General Education Program Information

PLU’s General Education Program prepares graduates to ask significant questions, engage relevant knowledge, and wrestle with complex issues. The program is rooted in the classical liberal arts and sciences as understood within the Lutheran educational tradition, and is grounded in an understanding of scientific perspectives, mathematics, languages, and the long-standing traditions of critical discourse about nature, humanity and the world. The array of academic disciplines has developed as a set of lenses through which we view the world. Through exposure to current procedures, methods, and accumulated knowledge of those disciplines, PLU welcomes students into on-going conversations about nature and the human condition. While immersed in these rigorous conversations, students are challenged to think critically, discern and formulate values, express themselves effectively and creatively, interact with others respectfully, and understand the world from various perspectives. By this means, PLU educates students for courageous lives: lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership, and care—for other people, their communities, and the earth.

The following are the specific elements of the PLU General Education Program.

  1. The PLU Core (15-19)
    • First-Year Experience Program (9)
      • FYEP 101 (FW) (4): Students will learn strategies for writing, thinking, speaking, and reading. They encounter writing as a way of thinking, of learning, and of discovering and ordering ideas. Working with interdisciplinary themes, students practice the various academic conventions of writing.
      • FYEP 102 (FD) (4): Students will engage with themes and questions related to Diversity, Justice, and Sustainability, and their intersections, via the methods and topics of a particular discipline or field of study. FYEP 102 is the first course in the PLU Diversity Requirement.
      • PLUS 100 (1): Students will learn to identify and overcome unforeseen barriers in adjusting to college academic and social life.
    • The Academic Study of Religion (RL) (4): Students will engage in critical and empathetic analysis of religious traditions.
    • Fitness and Wellness (FT) (2): Students will develop skills for lifelong physical and mental wellness.
    • Global Engagement (GE) (4): Students will learn about the factors that shape human experience in transnational, cross-cultural, or non-US contexts. Study away and world language courses with these emphases will also meet this requirement. Global Engagement is the second course in the PLU Diversity Requirement.
  2. The Distributive Core: Ways of Being and Knowing (24):
    • Creative Expression (CX) (4): Students will learn artistic processes and evaluate print, visual, and performing arts.
    • Engaging the Natural World (NW) (4): Students will learn methods to develop and test theories and understandings of the physical and natural phenomena that shape our world. A lab, field experience, or applied component is required.
    • Interpreting Text (IT) (4): Students will learn to analyze texture, examining their constructions and the cultural, social, philosophical, and/or historical contexts from which they stem.
    • Examining Self and Society (ES) (4): Students will explore methods and models for understanding human behavior within a variety of cultural, social, or structural contexts, both contemporary and historical.
    • Exploring Values and Worldviews (VW) (4): Students will learn how beliefs and values inform action and shape how individuals and groups interpret reality and human experience.
    • Quantitative Reasoning (QR) (4): Students will develop skills to interpret quantitative information and use it to create and critique logic and data-driven arguments.
  3. Integrative Learning (1-4)
    • Culminating Experience (SR) (1-4): Students will participate in a culminating experience that provides an opportunity to apply what they have learned throughout their time at PLU to a project, activity, or experience defined by their major department. Students will successfully complete one culminating experience course to satisfy their general education graduation requirements.

Total Program Specific Semester Hours: 40-47

General education matters for who you are and who you will become. We invite you to see the way in which this program intersects with your major and electives and prepares you for meaningful careers and courageous lives.