General Education Refresh

Students who matriculate in Spring 2022 will participate in the new General Education (GE) curriculum.

Updated on February 24, 2021 at 3:30 pm


The GE Refresh initiative is currently in the process of finalizing the curriculum proposal, policy language, and course criteria with the University-wide General Education Committee (UWGEC) and the Undergraduate Council (UGC). Following finalization of these elements, the Refresh initiative will then be routed through program approval channels.

Following finalization and approval of all program elements, a course proposal form and an online Quick Start course orienting instructors to the new curriculum will be published. 

By the end of April 2021, UWGEC will begin reviewing course proposals. UWGEC first will review course proposals for courses already in the current Gen Ed to best accommodate both continuing and newly enrolled students. Once these existing courses have been reviewed, UWGEC will then open the window for new courses designed for the GE Refresh. 

The soft rollout of the new GE will take place in Spring 2022; initially, the Refresh will be offered only to Spring 2022 matriculates in its first semester.

Refresh Overview 

The new GE curriculum focuses on perspective-taking and will facilitate an understanding of the world from various points of view. This ability is important for communication, showing empathy, critical thinking, and working together to solve problems. 


Foster critical, innovative thinkers ready to lead cooperatively with interdisciplinary thinking & perspective-taking.

What’s Changing 

  • Two new course categories (Exploring Perspectives and Building Connections) that replace Tier 1 and Tier 2

  • The creation of a General Education Office to:

    • partner with colleges/units on enrollment management and scheduling

    • provide instructor support

  • The development of four Attributes:

    • Diversity & Equity 

    • Quantitative Reasoning

    • World Cultures & Societies 

    • Writing 

  • Two 1-unit courses bookending the student GE experience:

    • Introduction to the General Education Experience 

    • General Education Portfolio   

Course Categories 

  • Introduction to the General Education Experience: A 1-unit course, required for all students, providing an introduction to and a foundation for general education.

  • Foundations: Unchanged from previous Curriculum; includes First-Year Writing (Composition), Mathematics, and Second Language courses. 

  • Exploring Perspectives: These courses introduce students to ways of thinking, knowing, and doing in different disciplinary identities, including: Artist, Humanist, Natural Scientist, and Social Scientist. 

  • Building Connections: These courses encourage students to bring together knowledge and modes of thinking from two or more disciplines and/or perspectives in order to foster more comprehensive understanding of questions, ideas, challenges, and/or problems.

  • General Education Portfolio: A new 1-unit course required of all UArizona students as a capstone portfolio course.


Attributes are associated with courses in the Exploring Perspectives and Building Connections areas of the new GE curriculum. Attributes are added to a course description when the course includes an emphasis on one or more of the following skills, methodologies, and/or contexts that frame the course content. Attributes build professional best practices across majors and connect all UArizona undergraduate curricula.

  • Diversity & Equity Attribute (2 courses): Classes with the revised Diversity Attribute will focus on issues such as racism, classism, transphobia, sexism, and ableism, which continue to structure our society inequitably. It is our responsibility as Wildcats to promote greater social equity.

  • Quantitative Reasoning Attribute (2 courses): The Quantitative Reasoning Attribute will focus on generating, analyzing, and/or interpreting quantitative information, developing the ability to construct coherent arguments based on that information, and effectively communicating those arguments. It is our responsibility as Wildcats to promote evidence-based reasoning and data literacy.

  • World Cultures & Societies Attribute (1 course): Classes with the World Cultures & Societies Attribute will focus on a broad array of questions that have shaped our global community both past and present. It is our responsibility as Wildcats to promote understanding and respect for societies outside the United States and to think critically about our place in the world.

  • Writing Attribute (2 courses): Classes that carry the Writing Attribute promote engaged learning, critical thinking, and greater facility with written communication across different writing situations.

Faculty Links


Ryan Winet

Director of Communications for GE Refresh