The Indiana University Bloomington General Education Curriculum consists of two parts: The Common Ground and Shared Goals.
Indiana University Bloomington GenEd Requirements
The Common Ground
The following General Education Common Ground requirements apply to all undergraduate degree-seeking students at IU Bloomington.
Students must successfully complete, with a grade of C or higher, one of the GenEd-approved English Composition courses:
- CMLT-C 110Writing the World (3 cr.)
- ENG-W 131Elementary Composition (3 cr.)
- ENG-W 170Introduction to Argumentative Writing: Projects in Reading and Writing (3 cr.—this topic only)
- ENG-W 171Projects in Digital Literacy (3 cr.)
Students must successfully complete one of the GenEd-approved Mathematical Modeling courses:
- MATH-M 106The Mathematics of Decision and Beauty (3 cr.)
- MATH-J 113Introduction to Calculus with Applications (3 cr.)
- MATH-M 118Finite Mathematics (3 cr.)
- MATH-S 118Honors Finite Mathematics (3 cr.)
- MATH-V 118Finite Mathematics with Applications: Finite Mathematics for the Social and Biological Sciences (3 cr.)
- MATH-V 118Finite Mathematics with Applications: Finite Math in Action (3 cr.)
- MATH-V 118Finite Mathematics with Applications: Finite and Consumer Math (3 cr.)
- MATH-M 119Brief Survey of Calculus I (3 cr.)
- MATH-V 119Applied Brief Calculus I: Applied Brief Calculus I for the Life Sciences (3 cr.)
- MATH-M 211Calculus I (4 cr.)
- MATH-S 211Honors Calculus I (3 cr.)
Alternatively, students may complete the GenEd-approved finite math two-course sequence: MATH-D 116 + MATH-D 117 (2 cr. + 2 cr.). Credit is not applied to the GenEd Mathematical Modeling requirement until both courses have been completed with a passing grade.
Students must successfully complete at least two courses, for a total of at least 6 cr., from the list of GenEd-approved Arts and Humanities courses.Search for approved A&H courses
Students must successfully complete at least two courses, for a total of at least 6 cr., from the list of GenEd-approved Social and Historical Studies courses.Search for approved S&H courses
Students must successfully complete at least two courses, for a total of at least 5 cr., from the list of GenEd-approved Natural and Mathematical Sciences courses. At least one of these courses must be designated as a Natural Science course. (Note: A course used to satisfy the GenEd Mathematical Modeling requirement will not also count toward the GenEd Natural and Mathematical Sciences requirement.)Search for approved N&M courses
Alternatively, students may complete one of these approved N&M courses (5 cr. each) that includes a substantial lab component:
- ANAT-A 215Basic Human Anatomy
- BIOL-L 100Humans and the Biological World
- CHEM-C 103Introduction to Chemical Principles
- CHEM-S 117Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Honors
- PHSL-P 215Basic Human Physiology
- PHYS-P 201General Physics I
- PHYS-P 202General Physics II
Note: A course used to satisfy the GenEd Mathematical Modeling Foundations requirement will not also count toward the Breadth of Inquiry Natural and Mathematical Sciences requirement.
Students must successfully complete one of the following three options:
Students must successfully complete the study of a single GenEd-approved world language through the second semester of the second-year level of college-level course work. International students whose native language is not English may fulfill the foreign language requirement through demonstrated proficiency in their native languages, in accordance with the practice and policies of the College of Arts and Sciences.
At the discretion of departments offering the relevant world language courses, and with permission of the appropriate College of Arts and Sciences academic dean, exemptions for approved courses may be earned by satisfactory performance on departmentally approved examinations.Search for approved World Languages Courses
World Culture Courses
Students must successfully complete at least two courses, for a total of at least 6 cr., from the list of GenEd-approved World Culture courses.Search for approved World Culture Courses
To satisfy the International Experience option, students must complete an approved study abroad program or approved study abroad internship of at least six credit hours and at least six weeks abroad in duration (or a combination of programs totaling six credit hours; if a combination of programs is chosen, the international experiences must, at a minimum, be three weeks abroad in duration, and the student must earn at least three credit hours from the program for it to count as half of the six–credit hour requirement.) The language of instruction of these programs may be English or another world language, and the site of instruction may be any country except the United States. The following options are available, although certain prerequisites and conditions apply to some programs. In all cases, the programs will have been approved for credit by the Overseas Study Advisory Council (1–3 below) or the Office of International Admissions (4 below):
- IU–administered programs
- IU co-sponsored programs
- IU autonomous programs
- Non–IU programs that have been approved in advance by the Office of International Admissions via approval of the Credit Transfer Agreement Form.
For information about opportunities for studying abroad, see the website of IU Education Abroad.
- A minimum of 6 credit hours of the IU Bloomington General Education Common Ground curriculum must be completed in residence at Indiana University Bloomington.
- Unless otherwise explicitly stated, a grade of D– or higher is sufficient for successful completion of a course in the General Education Common Ground curriculum.
- In order to apply toward the General Education Common Ground requirements, a course must be GenEd-approved for the semester in which the course is taken.
- For Breadth of Inquiry (A&H, S&H, and N&M) and World Languages and Cultures, at the discretion of departments, and with permission of the appropriate academic dean (i.e., the academic dean for the course), exemptions for approved courses may be earned by satisfactory performance on departmentally approved examinations.
- Equivalencies for English Composition and foreign language courses are established by the College of Arts and Sciences and will apply to the General Education requirements in accordance with the policies published in the current College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.
- Courses in which a student earns a grade of "P" (i.e., Pass) will not count toward fulfillment of Common Ground requirements.
- Repeatable courses that are GenEd-approved may apply toward fulfillment of Common Ground requirements more than once only if the course is repeated with a different topic.
- Independent study or correspondence courses do not apply toward fulfillment of IU Bloomington General Education Common Ground requirements.
- For information on transfer credit and the IU Bloomington GenEd Common Ground requirements, consult the Transfer Students page of the IU Bloomington GenEd website.
Together, the Shared Goals—Diversity in the United States, Sustainability Literacy, Intensive Writing, Information Literacy, and Enriching Educational Experiences—form an essential part of the IU Bloomington GenEd Program. Unlike the Common Ground requirements, which are the same for all undergraduate students, the Shared Goals are program-specific and vary depending on major and school. For details, please consult the appropriate school bulletin.
The faculty of each undergraduate degree-granting unit must adopt a degree requirement appropriate to their curriculum that addresses issues of diversity in the United States. Adoption of a requirement that has a focus on the issues of diversity and cultural, racial, ethnic, class, age, ability, sexual orientation, religious, and gender discrimination within the context of the United States would be especially useful in achieving the objectives of enhanced understanding of diversity.
Sustainability Literacy is an integrated, interdisciplinary understanding of the interactions between people and the environment intended to improve well-being, ensure equity for present and future generations, and safeguard the planet’s life-supporting ecosystems. Students will be able to define sustainability and major sustainability challenges; understand carrying capacity of ecosystems; apply concepts of sustainable development to address global sustainability challenges; and evaluate actions through a systems perspective that acknowledges the interconnections between the economy, social institutions, and the environment.
Each degree program should articulate how undergraduate students fulfill this requirement within their degree program. Normally, the expectations for an intensive writing experience would be: taught by faculty in small sections or by individual arrangement; include a series of written assignments evaluated with close attention to organization and expression as well as to substance and argument; graded revision of assignments.
Information Literacy includes, but goes beyond, information technology skills, to introduce students to critical information resources that underlie the major field of study and introduce students to skills in utilizing information resources within that field. Students should be able to determine the extent of information needed, access the needed information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information and its sources critically, incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base, use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.
Meaningful educational experiences, some of which may be outside the traditional classroom, can enhance the overall undergraduate academic experience. These experiences may or may not be linked to specific courses. Each academic program should set forth the accepted options for fulfilling this shared goal. IUB recognizes the value of different types of enriching educational activities, such as a service-learning course, internship, community service and community-based action research, fieldwork, capstone project, student teaching, independent research/creative activity program, approved study abroad experience, honors thesis, show, recital, performance, or advocacy in your major. Such experiences provide opportunities to apply discipline-specific skills and knowledge to community issues and to examine issues of service and social responsibility that relate to the chosen career field.
Each undergraduate student is subject to the General Education requirements that were in effect at the time of matriculation as a degree-seeking student at Indiana University Bloomington.
For example, a student who initially enrolled as a degree-seeking student at IU Bloomington in Fall 2021, whether as a freshman or as a transfer student, must complete the 2021–22 Common Ground requirements prior to graduation.