Frequently Asked Questions


What are the General Education (GE) requirements?

  • Complete 48 units in 5 areas of GE, A-E.
  • The 48 GE units must include at least 9 units of upper division GE courses. At Sac State upper division are courses numbered 100-199. (Community college courses are all lower division, regardless of the course number.)
  • 9 units in GE must be taken in residence at Sacramento State.
  • Every student must take one Race and Ethnicity in American Society course.
  • Every student must take one Writing Intensive course.
  • Please fill out the GE Worksheet to keep track of your progress.

When should I take my 3 required upper division GE courses?

Students may overlap upper division GE courses with major requirements. For more information about fulfilling upper division GE requirements, please consult with advisors in the Academic Advising and Career Center.

Do I take my GE courses or graduation requirements in any particular order?

Highly Recommended:

  • Complete Area A (Oral Communication, Composition, and Critical Thinking) and Area B4 (Quantitative Reasoning) as early as possible.
  • Undeclared students should concentrate early on GE courses. GE courses allow students to explore major options.


  • Students must complete 30 units before taking English 20.
  • You must complete the WPJ, ENGL 109M or ENGL 109W before you can take a Writing Intensive course.

How do I keep track of my progress in GE?

The Academic Requirements tab is available on My Sac State for students as soon as they register. The Academic Requirements tab provides students with an electronic version of their general education and major requirements. Students can go to the Academic Advising and Career Center, Lassen Hall 1013, if they have questions about GE or have questions about information on their Academic Requirements tab.

Are there any common mistakes in GE?

There are several common mistakes to avoid:

  • Don’t take only GE courses – mix GE with major courses.
  • There are no upper division courses at community colleges.
  • Don’t assume any course is approved for GE--check the list of approved GE classes found in the online catalog:

Can I get D grades in GE courses?

It depends on the GE area. “D” and “D-” grades are not allowed in the following GE areas:

  • Area A1 – Oral Communication
  • Area A2 – Written Communication
  • Area A3 – Critical Thinking
  • Area B4 – Quantitative Reasoning

Keep in mind - a 2.0 overall GPA is required in GE.

I completed my GE at XYZ College, so am I finished with GE?

No. Every student who transfers to Sac State must take 9 units of GE at Sac State. The 9 units should be upper division and include a Race & Ethnicity in American Society course and a Writing Intensive course. For help, see the Academic Advising and Career Center, Lassen 1013.

Does U.S. History count for Race and Ethnicity in American Society?

History 17A or 17B taken only at Sac State or Sierra College meets the Race and Ethnicity in American Society Requirement.

Can I use a course from my major for GE requirements?

There is unlimited overlap between your major and GE courses.

Can courses from my minor also apply to GE?

There is unlimited overlap between your minor and GE courses.

Can my Writing Intensive course apply to the 9 unit upper division requirement?

Yes. However, there are some courses that meet the Writing Intensive requirement but do not apply to any GE area or the 9 unit upper division requirement. Check the online catalog for the most up-to-date list at

Can my Writing Intensive course also apply to my major?

If your major does allow overlap between major and Writing Intensive, then yes. If your major does not allow overlap, then take a Writing Intensive course that will not apply to your major. Please see your major advisor.

Can GE be taken Credit/No Credit?

No, all GE and Graduation Requirements must be letter graded.