University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst: General Education

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The Value of Gen Ed


The Value of Gen Ed

The General Education Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides students with experiences, knowledge, and skills necessary to become well-educated, successful, and valuable contributors to our ever-evolving global community.

oustideCombining Breadth with Depth

The two complementary components of an undergraduate education are a student's choice of major, providing depth in a field, and his or her General Education choices, providing breadth of experience. In today’s complex world, students need to complement the professional or vocational training provided through the courses taught in their majors with a wide range of intellectual and civic practices. To prepare for an exciting and challenging future, students need to become broadly educated and cognizant of the often rapidly-changing components of their world. Students need to gain a sense of our past achievements, present developments, and future possibilities.

Lifelong Learning

The UMass Amherst Gen Ed program equips students to act thoughtfully and responsibly in society, to make informed judgments, and to live lives dedicated to segradsrvice, continued learning, and the joys of intellectual pursuits for a lifetime. Through the Gen Ed Program, undergraduates at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will broaden their perspectives (scientific, historical, philosophical, cultural, literary), improve critical and analytical thinking, increase awareness of technology, and acquire the skills necessary to discover, manage, and effectively communicate knowledge as informed citizens of our world.