MSU Billings Catalog

General Education Program

General Education provides a foundation for study across many areas of knowledge.  All students are required to complete the General Education program as an essential component of the baccalaureate degree.

The Purpose of General Education

General education at MSU Billings is designed to advance students as participants in the ongoing accumulation of human knowledge and understanding.  General education courses promote the development of respect for diversity, along with skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and communication necessary for students to be productive and responsible members of their communities.

General Education Minimum Satisfactory Course Grade

By action of the University’s Academic Senate, the minimum satisfactory grade students must earn in a General Education course is “C-” or better.  However, students must earn an overall GPA of 2.0 in the General Education core.  (11/10/05 memo #473 p. 1770)

logo of the General Education Programmatic Learning Outcomes

General Education Programmatic Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the General Education Program at MSUB, students will successfully be able to:

Respect Diversity Problem Solve Think Critically Communicate Effectively
1. Express the impact of inequity on the human experience 3. Use statistical or mathematical methods to solve problems 6. Locate and evaluate information from multiple sources 8. Apply communication strategies for specific purposes and audiences
2. Synthesize multiple perspectives in contemporary and historical contexts 4. Use scientific methods to solve problems 7. Synthesize evidence to construct logical arguments 9. Utilize interpersonal skills to collaborate toward a common purpose
5. Use quantitative and qualitative information to provide solutions to social and/or ethical problems


Students will complete 31 credits of General Education, distributed in the following categories.

I. Global Academic Skills
A. Mathematics3
B. English3
C. Communication & Information Literacy3
II. Natural Sciences
A. Life Sciences3
B. Physical Sciences3
*Lab taken with either Life Sciences or Physical Sciences1
III. Social Sciences and History
A. Social Sciences3
B. History3
IV. Cultural Diversity3
V. Arts and Humanities
A. Fine Arts3
B. Humanities3
Total Minimum Credits31

Category Descriptions

Global Academic Skills

Global Academic Skills include assessing sources of information, reading, writing, and calculating.

Natural Sciences

Natural science is devoted to discovering the principles that rule the physical universe.

Social Sciences and History

Social sciences represent those disciplines that apply scientific methods to study the network of human relationships and organizations.  History involves the interpretation of diverse sources to understand past societies and events.

Cultural Diversity

Courses in the cultural diversity category facilitate understanding of and interaction between distinct human communities.

Arts and Humanities

The expressive arts include visual, performing, and language-based activities.  The humanities include the study of philosophy, literature, and art history.

General Education Category Learning Objectives

  1. Global Academic Skills
    1. Mathematics
      1. Demonstrate ability to solve problems with quantitative information using mathematical and/or statistical methods.
      2. Think critically, analytically and independently about mathematical situations.
      3. Communicate using mathematical terminology and symbols in support of an argument or solution method.
    2. English
      1. Exhibit competency in the use of formal writing conventions, including mechanics, syntax, style, cohesion, and organization.
      2. Select and apply effective writing strategies for specific purposes and audiences.
      3. Integrate primary and secondary source material in original work with appropriate documentation.
    3. Communication & Information Literacy
      1. Engage in research to gather, evaluate, and synthesize information from multiple sources to express ideas.
      2. Access and use information ethically, with appropriate citation, in oral and written communication.
      3. Design audience-centered informative or persuasive messages.
  2. Natural Sciences
    1. Life Science
      1. Demonstrate an understanding of living systems by describing their nature, organization, and evolution.
      2. Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and how it is used to increase our knowledge of living things.
      3. Make logical connections between key concepts in the life sciences and describe the interaction between human lives and other living things in order to understand the ways the environment impacts humanity and how human actions affect the environment.
    2. Physical Science
      1. Demonstrate an understanding of the physical universe and planet earth, including its origin and physical processes.
      2. Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and how it is used to solve problems and increase our knowledge of the physical world.
      3. Make logical connections between key concepts in the physical sciences and human life, including the interactions between the two and their impacts on one another.
  3. Social Sciences and History
    1. Social Sciences
      1. Analyze historical and cultural significance in human behavior, ideas, and institutions.
      2. Synthesize multiple perspectives to understand human behavior.
      3. Contextualize information from multiple points in time and place to understand society.
    2. History
      1. Explain historical events and ideas in appropriate context.
      2. Analyze and organize a variety of sources to construct historical knowledge.
      3. Express a historical argument in written form.
  4. Cultural Diversity
    1. Articulate an understanding of differences across ethnicities, genders, generations, and other groups of people.
    2. Analyze how cultural differences impact interactions in society.
    3. Describe effective methods to communicate across cultures.
  5. Arts and Humanities
    1. Fine Arts
      1. Demonstrate an understanding of the diverse roles the fine arts play in human culture.
      2. Identify and analyze artistic techniques used in aesthetic expression.
      3. Demonstrate an appreciation of the ways in which the arts enrich life.
    2. Humanities
      1. Explain the interrelationship between the humanities and other disciplines.
      2. Describe the ways in which the humanities influence culture and society.
      3. Analyze issues surrounding life, death, ethics, and morality.

General Education Courses

I. Global Academic Skills
Regarding Global Academic Skills, students are required to take 1 course from Mathematics, 1 course from English, and 1 course from Communication & Information Literacy.
A. Mathematics
Select three credits from the following:3
Contemporary Mathematics
Extended Technical Mathematics
College Algebra
College Trigonometry
Math for Elementary Teachers I
College Math for Healthcare
Finite Mathematics
Survey of Calculus
Calculus I
Intro to Statistical Concepts
Introduction to Statistics
B. English
Select three credits from the following:3
College Writing I
Intro to Technical Writing
Intro to Business Writing
C. Communication & Information Literacy
Select three credits from the following:3
Cyber Security & Electronic Co
Intro to Public Speaking
Intro to Interpersonal Comm
Communication in Small Groups
Honors Inquiry and Research
Research in the Info Age
II. Natural Sciences
Regarding Natural Sciences, students are required to take one course from Life Sciences and one course from Physical Sciences. At least one course must include a corresponding laboratory. 1
A. Life Sciences
Select three credits from the following with a corresponding laboratory course if not taken in Physical Sciences:3-4
Discover Biology
Discover Biology Lab
Fund of Bio for Allied Health
Fund Bio: Nature of Nutrition
Principles of Living Systems
Principles Living Systems Lab
B. Physical Sciences
Select three credits from the following with a corresponding laboratory course if not taken in Life Sciences:3-4
Introduction to Astronomy
Introduction to Astronomy Lab
Intro to General Chemistry
Intro to Gen Chem Lab
College Chemistry I
College Chemistry I Lab
Intro to Physical Geology
Intro to Physical Geology Lab
Spatial Sciences Tech and Appl
Spatial Sciences & Tech Lab
Our Physical World
Our Physical World Lab
College Physics I
College Physics I Lab
A and B. Integrated Sciences
Integrated Sciences I
Integrated Sciences Lab I
Integrated Sciences II
Integrated Science Lab II
III. Social Sciences and History
Regarding Social Sciences and History, students are required to take one course from Social Sciences and one course from History.
A. Social Sciences
Select three credits from the following:3
Introduction to Business
Introduction to Business
Comm in a Dynamic Workplace
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Education and Democracy
Personal Health and Wellness
Intro to American Government
Intro to Comparative Govt
Intro to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
B. History
Select three credits from the following:3
American History I
American History II
World History to 1500 CE
Modern World History
Intro to International Rel
IV. Cultural Diversity
Regarding Cultural Diversity, students are required to take one course from the following:3
Culture & Society
Global Visual Culture
Intro to Intercultural Comm
Human Geography
Global Health Issues
World Lit Survey
World Music
Intro Native American Studies
Native Americans in Contmp Soc
Intro to Diversity in Counslng
The Religious Quest
The Hispanic Tradition
Women, Culture & Society
V. Arts and Humanities
Regarding Arts and Humanities, students are required to take one course from Fine Arts and one course from Humanities.
A. Fine Arts
Select three credits from the following:3
Visual Language-Drawing
Visual Language-2-D Fndtns
Visual Language-3-D Fndtns
Ceramics for Non-Majors
Intro Creative Writing Wrkshp
Introduction to World Cinema
Film & Lit
Enjoyment of Music
Band: MSUB Symphonic
Jazz Ensemble I: MSUB
Choral Ensemble: Univ Chorus
Exploring Digital Photography
Introduction to Theatre
B. Humanities
Select three credits from the following:3
Introduction to Art History
Perspectives and Understanding
Intro to Literature
Montana Literature
Introduction to Ethics
Philosophies of Life
People and Politics
Total Minimum credits31

Students can satisfy Natural Sciences by taking SCIN 101SCIN 102, and either SCIN 103 or SCIN 104.