General Education Program

All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who wish to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), or Bachelor of Music (BM) degree must complete the requirements of the CLAS General Education Program.

The General Education Program has 11 required areas, grouped into three categories. Students must fulfill the requirements in each General Education area. The requirements below are for students who enter the University of Iowa during Summer 2017 or after. Students who entered during a previous semester are held to different requirements as indicated on the student's degree audit.

Communication & Literacy:

  • Rhetoric: a minimum of 4 s.h.
  • Interpretation of Literature: a minimum of 3 s.h.
  • World Languages: Variable s.h. 

Natural, Quantitative, & Social Sciences:

  • Natural Sciences: a minimum of 7 s.h.; must include one lab
  • Quantitative or Formal Reasoning: a minimum of 3 s.h.
  • Social Sciences: a minimum of 3 s.h.

Culture, Society, & the Arts:

  • Diversity and Inclusion: a minimum of 3 s.h.
  • Historial Perspectives: a minimum of 3 s.h. 
  • Literary, Visual, & Performing Arts: a minimum of 3 s.h.
  • International & Global Issues: a minimum of 3 s.h.
  • Values and Culture: a minimum of 3 s.h. 

Students may count transfer credit and/or credit by exam toward some General Education Program requirements. See General Education Policies for details regarding use of transfer credit, credit by exam, and other policies for how General Education requirements may be fulfilled.


  • Students demonstrate rhetorical awareness through activities that ask them to articulate and assess the controlling ideas and persuasive strategies in a variety of texts
  • Students practice composition as a process that includes idea development and recursive revision over time
  • Students create informed arguments with identifiable controlling ideas and purposes
  • Students account for the interests and concerns of intended audiences in compositions and performances
  • Students develop research skills necessary to efficiently and responsibly find, filter, assess, and organize information from multiple sources representing diverse perspectives
  • Students create compositions and deliver performances in multiple genres, including applying appropriate technologies, in order to address intended audiences
  • Students understand themselves as readers, writers, speakers, and listeners with the rhetorical skills necessary to select and make use of persuasive strategies, evidence, and media in their roles as scholars and citizens