» Frequently Asked Questions

*Note: we are changing the names of some of our GE categories. The first name listed is the term we have been using, and the term in parentheses is the new name that is beginning to be used this year. You will see this throughout the GE pages.

Below are a list of questions frequently asked by students about the GE program.  If you have any questions, you may find the answer in the items below.

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+ - How many credits are required by Chapman’s GE program?

Because every student brings with them to Chapman a different background, and each student will choose a different secondary area of study, it is difficult to predict exactly how many credits you will be required to complete Chapman’s GE program. 

  • If you are a first year student who has test credit or completed dual enrollment credit, you will need fewer credits than students who do not have those experiences. 
  • If you have studied language in high school, you may only need 1 course at the intermediate level or if you are demonstrably proficient in a language other than English, you may be exempt from the language requirement.

If you have to complete every GE requirement because neither of these apply, you would need 45 credits at a minimum to complete the program. However, you may end up sharing from 1 to 3 courses in your major with your GE requirements, so that 45 credit minimum can be reduced by as much as 9 credits, making the minimum 36 credits. Transfer students should consult the GE Policies for Transfer Students to get a better idea of the number of credits they will need to complete.

+ - I’ve reviewed my program evaluation, and I’ve noticed that a GE course I took is being counted in the wrong GE category, or is not counting in an Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster (Themed Inquiry)* as I expected it would.

This is an easy problem to solve. If a GE course is assigned to a category other than the GE category that you want to use it in, email the Office of the University Registrar, telling them the name of the course and where you wish it to be applied. (You can fill out the GE Course Usage form, but an email is sufficient!). The computer will automatically assign GE courses in a specific sequence, but you can change that just by asking.

+ - I took a Chapman University course that should count as a GE course because it covers the content found in that GE area, but I don't see it on the approved GE course listing. Can I ask that the course be reviewed for GE?

No. Students may not request GE review of an existing Chapman course. This may only be requested by faculty. There may be specific reasons that an academic unit does not want a course to be included in the GE program (usually that they are not able to provide enough seats to accommodate GE students, or it is a course only open to majors).

+ - How do I know if a class I took or plan to take at another school will count at Chapman as a GE class?

The first place to start for most courses is at the Registrar’s Transfer and Articulation page.  Read the Policies and Guidelines for instructions. If there is no information available on the course you have taken or plan to take, you may request review of that course by providing the syllabus and attaching it to the Transfer/Study Abroad Course Petition for GE Approval.

If the course is part of the study abroad program, please refer to the GE and Study Abroad page.  If there is no information available on the course you have taken or plan to take, you may email articulation@chapman.edu and ask for a review of the course based on the course description.

+ - I am thinking about doing a self-designed major or minor. Where do I find information?

The instructions and guidelines for developing and declaring a self-designed major or minor can be found on the forms:


It is important that you work with a faculty advisor to design the major or minor so that it meets the purposes for those degree opportunities, and has integrity as an academic area of study.

Self-designed majors and minors are approved by faculty committees and there is no guarantee of approval.  You also must apply for approval for either prior to completing 75 credits. 

+ - I am a transfer student and my CSU/IGETC Certification is not showing on my Program Evaluation.

Check with the Office of the University Registrar. You need to request that the certification of completion is sent to Chapman. Simply completing an associate’s degree does not mean that you have completed the certification process. Any further questions? Check with the Registrar.

+ - I am an international student. Do I have to complete the language requirement?

If you are fluent (reading, writing and speaking) in a language other than English, there are a few ways you can waive or complete the Language Study (Language Inquiry) requirement.

  • If you attended secondary school and it was taught in a language other than English, we need verification from your former school. indicating the primary language of instruction. Send proof to the Office of the University Registrar.
  • You can take a proficiency test in your native language. See Language Proficiency Testing information.
  • You can take a Chapman course at the 300-level or above taught in the language in which you are proficient. To get permission to waive the pre-requisite 201-level course, contact the Chair of the World Languages and Culture Department.

+ - I am an international student (or I am an American student who completed a high school program outside the U.S.). Can I waive the requirements of the Global Studies Inquiry category?

  • If you are an American student who has completed a high school-equivalent program outside the U.S., you satisfy the Global Study/GC requirement in full.
  • If you are an international student, you have completed the Global Study/GC requirement in full. If you are an international student for whom English is a second language and you completed high school abroad in a language other than English, it is recommended that you consult with the Office of the University Registrar about documentation required to waive you from the Language/LC requirement.

+ - When does registration take place for classes for Interterm or Summer?

Interterm class registration is done at the same time as registration for spring semester in the late fall. Summer class registration takes place at the same time as fall registration in late spring.

+ - Do I have to take a science class that includes a lab to complete the Natural Sciences Inquiry category?

A laboratory science class is not mandatory to complete NI. But some science courses have laboratory sections that are mandatory for the course. Science classes that do not have a laboratory requirement can be used to complete NI, if they are on the approved NI course list. But if the lab is mandatory for the class, you have to take it.

+ - Can classes double count for GE categories?

No, classes may only be used in one GE category. GE classes also cannot be shared with the Inter/Multidisciplinary Cluster (Themed Inquiry).

+ - I served in the military and would like to use that to complete my Citizenship/Community/Service requirement. How do I do that?

Successful completion of 1 or more years of volunteer US military service completes the Citizenship/Community/Service category. Contact the Office of the University Registrar for more information on what documentation is required or if non-US military service may be applicable to this category.