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General Education Requirements

The General Education (GE) curriculum at Thurgood Marshall College is designed to provide students with:

  • The academic skills and basic knowledge to pursue any major.
  • Flexibility to enhance the curriculum with unique educational experiences.
  • The opportunity to enhance your critical writing skills through our unique freshman writing sequence focusing on contemporary American society and culture.
  • A broad liberal arts and science background relevant to today’s society.

Each of the General Education requirements is outlined below, along with a list of approved courses to satisfy that requirement. 

Dimensions of Culture (3 courses)

Students are required to complete a three-quarter core sequence entitled Dimensions of Culture: Diversity, Justice, and Imagination. This three-course core sequence must be taken for a letter grade.

As a three-course sequence, DOC 1: Reading Diversity, DOC 2: Arguing Justice, and DOC 3: Imagination offer intensive instruction in university-level expository writing. Students entering as first-years are expected to fulfill this writing requirement within the first two years of residency and must complete the DOC sequence at UCSD (no exceptions).

All students must satisfy the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) before enrolling in DOC 2 and DOC 3. First-year students who do not take DOC 1 in fall quarter are advised to complete DOC 1, 2, and 3 in their second year.

Learn more about the Dimensions of Culture program

DOC 1 - Diversity (4 units)
Fall Quarter only

DOC 2 - Justice (6 units)
Winter Quarter only

DOC 3 - Imagination (6 units)
Spring Quarter only

Natural Science (3 courses)

Students are required to complete a total of three (3) Natural Science courses: one in Biology, one in Chemistry, and one in Physics.

*Students are encouraged to select Natural Science courses that can overlap with sciences courses in their major.


  • ANTH 2
  • COGS 17
  • BILD 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 12, 18, 20, 22, 26, 28, 30, 32, 36, 38, 42, 46, 61


  • CHEM 4, 6A, 6B, 6C, 6AH, 6BH, 6CH, 11, 12, 13


  • PHYS 1A & 1AL, 1B & 1BL, 1C & 1CL, 2A, 2B, 2C, 4A, 4B, 4C, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
  • SIO 1, 10, 12, 15, 16, 20, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50

Mathematics, Statistics and Logic (2 courses)

Students are required to complete two (2) courses for Mathematics, Statistics and Logic. Students have three options to complete this requirement from the approved list of courses:

Option A: Complete two courses in the Mathematics/Advanced Statistics category.
Option B: Complete one course in the Mathematics/Advanced Statistics category and one course in either the Introductory Statistics category or the Computer Programming & Logic category.

Option C: Complete one course in the Introductory Statistics category and one course in the Computer Programming & Logic category.

*Students are encouraged to select Mathematics, Statistics, and Logic courses that can overlap with mathematics, statistics, and logic courses in their major.

Mathematics, Advanced Statistics

  • Biology (BIEB) 100
  • MATH 3C
  • MATH 4C
  • MATH 10A, 10B, or 10C
  • MATH 11
  • MATH 20A, 20B, or 20C
  • MATH 180A or 181A

Introductory Statistics

  • Cognitive Science (COGS) 14A
  • Human Developmental Sciences (HDS) 60
  • Political Science (POLI) 30
  • Psychology (PSYC) 60
  • Sociology (SOCI) 60

Computer Programming & Logic

  • BILD 62
  • COGS 18
  • CSE 6R, 8A or 11
  • CSS 1
  • Linguistics (LIGN) 17
  • MAE 5, 9 or 10
  • Philosophy (PHIL) 10 or 12

Humanities and Cultural Studies (2 courses)

Students are required to complete two Humanities and Cultural Studies courses from the approved list of courses in domestic and global cultures.

Humanities and Cultural Studies 

  • African American Studies (AAS) 10, 11, 14, 15
  • Ethnic Studies (ETHN) 1, 2, 3 or 20
  • History (HILD) 7A, 7B, 7C, 10, 11, 12 or 14
  • Latin American Studies (LATI) 10, 50
  • Literatures in English (LTEN) 27, 28 or 29
  • Literatures in Cultural Studies (LTCS) 50, 52
  • Study of Religion (RELI) 2
  • Global South Studies (GSS) 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, or 26 (formerly Third World Studies [TWS])

Fine Arts (1 course)

Students are required to complete one Fine Arts course among the list of approved courses in Music, Theatre & Dance, or Visual Arts.

Fine Arts

  • Music (MUS) 4 - 19, 20, *80
  • Theatre/General (TDGE) 1, 5, 10-12
  • Theatre/History (TDHT) 21, 22, 23
  • Visual Arts (VIS) 1-3, 20-22 or 84

*MUS 80 must be taken for 4 units to count toward the Fine Arts GE.

Disciplinary Breadth (4 courses)

Students are required to complete four 4-unit Disciplinary Breadth courses - two (2) of which must be upper-division - outside the major field of study. At least one of the upper-division courses must include significant writing.

Transfer students with IGETC or UC Reciprocity only need to complete two (2) upper-division courses.  Transfer students without an articulation agreement, please see an Academic Counselor.


  • One of the required upper-division courses must come from the Significant Writing list [PDF]
  • All students, regardless of major, can satisfy Disciplinary Breadth GE requirements through Public Service coursework. For more information, please visit the Academic Opportunities page. 
  • Courses used for Disciplinary Breadth cannot overlap with courses used towards the Major. 

Note: For students who are declaring a noncontiguous double major (majors from two different academic disciplines), they must complete just one Upper-Division Disciplinary Breadth with Writing GE. The course can be from any discipline, but it cannot overlap with any requirements for the double major. The course must also appear on our pre-approved Significant Writing list.

Please select your major below to determine which departments you may choose from to satisfy the Disciplinary Breadth requirements.

Winter 2023 GE Courses

Click the button below to view the list of GE courses available in Winter 2023.

View GE Courses [PDF]

General Education Requirements for Transfer Students

General Education requirements will vary depending on your transfer agreement. Please review the options below to learn more about how your transfer agreement affects your GE requirements.  Transfer agreements – including but not limited to IGETC and Partial-IGETC – apply exclusively to students admitted as transfers. They may not apply to students admitted as first-year students.      

Select Your Transfer Agreement

IGETC or Partial IGETC Certification

For students who attended a California Community College and received an IGETC or Partial IGETC Certification.

Learn More

UC Reciprocity

For students who completed all lower-division GE requirements at their previous UC institution.

Learn More

Articulation (No Transfer Agreement)

Transfer students without IGETC, Partial-IGETC or UC Reciprocity are considered Articulation.

Learn More

Want to overlap GE courses with your major?

Review our list of GE courses that can overlap with requirements of different majors.

Learn More