General Studies

AAC&U Definitions of General Education

According to the American Association of Colleges and Universities Greater Expectations National Panel Report (2002, pg 25)

Liberal Education
A philosophy of education that empowers individuals, liberates the mind from ignorance, and cultivates social responsibility. Characterized by challenging encounters with important issues, and more a way of studying than specific content, liberal education can occur at all types of colleges and universities. “General education” and an expectation of in-depth study in at least one field normally comprise liberal education.

Liberal Arts
Specific disciplines (the humanities, social sciences, and sciences).

Liberal Arts Colleges
A particular institution type-often small, often residential-that facilitates close interaction between faculty and students, while grounding it's curriculum in the liberal arts disciplines.

General Education
The part of a liberal education curriculum shared by all students. It provides broad exposure to multiple disciplines and forms the basis for developing important intellectual and civic capacities. General Education can take many different forms.