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What to Know About Gen Ed Classes

October 23, 2023

Why Gen Ed Classes Are Important

There are a couple reasons why almost all universities include gen ed classes in their graduation requirements.

First, gen ed classes help students develop more of the soft skills they need for any career. For instance, you may learn critical thinking, develop your writing and numeracy skills, improve your problem-solving abilities, or gain more practice giving presentations. Employers want to see you possess these skills in addition to your specialist knowledge.

Second, taking gen ed classes will help you feel confident that you’ve chosen the right major. If you’re unsure about what to major in or you discover your major is different than you expected, gen ed classes could be useful for introducing you to other options.

Types of Gen Ed Classes

The good news when it comes to gen ed is you have a wide range of classes to choose from. They tend to fall into a few main categories:

  • English — Classes cover language and literature. You can learn how to produce different types of texts, analyze pieces of writing, or gain a greater appreciation for literature from around the world.
  • Science — If you’re a non-STEM major, you should take at least one science or math class. This will improve your understanding of statistics, analytics, and data interpretation.
  • History — You can choose to study a particular period in history or a culture you find interesting.
  • Humanities — You should find you have at least one interest that falls under the humanities umbrella. For example, your university may offer classes in music, dance, theater, visual arts, or creative writing.
  • Social science — In addition to learning about a particular field of social science (such as sociology or psychology), you could choose to work on a specific skill, such as public speaking.

Bear in mind that you’ll likely need to take classes from a few different departments to meet your gen ed requirements. In addition, most universities require students to take at least one English course.

Picking the Right Gen Ed Classes for You

The huge number of gen ed classes available to you can be overwhelming. Make the most of the opportunity by thinking carefully about which classes you want to take. You may be tempted to choose classes you think will be easy, especially if you want to focus your attention on the classes for your major. However, a better strategy is to think about what will be beneficial for your career prospects. Choose classes that will teach you something new or enhance your current skills and that you’ll enjoy.

Another way to make the most of gen ed classes is to start taking them straight away. Some may be popular and could fill up fast — you don’t want to miss out because you wait until your last semester to sign up. Furthermore, if you’re unsure about your major, taking plenty of gen ed classes in your first couple semesters can help you come to a decision.

Studying for your gen ed classes is just as important as studying for classes related to your major because they still impact your GPA. Plus, you may find some gen ed classes quite difficult, especially if they require skills you don’t normally need. Having a quiet place at home where you can focus on schoolwork will be key to your success. An alternative housing solution to Brock University residence is Regent — you’ll have your own room in a fully-furnished three-, four-, or five-bedroom apartment. Plus, you’ll be able to use our comfortable community room, which is ideal for studying. Set up a tour to visit us.

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