General Education

The University of Arkansas’ general education program provides a rigorous liberal education developed and fostered across a student’s entire educational experience. The program's curriculum prepares students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century by strengthening critical and ethical thinking skills, improving communication, and enhancing understanding of human and cultural diversity.

Furthermore, the general education program is designed to help students complement their major program of study with an understanding of artistic, humanistic, and scientific contexts for use throughout their lifetime as engaged global citizens.

Eleven learning outcomes reflect the six learning goals of the general education program.  For each learning outcome, a series of learning indicators detail specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be developed in students.


Each undergraduate major leading to a degree requires coursework that together meet the state minimum requirements and the university’s general education learning outcomes.

The general education program is divided into six thematic goals for students:

GOAL 1: Strengthen written, oral, and multimodal communication abilities.

The two learning outcomes associated with this goal are for students to be able to write clear, correct, and effective prose as well as to be able to communicate with a variety of audiences in writing and speaking.

GOAL 2: Build core skills of quantitative literacy.

The learning outcome under this goal is for students to have the ability and habit of mind to seek quantitative information and be able to apply it, using critical reasoning and analysis to solve algebraic problems and interpret results.

GOAL 3: Develop a working knowledge of how scholars and artists think and act in fundamental areas of study.

The four learning outcomes under this goal are for students to articulate and apply the following:

  • Concepts from the fine arts or performing arts
  • Aesthetic, humane, and ethical sensibilities of the humanities
  • Principles of human interactions of individuals, groups, and institutions
  • Through experiment and observation, the basic principles that govern natural phenomena

GOAL 4: Expand diversity awareness, intercultural competency, and global learning.

The two learning outcomes for this goal are for students to learn to interact appropriately within intercultural contexts and develop familiarity with concepts of diversity in the United States.

GOAL 5: Demonstrate critical thinking and ethical reasoning.

The learning outcome for this goal is for students to demonstrate essential principles of critical thinking and ethical reasoning and apply them to the evaluation and construction of rational and moral arguments.

GOAL 6: Gain the ability to synthesize, integrate, and apply knowledge developed throughout the undergraduate years.

The learning outcome for this goal is for students to be able to reflect upon and explain how they use the skills and abilities embodied in Goals 1 through 5 in completing an integrative project during their junior or senior year.