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General Education (GE)

All students in every major must satisfy the General Education (GE) requirements to earn a UC Merced degree.

  • For a complete list of courses that satisfy GE requirements, see the current UC Merced Catalog.

    • Select General Education in the left column.


Notes about GE for first year students:

  • GE courses are a great choice to take in the first semester of your first year.
  • GE Spark Seminar must be completed by the end of your second semester.
    • Faculty in most majors recommend that you take Spark in your first semester.
  • Courses will count toward GE even if you change your major.
  • You must earn a C- or higher grade in any course used to fulfill a GE requirement.
  • A course can count toward both your major (or minor) and GE.
  • A course can count toward both GE Approaches to Knowledge and GE Intellectual Experiences.


In addition to courses required in your major, most first years take courses to satisfy the following GE requirements:

  • GE Spark Seminar (must be completed by end of second semester in first year)
  • GE Written Communication (must pass UC Entry Level Writing Requirement first--see this link)
  • GE Quantitative Reasoning
  • GE Language (foreign language or computer programming language; may be satisfied during high school)
  • GE Approaches to Knowledge:
  • GE Intellectual Experiences


Although the Spark Seminar must be completed by the end of your second semester, the other GE requirements can be taken throughout your four years at UC Merced.


Some GE requirements are designed to be taken during your second, third, or fourth year at UC Merced:

  • GE Crossroads
  • GE Writing in the Discipline
  • GE Culminating Experience


Your BAC academic advisor will talk with you about GE requirements in appointments during your first year after you arrive on campus for fall semester.