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    May 21, 2024  
Catalog 2024-2025 
Catalog 2024-2025

General Education Requirements and Courses

General Education Requirements

All degree programs of study at the college are comprised of both discipline-specific and general education courses.

The discipline-specific courses are designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for proficiency in their chosen program of study or major.

The General Education courses, on the other hand, set the foundation of a higher education curriculum and provide a coherent intellectual experience for all students, regardless of their program of study. These courses will range from 20 to 36 credits, depending on the degree selected. Whatever the number, they will be selected from the same list of courses, which are grouped below under the following headings: Arts; Humanities; English Composition; Social/Behavioral Sciences; Mathematics; Biological Sciences; Physical Sciences.  

This course distribution is intended to ensure that students have mastered fundamental skills and have demonstrated a familiarity with a core knowledge considered basic to all college-level work.

These general education course credits are transferable to all two- and four-year public institutions (and many private institutions as well) in Maryland and are guaranteed so in Student Transfer Policies (contained in Appendix III of this catalog).

According to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), a general education program is designed to introduce undergraduates to the fundamental knowledge, skills, and values that are essential to the study of academic disciplines, to the pursuit of life-long learning, and to the development of educated members of the community and the world.

As graduates of College of Southern Maryland, students will demonstrate the following General Education Core Competencies:

  1. Demonstrate verbal and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of contexts
  2. Produce original text using Standard English
  3. Evaluate a scientific problem supporting a hypothesis
  4. Develop quantitative reasoning skills to solve a problem
  5. Demonstrate analytical, problem-solving, and evaluation skills
  6. Utilize technology in making decisions and gathering information, and in communication
  7. Recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and effectively and ethically use the needed information
  8. Value and understand the role of the arts and humanities in the human experience
  9. Recognize the importance of diverse cultures and global and historical perspectives

For students enrolling in an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) program, the general education portion of the program constitutes at least 28 to 36 credits in the following distribution:

1four credits must include a lecture with a corresponding lab (Some transfer institutions require students to take one science from biology and one from physical sciences.)

For students enrolling in an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program, the general education portion of the program constitutes at least 18 credits in the following distribution:


General Education (Gen Ed) Courses

Unless the program specifies a particular general education course, students may select from among the following courses in the distributions below:


Biological Sciences

English Composition



Physical Sciences


Social/Behavioral Sciences

Cultural and Global Awareness

These courses meet CSM’s Core Competency requirement for Cultural and Global Awareness.


* Courses requiring a prerequisite or co-requisite

**** Pending MHEC approval    

Course Indicators: English Composition (E), Arts (A), Cultural and Global Awareness (C), Humanities (H), Biological/Physical Sciences (S), Social/Behavioral Sciences (B), Mathematics (M)