second, GE-H, explores some dimensions of the historical cultural context that has given rise to the current global scene. While no course can meet all of these objectives, these requirements should help students appreciate the dynamics at work in complex global issues and their varying local forms.

Students must complete one course from each of these two lists. A course can be listed for only one Global Perspective and one of the Core Literacy categories.

GE-G Equity in a Diverse World (1 course)
GE-H Traditions and Historical Foundations (1 course)

Courses approved for the GE-G and GE-H categories are expected to require that students do a substantial amount of weekly reading (circa 100 pages), and a significant component of writing (a minimum of 15 pages of essay form work) in the course of the semester.  Syllabi submitted to the GE-G and GE-H categories should indicate clearly when these assignments of reading and writing are required during the course.

Courses in the Global Perspectives categories can be used to satisfy requirements in the Core Literacies as well. A single course can satisfy one Global Perspective and one Core Literacy requirement.


Freshman Requirement

All freshmen entering USC in Fall 2015 or later must complete a General Education Seminar (GESM) in their first year of enrollment. This course will satisfy one of the GE Core Literacy requirements listed above. Each General Education Seminar is limited to 19 seats and open only to freshmen.  Students may count only one GE Seminar for degree credit.


Dornsife Core Literacy Requirement

All transfer students and freshmen who begin at USC in the spring must complete the Dornsife Core Literacy requirement by taking at least two Core Literacy courses (in Categories GE-A through GE-F) at USC offered by Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

In a Nutshell


number of GE requirements


number of Dornsife Core Literacy courses required for transfers and spring admits


number of GESM courses needed to fulfill the freshman GE Seminar requirement

Pre-Fall 2015 General Education and Diversity Requirements

Students who started college at USC or elsewhere prior to Fall 2015 should follow the pre-Fall 2015 General Education and Diversity requirements.

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