Information for Students

Purpose of General Education Program Areas and Requirements

The overall objective of General Education is to create a context wherein basic skills are developed and strengthened, scholarship and disciplined thinking emerge, awareness and reflection occur, and ultimately - the integration of knowledge begins. Below you will find a description of each G.E. Area and its purpose within the G.E. Program.

For more detailed information on G.E., please visit the  General Education section of the University Catalog. A list of courses that fulfill each G.E. Area can be found on the University's G.E. Pattern Sheet.

NOTE: If you are an Engineering major or a Liberal Studies major, please check the University Catalog for your respective G.E. Requirements. These majors have different specifications for fulfilling major G.E. Requirements.


FOUNDATION, the basic foundation of one's university education, consists of courses in fundamental skills and knowledge.

Area A (Fundamental Skills and Knowledge)

Purpose: An educated person must be able to read critically, communicate effectively, and think clearly.

BREADTH exposes students to a variety of disciplines within a structured framework that develops knowledge in four basic areas of human endeavor.

Area B1 (Physical Science) 

Purpose: To understand and actively explore fundamental principles in the Physical Sciences and the methods of developing and testing hypotheses used in the analysis of the physical universe.

Area B2 (Life Science)

Purpose: To understand basic concepts of living things, the nature of scientific knowledge, and the relevance of biological knowledge to human affairs.

Area C1 (Arts)

Purpose: To develop an appreciation and understanding of and to stimulate imagination and creativity through study and participation in art, dance, music, and theatre

Area C2 (Humanities)

Purpose: Through the study of the humanities, to understand, appreciate, and analyze the meaning of our civilization, its cultural background, and the nature and role of language. To study the humanities from a variety of historical perspectives and cultures by analyzing individual works.

Area D (Social, Political, and Economic Institutions and Behavior, Historical Background)

Purpose: To understand and analyze the basic principles underlying human social behavior.

Area E (Lifelong Understanding and Self-Development)

Purpose: To equip human beings for lifelong understanding and development of themselves as integrated physiological and psychological entities.


INTEGRATION ties together the Program by providing an integrative experience at the upper-division level in three areas of breadth. All courses are upper-division.

Area IB (Physical Universe and Its Life Forms),  Area IC (Arts and Humanities),  Area ID (Social, Political and Economic Institutions and Behavior, Historical Background)

Purpose: The Integration component of General Education is included to provide instruction at the upper division level that integrates material from each of the BREADTH areas B, C, and D.

G.E. Program ePortfolio

All freshmen and transfer students admitted to Fresno State for the first time in Fall 2018 and later are required to submit assignments and reflections to the G.E. Program ePortfolio as part of their G.E. requirements. Additional information about the specific requirements for freshmen and transfer students (which are different) can be found in a Canvas course and within the G.E. Program ePortfolio in which students are automatically enrolled. Students admitted prior to Fall 2018, even if they are readmitted after Fall 2018, are not required to complete a G.E. Program ePortfolio. More information on the GE ePortfolio.