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New GE Requirements

Every student at Ohio State completes courses in General Education (GE). Although these GE courses are meant to provide a broad baseline of learning, often times the courses supplement the student’s major or program. The requirements vary depending on whether you are pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Science degree or a Professional Program in the Arts. If you are not sure which curriculum you are following, ask your advisor.

The university is implementing a new General Education program that will be followed by students whose first enrollment term is Autumn 2022 or later. GE requirements for current students (that is, students who first enrolled prior to Autumn 2022) will not change, and they will continue to complete the GE program that was in effect when they first enrolled — now called the Legacy GE. When searching and registering for classes, students can find Legacy GE classes by using the search filter "General Education – Legacy."

You must earn a minimum of 121 semester credit hours to earn an Arts and Sciences degree.

In addition to the GE, you will complete general college and major requirements and elective course work to reach a minimum of 121 credit hours.

Remedial courses (courses at the 10XX level or below, and English 1109) and credit hours earned in repeated course work do not count toward the 121 hour minimum requirement for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Note that you can take both "versions" of cross-listed courses (e.g., Comparative Studies 2670/Philosophy 2860); however, since the two versions are in fact the same course, only one may count toward your minimum degree hours.

The number of hours required to complete a Bachelor's degree with a given major will depend on your program and goals. 

You may need to plan a program of more than 121 credit hours if you wish to complete specific professional or studio training, are preparing for graduate study in certain disciplines, or have multidisciplinary goals.

If the combination of course work for the GE, prerequisites, and your major program totals fewer than 121 hours, you have many options for the remaining hours, called electives. With your elective hours, you could pursue a second major, a minor, or a combination degree program; select a set of courses on a specific topic; engage in an undergraduate research experience; do internships; or study abroad. You are urged to meet with an academic advisor to work out a plan that best fits your needs and interests. In no case shall the number of hours required for graduation be fewer than 121.

Within the minimum 121 credit hours, you must have:

A minimum of 111 hours of Arts and Sciences or Arts and Sciences-approved courses.

You may count a maximum of 10 hours of non-Arts and Sciences and non-Arts and Sciences-approved course work toward your degree. Of the 10 hours, no more than 4 may be from physical activities courses taught in Education: Physical Activity and Educational Services (EDU PAES); physical activities courses include all 1100 level EDU PAES courses except for 1102, 1103, 1122, and 1137. A maximum of 8 hours of technical credit may be counted toward the 10 hours of non-Arts and Sciences and non-Arts and Sciences-approved course work; however, the combination of EDU PAES, technical, and other non-Arts and Sciences credit hours may not exceed 10.

A minimum of 39 hours of Arts and Sciences or Arts and Sciences-approved upper-division course work.

Upper-division courses are defined as all Arts and Sciences courses at the 3000-level or above, Philosophy 2500, all courses taught by departments in mathematical and physical sciences (Astronomy, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Computer Science and Engineering, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics) at the 2000-level and above (except for Earth Sciences 2911 and any courses numbered 2194), and world language courses taught in the language at the 2000-level. Note that Gen Ed 4001, the reflection seminar, does not count as an Upper-division course. Your 39 upper- division hours may come from hours earned for the GE, the major, the minor (if applicable), and electives.

A minimum of 30 credit hours earned through regular course enrollment at Ohio State.

Regular course enrollment at Ohio State and in the College of Arts and Sciences in your final semester.

In addition, you must have:

  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 for all work attempted at Ohio State.
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in your major.
  • An application for the degree on file in the Arts and Sciences Graduation Services office in 141 Denney Hall.


You can directly contact Arts and Sciences Advising by calling 614-292-6961 or by emailing askascadvising@osu.edu.

Advisors are assigned based on your major, and you can identify your advisor by checking your Student Center on BuckeyeLink to find your assigned advisor. 

Contact your academic advisor. Their information can be found in your Student Center on BuckeyeLink.

Contact your academic advisor for help in understanding GE and program requirements. Run your degree audit ahead of your advising appointment and review it with your advisor. The degree audit report is an incredibly valuable tool for understanding your course requirements and planning your degree. Here are instructions for accessing your report in BuckeyeLink.

Also, be sure to access the current curriculum documents above. Individual departments also list degree-specific course requirements on their websites.

It is best to finalize your schedule before the start of the term. However, please note the following deadlines in the event you need to make schedule adjustments after the start of the term. Note: session and summer terms follow different deadlines. For a full list of deadlines, visit the Registrar’s web site.

  • You can add a course online using BuckeyeLink before the first Friday of the semester.
  • You can add a course, with instructor permission, after the first Friday and before 5 p.m. (4:30 p.m. during summer term) on the second Friday of the semester. Provide your advisor with the signed Course Enrollment Permission Form.
  • After the second Friday of the semester, you cannot add a course except by petition filed with your academic advisor. Please schedule an appointment with your advisor to help with the petition. You will need supporting evidence for your circumstances, such as your attendance record, the signature of the instructor of the course, as well as the signature of the chair of the department of the course you are wanting to add. Your petition may or may not be approved.

More information on adding and dropping courses can be found at this webpage.

Dropping a course is a serious decision and can have many consequences. Your financial aid, scholarships, work-study and other awards may be adjusted. Please contact your academic advisor to discuss the potential impacts if you should decide to drop a course.

  • On or before the fourth Friday, you can drop a course online or with your advisor, and no record of your enrollment will be recorded on your transcript. You can drop a course on or before the tenth Friday of the semester. 
  • After the fourth Friday, you must contact your advisor to drop a class. You will receive a “W” on your transcript.
  • After the tenth Friday, you cannot drop any course except by a successful petition filed with your academic advisor.
  • For current term deadlines, visit the Registrar’s web site and click on “Important Dates” under “Quick Links.”

More information on adding and dropping courses can be found at this webpage.

Please contact your academic advisor if you are considering changing your programs of study. 

You can also schedule an appointment with an Arts and Sciences academic advisor by calling 614-292-6961 or by emailing askascadvising@osu.edu.

You should contact the advising office for the program you want to complete. Each college returns students from leaves of absence, as long as the student has not been dismissed and is eligible to enroll in the program. 

If you were dismissed from the university, you will have to petition for reinstatement with the college that offers the program you want to complete. If you wish to return to a regional campus, you should contact an advisor from that campus to talk about the petition process.

Our graduation webpage has information on deadlines for applying to graduate, instructions for applying and information on graduating with honors or research distinction. During your graduating term, commencement.osu.edu will provide specific details about the ceremony.

The general education requirement sheets are updated each term. Please be certain you are reviewing the most current document for the curriculum you are under.

Please contact Todd Bitters, bitters.4@osu.edu, if you require any of the above documents or content in an alternative format.