General education is that part of the curriculum that everyone takes to acquire a broad foundation in the liberal arts and sciences: the humanities, fine arts, and natural and social sciences.

Through its emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences, Millersvilleís general education program gives students the background in writing, speaking and critical thinking across a broad range of subjects that they will need to advance through their careers and address the wide variety of problems they will face as citizens and leaders of a complex world.

Millersvilleís general education program also prepares students for productive and meaningful lives outside their careers, continuing their personal development through a lifetime of learning. It helps them better enjoy a concert or a painting, appreciate people from different backgrounds and cultures, read a novel or a scientific article with greater understanding, and enjoy a stimulating conversation with friends.

The specific goals of the general education program are for students to develop:

  • Written and oral communication skills. 
  • Critical thinking, and analytical reasoning, problem solving, and decision making abilities. 
  • Broad understanding of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. 
  • Multicultural awareness. 
  • The ability to interrelate ideas across disciplines and take a holistic approach to personal, community and global concerns. 
  • A sense of inquiry and curiosity and an appreciation of truth and beauty.
To meet these goals, the general education program is organized into a structure with three components: the communications (writing and speech) component, the liberal arts core and the perspectives component.


These requirements focus on skills basic to success in all fields of study.

English Composition (0-3 credits). This college-level competency requirement is in addition to the pre-college proficiency requirement described earlier. Competence in English composition must be demonstrated in one of the following ways before the junior year.

  1. Achieving a combined score of 1230 in the Verbal portion of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and the CEEB English Composition Achievement Test.
  2. Achieving a score of 3 or higher in the Advanced Placement (AP) test in English Composition. 
  3. Achieving a satisfactory score in the CLEP general examination in English Composition. 
  4. Passing the English Composition Competency Examination administered by the English department at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. 
  5. Earning a grade of C- or higher in English Composition (ENGL 110).
Fundamentals of Speech (0-3 credits). College-level competency in speech must be demonstrated in one of the following ways, preferably before the junior year:
  1. Earning a grade of C- or higher in a competency examination administered by the Communication and Theatre department. To take this examination, register with the Communication and Theatre department by the end of the drop-add period. 
  2. Earning a grade of C- or higher in Fundamentals of Speech (COMM 100).
Advanced Writing Course (3 credits). A course to further enhance writing skills. The courses currently approved to meet this requirement are ENGL 311, ENGL 312, ENGL 313 and ENGL 316.


These courses focus on concepts basic to the liberal arts. Students must take 4 courses (12 credits minimum) in each of three areas: Humanities, Science and Mathematics, and Social Sciences. The following stipulations apply to these courses:

  1. To develop depth as well as breadth of understanding, at least 3 courses must be at the 200 level or above. 
  2. To achieve greater understanding in some disciplines, within each Liberal Arts Core area two courses must be from a single department. No more than two courses from a single department may be credited toward the Liberal Arts Core. 
  3. To develop scientific reasoning abilities, at least one of the courses in Science and Mathematics must be a laboratory science course. In addition, at least two of the courses in science and mathematics must be from the physical or life sciences. 
  4. Up to 4 courses required for the major from departments outside the major may be credited toward the Liberal Arts Core or used as the general education elective. Courses taught by the studentís major department may not be credited toward the core or the general education elective. 
  5. To develop quantitative and analytical reasoning ability, at least one math course approved for the Liberal Arts Core must be taken. Non-math majors may satisfy this requirement by including an approved math course in the Liberal Arts Core or as the general education elective. 
  6. To develop competence and confidence in writing skills, at least four courses must have a significant writing component. These courses may be counted in the Liberal Arts Core, in the major if required there, or as electives.

These courses are interdisciplinary and/or multicultural in content and require a high level of educational maturity, knowledge and thinking. They encourage students to:

  • Integrate knowledge acquired in previous course work. 
  • Demonstrate how different areas of knowledge relate and can be used in complementary ways. 
  • Make independent and responsible value judgements and decisions. 
  • Apply analytical and critical thinking abilities in resolving social, cultural , scientific and aesthetic problems. The following stipulations apply to Perspectives courses:
  1. Students must take one Perspectives course, which may be either in the major department or outside the major department. A Perspectives course taken in the studentís major department cannot also count toward the major or required related courses. 
  2. Before taking a Perspectives course, English Composition and at least 24 credits of the Liberal Arts Core must be completed. 
  3. Perspectives courses may not be credited toward the Liberal Arts Core. 
  4. Students completing a semester abroad or international students are considered to have fulfilled the perspectives requirement. In such cases, only 51 credits of other General Education courses are required.

Students must take one additional general education course (minimum of 3 s.h.) from among the courses identified as Liberal Arts Core or Perspectives courses. This elective may not be a Liberal Arts Core course from the studentís major department.


Students must complete 3 credits in health and physical education courses approved to satisfy this requirement. Special courses or accommodations are available for disabled and nontraditional (mature) students.


Lists of courses that may be credited toward each of the general education requirements are available from the academic advisement office and the academic advisement web page.