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General Education Program

» General Education Program

What is General Education?

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General education (GE), sometimes known as core curriculum at other schools, is a required selection of courses in areas of study designed to provide a broad educational background and emphasize the core values of a university in providing an undergraduate education.

Chapman’s General Education program reflects the University’s mission to provide you with a personalized education of distinction that leads to an inquiring, ethical, and productive life as global citizens.  It is designed to allow you to explore and expand your horizons, open creative possibilities and encourage flexibility, and develop an understanding of the interconnectedness of learning and knowledge that will set you apart as a dynamic and visionary citizen of the world.

Through the General Education program, you should be able to

  • understand the importance and develop the means of critical inquiry in academic and civic matters
  • develop a breadth of knowledge in the liberal arts
  • develop depth of knowledge in areas unique to Chapman
  • integrate knowledge within and across disciplines
  • cultivate ethical awareness in learning and practice
  • engage in experiential learning as a thoughtful, principled citizen in a local and global sense
  • become an independent thinker able to sustain a lifelong desire for intellectual growth 

You can shape and personalize your GE programs to provide the most benefit for your individual educational journey at Chapman. GE courses (except First-year Foundations) can be taken throughout your time at Chapman, allowing for program flexibility and integrated learning.

The Chapman program requires coursework in four areas:

1. First-year Focus—a course designed to challenge you to think critically and engage in interdisciplinary subject areas taken in your first year at Chapman
2. Liberal Arts and Sciences Focus—courses in Artistic, Natural Sciences, Quantitative, Social, Values and Ethics, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Written Inquiry areas
3. Global Focus—courses in Global Studies, Citizenship/Community/Service and Language
4. Exploration Focus—fulfilled by a themed inquiry, a minor, a second major or the University Honors Program


Some areas of General Education courses may be shared with a major or minor.  Some may be fulfilled through testing (AP, IB, CLEP) or dual enrollment courses.

The overall General Education Program requires a varying number of credits for each individual. We usually say that the GE program is a minimum of 45 credits (although that can be even less, as you may share courses with your major).  It may require more depending on the choice of your secondary area of study and prior language study. 

For details on how the Chapman GE Program works, see links below:

  • Chapman GE program—How it works
  • GE Policies for Transfer Students
  • GE and Study Abroad
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • General Education Information Specifically for Faculty 

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