Story Education

What You Need to Know about CSU General Education

Elizabeth Chapin


The California State University has updated general education (GE) requirements, giving students more flexibility in completing their bachelor’s degrees and more opportunities to acquire mathematical and quantitative reasoning skills relevant to their majors and future careers. 

GE courses ensure graduates have a broad background in various disciplines, including math, English, art, and history, among others. Previously, CSU GE policy required students to complete a mathematics/quantitative reasoning course that included the specific prerequisite of intermediate algebra, the equivalent of high school algebra II. The updated Executive Order 1100 offers flexibility for students in GE mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses to learn how to apply mathematical and computational skills and critical thinking skills to perform analyses in real-world contexts. Prerequisites for CSU GE mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses will reflect the skills needed for each specific course.

Additionally, the policy change allows baccalaureate-level GE mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses that relate to a wide range of college majors, including engineering, computer science, business, kinesiology, art, nursing and philosophy. In addition to traditional courses such as algebra, trigonometry and calculus, courses meeting the GE mathematics/quantitative reasoning requirement may now include personal finance, game theory and computer science, for example.

More advanced courses, such as calculus, will continue to have advanced mathematics prerequisites. This change does not affect the mathematics courses required for specific majors.