Chatham University

General Education

Undergraduate Studies

Chatham University's General Education curriculum provides courses that cumulatively impart the broad skills needed to be World Ready Students and immerse students in Chatham's mission initiatives: Engagement and Responsibility, Sustainability and the Environment, and International and Global Understanding.

To be able to adapt to changing circumstances, students must be able to learn, investigate, analyze, and make reasonable and ethical choices. This is learned by building knowledge and skills in broad areas that will give students a basis of understanding that they will use to deal with problems and situations they encounter throughout their lives. Chatham's General Education program teaches students to learn how to know when they need additional information; find and evaluate that information; assimilate the information within the context of a problem or situation; combine the information with other knowledge and perspectives; and act upon it in ways that are ethical and beneficial to the whole.

The following perspectives are reinforced throughout the General Education curriculum:

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires undergraduate students to complete a minimum of 40 credits of general education. Individual classes may satisfy only one general education requirement. No more than two classes may fulfill both a requirement in a major and a general education requirement. In interpreting this rule, a "science with lab" is considered one class even if the lab portion has its own course number. Courses satisfying the general education requirement must be taken on a regular letter grade basis except in cases where pass/fail grading is the only option. If a student fails a general education course, he/she must retake and pass the course or an appropriate approved substitute.

For RN-BSN students, some general education credits will be satisfied via articulation agreement with their school of nursing. Thus students may not be able to see a credit-for-credit course satisfaction for general education courses on their transcripts.

+ENG105 First-Year Writing

This introduction to college composition covers analytical and argumentative writing, oral presentation, critical reading, information literacy, and academic integrity. The course employs active-learning pedagogy of discussion and dialogue and examines intersections of race, gender, class, ethnicities, and systems of belief through the lens of relevant topics. Students who need additional support with writing skills beyond what is normally covered in the classroom (based on a diagnostic writing exam required before matriculation) will require Supplemental instruction through the PACE Center. Students with transfer credits may meet the requirement for ENG105 with the transfer of a college-level composition course or AP/IB credit.

+Successful Transition to College

SDE101: Strategies for Success in College. This courses provide first-year students with strategies necessary to transition successfully to the college environment. The course introduces students to the Chatham community, its culture, and its traditions. Additional topics relevant to the first-year experience are also considered. All first year students attending college for the first time will be enrolled. Gateway and transfer students with 12 or more credits are exempt from SDE101

+Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative reasoning courses are intended to help students develop their ability to understand information presented in mathematical terms and to use quantitative methods to answer questions and solve problems. Students must complete a course on college algebra, statistics, or above. Transfer students may meet the quantitative reasoning requirement may with a Chatham course or other transfer course on college algebra statistics, or above.

+Breadth Courses

The Chatham general education curriculum requires students to complete a minimum of one course (3-credits or greater) from each of the following four disciplinary perspectives in order to understand diverse ways of knowing and enhance cross-disciplinary understanding. For the purposes of general education, Chatham counts "science course with lab" as one course, even if the lab component has a different course number.

  • Art course (ART, FDT, MUS)
  • Humanities course (ENG, CST, LNG, PHI, REL, WST)
  • Social Science course (ECN, HIS, POL, PSY, CRM, SWK)
  • Science course with lab (BIO, CHM, PHY, ENV)

Transfer students may transfer approved courses in each breadth area or fulfill the requirement with approved Chatham courses. Equivalent courses for Art at other institutions include at least three credits in art, music, or theater courses. Equivalent courses for Humanities at other institutions include at least three credits in English, language, philosophy, or religion. Equivalent courses for Social Science at other institutions include at least three credits in economics, history, political science, psychology, or sociology. Equivalent courses for Science at other institutions are an approved science course with lab. Transfer courses for which there is no Chatham equivalent may still be accepted as satisfying the breadth requirement if they are from a discipline broadly associated with the liberal arts. Classes from professionally oriented disciplines cannot fulfill this general education requirement.

+Upper-level Elective Courses

In addition to the breadth course described above, all Chatham students will demonstrate a depth of understanding by completing a minimum of 9 credits of upper-level (200-level or above) elective credits in disciplines outside of their major. All of Chatham's upper-level electives are acceptable in this category. Chatham will accept transfer courses from all areas of study that meet these requirements. RN-BSN students may satisfy general education depth requirements with any courses outside of the Core program requirements.

+Mission-Related Courses

The three primary themes of the University mission are Engagement and Responsibility, Sustainability and the Environment, and Global and International Understanding. The General Education program is designed to develop the skills and knowledge of these aspects of the mission. Students take a minimum of one 3-credit course from each of these mission-related areas. If a course is listed under two mission themes, it can only fulfill one theme course.

+Leadership and Personal Development

InLeadership and Personal Development courses include a specific focus on one or more aspects of physical activity, healthy lifestyles, civic and community engagement, local and international service and personal leadership development. Students are required to complete a minimum of two credits in designated Leadership and Personal Development courses. These may include Project Pericles and PLEN seminars. Chatham will accept a diverse array of transfer classes consistent with the spirit of the category. Courses graded on a pass/fail basis cannot be automatically accepted for transfer, and are subject to additional review.

+Learning Outcomes for General Education


  • Students will be able to produce coherent, focused, organized, clear and correct written documents using general academic conventions as well as appropriate discipline-based conventions.
  • Students will be able to use the tools of persuasion to reach a variety of audiences


  • Students will demonstrate the ability to formulate opinions and support and defend them effectively
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to articulate ideas, reach, and persuade a variety of audiences.
  • Students produce an effective presentation using a variety of strategies and technologies


  • Students will demonstrate the ability to locate information sources, including electronic sources, and the ability to analyze, interpret, and evaluate their quality/reliability
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct research using a variety of strategies and sources.
  • Students will produce an effective written document analyzing and synthesizing research materials and leading to a conclusion supporting an argument or hypothesis.


  • Students will demonstrate numerical fluency.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to develop and evaluate the appropriate problem-solving strategies for a variety of situations, issues, and events.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to test and apply correct solutions to problems.


  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of holistic fulfillment, and its place in their lives
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of fitness activities that could be continued throughout the lifespan


  • Students will demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the skills, knowledge and strengths that are required of individuals working in a particular profession or for a particular type of organization.
  • Students will develop a basis for assessing their own suitability for work in the field of study.
  • Students will develop professional skills necessary for the pursuit of desired careers or advanced educational training.


  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the principles and elements used in the art form(s) under study.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to interpret works of art contextualizing them in appropriate frameworks (e.g., social, cultural, political, psychological, environmental, etc.).
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret works of art using the language relevant to the art form(s) under study.


  • Students will demonstrate the ability to identify the key concepts and central debates that define the humanities discipline under study.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret literary and cultural texts within historical paradigms.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to identify cultural patterns through the close study of literary and cultural texts.


  • Students will demonstrate a foundational knowledge of a science discipline.
  • Students will demonstrate the correct use of scientific methods as modes of inquiry as well as appropriate use of analytical tools.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to evaluate scientific evidence.


  • Students will demonstrate foundational knowledge of the discipline(s) under study.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to employ appropriate methods of inquiry to analyze the relationships among culture, institutions, and/or human behavior

+Learning Outcomes for Mission- Related Courses


  • Students will describe constructions of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and beliefs as they apply to the topic(s) under study.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for their own positions through such strategies as attentiveness to the ideas and struggles of others, strong communication skills, and consensus building.


  • Students will articulate the impact that humans have on their environment and how this affects health and social justice issues.
  • Students will describe sustainable processes and evaluate the impact of those processes on social, environmental, and/or economic systems.


  • Students will discuss global interdependence and local cultural values from multiple perspectives (e.g., social, economic, political, religious, and environmental).
  • Students will assess global and local events, processes, trends, and/or issues and be able to place one's own culture in that context.