University of Southern California

Undergraduate Education

General Education

General Education Course Lists

Core Literacies

GE-A: The Arts

Courses in this category enable students to engage with the arts by teaching them to create and analyze works of art, understanding the context of their creations and their connections to cultural issues. The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for a general student audience:

AHIS 125g Arts of Asia I: Antiquity to 1300
AHIS 126g Arts of Asia II: 1300 to the Present
AHIS 128g Arts of Latin America
AHIS 373g History and Theory of Photography
ART 141Lg Creating and Understanding Visuals
CLAS 280gp Classical Mythology
CTCS 190g Introduction to Cinema
CTCS 200g History of International Cinema I
DANC 212g Dance in Popular Culture
DANC 280g Introduction to Dance as an Art Form
DANC 302g Urban Folk and Street Dance: History and Culture
DANC 363g Dancing on the Screen
DES 123Lg The Design Challenge: Exploring the Design Process
EALC 360g Performing Japan: Bodies, Media and Textuality
FACS 150g Visual Culture and Literacy I
FADN 323g Design Theory
GESM 110g Seminar on the Arts
HIST 260g Dramatizations of Korean History
THTR 195g Theatre on Film
THTR 196g Shakespeare in Performance
THTR 197g Comedy and Performance
THTR 211g Theory and Practice of World Theatre II

The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for a specified group of students:

ARCH 214agbg World History of Architecture (both sections are necessary for GE credit)
GE-B: Humanistic Inquiry

Courses in this category cultivate a critical appreciation for various forms of human expression by teaching students to evaluate works of literature, philosophy, and the arts, to think critically and formulate informed opinions about ideas and values. The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for a general student audience:

AHIS 100g Introduction to Visual Culture
AHIS 127g Arts of the Ancient Americas
AHIS 201g Digging into the Past
AHIS 381g Visual Culture of Asia
AMST 150g The American War in Viet Nam
AMST 201g LGBTQ America
AMST 301gp America, the Frontier, and the New West
CLAS 150g Greeks and Legacies
CLAS 151gp Civilization of Rome
CLAS 160gp Ancient Lives
CLAS 320gmp Diversity and the Classical Western Tradition
CLAS 337gp Ancient Drama
COLT 101gp Masterpieces and Masterminds: Literature and Thought
COLT 102g On Location: The Place of Literature in Global Cultures
COLT 250g Cultures of Latin America
COLT 264gp Asian Aesthetic and Literature Traditions
COLT 374gm Women Writers in Europe and America
COLT 382gw Zen and Taoism in Asian Literature
EALC 125g Intro to Contemporary East Asian Cinema and Culture
EALC 130gp Introduction to East Asian Ethical Thought
EALC 145g Introduction to Chinese Culture, Art and Literature
EALC 150g Global Chinese Cinema and Cultural Studies
EALC 333g Introduction to Korean Film
EALC 340gp Japanese Civilization
EALC 342g Japanese Literature and Culture
EALC 344g Korean Culture from Ancient to Modern Times
EALC 346g Hallyu, The Korean Wave
EALC 350gp Chinese Civilization
EALC 352g Chinese Literature and Culture
EALC 354g Modern Chinese Literature in Translation
EALC 358g Transnational Chinese Literature and Culture
ENGL 170g The Monster and the Detective
ENGL 172g The Art of Poetry
ENGL 174g Reading the Heart: Emotional Intelligence
ENGL 176g Los Angeles: the City, the Novel, the Movie
ENGL 230g Shakespeare and His Times
ENGL 298g Introduction to the Genre of Fiction
ENGL 299g Introduction to the Genre of Poetry
ENGL 350g Literature of California
ENGL 355g Anglo-American Law and Literature: Conceptions of Tyranny
ENGL 376g Comics and Graphic Novels
FREN 370gm Equality and Difference around the Enlightenment
FREN 373g Remembering Loss, Writing Memory
GERM 360g 20th Century German Prose: Texts and Films
GERM 372g Literature and Culture in Berlin in the 1920s
GESM 120g Seminar in Humanistic Inquiry
HIST 100gm The American Experience
HIST 102g Medieval People
HIST 103g The Emergence of Modern Europe
HIST 104g Modern Europe
HIST 105g The Korean Past
HIST 106g Chinese Lives: An Introduction to Chinese History
HIST 107g Introduction to the History of Japan
HIST 185g Introduction to Armenian Studies and Armenian History
HIST 271g Telling Native American Stories
HIST 275g The Worlds of the Silk Road
ITAL 350g Italian Renaissance Literature in Translation
ItAL 382g Dante
JS 100gp Jewish History
JS 258gp Food, Faith and Conflict
JS 314gp Holy War And History: Jews, Christians, Muslims
LING 322xg Language Contact and Language Acquisition
PHIL 130g The Physical World and Our Place In It
PHIL 166g Current Moral and Social Issues
PHIL 172gm Social Ethics for Earthlings and Others
PHIL 174g Freedom, Equality and Social Justice
PHIL 178g Moral Dilemmas in the Legal Domain
PHIL 256g Science, Religion and the Making of the Modern Mind
PHIL 260g Ethical Theory and Practice
REL 111g World of the Hebrew Bible
REL 112g Religions of Ancient Egypt and the Near East
REL 114g The Mediterranean: A Religious History
REL 115g Jerusalem, City of Three Faiths
REL 121g The World of the New Testament
REL 125g Introduction to Christianity
REL 132g Origins of Western Religions
REL 134xg Introduction to Buddhism
REL 135xg Chinese Religions and Culture
REL 136xg Sense and Sensuality in Indian Religions and Culture
REL 137g Introduction to Islam
REL 138g Japanese Religions and Culture
REL 141g Global Religions in Los Angeles
REL 147g Religion, Media and Popular Culture
REL 311g The Bible in Western Literature
REL 317g The Bible in Its Ancient Context
REL 326gp Historical Jesus
REL 359g Culture in Diaspora: The Jews in Spain
SLL 302g Modern Russian Literature
SLL 344g Tolstoy: Writer and Moralist
SLL 345g Literature and Philosophy: Dostoevsky
SLL 348g The Novels of Vladimir Nabokov
SWMS 212g Studies in Gender and Sexuality: An Introduction
SWMS 215gp Gender Conflict Across Cultural Contexts
SWMS 301gm Feminist Theory: An Introduction

The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for specified groups of students:

CORE 101g Symbols and Conceptual Structures: Thematic Option Honors Program
CORE 102g Culture and Values: Thematic Option Honors Program
CTCS 192gm Race, Class and Gender in American Film
CTWR 100g Story: Character, Conflict, and Catharsis
DANC 342g International and Historical Perspectives on Dance
SPAN 380g Literature of Mexico
GE-C: Social Analysis

Courses in this category explore the causes and consequences of social phenomena by teaching students to apply the quantitative and qualitative methods of the social sciences to understand how people behave and influence the world through institutions and other cultural forms. The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for a general student audience:

AMST 101gmw Race and Class in Los Angeles
AMST 111g Sex in America
AMST 135gmw Peoples and Cultures of the Americas
AMST 200g Introduction to American Studies and Ethnicity
AMST 220gmw The Making of Asian America
AMST 230g Introduction to African American Studies
AMST 250gmw The African Diaspora
AMST 252gmw Black Social Movements in the U.S.
AMST 274gmw Exploring Ethnicity through Film
AMST 285gm African American Popular Culture
ANTH 101g Illness and Healing: The Cross-Cultural Perspective
ANTH 140g Mesoamerican Cosmovision and Culture
ANTH 201g Principles of Human Organization
ANTH 202g Archaeology: Our Human Past
ANTH 205g Introduction to Global Studies and Overseas Research
ANTH 235g The Changing Pacific: History, Culture, Politics
ANTH 240gm Collective Identity and Political Violence: 9/11
ANTH 250g Race and Sexual Politics in Southeast Asia
ANTH 263g Exploring Culture Through Film
ANTH 314g The Nature of Maya Civilization
ANTH 315g North American Indians
ANTH 316g North American Indians in American Public Life
ANTH 332g Anthropology and Narrative Medicine
ANTH 357g Cultures of Genocide
ANTH 371gm Cross Cultural Research on Urban Gangs
EASC 150gp East Asian Societies
EASC 160gmp China and the World
ENST 100g Introduction to Environmental Studies
ENST 150xg Environmental Issues in Society
GESM 130g Seminar in Social Analysis
HIST 101g State and Society in the Ancient World
HIST 225g Film, Power and American History
HIST 266g Business and East Asian Culture, 1800-present
IR 101xgw International Relations
JS 211gw The Holocaust
JS 379gm Mixing and Matching: Intermarriage in the 21st Century
LAW 101g Law and the U.S. Constitution in Global History
LING 115gw Language and Society
POSC 130g Law, Politics and Public Policy
POSC 248gw Human Rights
POSC 265gw Environmental Challenges
PSYC 353g Close Relationships
PSYC 367g Stress, Health, and the Mind-Body Connection
SOCI 142gm Diversity and Racial Conflict
SOCI 150gm Social Problems
SOCI 155gm Immigrant America
SOCI 169gm Changing Family Forms
SOCI 200gm Introduction to Sociology
SOCI 210g Science, Technology, and Social Conflict
SOCI 220gm Questions of Intimacy
SOCI 225gw Sociology of Health and the Body
SOCI 242g Sociology, Human Behavior, and Health
SOCI 250gmw Grassroots Participation in Global Perspective
SOCI 255g Sociology of Globalization
SSCI 165Lg Sustainability Science in the City
SWMS 210gm Social Analysis of Gender

The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for specified groups of students:

ACAD 181g Disruptive Innovation
CORE 104g Change and the Future: Thematic Option Honors Program
GERO 320g Psychology of Adult Development
GERO 353g Social and Behavioral Foundations of Health and Aging
HP 365gw Culture, Lifestyle and Health
IR 210gw International Relations: Introductory Analysis
PPD 240g Citizenship and Public Ethics
PPD 245g Urban Context for Policy and Planning
GE-D: The Life Sciences

Courses in this category provide a scientific understanding of a full range of living systems, from molecules to ecosystems, by teaching students to understand how data is generated, presented and interpreted and how scientific discovery spurs technological growth and impacts society. A separate lab is required for all transfer courses. The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for a general student audience:

BISC 102Lxg Humans and Their Environment
BISC 103xg General Biology for the Environment and Life
BISC 104Lxg How the Body Works
BISC 140g Our Blue Planet in a Changing Climate
BISC 150Lxg The Nature of Human Health and Disease
BISC 180Lxg Evolution
BISC 230xg The Biology of the Brain: Current Topics in Neuroscience
CHEM 203Lxg AIDS Drug Discovery and Development
GERO 315g A Journey Into the Mind
GESM 140g Seminar in the Life Sciences
HBIO 200Lg The Human Animal
HBIO 205Lxg The Science of Sport
HBIO 250g The Pharmacology of Performance Enhancing Drugs
LING 110g In a Word
LING 275Lg Language and Mind
PSYC 100g Introduction to Psychology
PSYC 165Lg Drugs, Behavior and Society
PSYC 339Lg Origins of the Mind

The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for specified groups of students:

BISC 120Lg General Biology: Organismal Biology and Evolution
BISC 121Lg Advanced General Biology: Cell Biology and Evolution
BISC 220Lg General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology
BISC 221Lg Advanced General Biology: Cell Biology and Physiology
CHEM 350g Molecular Principles of Biochemistry
CORE 103g The Process of Change in Science: Thematic Option Honors Program
GE-E: The Physical Sciences

Courses in this category analyze natural phenomena through quantitative description and synthesis, teaching students to solve scientific problems and to understand the processes by which scientific knowledge is obtained, evaluated and placed in the context of societal relevance. A separate lab is required. The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for a general student audience:

ASTR 100Lxg The Universe
CHEM 103Lxg General Chemistry for Environment and Life
CHEM 205Lxg Chemical Forensics: The Science, and Its Impact
GEOL 105Lg Planet Earth
GEOL 107Lg Oceanography
GEOL 108Lg Crises of a Planet
GEOL 125Lg Earth History: A Planet and Its Evolution
GEOL 130Lg The Nature of Scientific Inquiry
GEOL 150Lg Climate Change
GEOL 160g Introduction to Geosystems
GEOL 240Lg Earthquakes
GEOL 241Lg Energy Systems
GESM 150Lg Seminar in the Physical Sciences
PHYS 100Lxg The Physical World
PHYS 200Lxg The Physics and Technology of Energy
SSCI 265Lg The Water Planet

The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for specified groups of students:

CHEM 105aLg General Chemistry
CHEM 115aLg Advanced General Chemistry
PHYS 125aLg Physics for Architects
PHYS 135aLg Physics for the Life Sciences
PHYS 151Lg Fundamentals of Physics I: Mechanics and Thermodynamics
PHYS 161Lg Advanced Principles of Physics I
GE-F: Quantitative Reasoning

Courses in this category teach students to use a set of formal tools (such as logical or statistical inference, probability or mathematical analysis) to pose and evaluate hypotheses, claims, questions or problems within a formal mode of thought. The following courses are approved to meet this requirement for a general student audience:

ARCH 213agbg Building Structures and Seismic Design (both sections necessary for GE credit)
BUAD 310g Applied Business Statistics
ECON 203g Principles of Microeconomics
ECON 205g Principles of Macroeconomics
GESM 160 Seminar in Quantitative Reasoning
HIST 393g Quantitative Historical Analysis
IR 211g International Relations: Approaches to Research
LING 210g Introduction to Linguistics
LING 325g Language and Number
MATH 108g Contemporary Precalculus
MATH 117g Introduction to Mathematics for Business and Economics
MATH 118xg Fundamental Principles of Calculus
MATH 125g Calculus I
PSYC 240xg Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning
SSCI 135Lg Numbers and Maps

The following course is approved to meet this requirement for a specified group of students:

PSYC 274g Statistics

Global Perspectives

GE-G: Citizenship in a Global Era

Courses that meet this requirement enhance understanding of citizenship and moral agency in today’s increasingly global society by teaching students to identify social, political, economic and cultural forces that bear on human experience in the United States and around the world. The following courses are approved to satisfy this requirement for a general student audience:

AMST 101gmw Race and Class in Los Angeles
AMST 135gmw Peoples and Cultures of the Americas
AMST 150gw The American War in Viet Nam
AMST 220gmw The Making of Asian America
AMST 250gmw The African Diaspora
AMST 252gmw Black Social Movements in the U.S.
AMST 274gmw Exploring Ethnicity through Film
COLT 382gw Zen and Taoism in Asian Literature
FREN 375mw Global Narratives of Illness and Disability
HP 365gw Culture, Lifestyle and Health
IR 101xgw International Relations
IR 305w Managing New Global Problems
IR 382w Order and Disorder in Global Affairs
JS 211gw The Holocaust
LING 115gw Language and Society
POSC 248gw Human Rights
POSC 265gw Environmental Challenges
SOCI 225gw Sociology of Health and the Body
SOCI 250gmw Grassroots Participation in Global Perspective
SSCI 165Lgw Sustainability Science in the City
THTR 476mw African American Theatre, Dance and Performance
THTR 488mw Theatre in the Community

The following courses are approved to satisfy this requirement for specified groups of students:

CORE 104gw Change and the Future: Thematic Option Honors Program
IR 210gw International Relations: Introductory Analysis
IR 308w Economic Globalization
IR 424w Citizenship and Migration in International Politics
IR 444w Theories of Global Society
GE-H: Traditions and Historical Foundations

Courses that meet this requirement examine the historical and cultural foundations of contemporary societies over a substantial period of time by teaching students to understand the enduring influence of literary, political, economic, philosophical, legal, ethical and religious traditions. The following courses are approved to satisfy this requirement for a general student audience:

AHIS 120gp Foundations of Western Art
AHIS 121gp Art and Society: Renaissance to Modern
AHIS 125gp Arts of Asia I: Antiquity to 1300
AMST 301gp America, the Frontier, and the New West
ANTH 316gmp North American Indians in American Public Life
CLAS 151gp Roman Civilization
CLAS 160gp Ancient Lives
CLAS 280gp Introduction to Classical Mythology
CLAS 320gmp Diversity and the Classical Western Tradition
CLAS 337gp Ancient Drama
COLT 101gp Masterpieces and Masterminds: Literature and Thought
COLT 264gp Asian Aesthetic and Literature Traditions
EALC 110gp East Asian Humanities: The Great Tradition
EALC 130gp Introduction to East Asian Ethical Thought
EALC 340gp Japanese Civilization
EALC 350gp Chinese Civilization
EASC 150gp East Asian Societies
EASC 160gmp China and the World
JS 100gp Jewish History
JS 180p Judaism
JS 258gp Food, Faith and Conflict
JS 314gp Holy War and History: Jews, Christians, Muslims
REL 326gp The Historical Jesus
SLL 330gp Russian Thought and Civilization
SWMS 215gp Gender Conflict Across Cultural Contexts

The following course is approved to satisfy this requirement for a specified group of students:

CORE 102gp Culture and Values: Thematic Option Honors Program

General Education Policies

Transfer Courses

All students who begin college elsewhere in fall 2015 and then transfer to USC must meet these requirements to graduate from USC. Several of these requirements can be met with approved transfer courses, but all students must complete at least two Core Literacy classes (in Categories GE-A through GE-F) at USC in Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Students must earn a grade of C- or higher to transfer any course to USC. To satisfy a General Education requirement, a course must carry at least two and two-third units when it is articulated at USC.

Once a student begins enrollment at USC, all general education Core Literacy requirements must be met with courses taken at USC. The Global Perspective requirements may be met with approved transfer courses taken over the summer after enrolling at USC. Transfer students who began college elsewhere before fall 2015 should consult the fall 2014 USC catalogue for information about their general education requirements at USC.

Pass/No Pass grading

One Core Literacy course may be taken on a pass/no pass basis, and both of the Global Perspective courses may be taken on a pass/no pass basis. Students may choose their GE Seminar as the one Core Literacy course taken on a pass/no pass basis.

The Writing Requirement

In their writing classes, students learn to think critically, to build sound arguments and to express their ideas with clarity. The writing requirement comprises two courses; most students meet this requirement with WRIT 150 Writing and Critical Reasoning — Thematic Approaches, and WRIT 340 Advanced Writing.

Certain groups of students, such as those in the Thematic Option program, may meet this requirement with other course work. For more information on the writing requirement, see here.