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General Education (GE)

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

GE courses are great choices to take in the first semester of your first year.  All first year students (freshmen) in every major who enter UC Merced in Fall 2018 or later are under the same GE pattern.  Courses you complete toward GE in your first year will count toward graduation even if you later change your major.

All transfer students who enter UC Merced in Fall 2020 or later are under the same GE pattern as first year students.

All courses used for GE must be passed with a C- or higher.

The GE Spark Seminar must be finished by the end of the second semester in your first year.

A complete list of General Education (GE) requirements for first year students entering UC Merced in Fall 2018 or later (or transfers entering UC Merced in Fall 2020 or later) can be found here.  A course can count toward both your major and GE.


First year students usually focus on completing these parts of the GE requirements:

     * GE Spark Seminar (must be completed by end of second semester in first year)

     * GE Approaches to Knowledge courses

     * GE Intellectual Experience Badges (can be completed with courses or co-curricular experiences)   

     * GE Language (foreign language or computer programming language; may be satisfied during high school)  

     * GE Written Communication (must pass Entry Level Writing Requirement first--see this link)

     * GE Quantitative Reasoning 

     * GE ePortfolio (will receive link to set up early in your first semester)


Your Bobcat Advising Center advisor will talk with you about GE requirements in appointments during your first year (after you arrive on campus for fall semester).


Many GE requirements (Approaches to Knowledge, Intellectual Experience Badges, Language) can be completed throughout your four years at UC Merced.


Some GE requirements (Crossroads, Writing in the Discipline, Culminating Experience) are designed to be taken during your junior and senior year at UC Merced.