Adult PLS/HDC General Education Program (GEP)

The General Education Program (GEP) at Saint Joseph’s University involves a distinctive liberal arts education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition.  General education is essential to the University’s mission, providing all students with the broad knowledge, essential skills, appreciation of diversity, and ethically informed perspective needed by those who would aspire to be “men and women for others.” The GEP ensures mastery of skills required for further study, exposes students to the principal achievements and problems of the major fields of human learning, and introduces them to new disciplines that they may or may not wish to pursue. The Major Concentration component gives depth in a particular field and is thus a preparation for an effective career or for graduate study in that field.

Free or general electives allow students to pursue interests, explore new fields, or to continue concentration in their major. 

The Adult Learner General Education Program (GEP) applies to students who are completing a bachelor's degree through Professional and Liberal Studies Program (PLS) or through the Haub Degree Completion Program (HDC)

The Adult Learner GEP is comprised of Signature Core, Variable Core,  Integrative Learning courses and Overlays.

Signature Core

PHL 154Moral Foundations3
THE 154Faith, Justice & the Cath Trad3
or THE 221 Intro to the New Testament
ENG 102Texts & Contexts3
HIS 154Forging the Modern World3
Any course certified as Faith & Reason3
Adult Learning Seminar (any course numbered 140)3

Variable Core

  • One approved course in Art, Literature, or Music, Theater, Film.

  • One course in the Natural Sciences (lab-based or lecture based) in biology, chemistry, environmental science, or physics.

  • Two courses in Mathematics (PLS majors require MAT 101 or higher; HDC programs require MAT 103 and MAT 123 or an alternate calculus course).

  • Two courses in a Non-Native Language (e.g., SPA 111-SPA 112) or two approved alternative courses in Literature in Translation or Classics. With permission, international students or students whose native language is not English may take ESL 201 and ESL 202, Composition and Critical Thinking for Non-Native Speakers of English, in their first two semesters to fulfill their language requirement. Bilingual students may also be considered for a language exemption by the Department of Modern & Classical Languages.

  • One course in the Social-Behavioral Sciences including Political Science, Economics, Sociology, and Psychology.  Please note that some majors require a specific course.

  • One course that is certified as a Philosophical Anthropology course.

  • One course from Religious Studies or Theology that is certified as a Religious Difference course.

  • ENG 101 Craft of Language.

Integrative Learning Course

(2 courses required)

  • Courses approved for ILC requirements will vary by major. Some majors have specific courses that must be taken.


Students admitted Summer 2016 through Spring 2019 to an Adult Learner Program in PLS or HDC are required to complete at least one of the three GEP overlays.  Students admitted Summer 2019 and later are required to complete two of the three GEP overlays:

  1. Ethics Intensive
  2. Writing Intensive, or
  3. Diversity, Globalization, Non-Western Area Studies.

Please note that PLS and HDC students admitted prior to the Fall 2014 semester may have slightly different GEP curriculum requirements as communicated by the PLS and HDC Advising Offices at the time of admission. Students are encouraged to contact their Advising Office with any curriculum questions.  PLS students who are completing degree requirements for a major offered through the Day School are required to complete the GEP for Day Students. 

Free Electives

Except for Early Childhood/Elementary Pre K-4 Education majors, all students must complete a minimum of 18 free elective credits.  Elective credits may be used to pursue a minor or secondary major.