Carnegie Mellon Engineering

General Education Requirements for Classes 2016 - 2020

The environment in which today's engineering graduates will find themselves working is evolving rapidly. Technical innovation is becoming ever more critical to retaining a competitive edge. This is true for individuals, for firms, and for nations. Startups, as well as established companies, have significant international opportunities but also face more competition in a global economy. Seizing these opportunities and dealing with the associated challenges requires an understanding of the global context in which engineers work, as well as understanding multidisciplinary approaches to technological innovation across cultures.

The College of Engineering has developed General Education Requirements designed to ensure that our students are ready to work effectively in the global economy and become the innovators and leaders of tomorrow.

Complete the Following Requirements to Graduate
(72 units)

  • 76-101, Interpretation and Argument (some students may need to take 76-100 first)
  • One course from the following list:
    • 73-100
    • 73-230
    • 80-100
    • 84-104
    • 85-102
    • 79-104
    • 100-level Modern Language course
    • or one other PPC or SDM course (defined below)

Students must complete each of the categories (descriptions of categories follow below): **This is a 9-unit requirement. Any course taken on this list that is below 9 units will require additional units to make up the difference.**


General Education Categories

People, Places and Cultures (PPC)
courses are designed to help you gain better understanding of the diversity of the world in which we live, and the way in which social, political, economic, and technical factors interact to shape that world.

Social Analysis and Decision Making (SDM)
courses are focused on helping you to gain an understanding of different ways in which individuals and societies approach and make decisions.

Innovation and Internationalization (I&I)
courses are intended to expose to you the opportunities and potential that engineering provides with regard to developing cutting-edge technologies and leveraging the fundamental skills you gain in your education to make these pioneering ideas come to fruition in a global context.

Writing and Expression (W&E)

Engineers must be able to communicate ideas, research, and directives to people with diverse backgrounds, languages, cultures, and demographics. Courses offered under the Writing and Expression category are aimed at building writing and oral skills, which are essential in today's global society.

Experiential Learning (EL)
Being curious and constantly looking for inspiration are critical parts of lifelong learning. To be successful as an engineer and as a citizen, your education must not stop when you graduate from Carnegie Mellon. The EL requirement aims to encourage a habit of lifelong learning about innovation and the growing internationalization in engineering and, indeed, of many other aspects of the modern world. The goal of this requirement is to help inspire the habits of being open to new ideas as successful, innovative engineers.

To do that, during both semesters of your sophomore year and the first semester of your junior year, we require you to choose a few related activities that are not part of your formal course work. Examples could include:

  • Attending approved seminars and then submitting a one-page write-up of your thoughts on what you heard;
  • Participating in one of the "country courses" or other weekend courses that the University runs (for details see:
  • Holding an official leadership position (eg President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer) in a student organization.

Students enrolled in Experiential Learning (39-210, 220 or 310) can find more information about completing the requirements on their Blackboard page (with the corresponding course numbers above).

Experiential Learning advisor alpha split by last name:

A-Em: Kurt Larsen

En-Kn: Treci Bonime

Ko-Ne: Annette Jacobson

Ng-Si: Nisha Shukla

Sk-Z: Kourtney Bandish

Grading and points of contact are divided alphabetically. Get information on advising through the Office of Undergraduate Studies.