As part of the AUA undergraduate degree, General Education aims to develop articulate, conscientious citizens and problem solvers who are committed to contributing to their fields and society, and to provide students with a broad foundation of knowledge, skills, and perspectives.
An AUA degree is built upon two inseparable components: the major and General Education. While the major provides students with depth, specialization, and career preparation, General Education provides breadth and a foundation of general knowledge and skills for life. The AUA undergraduate degree is carefully designed to assure that graduates are ready for life-long learning, whether in the classroom, in their profession, or on their own.

The General Education requirements consist of a minimum of 15 courses or 45 semester credits and have two components:

  • Foundation Courses (18 credits/12 courses), and
  • Breadth Requirements (a minimum of 27 credits/9 courses), in coherent clusters of three courses in each of three broad sectors (Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, Quantitative Sciences), selected from a range of electives outside the student’s major in consultation with the student’s academic adviser (BSES and BSDS students should check with the Program Chair for their respective requirements).

Each of the three clusters must include at least one lower division course and at least one upper division (integrative or advanced) course. A cohesive cluster looks like this:      
Cohesive Clusters are groups of three or more related courses that are connected thematically by content and build on and/or complement each other (give depth or breadth) in one or more disciplinary ways of thinking. In order to assist students, courses suitable for forming cohesive clusters are coded by themes. Courses from the same theme form clusters that satisfy the General Education breadth requirement.

Themes 1, 2, 3 satisfy Arts and Humanities (AH); Themes 4, 5, 6 satisfy Social Sciences (SS); Themes 7, 8, 9 satisfy Quantitative Sciences (QS).

Some Sample Clusters: The numbers in parenthesis indicate the theme for General Education course cluster formation. (A course can only be counted toward one theme.)


CHSS 112 Logic and Rhetoric (1, 3)
CHSS 130 Introduction to Art (1)
CHSS 272 Comparative Religion (1, 2, 3, 4, 6)
PSIA 103 Intro to Armenian Government (4)
CHSS 128 History of the Modern World (2, 4)        CHSS 290 Cultural Geography (2, 4)
PH 101 Basics of Healthy Lifestyle (7)
PH201 Global Health (4,7)
CSE 264 Human Brain (3,6,7)

The upper level courses in each cluster (in italics) build upon and integrate the knowledge and skills of the other courses, adding perspectives, depth and breadth of knowledge and disciplinary approaches, and subtlety and complexity of analysis.

For more information and guidance on how courses cluster, visit

The term “foundation” in “foundation courses” refers to the fact that these are university-wide requirements for all undergraduates–a learning experience shared as a common point of reference for all undergraduate students.  It does not refer to the content of the courses per se, but to the function of these courses in the overall General Education program at AUA.

All undergraduate students must take the following required Gen Ed courses:

  • Foundation Courses

All undergraduate students must take the following foundation courses:

Semester/Year Freshman Year Sophomore Year Junior Year
Fall FND 101 Freshman Seminar 1
FND 110 Physical Education
FND 152 First Aid
FND 153 Civil Defense
FND 103 Armenian Language & Literature 1
FND 110 Physical Education
FND 221 Armenian History 1
Spring FND 102 Freshman Seminar 2
FND 110 Physical Education
FND 104 Armenian Language & Literature 2
FND 110 Physical Education
FND 222 Armenian History 2

FND 103 and FND 104 Armenian Language & Literature 1 and 2 and FND 221 and FND 222 Armenian History 1 and 2 are taught in Armenian.  Non Republic of Armenia citizens who did not graduate from an RoA high school whose language of instruction is Armenian will be eligible to enroll in an English-language section.

  • More about Physical Education, First Aid, Civil Defense

All undergraduate students are required to complete four semesters of Physical Education during their freshman and sophomore years and one course each in First Aid and Civil Defense in their freshman year. Visit for more information about the Physical Education, First Aid and Civil Defense requirements.