Emory University announced a new set of general education requirements (GERs), dubbed the Blue GER Plan, on March 14 in an email sent to all undergraduate students. The Blue plan will go into effect in fall 2023 for all incoming students, including both first-year and transfer students, and will require students to complete 15 courses in five categories. Currently, students are expected to take 18 courses across 10 areas.
The new GERs were approved by Emory faculty in fall 2021 after a “multi-year effort of thinking,” according to Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Faculty Partnerships Jason Ciejka (11G, 17L).
“That initiative crossed the undergraduate schools at Emory,” Ciejka said. “So, there were representatives of the College faculty, but also representatives from Oxford, business, nursing.”
Existing GERs are labeled as the Gold GER Plan, which current Emory students will still follow. According to Ciejka, students can use both old and new GERs under the same category to satisfy existing requirements. For example, the old “Math & Quantitative Reasoning” area for the Gold GERs can be fulfilled through “Math & Quantitative Reasoning” courses or through courses under the new “Quantitative Reasoning” subcategory in the Blue plan.
However, Gold GER courses cannot be used to fulfill the Blue GER plan.
The first Blue GER category is “Success at Emory,” which consists of all courses students are required to complete in their first year: “Emory Edge” (ECS 101), “It’s Your Health & Wellbeing” (HLTH 100) and one physical education (PE) course. Students must take ECS 101 and HLTH 100 in their first semester, but can choose to take PE in either the fall or the spring.
“They need to complete those requirements in their first year,” Ciejka said. “They’re really providing a foundation for the students to succeed over their four years at Emory.”
The second category is “Exploration Courses,” where students will be introduced to the “broad areas of human learning and inquiry,” according to Ciejka. This will include one humanities and arts course, one social science course, one natural science course and one quantitative reasoning course. Students are expected to complete this category by the end of their second year.