Penn State Office for General Education wordmarkPenn State Office for General Education wordmark

The heart of the undergraduate experience

From the sciences to the humanities, General Education at Penn State is the cornerstone for preparing students to live and work in our diverse global society.

Building bricks representing a wall.


Develop and improve upon the skills that enable you to achieve your goals.

Globe with a ring around it.


Expand your perspective and study beyond what you previously imagined.

Four puzzle pieces fitting together.


Identify connections and ideas for a meaningful tomorrow.

Finn Nixdorf, Student in Political Science

General Education isn't just some requirement. Think of it as an opportunity to take classes that you didn't have the option to take in high school.

Finn Nixdorf '20 Political Science

How does General Education help students?

Students acquire skills, knowledge, and experiences for living in interconnected contexts; making life better for themselves, others, and the larger world.

Richard Alley, Professor of Geosciences.

The boss can Google. Students must do more to build successful careers, finding connections in a complex world and sharing those insights effectively. General Education builds the background and skills to make a real difference.

Richard Alley GEOSC 10 Professor
Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences
Eisenhower Teaching Award
Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences
Foreign Member of the Royal Society

Why General Education?

General Education gives you life-long critical thinking skills, a well-rounded experience, and time to explore.