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Office of Undergraduate Studies

General Education Requirements for All Undergraduates

General Education Requirements for All Undergraduates

The SAGES Program and Physical Education – Effective Fall 2017

All undergraduates at Case Western Reserve must complete the SAGES program and the physical education requirement, in addition to school-specific general education requirements based on the school of his or her major.

The SAGES program

The First Seminar (four credit-hours, to be taken in the first semester of enrollment): The First Seminar focuses on the development of critical thinking and communication skills through the use of a variety of approaches, media, and perspectives to explore the human mind and the nature of inquiry. This course is designed to strengthen writing and analytical skills, while building a foundation in ethics, information literacy, and cultural diversity.

First Seminar: Natural World (FSNA 1xx)
First Seminar: Social World (FSSO 1xx)
First Seminar: Symbolic World (FSSY 1xx)

As an alternative to these topical seminars, some students may choose FSCC 110: Foundations of College Writing, designed to provide additional writing support.

Students for whom English is a second language and who would benefit from an initial focus on academic English will enroll in FSAE 100: Academic English (three credit-hours) during the fall semester and then continue with FSCC 100: The Life of the Mind (four credit-hours) in the spring to complete their First Seminar requirement. Some students for whom English is a second language will go directly into FSCC 100: Life of the Mind in the fall semester.

University Seminars (six credit-hours, minimum of two seminars, to be completed in the first two years of enrollment): After completion of the First Seminar, students must complete two University Seminars. A student’s First Seminar and two University Seminars must include a course from each of the three thematic areas: Natural World, Social World, and Symbolic World. University Seminars provide continued experience in critical reading, writing, and oral communication as well as information literacy, ethics, and cultural diversity. Each University Seminar explores content determined according to the interests of the faculty. University Seminars must be completed by end of the fourth semester of enrollment.

University Seminar: Thinking About the Natural World (USNA 2xx)
University Seminar: Thinking About the Social World (USSO 2xx)
University Seminar: Thinking About the Symbolic World (USSY 2xx)

A student’s First Seminar and two University Seminars must include a course from each of the three thematic areas: Natural World, Social World, and Symbolic World. Students who complete their First Seminar requirement with FSCC 100 or FSCC 110 may fulfill the University Seminar requirement by choosing two courses from any two of the three thematic areas.

University composition requirement – SAGES writing portfolio: Students develop a writing portfolio comprising final graded writing assignments from the First Seminar and University Seminars. The Writing Portfolio is due the semester after completing the final University Seminar.

Departmental Seminar (three credit-hours): The Departmental Seminar includes seminar-based discussion as well as instruction and experience in the kinds of writing characteristic of the Departmental Seminar’s discipline. It is taken after the completion of the University Seminars, ordinarily in the fourth–sixth semester of study. The Departmental Seminar may be taken in the department of the student’s major or in another department. Some majors include and specify a department seminar. Please review the specific requirements of your major(s) in the General Bulletin.

Senior Capstone (three to six credit-hours): The Senior Capstone assimilates the knowledge and skills gained throughout the educational process. Students engage in a unique one- or two-semester experience designed in consultation with a faculty member. Each Capstone Experience must include these key elements:

  • Demonstration of critical thinking and writing skills;
  • Regular oversight by the Capstone advisor;
  • Periodic reporting of progress;
  • Regular writing (e.g. drafts, progress reports, critiques) throughout the project including a final written report which may be a thesis or equivalent document associated with the project activity (e.g. such pursuits as performance, experiment, live case analysis, or creative writing), as approved by the department in which the capstone is completed;
  • Oral reports including a final public presentation at the Senior Capstone Fair, a conference, a performance, a public lecture, a teaching presentation, or other, as approved by the department in which the capstone is completed.

Some majors include and specify a senior capstone. Please review the specific requirements of your major(s) in the General Bulletin.

Physical Education

All students must complete two full semesters of PHED courses at zero credit-hours. Students may choose from half-semester and full-semester course offerings. If possible, a student should begin meeting this requirement in the first semester and complete it early in his or her undergraduate years.