UMKC Catalog


College of Arts and Sciences General Education Requirements - General Education Requirements

A. Communication (12 credit hours)

Every student must complete the following:

  1. First Year Writing course. ENGLISH 110 or HMNTY 105P. This requirement may be satisfied by scoring 30 or higher on the English subsection of the ACT or 690 or higher on the verbal subsection of the SAT.


  2. Sophomore-level Writing Intensive course. ENGLISH 225 or HMNTY 202P.


  3. The UMKC Written English Proficiency Test (WEPT). The WEPT is a prerequisite for all writing intensive courses and should be taken after a student has completed ENGLISH 225 and 45 credit hours. The WEPT is also a graduation requirement for all students. Those who fail the WEPT twice must take ENGLISH 299; this course, which does not count towards the degree, will serve as the WEPT for students who earn a C- or better in the course.


  4. Junior/Senior-level Writing Intensive (WI) course. Upper-level (300/400-level) Writing Intensive courses are designated with WI or PW following the course number. Writing Intensive courses should be completed during the junior or senior year and after the completion of the three requirements above.


  5. One course in which oral argumentation is a major focus. This requirement is met by the courses

B. Mathematical, Symbolic and Logical Reasoning (6 credit hours minimum)

Every student must complete the following:

  1. MATH 110 or higher (except MATH 125), or demonstrate competency equivalent to four units (years) of acceptable high school mathematics, beginning with Algebra I or higher.


  2. One course requiring extensive use of mathematical, symbolic or logical reasoning. This requirement is met by the courses
    • Any mathematics course at or above the 200 level (under the curricular designation of Mathematics or Statistics and offered in the mathematics department); or
    • PHILOS 222. (Note: PHILOS 222 may be chosen here only if it has not been chosen as the philosophy requirement below.)

C. Foreign Language and Culture (16 credit hours)

Every student must complete the following:

  1. Three semesters of the same foreign language (110, 120 and 211) are required for all B.A. degrees.
  • Students with high school or other foreign language experience are strongly recommended to take the language placement exam, which can be accessed on the Department of Foreign Languages website. Regardless of the level of placement, students must complete a sophomore-level course (211 or above).
  • Students who have satisfactorily completed two years of a foreign language in high school will be exempt from the 110 college-level course and will be required to complete only two additional (120 college-level and above) courses in that same language.
  • Students who completed four years of the same foreign language in high school must complete only one additional sophomore-level (211 or above) course in that same language.
  • Full-time, degree-seeking students whose education through eighth grade, or the equivalent, has been in a language other than English shall be exempt from the foreign language requirement for the general education requirements. Students must contact the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures to obtain a letter of exemption. Other speakers of a foreign language (i.e. heritage speakers) do not qualify for a complete exemption from the foreign language requirement, and would need to take at least one 3-credit hour course at the appropriate level.
  • Students will not receive college credit towards a degree for any of the above exemptions.
  • Students who have had more than two years of a foreign language in high school may not enroll in the 110 level course of that language at UMKC without special permission of the section head or coordinator for that language, or the chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures in cases where there is no course coordinator. (I.e., students who have taken three or more years of French may not enroll in French 110; those who have taken three or more years of Spanish may not enroll in Spanish 110; and the same for all other languages taught at UMKC.)
  • Heritage speakers may not enroll in 110-level courses without permission of the language coordinator or section head for their language, or the chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature in cases where there is no course coordinator. Instead they should take the courses designated for heritage speakers, or if there is no such course, they should speak with a Foreign Language advisor or the department chair about the appropriate level of course to take.
  • Note: A heritage speaker is someone who grows up with a certain family language in the home which is different from the dominant language in that country. In the case of the United States, the dominant language is English. So, a student who grows up in a family where they speak Spanish, or Chinese, or Arabic, or Russian, etc., would be a heritage speaker of that language.
  1. One course that focuses on cultural perspectives of an interdependent global environment. This requirement is met by the courses

D. Computer and Information Technology (3 credit hours)

Every student must demonstrate competence equivalent to a programming course or software application course that includes substantial computer experience. This requirement is met by one of the following courses

  • ART 114,
  • A&S 100,
  • COMP-SCI 100, 101, 105P or
  • An approved computer application course in the student's major/program.

E. Literature and Philosophy (6 credit hours)

Every student must complete the following:

  1. One of the following literature courses


  2. One of the following courses

F. Distribution Requirements for General Education

  1. Social and Behavioral Sciences (three courses, 9 hours). The nine hours chosen to complete the social and behavioral sciences distribution requirement in (a.) and (b.) below must come from at least two different departments.

    a. Constitution Requirement:

    Every student must fulfill the Missouri state requirement to take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Courses that satisfy this requirement are

    b. Distribution Electives:

    Every student must also complete two courses from the social and behavioral sciences. Students may select courses from the following departments/areas:

    • Anthropology
    • Black Studies (social science topics only, which include 302, 320, 321 325 or 404)
    • Criminal Justice and Criminology
    • Economics
    • Geography (regional or cultural topics only, which include GEOG 105, 200, 202, 210, 300, 309, 311, 329, 332, 333, 340, 341, 342, 350, 351, 352, 355, 403, 405, 410, 415, 435, 437, 460, 489 or 496 only)
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • SOC-SCI 210 or 220
    • Urban Studies


  2. Physical and Biological Sciences (two courses, 8 hours minimum). Every student must complete at least two lecture courses in the physical and/or biological sciences. One of the courses must be a lecture/laboratory combination. Students may select courses from the following departments/areas:
    • Chemistry
    • Environmental Science
    • Geography (physical geography topics only, which include GEOG 150, 203, 215, 314, 317, 319, 335, 336, 360, 398, 401, 402, 404, 406, 426, 430, 435, 442, 444, 448 or 450)
    • Geology
    • Natural Science
    • Physical Science
    • Physics
    • Biology


  3. Humanities and Fine Arts (two courses, 6 hours).

    a. Fine Arts:

    Every student must complete one of the following courses:

    b. Humanities:

    Every student must complete one additional course from any of the following departments/areas:

    • Art (Studio)
    • Art History
    • Black Studies (selected topics)
    • Classics (selected topics)
    • Communication Studies
    • English
    • Foreign Languages
    • Humanities
    • Philosophy
    • Theatre


  4. Interdisciplinary Cluster Course (one course, 3 hours). Every student is required to complete a junior/senior interdisciplinary cluster course. Cluster courses provide opportunities to study special themes or historical periods from the perspective of several different disciplines at once and to show how different disciplines complement each other to form a more comprehensive understanding of a given topic. See the subsection below on "Interdisciplinary Cluster Courses" for additional information and a list of approved cluster courses.

G. Capstone Course

All students in a major must complete a course designated as a capstone course in their major.

H. Additional Requirements and Restrictions

  • A minimum of 120 total credit hours is required for graduation.
  • At least 36 credit hours must be at the 300-400 level.
  • A 2.0 overall GPA is required for graduation. However, the required major GPA may be higher, as determined by each department individually.
  • A maximum of 3 hours of one-credit activity courses in physical education may be applied toward the 120 minimum
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