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General education courses provide a foundation to enrich your undergraduate experience and life after your studies are complete. These courses offer a breadth of study across math, science, humanities and arts, communication, global awareness and understanding of diversity. Collectively, these can help you to excel in your chosen field and create opportunities for personal and professional growth. 

At SHRS, general education requirements are managed differently by the various professional and pre-professional programs. In some cases, they are treated as prerequisites and in others they are included as part of the core curriculum. 

Important Note

The General Education requirements for SHRS students were revised in May 2021.  These updated requirements will be in effect for new (first-year & transfer) students enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2021.

General Education Categories and Minimum Requirements


A. Writing/Communication - 3 courses

  • Seminar in Composition* course. Students may be exempt from the composition requirement with a 660 or above Evidence-Based Reading and Writing SAT score or an ACT English score of 27 and a 5 on the AP English: Language and Composition or AP English: Literature and Composition.
  • 1 Writing Intensive** course - ENGCMP 0400, 0530, 0535 recommended
  • 1 Oral Communication course - COMMRC 0520 preferred; 0500, 0510, 0530 acceptable


B. Algebra & Quantitative and Formal Reasoning - 2 courses

  • Albegra* course. Students may be exempt from the algebra requirement with a 620 or above Math SAT or a 27 and above Math ACT.
  • 1 Statistics course - STAT 0200 or 1000 preferred


C.  Diversity

  • Diversity* course


D. Humanities and Arts, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences - 3 courses

  • Literature*The Arts*Creative Work* or Philosophical Thinking and Ethics* course. Consider courses in bioethics and those with a disability or health & medicine focus.
  • Social Sciences* course.
  • Natural Sciences * course. Check with program to verify if a lab is required.


E. Global Awareness and Cultural Understanding

  • Cross-Cultural Awareness*, Global Issues*, Historical Analysis*, or Specific Geographic Region* course. Study Abroad may be accepted. Consider courses with a disability or health & medicine focus.


*See requirement lists in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences General Education Course Catalog.
**Search in PeopleSoft Mobile, Class Search, for High Impact Practices – Writing Intensive Course.