General Education Requirements for Degrees

A truly liberal education is one that prepares us to live responsible, productive, and creative lives in a dramatically changing world. It is an education that fosters a well-grounded intellectual resilience, a disposition toward lifelong learning, and an acceptance of responsibility for the ethical consequences of our ideas and actions. Liberal Education requires that we understand the foundations of knowledge and inquiry about nature, culture, and society; that we master core skills of perception, analysis, and expression; that we cultivate a respect for truth; that we recognize the importance of historical and cultural context; and that we explore connections among formal learning, citizenship, and service to our communities.
from the Association of American Colleges & Universities, “Statement on Liberal Learning”

Bellevue College subscribes to the educational purposes and values articulated in the AAC&U’s “Statement on Liberal Learning” and is committed to providing students a comprehensive learning experience which addresses critical dimensions of student personal, professional, and intellectual growth. Accordingly, the college has developed a general education program that incorporates the essential elements of liberal learning. Bellevue College’s General Education program is designed to address areas and specific requirements which ensure that students’ learning experiences prepare them to build fulfilling and successful lives as individuals, workers, citizens, and life-long learners. To ensure ease of student transfer, BC has carefully formulated its General Education requirements to correspond with lower division and general requirements at other community colleges and at typical baccalaureate institutions. As a reflection of our values of maintaining excellence and anticipating future needs in teaching and learning, Bellevue College has identified three main overarching General Education areas:


Creative & Critical Thinking

The ability to utilize a range of thought processes to evaluate information and opinions, generate new ideas, and identify creative and successful outcomes.  Specific topics that fit within this area include:

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Quantitative / Symbolic Reasoning
  • Research / Information Literacy
  • Scientific Inquiry (Nature of Science)
  • Aesthetic Awareness


The ability to communicate effectively using written, oral, visual, and/or electronic means, as appropriate to a given situation.  Specific topics that fit within this area include:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening and speaking
  • Visual
  • Computer literacy


The ability to identify and explore connections, themes, and patterns in the social and natural world, and to see commonalities within dissimilar circumstances.  Specific topics that fit within this area include:

  • Self-Assessment/life goals
  • Group processes
  • Ethics
  • Global Citizenship
  • Historical and Intellectual Perspectives
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Science and the Natural World
  • Technology and Society

The General Education program at Bellevue College has undergone an extensive review. Opportunities to develop these skills in the above areas are incorporated throughout the college curriculum, with different courses supporting different general education goals. Students in professional/technical Associate of Arts degree programs will fulfill the college’s general education requirements by completing the courses required for the particular program. Other degrees offered at BC are designed to provide appropriate levels of student preparation and learning in the general education areas by taking a course designated as a “Cultural Diversity Course” by BC, in addition to taking the Written Communications courses, Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning courses, and distribution courses (in Social Sciences, Humanities, and Natural Sciences) required by the State’s Direct Transfer Agreement.

General Education Competency Requirements for Degrees

Certificates less than 45 credits:

No general education requirements

Certificates 45-credits or more:

Inherent in these certificates there is a recognizable body of instruction in program-related areas of :

  1. communication,
  2. computation, and
  3. human relations.

Transfer Associate Degrees (AAS-DTA, AB-DTA, AEE-DTA/MRP, AME-DTA/MRP,AS)

Professional/Technical Associate in Arts Degrees (AA)

Each degree includes:

  • A Writing course,
  • A Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning course,
  • A Critical Thinking/Problem Solving course, and
  • A Cultural Diversity course.

Associate in Arts General Studies (AAGS)

Associate in Applied Science – Transfer (AAS-T)

A minimum of 20 credits must include the following:

  • 5 credits in Communication – ENGL 101 – English Composition.
  • 5 credits in math – Any generally transferable math course with Intermediate Algebra as a prerequisite.
  • 10 credits in Science, Social Science or Humanities – Courses selected from the generally accepted in transfer list.
  • A Cultural Diversity Course.

Bachelors in Applied Science (BAS) and Bachelors in Applied Arts (BAA)

A minimum of 60 quarter hours of general education courses  will be required, to include the following:

  • Communication Skills (10 credits)
    Must include at least two  communication courses to include a minimum of one English composition course; e.g. ENGL& 101. Remaining credits may be an additional composition course or designated writing-intensive courses or courses in basic speaking skills (e.g., speech, rhetoric, or debate).
  • Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning Skills (5 credits)
    Must be achieved through one of the following college-level courses: symbolic reasoning or a quantitative reasoning course in computer science, statistics, or mathematics
  • Humanities (10 credits) (chosen from transfer lists)
  • Social Sciences (10 credits) (chosen from transfer lists)
  • Natural Sciences (10 credits) (chosen from transfer lists)
    At least 5 credits in physical, biological and/or earth sciences. Shall include at least one laboratory course.
  • Cultural Diversity (5 credits)
    Any remaining general education courses to achieve the required 60 credits may be distributed in a manner that best suits the curriculum needs of the baccalaureate program.


Last Updated October 2, 2015