This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. We may add courses that expose our students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning. We may also add content to the general education program that focuses on racial literacy and a racial literacy graduation requirement, and may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Note: Content that focuses on racial literacy and a racial literacy graduation requirement may be added to the general education program in the Foundations section. The requirement will not apply to continuing VCU students who enrolled prior to fall 2024. New transfer students who must satisfy VCU general education requirements and first-time freshmen should consult with an adviser before finalizing their fall 2024 schedule.

ConnectED, VCU’s general education curriculum, seeks to provide a diverse student body with a broad base of knowledge and the intellectual skills to participate actively in a changing world. To those ends, ConnectED challenges students to seek creative answers to complex problems, see connections between disciplines and between ideas, and develop an informed perspective on the varieties of human experience. Courses included in ConnectED are open to all VCU undergraduate students and therefore do not focus on those skills, techniques or procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession. The general education curriculum which follows consists of 30 credit hours divided into three sections: foundations, breadth of knowledge and areas of inquiry. While foundations courses are distinct from the rest of the general education curriculum, the courses contained within the breadth of knowledge and areas of inquiry sections overlap.

Note: In addition to the courses listed below, courses added to the ConnectEd categories in future bulletins will fulfill the same category for enrolled students during their tenure at VCU. Thus, categories present in the student’s effective Bulletin can be fulfilled with any course that is approved for that category after matriculation and until the time that general education requirements are completed. 

Foundations (12-13 credits)

To ensure that all students enrolled at VCU are provided with a firm foundation upon which to pursue their intellectual and professional goals, the general education curriculum requires that all students take the following courses.

Course Title Hours
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I 1, 23
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II 1, 23
UNIV 200Advanced Focused Inquiry: Literacies, Research and Communication 1, 23
Honors foundation options
HONR 200Research Writing 3
HONR 250Writing In Cultural Conversation 33
Quantitative foundations
Select one of the following:3-4
Business Problem Solving and Analysis 1
Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics 1
College Algebra with Applications
Algebra with Applications 1
Precalculus Mathematics
Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
Statistical Thinking 1
Basic Practice of Statistics 1
Concepts of Statistics
Total Hours12-13
1

This course is available in an online modality.

2

A minimum grade of C is required in UNIV 112 and UNIV 200. Transfer credits are not accepted for these three UNIV courses after a student is enrolled at the university.

3

HONR 250 can replace UNIV 111 and UNIV 112 for honors students. 

Breadth of knowledge (SACSCOC) (nine credits)4

All students must earn at least three credits in each of the three breadth of knowledge areas listed below. All courses listed in the three sections below also count toward the 17-18 credit hour areas of inquiry requirement.

Course Title Hours
Humanities/fine arts
This requirement is fulfilled by these courses included in the four areas of inquiry. Select one of the following.3
Introduction to Africana Studies 1
Rethinking Popular, Visual and Media Culture 1
Banned! Art and Controversy
The Creative Economy 1
Dance in Hollywood 1
Reading Literature 1
Reading New Literature
Reading Film 1
The Art of Historical Detection: ____
History Without Borders: ____
What is Good Design? A Survey of 20th- and 21st-century Design
American Popular Music 1
Soundscapes 1
Reading Technology, Media and Culture 1
Introduction to Ethics 1
Critical Thinking
Human Spirituality
Live Theatre Now 1
What's the Big Idea?
Cultural Texts and Contexts: ____ 1
Introduction to World Cinema 1
Natural sciences
This requirement is fulfilled by these courses included in the four areas of inquiry. Select one of the following.3
Biological Concepts 1
Global Environmental Biology 1
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
Disease and Human Ancestry
General Chemistry I
Chemistry and Society
General Chemistry Laboratory I
Earth System Science
Crime and Science
Energy! 1
Foundations of Physics
Elementary Astronomy 1
General Physics I
University Physics I
Social/behavioral sciences
This requirement is fulfilled by these courses included in the four areas of inquiry. Select one of the following.3
Introduction to Anthropology 1
The Science of Resilience and Holistic Health
Inequality in America
Introduction to Economics 1
The Economics of Product Development and Markets
Principles of Microeconomics 1
Pop-cultural Foundations of Education: Film/TV, Music, Literature and Schooling in the U.S.
Introduction to Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
Introduction to Health Care Through a Policy Lens
Human Societies and Globalization 1
Media Diplomacy and Globalization
Global Communications 1
Marketing and Society 1
U.S. Government and Politics 1
International Relations 1
Introduction to Psychology 1
Science in Society: Values, Ethics and Politics
Preparing Diverse Learners From Multicultural and Global Perspectives
Building a Just Society 1
Human Sexuality 1
Introduction to Sociology 1
Confronting Climate Crisis
Urban Awareness and Urban Education
Debunking Classroom Myths: How and Why Do We Learn Ideas Incorrectly?
Total Hours9
1

This course is available in an online modality.

4

Courses taken to fulfill the three breadth of knowledge requirements categories also count toward the general education curriculum’s four areas of inquiry.

Areas of inquiry (17-18 credits total, including the nine credits from breadth of knowledge)

The remaining course work in the general education curriculum must be divided among the four areas of inquiry below, with at least three, and no more than nine, credits from each of the four areas. In fulfilling these requirements, students may apply no more than six credits with the same four-letter prefix (ex. RELS, MGMT) to the 17-18 credit total requirement, regardless of the area of inquiry under which they are listed. Courses taken to complete the breadth of knowledge requirements also fulfill area of inquiry requirements.

Course Title Hours
Creativity, innovation and aesthetic inquiry
Courses in this area encourage students to examine the circumstances that produce creative work; investigate the criteria used to judge creative work; and consider the role of imagination in expressing the human condition.3-9
Creative Expressions of Healing and Resilience
Rethinking Popular, Visual and Media Culture 1
Banned! Art and Controversy
The Creative Economy 1
Dance in Hollywood 1
Pop-cultural Foundations of Education: Film/TV, Music, Literature and Schooling in the U.S.
Great Inventions: How They Work and Their Impact on Society
Reading Literature 1
Reading New Literature
Reading Film 1
What is Good Design? A Survey of 20th- and 21st-century Design
The Innovation Intersection: Industry and Entrepreneurship
American Popular Music 1
Soundscapes 1
Marketing and Society 1
Reading Technology, Media and Culture 1
Oral Communication and Presentation
Creating Digital Art and Music Through Computer Coding
Live Theatre Now 1
Cultural Texts and Contexts: ____ 1
Introduction to World Cinema 1
Diversities in the human experience
These courses will introduce students to the modes of inquiry used in the study of social institutions and human behavior. Students enrolled in these courses will seek to investigate the relationship between the individual and society and the varieties of human psychology and development.3-9
Reading Race
The Science of Resilience and Holistic Health
Introduction to Race and Racism in the United States
Inequality in America
The Meaning of Dress
Disrupting Ageism: An Exploration of Diversity and Aging 1
Introduction to Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
Introduction to Health Care Through a Policy Lens
The Art of Historical Detection: ____
Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
Culture, Diversity and Communication in Health Care Settings
Conceptualizing Mental Illness in Western Culture
Introduction to Ethics 1
U.S. Government and Politics 1
Introduction to Psychology 1
Human Spirituality
Building a Just Society 1
Human Sexuality 1
Introduction to Sociology 1
Urban Awareness and Urban Education
Censored in School: Banned Books
What's the Big Idea?
Global perspectives
Through these courses students will encounter and comprehend cultures and contexts outside the U.S.; develop an understanding of how the world is interconnected; and consider alternative viewpoints among disciplines, histories and cultures.3-9
Introduction to Africana Studies 1
Introduction to Anthropology 1
Beginning Arabic I
Introduction to the World of Business 1
Beginning Chinese I
Introduction to Economics 1
The Economics of Product Development and Markets
Principles of Microeconomics 1
Beginning French I 1
Beginning German I
History Without Borders: ____
Human Societies and Globalization 1
Media Diplomacy and Globalization
Beginning Italian I
Global Communications 1
International Relations 1
Beginning Russian I
Preparing Diverse Learners From Multicultural and Global Perspectives
Confronting Climate Crisis
Beginning Spanish I 1
Great Cities of the World
Scientific and logical reasoning
These courses examine how logical and empirical methods can be used to form and revise beliefs; use scientific concepts to describe the world and formulate questions; and model phenomena through the use of mathematics, computer programs and physical representations.3-9
Biological Concepts 1
Global Environmental Biology 1
Introduction to Biological Sciences I
Disease and Human Ancestry
General Chemistry I
Chemistry and Society
General Chemistry Laboratory I
Introduction to Infectious Disease and Societal Impacts 1
Computers and Programming 1
Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
Successes and Failures in Biomedical Technologies
Earth System Science
Personal Financial Planning 1
Crime and Science
Fitness and Health 1
Energy! 1
Seeing, Playing, Deciding – This is Math?
Critical Thinking
Foundations of Physics
Elementary Astronomy 1
General Physics I
University Physics I
Science in Society: Values, Ethics and Politics
Debunking Classroom Myths: How and Why Do We Learn Ideas Incorrectly?
Total Hours17-18
1

This course is available in an online modality.

VCU’s general education learning goals, definitions and outcomes 

Communicative fluency 

Communicative fluency is understanding and creating shared meaning with effective use of language and communicative practices, intentional engagement of audience, cogent and coherent iteration and negotiation with others, and skillful translation across multiple expressive formulations and modes.

  1. Develop and present cogent, coherent and error-free written communication with general and specialized audiences

  2. Develop and present cogent, coherent and error-free oral communication with general and specialized audiences

  3. Recognize and use other modalities of communication (e.g. digital, expressive and scientific) effectively and appropriately 

  4. Understand and effectively use genre and disciplinary conventions for communication, including syntax and mechanics, for a variety of purposes

  5. Choose a variety of sources of evidence appropriate to the audience and purpose; select sources after considering the importance of multiple criteria, such as relevance, currency, authority, scholarliness, and bias or point of view

  6. Achieve positive outcomes with others through interpreting both verbal and nonverbal information, social perceptiveness, empathy, persuasion and negotiation; able to select key pieces of a complex idea to express in words, sounds and images, in order to build shared understanding

Ethical reasoning 

Ethical reasoning includes judgments of right and wrong, good and bad, related to human conduct especially concerning matters of justice, fairness, equity and social responsibility. Value systems, both culturally inherited and different from students’ own experiences, inform the deliberations regarding the quality of life and social goods necessary to employ ethical decision-making. 

  1. Recognize ethical issues 

  2. Identify one’s culturally inherited beliefs through self-awareness and civic identity

  3. Understand the different ethical perspectives/concepts and diversity of communities and cultures

  4. Apply beliefs and ethical perspectives

  5. Demonstrate the impact of ethical decision-making on civic contexts and structures

Global and cultural responsiveness and agility 

Global and cultural responsiveness and agility requires (1) suspension of judgment in valuing interactions with culturally different others and (2) empathic and flexible responsiveness to unfamiliar ways of being, recognizing that all actions have correlative intercultural effects. This competency’s primary goal, achievable only after several courses with this competency, is for students to advance equity and justice on local and global levels, well-informed by historical and political contexts.

  1. Demonstrate understanding of relevant historical, cultural and political contexts

  2. Compare and contrast practical and ideological differences among cultures

  3. Show appropriate contexts and methods for suspending value judgments

  4. Demonstrate capacity for empathy

  5. Demonstrate sensibility to actions’ consequent reciprocal reactions

Information literacy 

Information literacy is a set of integrated abilities to solve problems and generate new knowledge that encompasses recognizing an information need; critically identifying, locating and evaluating appropriate resources; and responsibly and effectively synthesizing, applying and sharing information.

  1. Recognize an information need and determine extent and type of information needed 

  2. Identify and locate appropriate sources 

  3. Critically evaluate information and its sources 

  4. Effectively synthesize, apply and share information to accomplish a specific purpose 

  5. Demonstrate understanding of relevant legal and ethical issues for information use

Problem solving (critical and creative)

Problem solving is the process of designing, evaluating and implementing approaches to open-ended questions in order to achieve a desired outcome or goal, based on both (1) the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion and (2) the synthesis of ideas, images or expertise, and imaginative thinking characterized by innovation, divergent thinking and risk-taking.

  1. Define complex problems, issues or questions

  2. Identify and seek out approaches, information, skills and relevant resources

  3. Develop and propose multiple solutions (demonstrating intellectual risk-taking and tolerance for ambiguity)

  4. Evaluate potential solutions with awareness of contradictions, competing assumptions and consideration of context

  5. Analyze the implications, consequences and outcomes of solutions

Quantitative literacy 

Quantitative literacy is the knowledge of mathematical/statistical operations and graphical representations of numerical data; the knowledge of how to represent real-world objects, events, information and problems as symbolic data sets;, the ability to recognize which mathematical/statistical operations are applicable to given data sets; and the ability to analyze, interpret and explain the output of mathematical/statistical operations performed by the student or presented in the published literature. 

  1. Convert information into mathematical/symbolic forms

  2. Recognize the appropriate mathematical/statistical operations for the analysis of given information/data sets

  3. Perform mathematical/statistical operations

  4. Extract the meaning of a quantitative analysis, draw inferences and produce appropriate conclusions

  5. Express the rationale for the application of specific operations to specific data sets and the validity of conclusions derived from analyses