The following General Education Policy, approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission, supersedes policies previously in existence and is effective and applicable to students first enrolling in Maryland postsecondary educational institutions in fall 1996 and thereafter.
Maryland Higher Education Commission
Subtitle 06 General Education and Transfer
Authority: Education Article, §11-105 and Title 11, Subtitle 2
Annotated Code of Maryland
This Policy applies only to public institutions of higher education.
- In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
- Terms Defined.
- “A.A. degree” means the Associate of Arts degree.
- “Arts” means courses that examine aesthetics and the development of the aesthetic form and explore the relationship between theory and practice.
- “A.S. degree” means the Associate of Sciences degree.
- “Biological and physical sciences” means courses that examine living systems and the physical universe. They introduce students to the variety of methods used to collect, interpret, and apply scientific data, and to an understanding of the relationship between scientific theory and application.
- “English composition courses” means courses that provide students with communication knowledge and skills appropriate to various writing situations, including intellectual inquiry and academic research.
- “General education” means the foundation of the higher education curriculum providing a coherent intellectual experience for all students.
- “General education program” means a program that is designed to:
- Introduce undergraduates to the fundamental knowledge, skills, and values that are essential to the study of academic disciplines;
- Encourage the pursuit of life-long learning; and
- Foster the development of educated members of the community and the world.
- “Humanities” means courses that examine the values and cultural heritage that establish the framework for inquiry into the meaning of life.
- “Mathematics” means courses that provide students with numerical, analytical, statistical, and problem-solving skills.
- “Social and behavioral sciences” means courses that are concerned with the examination of society and the relationships among individuals within a society.
.01.03 General Education Requirements for Public Institutions
A. While public institutions have the autonomy to design their general education program to meet their unique needs and mission, that program shall:
- Incorporate coursework in each of the following core areas, at a minimum:
- Arts and humanities;
- Social and behavioral sciences;
- Biological and physical sciences;
- Mathematics; and
- English composition;
- Conform to the definitions and common standards in this chapter; and
Incorporate the general education knowledge and skills required by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Standards for Accreditation.
B. A public institution shall require each:
- Program leading to an A.A. or A.S. degree to include at least 28, but not more than 36, credit hours of general education courses;
- Associate’s degree program that does not lead to an A.A. or A.S. degree to include at least 18, but not more than 36, credit hours of general education courses; and
- Bachelor’s degree program to include at least 38, but not more than 48, credit hours of general education courses.
C. Each course used to satisfy the credit requirements of §B of this regulation shall carry at least 3 credit hours.
D. General education programs within the A.A. or A.S. degree or the bachelor’s degree at public institutions shall require at least:
- Two courses in arts and humanities;
- Two courses in social and behavioral sciences;
- Two science courses, at least one of which shall be a laboratory course;
- One course in mathematics, having performance expectations demonstrating a level of mathematical maturity beyond the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards in Mathematics (including problem-solving skills, and mathematical concepts and techniques that can be applied in the student’s program of study); and
- One course in English composition, completed with a grade of C- or better.
E. Institution-Specific Requirements.
- In addition to the five required areas in §A(1) of this regulation, a public institution may include up to 8 credit hours in coursework outside the five areas. These courses may be integrated into other general education courses or may be presented as separate courses. Examples include, but are not limited to, Health, Diversity, and Computer Literacy.
- Public institutions may not include the courses in this section in a general education program unless they provide academic content and rigor equivalent to the areas in §A(1) of this regulation.
F. A course in a discipline listed in more than one of the areas of general education may be applied only to one area of general education.
G. A public institution may allow a speech communication or foreign language course to be part of the arts and humanities category.
H. Composition and literature courses may be placed in the arts and humanities area if literature is included as part of the content of the course.
I. Public institutions may not include physical education skills courses as part of the general education requirements.
J. General education courses shall reflect current scholarship in the discipline and provide reference to theoretical frameworks and methods of inquiry appropriate to academic disciplines.
K. Courses that are theoretical may include applications, but all applications courses shall include theoretical components if they are to be included as meeting general education requirements.
L. Each public institution shall designate on the student transcript those courses that have met a general education requirement, including the specific core area or requirement it has fulfilled under this regulation.