The Program in General Education lies at the heart of the intellectually transformative mission of Harvard College and seeks to prepare students for meaningful lives of civic and ethical engagement in an ever changing world. Courses in the Gen Ed curriculum transcend disciplinary limits, challenging students to make intellectual connections across boundaries. They ask students to grapple with complex and fundamental questions in order to teach students to discern meaning, imagine possibilities, and ask better questions of themselves and of others. Gen Ed courses help students to understand the deep relationship of scholarly work to some of the most important aspects of life beyond college. Gen Ed aims to produce practical wisdom: it asks Harvard students to consider how they will best use their liberal arts and sciences educations, and their lives, in the service of both knowledge and humanity.
Based on recommendations from the General Education Review Committee’s (GERC) Final Report, in March 2016 FAS faculty approved a new set of requirements for Harvard College students:
- four General Education courses (one from each of four perspectives): Aesthetics & Culture; Histories, Societies, Individuals; Science & Technology in Society; Ethics & Civics
- one course from each of the three main divisions of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences (including SEAS), and
- one course that demonstrates quantitative facility.
The requirements will take effect in Fall 2018. Learn more about the new requirements and the renewal of the Program in General Education by reading GERC’s Final Report.
Please see Advice for Students to learn how the adoption of these new requirements affects students’ existing requirements and to get advice about choosing courses with these changes in mind.
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