General Education at Iowa: The CLAS Core gives you the opportunity to explore new areas of study and discover new interests. It has been designed by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences to ensure that when you enter your major—and then take your UI degree into the world—you have the skills and knowledge to succeed.
Through CLAS Core, you will learn to think in new ways about our 21st-century global society, while appreciating the history that has shaped us. You will learn to gather and interpret information of all kinds, from the scientific to the literary and artistic. You will learn how to communicate your ideas through writing, speaking, and the arts, and how to work with all types of people to generate ideas and solve problems.
If you entered UI before Summer 2011 visit this page for the related GE requirements. If you entered UI after Summer 2011 but before Summer 2017, visit this page. The General Education requirements are slightly different depending on when you first entered UI.
There are three main areas from which you will choose your CLAS Core courses, each with a certain number of required semester hours: A) Communication & Literacy; B) Natural, Quantitative, & Social Sciences; and C) Culture, Society & the Arts. The links below will tell you more.
Communication & Literacy
The required semester hours in this step will depend on your World Languages experience:
Rhetoric courses develop speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills, and build competence in research, analysis, and argumentation. You must register for your assigned Rhetoric course at your first or second registration.
Required Semester Hours
Interpretation of Literature
These courses expand the skills you learned in Rhetoric. These courses focus on the major genres of literature (fiction, poetry, drama, and essays) and improve your ability to read and analyze a variety of texts.
These courses provide you with speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in a second language, as well as knowledge of the cultures in which the language is spoken.
Based on student's language placement
Natural, Quantitative, & Social Sciences
Choose your course from each area for a total of 13 required semester hours:
These courses will teach you the attitudes and practices of scientific investigators, including logic, precision, experimentation, tentativeness, and objectivity. In courses with a laboratory component, you will gain experience in the methods of scientific inquiry.
Required Semester Hours
Quantitative or Formal Reasoning
To help you develop important analytical skills, these courses focus on the presentation and evaluation of evidence and argument, the understanding of the use and misuse of data, and the organization of information in quantitative or other formal symbolic systems.
These courses focus on human behavior and the institutions and social systems that shape—and are shaped by—that behavior. Courses provide an overview of one or more social science disciplines and their theories and methods.
Culture, Society, & the Arts
Choose your course from each area for a total of 15 required semester hours:
Diversity and Inclusion
These courses encourage you to explore the historical and structural basis of inequality while learning about the challenges and benefits of diversity. You will have the opportunity to discuss your own ideas and experiences while coming to understand others better.
These courses will help you comprehend the historical processes of change and continuity, and to develop your ability to generalize, explain, and interpret historical change. You will learn to understand the past in its own terms.
Literary, Visual, & Performing Arts
These courses explore fundamental questions about human experience from a variety of perspectives. You will consider topics in relation to your own values and actions and will gain a deeper appreciation of how cultural differences arise and the importance of diversity.
International & Global Issues
By focusing predominantly on countries or issues outside of the United States, these courses encourage you to understand contemporary issues from an international perspective.
Values and Culture
These courses invite you to ask fundamental questions about the human experience and its meaning as you become more aware of what, exactly, defines culture and values. You will have a chance to consider your own values and beliefs and their importance to your lifelong goals.