General Education


Frequently Asked Questions about Gen Ed

Transfer students and students contemplating graduation sometimes have questions about meeting WSU's General Education requirements.

General Information


Q:  What is the difference between the General Education programs at WSU in Pullman and at the Vancouver urban campus?

A: The programs are very similar, and arrangements have been made by both Admissions Offices to facilitate easy transfer from one campus to another.  All other campuses and programs, e.g., WSU TriCities and WSU Spokane, follow the Pullman model.  Among the differences between the Pullman and Vancouver programs are these points ...

Transfer Issues


Q:  If I took Running Start Courses or other versions of college credit in high school (e.g., AP courses), will I receive General Education credit for those courses?

A:  Yes, provided that …


Q:  If I transferred in courses to WSU that were given only elective credit, but believe they should be given General Education credit, what can I do?

A:  Once you have your Transfer Credit Report (that shows your work has been transferred into WSU and evaluated by the Admissions Office), contact the General Education Office and set up an appointment to see if a Transfer Petition is appropriate.

Q:  How can I initiate a Transfer Petition and when should I do it?

A:  Transcripts from other institutions are evaluated in the Admissions Office by expert staff looking for close equivalencies to WSU courses.  However, those decisions can be revisited by or appealed to the General Education Office.  Students initiate Transfer Petitions through the WSU Center for Advising and Career Development.  A Transfer Petition is appropriate when, having examined the Transfer Credit Report, a student believes he or she is entitled to additional General Education credits.  Students are advised to also contact the General Education Office for advice prior to initiating a formal petition.

Q:  If I transferred in a Direct Transfer Associate Degree, do I still have to take …

Do I have to complete the University Writing Portfolio?  Yes

Note:  The Direct Transfer Associate Degree from a Washington school, or from institutions in several nearby states which are part of the agreement, is accepted as completing all lower division General Education requirements.

Q:  I transferred in with an AA [or AST] degree, but I have not been given credit for the lower division GERs.  Why is that? 

A:  Only those institutions that are part of the agreement and whose requirements for the associate degree roughly match WSU’s General Education requirements can be substituted across the board for WSU’s GERs.  Consult the WSU Admissions Office for details.

Q:  If I transferred in 60 hours or more but do not have an Approved Associate of Arts Degree, can I substitute upper-division courses for the two World Civilizations courses, Gen Ed 110 and 111. 

A:  Yes.  See the Intercultural Studies list in the General Education section of the current "WSU Bulletin/Catalog."  Upper-division (300-level) courses in the list that address an international culture (e.g., China, the Middle East, India) substitute on a one-for-one basis for the two Gen Ed courses.  Note: This rule applies to transfer students with junior standing only.

Graduation Issue


Q:  How can I initiate a Senior Petition re: graduation requirements?

A:  To initiate a Senior Petition, a student needs to have applied for his or her degree through the WSU Registrar’s Office and received the “preliminary to-do list.”  The preliminary to-do list becomes a part of the petition, along with the student’s Degree Audit and copies of relevant transcripts.  The Senior Petition pertains only to University and General Education Requirements.  The advisor and department chair’s approval and signature are required.   Students requesting a substitution for a requirement should have taken the course to be substituted and received the grade before the petition is requested.  Obtaining informal approval in advance from the General Education Office for course substitutions is highly recommended.      

General Education, PO Box 644519, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4519, 509-335-5699, Contact Us