General Studies

Degree Awarded

  • Associate of Arts

Nature of Program

This major serves a three-fold function: (1) to provide an opportunity to examine the general areas of higher education and assist in choosing a major field of concentration; (2) to serve as a program that, through appropriate elective courses, can be adapted for the specific requirements of any four-year college to which a student transfers; and (3) to provide a career curriculum for a student who does not plan to continue in a four-year program.

Admission Requirements

Entering freshmen are admitted directly into the major. 

Benchmark Requirements

A minimum 2.0 GPA is required for graduation. 

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

GEF Requirements28
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
Total Hours60

Major Learning Goals


Upon successful completion of the A.A. degree, General Studies majors will have completed all general education program requirements. 

The General Education Foundations (GEF) provides students with academic and intellectual breadth to appreciate the broad context of their actions, their choices, and their world, beyond their major field(s) of study. WVU aims to help students build the foundational skills and knowledge necessary to reason clearly, communicate effectively, think critically, and contribute to society. 

The GEF works to fulfill the University’s goals of (1) creating well-rounded students with a broad base of skills and knowledge, (2) linking together the courses that students take at WVU, and (3) instilling in students a permanent connection to learning and education, giving them the skills to learn what they need outside a formal educational environment. The GEF strives to help students be thoughtful participants in a democratic society, and to achieve the intellectual integration and awareness they will need to adapt to changes and meet challenges in their personal, social, and professional lives.

In the interest of giving every WVU student a liberal education as defined by the AACU’s Liberal Education & America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative, WVU will apply the AACU LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes as part of the General Education Foundations (GEF). All GEF courses will incorporate at least one of the AACU LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. 

LEAP Essential Learning Outcome 1: Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World

• Through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts.

Focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring.

WVU GEF courses incorporating LEAP Essential Learning Outcome 1 tie some aspect of course outcomes to problems and issues that students recognize in today’s world.

LEAP Essential Learning Outcome 2: Intellectual and Practical Skills,

  • Inquiry and analysis
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Written and oral communication
  • Quantitative literacy
  • Information literacy
  • Teamwork and problem solving

Practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance.

WVU GEF courses incorporating LEAP Essential Learning Outcome 2 teach at least one intellectual or practical skill relevant for modern life, and explicitly describe to students what it is and where it is applicable.

LEAP Essential Learning Outcome 3: Personal and Social Responsibility

  • Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global
  • Intercultural knowledge and competence
  • Ethical reasoning and action
  • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning

Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.

WVU GEF courses incorporating LEAP Essential Learning Outcome 3 engage the personal or social responsibility of students, and discuss personal, local, national, and/or international situations and problems.

LEAP Essential Learning Outcome 4: Integrative and Applied Learning

  • Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies.

Demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.

WVU GEF courses incorporating LEAP Essential Learning Outcome 4 allow for the integration and synthesis of knowledge across the disciplines, and explicitly explain the connection of knowledge across the disciplines.