Bachelor's General Education Requirements (GER)


Within your academic program major, UMGC's degree incorporates program-specific and core competencies. The following essential core competencies are emphasized across all programs:

  • Effective writing and oral communication skills
  • The use of information technology
  • Information literacy skills
  • Mathematical and quantitative reasoning skills
  • Critical analysis, critical reasoning, and problem solving
  • Understanding of key concepts and principles of natural, social, and behavioral sciences
  • Knowledge of diverse cultures and historical periods
  • Understanding of frameworks for ethical decision making and the ability to apply them

UMGC conducts learning outcomes assessments to measure and improve your learning in these areas as well as in specific disciplinary knowledge and skills.

Your academic major (and minor) allows you to master a considerable body of knowledge in a specific academic subject area or group of related subjects. Each major provides clearly articulated learning outcomes for the knowledge, skills, and abilities that you are expected to achieve in completing the major.


In general, the UMGC degree requirements that apply to you are those that were in effect when you began continuous enrollment in any public institution of higher education in Maryland (including UMGC). If you have not been continuously enrolled, the requirements that apply are those in effect at UMGC when you resumed continuous enrollment. To be considered continuously enrolled, you must be or have been enrolled at UMGC or another Maryland public institution of higher education and have had no more than two sequential years of nonenrollment. Should you choose to change your degree program, you may be subject to all degree requirements in effect at the time of the change.

The following requirements for the BA and the BS are applicable to students who enroll on or after 1 August 2015.

General Education Requirements (41 credits)

Recommendations for fulfilling general education requirements are provided for each major in the recommended sequence.

Note: Courses applied to general education requirements may not be applied toward major, minor, or elective requirements and may not be taken pass/fail.

A. Communications (12 credits)

  • WRTG 101 or WRTG 101S (3 credits)
    Must be completed within first 18 credits. Placement test required for WRTG 101. May not be earned through course-challenge examination.
  • Another writing course (3 credits)
    All 3-credit WRTG courses (except WRTG 288, 388, 486A or 486B); ENGL 102; and JOUR 201 apply.
  • A course in communication, writing, or speech (3 credits)
    All 3-credit COMM, SPCH, and WRTG courses (except 486A and 486B); ENGL 102, 281, and 384; and JOUR 201 apply.
  • An upper-level advanced writing course (3 credits)
    WRTG 391, 393, and 394 apply. May not be earned through credit by examination.

Note: No more than 3 credits of writing credit may be earned through credit by examination.

B. Arts and Humanities (6 credits)

  • One 3-credit course that offers a historical perspective (any 3-credit ARTH or HIST course except ARTH 100).
  • One 3-credit course chosen from the following disciplines: ARTH, ARTT, ASTD (ASTD 135, 155, 284, 285, 333, 353, and others), ENGL (except 281), GRCO, HIST, HUMN, MUSC, PHIL, THET, dance, literature, or foreign language.

Note: The two courses must be in different disciplines.

C. Behavioral and Social Sciences (6 credits)

One 3-credit course each in two of the following disciplines: AASP (AASP 201 only), ANTH, ASTD (ASTD 397, and others), BEHS, CCJS (CCJS 100, 105, 350, 360, 453, and 461 only), ECON, GEOG, GERO (except GERO 342 and 351), GVPT, PSYC, SOCY, or WMST (WMST 200 only).

D. Biological and Physical Sciences (7 credits)

  • A science lecture course (3 credits) with related laboratory course (1 credit) or a science course combining lecture and laboratory (4 credits).
  • Any other science course (3 credits).

Note: Courses from the following disciplines may satisfy both requirements: ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, and zoology. NUTR 100 may satisfy the requirement for a 3-credit science lecture course.

E. Mathematics (3 credits)

MATH 103, MATH 106, MATH 107, or a mathematics course at or above the level of college algebra. Must be completed within first 18 credits with UMGC. Placement test required.

Note: MATH 115 (or both MATH 107 and MATH 108) is required for the environmental management major, and MATH 140 and 141 are required within the computer science major.

Interdisciplinary or Emerging Issues (7 credits)

  • One course (LIBS 150) in introductory research (1 credit), which must be completed within first 6 credits.
  • A total of 6 credits in computing courses as follows:
    1. IFSM 201 or CMST 301 (3 credits).
    2. An additional computing course appropriate to the academic major (3 credits).
    Students should refer to the specific major for requirements or recommendations. Unless otherwise specified, lower-level or upper-level courses in CMIS, CMIT, CMSC, CMST, CSIA, IFSM, SDEV, and ACCT 326 apply.

Note: IFSM 300 is required for majors in all business-related fields.

Major, Minor, and Elective Requirements

A. Academic Major (30–38 credits)

The number of credits required to complete an academic major varies according to academic program. At least half the credits earned within the major must be upper-level credit (i.e., in courses numbered 300 and higher) and must be earned through UMGC. No grade may be lower than C. Specific coursework is prescribed for each major and is described in the following section.

You may receive a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors; however, the same course may not be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions apply (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) for double majors. You may not major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Consult your academic advisor before selecting a double major.

B. Academic Minor 15–17

Choosing a minor is strongly encouraged even though it is optional (unless you major in accounting). You may not take a major and minor in the same area and may not receive a dual minor. The number of credits required to complete an academic minor varies according to academic program. At least half the credits earned within the minor must be upper-level (unless otherwise specified) and must be earned through UMGC.

No grade may be lower than C. Specific coursework is prescribed for each minor and is described in a following section.

C. Electives 24–34

Electives may be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits may consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/Fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, may be applied toward electives only.

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed here pertain to all bachelor’s degrees:

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 120 credits.
  2. Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 (C) overall, and a minimum grade of C (2.0) for any course applied to the academic major or minor.
  3. Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMGC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (i.e., earned in courses numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  4. At least 45 credits must be upper-level credit and include
    • At least one-half the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in upper-level advanced writing
    The remaining upper-level hours may be earned in any part of the curriculum.
  5. At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or non-collegiate training does not count as graded coursework.

Note: A maximum of six 1-credit courses may be applied to a major or minor.

Summary of Bachelor's Degree Requirements

General Education Requirements41
Academic Major30-38
Academic Minor (optional)15-17

A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 (C)

Minimum 45 credits of upper-level credit.

A minimum of 30 credits at UMGC, including at least half the credits earned for the major and at least half for the minor, and including at least 15 credits of upper-level credit.