Mission and New General Education Curriculum


General Education at W&L: Empowering students to live fully, grow personally, and work justly. Through interconnected experiences across disciplines, in the classroom and beyond, students cultivate the skills and dispositions needed to participate critically, creatively, and ethically in diverse and dynamic global communities. By developing passion for discovery, flexibility of thought, self-reflection, and deep regard for equity and inclusion, students gain perspectives on the past, engage the present, and forge visions for better futures.

New general education curriculum approved by the undergraduate faculty:

  • A first year writing intensive seminar that replaces WRIT100 and is organized around a big question or wicked problem.
  • A sophomore year course ("Perspectives seminar") that encourages understanding of the ways that various identities, including but not limited, to gender, sex, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or class have shaped experiences and systems in the United States and beyond. This course can also fulfill a required distribution area.
  • A three-course concentration ("pathway") focused on a theme, in which each course fulfills a different distribution area.
  • 9 credits of writing intensive courses. The first year writing intensive seminar will fulfill 3 of these credits, and the other 6 credits can simultaneously fulfill required distribution areas.
  • A signature experience in which students participate in at least one of a series of high impact educational practices: community engagement (which includes community-based learning courses), community-based learning, undergraduate research, study abroad, internships, and performing in a faculty-led or faculty-supervised public artistic performance. This can be achieved while simultaneously fulfilling required distribution areas.
  • A DE&I Passport in which students engage in experiences that include but are not limited to courses, lectures, panels, debates, organizations, trips, and projects related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • A distribution model made up of the following areas and credits:
    • Creative Making (3 credits)
    • Cultures and Contexts (6 credits, at least 3 of which are from a course with a domestic focus, can be fulfilled by courses in different distributional bins)
    • Ethical Reasoning (3 credits)
    • Historical Perspectives (3 credits, can be fulfilled by a course in a different distributional bin)
    • Humanistic Inquiry and Analysis (3 credits)
    • Intercultural Communication (6 credits)
    • Quantitative Reasoning (3 credits)
    • Scientific Inquiry and Analysis (4 credits)
    • Social Scientific Inquiry and Analysis (3 credits)
    • Physical Education and Wellness (4 credits, 3 of which must be one-credit Physical Education courses)