Academic Resources

General Education Program


Do I have to take a First Year Seminar in the first year?

Yes, except for transfer students, the First Year Seminar is a requirement for graduation. All non-transfer Undergraduate Day students must complete a First Year Seminar during their first year.  (Students enrolled in PLS and HDC take the Adult Learning Seminar.)

Is there a particular First Year Seminar that is required by my major?

Only Education majors are required to take a particular First Year Seminar (namely, EDU 150 Schools in Society). For all other students, the First Year Seminar may count toward the major but it may not be required by the major.

Is it possible to satisfy an overlay requirement during the first year?

Yes, students may satisfy any of the overlay requirements during the first year. However, students should be aware that both the ethics intensive and writing intensive overlays have pre-requisites. For this reason, many students will not be in a position to take these courses until after the first year.

Which GEP requirements have prerequisites?

The following GEP requirements have prerequisites:

  • ENG 102 Texts and Contexts (pre-req: ENG 101)
  • Philosophical Anthropology (pre-req: PHL 154)
  • Ethics Intensive (pre-req: PHL 154)
  • Writing Intensive (pre-req: ENG 101)
  • Faith and Reason (pre-reqs: PHL 154 and THE 154)

Students who have not taken the relevant prerequisite should not be allowed to register for the course.

May I receive GEP credit by using AP credit?

Yes.  See the following table.

Is it possible for a single course to count for overlay credit in more than one overlay area?

Yes, students may receive overlay credit in any area in which course has been certified. Courses may in principle be certified in one, two or three overlay areas.  This means that students may receive overlay credit for multiple overlay areas from a single course, if it is certified in more than one area.  Signature common core courses cannot be certified for overlay credit.  First-Year Seminars can be certified only in the Diversity/Globalization/Non-Western area.  Faith and Reason courses can be certified only in the Writing Intensive area.  Most courses certified for overlay credit are certified in only one overlay area.

Which courses count for overlay requirements?

To determine which courses have been approved for overlay requirements consult the Registration Help Guide here or search the class schedule here.  Faculty advisors may also consult the complete list of all approved courses in all GEP certification areas available at the Faculty Senate Blackboard page (GEP Committee tab).

Can a single course count for both GEP Variable credit and overlay credit?

Yes, with the exception of the pairing discussed in the question below (i.e., Religious Difference and Diversity/Globalization/Non-Western).

Can a Faith and Reason course "double dip" as a GEP Variable course?

No.  The Faith and Reason requirement is not an overlay requirement and it cannot double dip in this way.   There are a small handful of courses certified as both Faith and Reason and GEP Variable (e.g., Religious Difference or Art/Lit/Music,Theatre,Film).  An individual student may take such a course for either Faith and Reason credit OR GEP Variable credit but not both.  That is, an individual student may not receive Faith and Reason credit and GEP Variable credit from a single course, regardless of its certifications.

Can a Faith and Reason course "double dip" as an overlay course?

Yes, but only as Writing Intensive course and only if certified as Writing Intensive.

Why doesn’t my GEP Religious Difference course count for the Diversity overlay requirement even though it has been certified in this area?

It is a GEP policy that a student may not count his or her first Religious Difference course for the Diversity/Globalization/Non-Western Area Studies overlay requirement. However, a student may take a second Religious Difference course in order to satisfy this overlay requirement, provided that the course has been certified in one of the relevant categories.

Is it possible for a single course at the same time to count both as a GEP Variable requirement and as one of a student's Integrative Learning (ILC) requirements?

No, the Integrative Learning requirements are in addition to the GEP Signature and Variable course requirements.

Can a course count at the same time for both the GEP and my major or minor?

There is no GEP rule that prevents courses in general from counting at the same time as major or minor courses.  Departments and programs are free to decide whether GEP courses should count toward the completion of majors and minors.  Note: While ILC courses must be taken outside of the primary major, such courses could in principle also serve as a student's second major or minor courses.

Are courses in the certification areas (i.e., the overlays, First Year Seminar, or Faith-Reason) certified only for certain instructors?

Courses are never certified only for certain instructors.  Courses are certified either for all sections or only for approved sections, where approved sections are those that follow an approved model syllabus.   

What about students in the Professional and Liberal Studies (PLS) or Haub Degree Completionm (HDC) programs?  Do these students have GEP requirements?

PLS and HDC students have somewhat different GEP requirements than Undergraduate Day students. Contact the PLS and HDC offices for details.

Is it true that students in certain classes are not required to fulfill all of the GEP Faith Reason or overlay requirements?

For the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016, exemptions are in place with respect to these requirements.  See the next question.

Are there any other special accommodations in place to assist students during the implementation of the new GEP at Saint Joseph’s?

  • Of the three overlay requirements and Faith and Reason, class of 2014 students need to satisfy two of the four requirements; this means that these students need to complete a Faith Reason course and one overlay requirement OR two overlay requirements.
  • Class of 2015 students need to satisfy three of the four requirements; this means that these students need to complete a Faith Reason course and two overlay requirements OR all three overlay requirements.
  • Class of 2016 students MUST take a Faith Reason course and, of the three GEP overlay requirements, two of the three; this means that these students need to complete a Faith Reason course AND two overlays.
  • Students in the class of 2014 have satisfied the First Year Seminar requirement if they have taken a service-learning course or Honors course provided that the course was taken during the 2010-2011 academic year. This accommodation applies only to the class of 2014.
  • Students in the classes of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 may take two non-lab natural science courses in order to fulfill their GEP Natural Science requirement. For students in these classes, two non-lab natural science courses substitute for the GEP requirement of one lab-based course.
  • In Academic Year 2012-2013, the course EDU 151 may be taken for Writing Intensive overlay credit even by students who have not met the relevant prerequisite. This decision applies only to Academic Year 2012-2013 and only to EDU 151.
  • Beginning in the Fall 2012 semester with the class of 2016, the only Psychology courses that will satisfy the GEP Social/Behavioral Science requirement are PSY 100 and PSY 101. For courses taken prior to the Fall 2012 semester, however, class of 2014 and 2015 students are able count the following Psychology courses for GEP Social/Behavioral Science credit:  PSY 100, PSY 101, PSY 120, PSY 121 PSY 122, and PSY 124.
  • Class of 2014 Food Marketing and Food Marketing Coop students are exempt from the rule that prohibits students from at the same time counting a GEP Variable course as an ILC course. These students will be allowed to count one of their three-credit, lecture-based GEP Natural Science courses also as an ILC course for the purposes of meeting their GEP requirements.  This exemption applies only to class of 2014 FMK and FMK Coop students.