Chatham University

General Education

Undergraduate Studies

Chatham University's General Education curriculum provides courses that cumulatively impart the broad skills needed to be World Ready Students and immerse students in Chatham's mission initiatives: Engagement and Responsibility, Sustainability and the Environment, and International and Global Understanding.

To be able to adapt to changing circumstances, students must be able to learn, investigate, analyze, and make reasonable and ethical choices. This is learned by building knowledge and skills in broad areas that will give students a basis of understanding that they will use to deal with problems and situations they encounter throughout their lives. Chatham's General Education program teaches students to learn how to know when they need additional information; find and evaluate that information; assimilate the information within the context of a problem or situation; combine the information with other knowledge and perspectives; and act upon it in ways that are ethical and beneficial to the whole.

The following perspectives are reinforced throughout the General Education curriculum:

Courses satisfying the general education requirement must be taken on a regular letter grade basis except in cases where pass/fail grading is the only option. If a student fails a general education course, he/she must retake and pass the course or an appropriate approved substitute.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires undergraduate students to complete a minimum of 40 credits of general education. Individual classes may satisfy only one general education requirement. No more than two classes may fulfill both a requirement in a major and a general education requirement. In interpreting this rule, a "science with lab" is considered one class even if the lab portion has its own course number.

+First-Year Communication Seminar

ENG105: First - Year Communication Seminar- Dialogues: Identity & Values. This First Year fall course will share a common syllabus and meeting time to allow for shared speakers and activities. Texts will engage identity formation and values clarification, will employ active-learning pedagogy of discussion and debate, and will examine issues of race, gender, class, ethnicities, and systems of belief. Communication skills will include analytical writing, critical reading, oral presentation, critical listening, technology management, and information literacy. Supplemental Instruction will be required through the PACE Center for students who need additional support with writing skills beyond what is normally covered in the classroom. Students with transfer credits may meet the requirement for ENG105 with the transfer of a college-level composition course. Students may be required to complete another writing course based on a diagnostic writing exam required before matriculation.

+Successful Transition to College

SDE101: Strategies for Success in College. This courses provide first-year students with strategies necessary to transition successfully to the college environment. The course introduces students to the Chatham community, its culture, and its traditions. Additional topics relevant to the first-year experience are also considered. All first year students attending college for the first time will be enrolled. Gateway and transfer students with 12 or more credits are exempt from SDE101

+Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative reasoning courses are intended to help students develop their ability to understand information presented in mathematical terms and to use quantitative methods to answer questions and solve problems. Students must complete a course on college algebra, statistics, or above. Transfer students may meet the quantitative reasoning requirement may with a Chatham course or other transfer course on college algebra statistics, or above.

+Breadth Courses

The Chatham general education curriculum requires students to complete a minimum of one course (3-credits or greater) from each of the following four disciplinary perspectives in order to understand diverse ways of knowing and enhance cross-disciplinary understanding. For the purposes of general education, Chatham counts "science course with lab" as one course, even if the lab component has a different course number.

  • Art course (ART, FDT, MUS)
  • Humanities course (ENG, CST, LNG, PHI, REL, WST)
  • Social Science course (ECN, HIS, POL, PSY, CRM, SWK)
  • Science course with lab (BIO, CHM, PHY, ENV)

Transfer students may transfer approved courses in each breadth area or fulfill the requirement with approved Chatham courses. Equivalent courses for Art at other institutions include at least three credits in art, music, or theater courses. Equivalent courses for Humanities at other institutions include at least three credits in English, language, philosophy, or religion. Equivalent courses for Social Science at other institutions include at least three credits in economics, history, political science, psychology, or sociology. Equivalent courses for Science at other institutions are an approved science course with lab. Transfer courses for which there is no Chatham equivalent may still be accepted as satisfying the breadth requirement if they are from a discipline broadly associated with the liberal arts. Classes from professionally oriented disciplines cannot fulfill this general education requirement.

+Upper-level Elective Courses

In addition to the breadth course described above, all Chatham students will demonstrate a depth of understanding by completing a minimum of 9 credits of upper-level (200-level or above) elective credits in disciplines outside of their major. All of Chatham's upper-level electives are acceptable in this category. Chatham will accept transfer courses from all areas of study that meet these requirements. RN-BSN students may satisfy general education depth requirements with any courses outside of the Core program requirements.

+Mission-Related Courses

The three primary themes of the University mission are Engagement and Responsibility, Sustainability and the Environment, and Global and International Understanding. The General Education program is designed to develop the skills and knowledge of these aspects of the mission. Students take a minimum of one 3-credit course from each of these mission-related areas. If a course is listed under two mission themes, it can only fulfill one theme course.

+Leadership and Personal Development

InLeadership and Personal Development courses include a specific focus on one or more aspects of physical activity, healthy lifestyles, civic and community engagement, local and international service and personal leadership development. Students are required to complete a minimum of two credits in designated Leadership and Personal Development courses. These may include Project Pericles and PLEN seminars. Chatham will accept a diverse array of transfer classes consistent with the spirit of the category. Courses graded on a pass/fail basis cannot be automatically accepted for transfer, and are subject to additional review.