Academic Catalog 2020-2021

General Education Requirements

The Traditional Undergraduate Program provides a comprehensive learning experience that includes an award-winning, broad-based, liberal arts-focused General Education curriculum. Gardner-Webb’s distinctive General Education program also includes opportunities to engage personal faith with learning. Career preparation is a key theme that runs throughout the undergraduate experience, including internship opportunities and other high-impact active-learning experiences. These experiences have been carefully designed to meet a diverse set of learning goals, which in turn have been developed on the basis of the University’s mission and heritage. Specifically, the faculty has identified seven major learning goals as the intended outcome of the General Education curriculum.

Certain majors may require specific General Education courses. While a course may fulfill a requirement in both the General Education curriculum and the major field of study, credit hours for the course can only be counted toward one or the other. Prescribed General Education courses, as identified by the specific major, are typically prerequisites or provide foundational knowledge for advanced courses in the major. Taking them to fulfill General Education requirements provides the most efficient way to progress toward the completion of the degree. Consult with the school/department of the major to determine specific guidelines for General Education course selection.

Students who complete their studies at Gardner-Webb University will

  1. Demonstrate skill and competency in reasoning critically and creatively. Critical reasoning refers to the ability to evaluate arguments, evidence, and data that results in creative problem-solving. Appropriate use of information resources is an important component in the achievement of this goal.
  2. Utilize skills in clear and effective communication.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the foundational components of human civilization, including history, the social sciences, literature, languages, religion, the fine arts, and other areas of intellectual inquiry that sustain a free society. The General Education curriculum provides students with foundational knowledge of the Western tradition and the larger global community.
  4. Exhibit proficiency in quantitative and qualitative reasoning and analysis. Quantitative reasoning refers principally to the ability to apply mathematical skills and concepts to process quantifiable information and to analyze and model the world around us. Qualitative reasoning refers principally to the ability to evaluate deductive and inductive inferences in arguments particularly as they pertain to problems of behavior or meaning.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the physical and life sciences. Students will use the scientific method to develop conclusions based on quantifiable and verifiable attributes of the physical universe. They will be able to demonstrate an understanding of key concepts in the life and physical sciences.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the processes and principles of holistic wellness necessary for the development of personal health and well-being.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of the biblical foundations of the Christian faith central to the mission and purpose of Gardner-Webb University.

Because of the Christian nature of Gardner-Webb’s identity and mission (see point seven above), it requires all bachelor’s-degree-seeking students, including transfers, to earn credit (whether at Gardner-Webb or another institution under transfer or transient credit policies) for RELI 300: Introduction to the Old Testament and RELI 301: Introduction to the New Testament. Therefore, these two courses are designated upper-division General Education requirements.