General Education

On March 2, 2023, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Anthony K. Wutoh, presented the revised General Education Program (GEP) framework, for Fall 2023 implementation, to the Academic Excellence Subcommittee of the Howard University Board of Trustees. The revised GEP framework synthesized years of collective efforts to develop a twenty-first century general education program that captures Howard University's distinctiveness and aligns with national standards.

The Revised Howard University General Education Program are centered on two key components: Component I: Essential Learning Outcomes and Component II: Credit-hour Distribution Model (120 credits).

Component I: Essential Learning Outcomes

The revised GEP framework includes seven Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs) that every undergraduate student should achieve before earning a degree at Howard University.

Upon graduation, Howard University undergraduate students will achieve:

1. Knowledge of U.S. and Global African Diasporic Developments by engaging in learning experiences and disciplines, including Black/African diaspora awareness, history, emerging trends, ways of life and institutions, intercultural knowledge, and cross-cultural comparative skills.

2. Knowledge of Human Cultures and Creative Expression by engaging in learning experiences and disciplines, including world language competency, visual/performing arts, digital literacy, creative thinking, humanities, and intercultural knowledge.

3. Knowledge of the Physical and Natural World by engaging in learning experiences and disciplines, including science and environmental consciousness, quantitative research, qualitative research, generativity, and sustainability.

4. Intellectual and Practical Skills by engaging in learning experiences and disciplines, including written communication, inquiry and analysis, financial literacy, oral communication and public speaking, computational thinking, and information literacy.

5. Social Responsibility and Knowledge of Political Institutions by engaging in learning experiences and disciplines, including ethical reasoning, understanding the past, social sciences, and civic knowledge and engagement.

6. Leadership and Applied Learning by engaging in learning experiences and disciplines including foundation and skills for life-long learning, service and experiential learning, 21st-century digital skills, entrepreneurship, teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

7. Comprehensive Wellness Practices by engaging in learning experiences and disciplines including emotional wellness and social resilience, health and physical wellness, organizational wellness, and community wellness.

The ELOs clearly define a common experience and helps to shape what it means to be a Howard University graduate. In alignment with standards of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the ELOs provide a framework that can be tracked, assessed, and modified as necessary.

All ELOs must be achieved by students and should be demonstrated by completing 30 credits across at least four different disciplines (e.g., English, Mathematics, Communications, Fine Arts, Education, Sociology, Business, Chemistry, etc.). Requiring 30 credits (25% of the curriculum) across four different disciplines ensures a well-rounded general education curriculum that can stimulate new student interests.

The ELOs have been embedded into degree plans and will be tracked via the degree-audit system.

Component II: Credit-hour Distribution Model
(120 credits)

**Double majors and other pathways in the Flexible Cluster may require more than the 120 credits that are required to earn a bachelor’s degree. In these instances, the Flexible Cluster may be used toward partial fulfillment of requirements.
Credit Hours for Undergraduate Degree Credit Hours                                                                Percentage of Total Credit Hours Required                               
Course Categories (3) 120 100%
University General Education Program (Meets Essential Learning Outcomes) 30 25%
Major & School/College Requirements 60-81 50-67.5%

Flexible Cluster**

  • Optional Minor (15-24 credits)​
  • Concentrations
  • Electives​/Technical Electives
  • Stackable Credentials/Digital Badging
  • Double Major
  • Pre-professional requirements
9-30 7.5%-25%