General Education


BYU–Hawaii offers an undergraduate education founded on the pillars of religious, general, and major education. Each pillar supports and contributes to the others and is integral to the education envisioned in the University's mission statement. A student's general education is developed in designated General Education, Major, and Religion courses, as well as cocurricular activities associated with student life at BYU–Hawaii. A general education helps a student develop breadth, flexibility, and an understanding of the world's cultural and intellectual heritage.

Click here to review a list of General Education Requirements.

General Education Mission Statement

The General Education program helps students develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that contribute to habits of life-long learning and wellness, and that prepare them to function in a world community as productive, responsible citizens and as faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Qualities of a Generally Educated Student

The generally educated student will:
  1. Pursue truth. The student will seek to learn truth through a variety of discovery processes, search for knowledge, and be able to synthesize and analyze information.
  2. Communicate effectively. The student will be able to demonstrate throughout the curriculum the abilities to read and listen with understanding and express complex ideas in spoken and written forms.
  3. Solve problems. The student will think innovatively, and apply appropriate strategies for resolution of life's problems.
  4. Respond aesthetically. The student will be able to respond with sensitivity and discrimination to various creative forms.
  5. Behave ethically. The student will be able to purposefully define personal values, apply ethical and religious principles in making moral judgments, and accept the consequences of decisions.
  6. Integrate socially. The student will develop understanding of various perspectives, elicit the views of others and be able to integrate successfully in collaborative environments.
  7. Be globally responsible. The student will recognize the interdependence of global forces and local contexts, learning to act with an understanding of the social and environmental issues that shape the world.

General Education Philosophy

The three pillars of the university curriculum comprise our students' university education. The seven qualities built on these pillars provide a powerful starting point for continuous learning and living a full life. BYU–Hawaii has a singular commitment to education as a process of creating cross-disciplinary connections. We hold that exemplary learning occurs among those who are aware of what they are learning and how much more there is to know. The humility inherent among such learners is worthy of our greatest efforts. A BYU–Hawaii education exists because of prophetic visions in harmony with scriptural injunctions to study and learn and become acquainted with all good books, with languages, tongues and people, with things both in heaven and in the earth, and with countries and kingdoms (D&C 90: 15, D&C 88: 79).

The general education requirement at BYU–Hawaii is divided into three areas: Area I-Basic Skills, Area II-Fundamental Knowledge, and Area III- Synthesis. Courses in Area I are designed to provide basic analytical, computational, and communication skills including quantitative methods, critical analysis, and reading and writing skills. These competencies will provide a foundation enabling the student to acquire the broader knowledge in Areas II and III. Area I courses will prepare the student for success in other university courses including those in his or her major, and will provide the skills needed to care for and maintain the body. With these tool skills, the student will be ready for a lifetime of learning.

Courses in Area II present the fundamental knowledge of humankind. These courses introduce students in a general rather than in a technical way to the ideas, orientations, theories, methodologies, contributions and cultural heritage of various disciplines and professions.

Courses in Area III are designed to come later in the college experience after most, if not all, of the Area I and II courses have been completed. They are intended to help students synthesize and evaluate their former learning and see themselves in the stream of history.

General Education Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree

Area I - Basic Skills

All students must meet the pre-college mathematics requirement by:
  1. Achieving a score of at least 22 on the ACT Math Test, or
  2. Achieving a score of at least 500 on the SAT Math Test, or
  3. Achieving a total of at least 26 by combining the subscore for the Pre-Algebra and Elementary Algebra section with the subscore for the Intermediate Algebra and Coordinate Geometry section of the ACT Mathematics Test, or
  4. Completing Math 106A/B (4 credit hours) or any higher-level mathematics course.
  5. Pass Math 110 or any higher level math class.

Quantitative and Logical Reasoning or Second Language Acquisition

A student may elect to take either the mathematics or the language track in sections A and B below:
  1. Mathematics Track-Quantitative and Logical Reasoning (3 - 5 credit hours)

    The math track can be completed by testing out of or taking one of the following:

    • Statistics: MATH 221, SOCW 486, PSYC 205, POSC 200 & POSC 204 or EXS 339
    • Calculus: MATH 112, MATH 113, or MATH 119 .
    • Discrete Mathematics: CIS 205 & 205L.
    • Any upper division math course (300 or 400 level).
    • Math 107
  2. Language Track--Second Language Acquisition (0-12 credit hours)

    The requirement may be fulfilled in any one of the following ways:

    • Passing a language course at the 201 level or above.
    • Receiving credit by examination in language courses through the 201 level.
    • Test out of the 201 level without credit.
    • Certify English Competence (required for non-native speakers) by:
      • Completing EIL requirements.
      • Demonstrating English proficiency above the EIL level.
    • Completing music theory through MUSC 212 and 212L.

Basic Reading/Writing/Speaking (3 credit hours)

  • ENGL 101 Communication in Writing, Speaking, and Reading (3)

Exercise and Sport Science (2 credit hours)

  • EXS 177 Fitness for Living (1) or EXS 129 Fitness & Lifestyle Management (2)*
  • One Exercise and Sport Science 100 series activity course (1)

*EXS 129 by itself does not fulfill the 2 required EXS GE credits - student must still complete a 100 series activity course.

The following courses are designed to help students sharpen their skills for success in college. Although they are not included as General Education requirements, nor can one obtain GE credit for taking them, students would be well advised to consider taking them as elective credits.

  • STDEV 101 Introduction to University Life I (2)
  • STDEV 102 Introduction to University Life II (1)
  • IS 91 Personal Productivity with IS Technology (3)

Area II - Fundamental Knowledge

Introduction to the Fundamental ideas and Philosophical Underpinnings of Civilization (6 credit hours)

  1. Literary Expression (3 credit hours)
    • ENGL 201 Literary Analysis and Research (3)
  2. Artistic Expression (3 credit hours)

    Any course from the following list:

    • ART 220 Experience in Visual Arts (3)
    • ART 255 Beginning Ceramics (3)
    • ART 196 Art History I (3)
    • HWST 101 Introduction to Hawaiian Studies (3)
    • ICS 261 Cultures of Oceania (3)
    • ICS 262 Cultures of Asia (3)
    • ICS 264 Cultures of Europe (3)
    • ICS 266 Cultures of Latin America (3)
    • MUSC 101 Introduction to Music Literature (3)
    • MUSC 102 World Music Cultures (3)
    • MUSC 103 Music Fundamentals (3)
    • THEA 115 Introduction to Theatre (3)
    • HUM 101 Introduction to Humanities (3)
    • HUM 290 Introduction to Film (3)
    • PAIS 105 Introduction to Pacific Island Studies (3)
    • LCOM 102 Local Communities: Principles of Civic and Moral Engagement (3)

Introduction to the Natural World (6 credit hours)

  1. Biological Science (3 credit hours)

    Any course from the following list:

    • BIOL 100 Introduction to Biology (3)
    • BIOL 112 General Biology (3) (science majors only)
    • INQ 120 (3) (for A or B)
  2. Physical Science (3 credit hours)

    Any course from the following list:

    • ASTR 104 Principles of Astronomy (3)
    • CHEM 100 The World of Chemistry (3)
    • CHEM 105 General Chemistry I (3) (science majors only)
    • GEOL 105 Geology of the Pacific Basin (3)
    • PHSC 100 Principles of Physical Science (3)
    • PHYS 100 Conceptual Physics (3)
    • PHYS 121 General Physics I (3)
    • INQ 120 (3) (for A or B)

Introduction to the Human Environment (3 credit hours)

Any course from the following list:
  • ANTH 105 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)
  • COMM 110 Intercultural Communication (3)
  • ECON 110 Society and Economic Choices (3)
  • ECON 200 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
  • GEOG 101 Introductory Geography (3)
  • HIST 120 American History to 1865 (3)
  • HIST 121 American History Since 1865 (3)
  • POSC 101 Introduction to Politics (3)
  • POSC 110 American Government (3)
  • POSC 170 International Relations (3)
  • PSYC 111 General Psychology (3)
  • SOC 111 Introduction to Sociology (3)
  • SOCW 160 Social Welfare (3)

Area III - Synthesis

  1. History of Civilizations (6 credit hours)

    A two-semester sequence:

    • HIST 201 History of Civilizations to 1500 (3)
    • HIST 202 History of Civilizations since 1500 (3)
    • INQ 110 (3) (for II A or III A)

    Note: Various sections may be taught from different perspectives (politics, philosophy, literature, economics, etc.) but each will be history-based and address the same fundamental questions.

  2. Advanced Writing (3 credit hours)
    • ENGL 314 Exposition and Analysis in the Humanities (3) or ENGL 315 Topics for Advanced Writing and Analysis (3) or ENGL 316 Technical Writing (3) or Approved Senior Seminar in the major
  3. Interdisciplinary Studies (3 credit hours)

    Students will choose from a variety of courses that transcend the artificial divisions of scholarly disciplines. These interdisciplinary studies courses will frequently be team taught, using the expertise and resources of several academic areas. (Prerequisites are ENGL 101, ENGL 201, HIST 201 and HIST 202, and completion of 60 or more credits)

Summary of General Education and University Requirements

  • General Education Requirements

    • Area I: Basics Skills
      • Math Track (5-10)
      • Language Track (5-17)
    • Area II: Fundamental Knowledge (15)
    • Area III: Synthesis (12)
    • Total General Education Requirement
      • Math Track (32-37)
      • Language Track (32-44)

  • MAJOR REQUIREMENTS AND ELECTIVES (as needed, varies by major)


Follow the link for information concerning transferring with an Associates degree.