Understanding General Education at PLU

Many majors don’t require you to take a specific course or set of courses during your first year in order to complete your degree in four years. However, for the majors listed below, there is initial coursework that is strongly recommended or required for first-year schedules. Your registration counselor is equipped with the information to guide you in creating an appropriate class schedule. Be sure to let your registration counselor know if any of the following are an area of interest: Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science/Computer Engineering, Engineering Dual Degree Program, Math, Music, Nursing, or Physics.

General Education at PLU

The PLU Core

First-Year Experience Program

  • FYEP 101: Thematic Writing Seminar
  • FYEP 102: Discipline-Based DJS Seminar
  • PLUS 100: Transitions to PLU
  • January Term Residency

The Academic Study of Religion

Fitness and Wellness

Global Engagement

Engaging Arts and Performance

  • Art, Music or Theatre
  • Physical Activity

The Distributive Core: Ways of Being and Knowing

Students take one course from each of the following categories; students must take these courses from different programs to ensure they encounter multiple methods and practices during their undergraduate career.

  • Creative Expression (CX)
  • Engaging the Natural World (NW)
  • Interpreting Text (IT)
  • Examining Self and Society (ES)
  • Exploring Values and Worldviews (VW)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)

Integrative Learning: The Culminating Experience

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.

International Honors Program

The International Honors Program (IHON) is a rigorous alternative to the General Education Program at PLU.  Rooted in the university’s emphasis on liberal arts education, International Honors consists of interdisciplinary courses that explore contemporary issues and their historical foundations through an integrated, multi-national approach.  Students with strong academic records and service achievements are encouraged to apply for admission to this competitive program.  A limited number of spaces are available in the International Honors Program each year.  Please go to www.plu.edu/admission/honors-program to learn more.

IHON Requirements

First-Year Experience Program

  • FYEP 101: Thematic Writing Seminar
  • FYEP 102: Discipline-Based DJS Seminar
  • PLUS 100: Transitions to PLU
  • January Term Residency

Fitness and Wellness

Quantitative Reasoning

Engaging the Natural World

The IHON Core

  • 111 Authority and Discovery
  • 112 Liberty and Power
  • 200 – level, four courses
  • 300 – level, one course

All PLU students require a minimum of 128 credits to graduate.

Majors & Minors

Majors: You will have to select at least one major area of study. But relax–you don’t need to do this for your first year. Some majors do require an early declaration if you are to fit everything into four years, so if you have some ideas about a potential major or majors, tell your registration counselor before you register for classes. Your registration counselor can help you pick the right classes to keep your options open.

Minors: Many students choose to complete one or more minor areas of study in addition to a major. In most cases minors are not required.