2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    Jul 18, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

General Education Requirements


Collage of students in different classroom settings.

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.


The general education curriculum is central to South Dakota State University’s mission to help students develop the competencies, principles, and modes of thinking crucial for advanced study in their major and for meeting the obligations of an informed and engaged citizenship. These foundational courses promote scientific inquiry; quantitative reasoning; written and oral communication; an awareness of the historical, psychological, social, economic, and political structures that inform our present moment; and an understanding of the contributions diverse cultures make to our common humanity. South Dakota State University and its faculty express their commitment to helping students acquire the sensitivity, knowledge, and powers of analysis and reasoning they will need to contribute in meaningful ways to the workplace and the world beyond.

The General Education curriculum for all undergraduate students is further explained in the following sections. General Education curriculum consists of System General Education Requirements. SDBOR Policy 2.3.7 and SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 2.3.7.A, identify (a) the purpose of the requirement, (b) the skills to be developed in each course that satisfies the requirement, and (c) the approved courses. Students may only select general education courses from the approved list. These requirements are effective for students entering Fall 2017.

System General Education Requirements Course/Credit Distribution

(SDBOR Policy 2.3.7, SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 2.3.7.A)

The general education component of all associate and baccalaureate degree programs shall consist of the System General Education Requirements. Students may only select general education courses from a limited approved list to meet the System General Education Requirements. These requirements are effective for students entering Fall 2017.

Associate of Arts Degree & Associate of Science Degree Course/Credit Distribution

The System General Education Requirements for students pursuing an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree shall include 24 credit hours.

  SDBOR Requirement: 18 Credits SDSU Requirement: 6 Credits
SGR Goal #1   3 Credits 3 Credits
SGR Goal #2   3 Credits  
SGR Goal #3   3 Credits 3 Credits *
SGR Goal #4   3 Credits 3 Credits *
SGR Goal #5   3 Credits  
SGR Goal #6   3 Credits 3 Credits *

*Three (3) additional credits selected from approved list of courses from different disciplinary prefixes for Goals #3, #4, or #6.

Baccalaureate Degree Course/Credit Distribution

System General Education Requirements for students pursuing a baccalaureate degree shall include 30 credit hours.

  SDBOR Requirement: 18 Credits SDSU Requirement: 12 Credits
SGR Goal #1   3 Credits 3 Credits
SGR Goal #2   3 Credits  
SGR Goal #3   3 Credits 3 Credits
SGR Goal #4   3 Credits 3 Credits
SGR Goal #5   3 Credits  
SGR Goal #6   3 Credits 3 Credits

System General Education Requirements Goals & Approved Courses 

(SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 2.3.7.A)

These requirements are common across the entire South Dakota Regental System. There are six (6) System General Education Goals for which general education has been designed for meeting student outcomes. The System General Education Committee and Academic Affairs Council will review all general education requests in reference to these goals. The finite list of courses approved to meet each of the established system goals will be maintained in the SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 8.3. 


SGR Goal #1


Written Communication

Students will write effectively and responsibly and will understand and interpret the written expression of others.

Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will:

  1. Write using standard American English, including correct punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure,
  2. Write logically,
  3. Write persuasively, with a variety of rhetorical strategies (e.g., expository, argumentative, descriptive), and
  4. Incorporate formal research and documentation into their writing, including research obtained through modern, technology-based research tools.

Each course meeting this goal includes the following student learning outcomes:

Required: a, b, c, and d

Required Credit Hours


Associate Degrees 6 Credit Hours
Baccalaureate Degrees 6 Credit Hours

Notes


Student enrollment in the initial English course is determined by the Academic Affairs Guidelines 7.6.B English Placement Guidelines.



SGR Goal #2


Oral Communication

Students will communicate effectively and responsibly through listening and speaking.

Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to speak thoughtfully, clearly, and effectively in a variety of contexts.
  2. Demonstrate active listening skills in a variety of contexts.

Each course meeting this goal includes the following student learning outcomes:

Required: a and b

Required Credit Hours


Associate Degree 3 Credit Hours
Baccalaureate Degree 3 Credit Hours


SGR Goal #3


Social Sciences

Students will understand the organization, potential, and diversity of the human community through study of the social sciences.

Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will:

  1. Identify and explain basic concepts, terminology, theories, and systems of inquiry of the selected social science disciplines.
  2. Apply selected social science concepts and theories to contemporary or historical issues from different behavioral, cultural, institutional, temporal, or spatial contexts.
  3. Analyze the extent and impact of diversity among individuals, cultures, or societies in contemporary or historical contexts using social science methods and concepts.

Each course meeting this goal includes the following student learning outcomes:

Required: a, b, and c

Required Credit Hours


Associate Degree 3-6* Credit Hours
Baccalaureate Degree 6 Credit Hours

Notes


  • * Refer to the program requirements. Three additional credits selected from approved list of courses for Goals #3, #4, or #6 to reach 24 System General Education Requirements for the Associate Degree.
  • Coursework must be completed from two disciplines.

Courses




SGR Goal #4


Arts & Humanities

Students will understand the diversity and complexity of the human experience through study of the arts and humanities.

Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of values, beliefs, practices or ideas embodied in the human experience, and
  2. Demonstrate basic understanding of concepts of the selected discipline within the arts and humanities.

In addition, as a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will be able to do at least one of the following:

  1. Demonstrate ability to express creative, aesthetic, formal or stylistic elements of the disciplines.
  2. Demonstrate foundational competency in reading, writing, and speaking a non-English language.
  3. Identify and explain cultural contributions from the perspective of the selected disciplines within the arts and humanities.

Each course meeting this goal includes the following student learning outcomes:

Required: a and b
At least one of the following: c, d, or e

Required Credit Hours


Associate Degree 3-6* Credit Hours
Baccalaureate Degree 6 Credit Hours

Notes


  • * Refer to the program requirements. Three additional credits selected from approved list of courses for Goals #3, #4, or #6 to reach 24 System General Education Requirements for the Associate Degree.
  • Coursework must be completed from two disciplines or a sequence of foreign language courses.  Students must complete a course from another subject if they are using one from ART, ARTH, or DSGN.

Courses




SGR Goal #5


Mathematics

Students will understand and apply fundamental mathematical processes and reasoning.

Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will:

  1. Use mathematical symbols and mathematical structure to model and solve real world problems.
  2. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills related to mathematical terms and concepts.

Each course meeting this goal includes the following student learning outcomes:

Required: a and b



SGR Goal #6


Natural Sciences

Students will understand the fundamental principles of the natural sciences and apply scientific methods of inquiry to investigate the natural world.

Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will:

  1. Explain the nature of science including how scientific explanation are formulated, tested, and modified or validated.
  2. Distinguish between scientific and non-scientific evidence and explanations, and use scientific evidence to construct arguments related to contemporary issues.
  3. Apply basic observational, quantitative, or technological methods to gather and analyze data and generate evidence-based conclusions in a laboratory setting.
  4. Understand and apply foundational knowledge and discipline-specific concepts to address issues, solve problems, or predict natural phenomena.

Each course meeting this goal includes the following student learning outcomes:

Required: a, b, c and d

Required Credit Hours


Associate Degree 3-6* Credit Hours
Baccalaureate Degree 6 Credit Hours

Notes


  • *Refer to the program requirements. Three additional credits selected from approved list of courses for Goals #3, #4, or #6 to reach 24 System General Education Requirements for the Associate Degree.

Courses


 

Policies Applicable to System General Education Requirements

(SDBOR Policy 2.2.2.1, SDBOR Policy 2.3.7, SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 2.3.7.BSDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 2.3.7.A)

The System General Education Requirements outlined in SDBOR Policy 2.3.7 will be effective for students entering in Fall 2017.

Course Restrictions

(SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 2.3.7.B)

  • Only 100/200 level courses will be included on the approved course list outlined in SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 2.3.7.A.
  • For transfer equivalency purposes, exceptions based on student background may be made utilizing the established university academic appeal process.
  • Honors courses equivalent to identified System general education courses may be approved but must meet the System requirements and align with the established learning outcomes.
  • Performance courses shall not be used to meet SGR Goal #4

General Education Transfer

South Dakota Regental System Transfer of Credit & Common Course Transfer

(SDBOR Policy 2.2.2.2)

  • Students who complete the System General Education Requirements (SDBOR Policy 2.3.7) at any Regental institution will have fulfilled the System General Education Requirements for their degree program. The completion of the requirements will internally transfer with the courses, credit hours and grades assigned regardless of the course distributions or approved course lists.
  • Students who complete system common courses will internally transfer with the courses, credit hours and grades assigned regardless of the Regental institution.
  • A student who has not completed all System General Education requirements at the sending institution will be required to complete additional coursework consistent with the course requirements at the receiving South Dakota Regental institution.
  • All prerequisites for associate and baccalaureate programs must be completed as determined by the student’s degree plan.

External (Non-Regental System) Accredited University/College Transfer of Credit

(SDBOR Policy 2.2.2.3)

Independent General Education and Common Course Transfer
  • All individual general education courses will have a course evaluation.
  • Approved equivalent courses and grades are recorded on the transcript; once the course is recorded, the equivalency will not change.
Block General Education Transfer
  • A student who has completed general education requirements that are consistent with the six (6) goals and credit hour requirements outlined in SDBOR Policy 2.3.7 will enter the Regental system having fulfilled the General Education program requirements.
  • A student who has completed the WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) Interstate Passport or other approved general education agreement requirements as outlined in AAC Guidelines will have successfully fulfilled the General Education Requirements.
  • A student who has completed a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution will have successfully completed the General Education Requirements.
  • Degree and graduation requirements to meet one of the System General Education Requirements (SGRs) may stipulate that students’ complete credits/courses toward the degree program. Any such requirement will be outlined in the program articulation agreement.
  • Approved transfer courses, number and name as well as grades are recorded on the transcript. Credit will be identified in the student information system that general education has been satisfied and transcripted.

External (Non-Regental System) Non-Accredited University/College & International Transfer of Credit

(SDBOR Policy 2.2.2.4)

Independent General Education Transfer
  • University discretion is permitted in acceptance of general education courses.
  • Courses considered for transfer are subject to all SDBOR policies and any conditions for validation that may be prescribed by the receiving institution.
  • All individual general education courses requests for transfer will have a course evaluation. Approved equivalent courses and grades are recorded on the transcript; once the course is recorded. the equivalency will not change.

Placement into Initial English Courses

(SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 2.2.1.1.B)

The South Dakota Board of Regents has developed a standardized process for initial placement of students in English composition courses. Students are placed in accordance with acknowledged skills and abilities. Such placement promises a match between student preparation/dispositions and course rigor; it positions students for collegiate success in English, which retains vital importance.

All incoming, degree seeking students at the undergraduate level are initially placed in English courses as established by approved guidelines. Transfer students who have fulfilled general education requirements in English are exempt. For non-degree seeking students, placement is relevant only if students pursue registration in English course work. In such cases, placement procedures do apply.

Initial placement is determined by the English Placement Matrix in SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 7.6.B - Appendix A. Students are placed into either ENGL 101 ENGL 032  (which is taken concurrently with ENGL 101), or ENGL 033 .

Course ACT English Subscores Smarter Balanced ELA Score Accuplacer Next Generation Writing Score
ENGL 101 - Composition I (COM) [SGR #1, HSDC]   18 - 36 2583 or higher 263 or higher
ENGL 032 - Basic Writing II (COM)  (Co-requisite with ENGL 101 - Composition I (COM) [SGR #1, HSDC] )* <18 0 - 2583 0 - 262
ENGL 033 - Basic Writing III (COM) * <18 0 - 2583 0- 262

*After consulting with an academic advisor, students may opt to take the co-requisite course (ENGL 032/ENGL 101) or the prerequisite course (ENGL 033). SDSU advises students with ACCUPLACER scores below the cutoff for placement into ENGL 101, to adhere to the placement policy of the South Dakota Board of Regents, which places students in Basic Writing III (ENGL 033). Board policy also states that students must successfully complete this course within the first 30 credit hours. However, if students have an English ACT score of 16 or 17 that was obtained in the last 5 years, or if they otherwise wish to be considered for the 032/101 co-requisite course, they should consult with their academic advisor. Approval is ultimately obtained from the School of English and Interdisciplinary Studies director or designee.

For students with valid ACT or Smarter Balanced Assessment scores, the English or English Language Arts (ELA) scores are used to determine placement into the initial English course. Valid ACT or Smarter Balanced scores are scores that were earned by the student within five (5) years of the date of initial enrollment within the Regental system. If a student has multiple ACT scores, the highest ACT English subscore is used for placement purposes. Students who do not have valid ACT or Smarter Balanced scores must sit for the ACCUPLACER Writing placement exam. Students without valid ACT or Smarter Balanced scores, and who are unable to take the ACCUPLACER exam may qualify using the Alternate English Placement Procedures outlined in these guidelines.

In rare circumstances when a first-time student does not have valid ACT or Smarter Balanced scores, and ACCUPLACER testing is not an option for a student, universities may use the student’s letter grade(s) in his or her most recent high school academic year’s English courses. Using this method, placement into ENGL 101 requires a letter grade of B or better in each English course. Students with a letter grade of C in any English course, or students without a recent English course letter grade, may be placed into English courses by taking a proctored essay-writing assignment administered by the student’s university of enrollment. This assignment is assessed by the university’s English program department chair or department chair designee. Assessment is holistic, with students completing sufficient assignments placed in ENGL 101 and students completing insufficient assignments placed in ENGL 033 or ENGL 032. Students with a letter grade of D or F in any English course are placed into ENGL 033 or ENGL 032.

Following course registration, but before start of the applicable term, new exam scores may become available. In such situations, placement is reassessed; changes to course registrations may be either merited or required. Students taking the Accuplacer exam outside of the regental system will be allowed to transfer their placement test scores and these scores will be used in the Board of Regent Placement policy. This can be accomplished by logging into the ACCUPLACER student portal and sharing your ACCUPLACER score report(s) with the Testing Center at South Dakota State University.  Full directions can be found at www. ACCUPLACER.org.

The regental system conscientiously adheres to relevant legislation (South Dakota Human Relations Act of 1972, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Americans with Disabilities Act); in that spirit, South Dakota State University offers reasonable accommodation for students who submit such requests in advance of scheduled test sessions.

Placement into Initial Math Courses

(SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 2.2.1.1.A)

The South Dakota Board of Regents has developed a standardized process for initial placement of students in math courses.  Consistently employed across the regental system, this policy is aligned with proven measures of math readiness. Students are placed in accordance with acknowledged skills and abilities. Such placement positions students for collegiate success in mathematics and assures a fitting level of academic challenge for those who demonstrate higher levels of skill in mathematics. 

All students at the undergraduate level (whether seeking a degree or not) wishing to take a math course are initially placed as established by approved guidelines.

Current HS GPA (no more than 5 years old) is the preferred, single measure of academic preparation used for initial placement. Additional placement measures include the math index which combines current HS GPA with ACT Math sub score (or SAT equivalent), or Smarter Balanced Scores. Students without a current High School GPA will take the ACCUPLACER examination to establish initial placement.

Course High School GPA Math Index (MI) 
MI=250 x HS GPA + 17x MATH ACT*

Smarter Balanced Score

Accuplacer Score (Only if no valid HS GPA) CHALLENGE INDEX
CI = 290 x HS GPA + AAF** + 20
ALEKS PPL
MATH 101 - Intermediate Algebra (COM)  
or MATH 103 - Mathematical Reasoning (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC]  / MATH 093 - Algebra for Mathematical Reasoning (COM)  
Basic placement - anyone can take these courses. There is no placement or prerequisite requirement for these courses. Basic placement - anyone can take these courses. There is no placement or prerequisite requirement for these courses. Basic placement - anyone can take these courses. There is no placement or prerequisite requirement for these courses. Basic placement - anyone can take these courses. There is no placement or prerequisite requirement for these courses. Basic placement - anyone can take these courses. There is no placement or prerequisite requirement for these courses. Basic placement - anyone can take these courses. There is no placement or prerequisite requirement for these courses.
MATH 114 - College Algebra (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC]  / MATH 094 - College Algebra Laboratory (COM)   2.34≤ HSGPA <3.03 MI 950 or higher 2543 - 2627 QAS 224 - 254 CI 950 or higher 32
MATH 103 - Mathematical Reasoning (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC] 
or MATH 114 - College Algebra (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC]  
3.03≤ HSGPA <3.55 MI 1150 or higher 2628 or higher QAS 255 - 300 or AAF 200 - 249 CI 1150 or higher 46
MATH 115 - Precalculus (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC] 
or MATH 120 - Trigonometry (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC] 
or MATH 121 - Survey of Calculus (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC]  / MATH 121L - Survey of Calculus Lab [HSDC]  
or STAT 281 - Introduction to Statistics (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC]  
HSGPA is 3.55 or higher MI 1300 or higher NA AAF 250 - 300 or Accuplacer SDCalculus 1-15 CI 1300 or higher 61
MATH 123 - Calculus I (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC]  with MATH 123L - Calculus I Lab (COM) [HSDC]   HSGPA is 3.55 or higher AND Accuplacer SDCalculus 16 or higher MI 1300 or higher AND Accuplacer SDCalculus 16 or higher NA AAF 250+ AND SDCalculus 16 or higher CI 1300 or higher AND Accuplacer SDCalculus 16 or higher 76
MATH 123 - Calculus I (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC]  
or MATH 123 - Calculus I (COM) [SGR #5, HSDC]  with MATH 123L - Calculus I Lab (COM) [HSDC]  (Honors)
HSGPA is 3.55 or higher AND Accuplacer SDCalculus 19 or higher MI 1300 or higher AND Accuplacer SDCalculus 19 or higher NA AAF 250+ AND Accuplacer SDCalculus 19 or higher CI 1300 or higher AND Accuplacer SDCalculus 19 or higher 89

*SAT is converted to equivalent ACT for MI calculation.
**Accuplacer domains: QAS: Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra & Statistics; AAF: Advanced Algebra and Functions

Students desiring to challenge their initial placement should meet with their advisor to determine whether it is possible to change their placement using the ACCUPLACER exam. 

Students who, prior to enrollment at South Dakota State University, have completed math courses which are equivalent to courses which satisfy SGR #5 and/or prerequisites for future courses are exempt from placement requirements.

Students taking the Accuplacer exam outside of the regental system will be allowed to transfer their placement test scores and these scores will be used in the Board of Regent Placement policy. This can be accomplished by logging into the ACCUPLACER student portal and sharing your ACCUPLACER score report(s) with the Testing Center at South Dakota State University.  Full directions can be found at www. ACCUPLACER.org.

The regental system conscientiously adheres to relevant legislation (South Dakota Human Relations Act of 1972, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Americans with Disabilities Act); in that spirit, South Dakota State University offers reasonable accommodation for students who submit such requests in advance of scheduled test sessions.

Completion of Pre-General Education Courses in English & Mathematics

(SDBOR Academic Affairs Guideline 2.3.7.B)

Pre-general education courses include remedial mathematics and English courses. Students who are placed into remedial courses must successfully complete the remedial course(s) prior to enrolling in initial General Education courses in English composition and mathematics. Pre-general education courses include ENGL 032 ENGL 033 , MATH 093 MATH 094 , and MATH 101 .

Students placed in pre-general education courses must enroll in and successfully complete the courses within the first 30 credit hours attempted.

If a student does not complete the pre-general education course(s) within the first 30 credit hours attempted, during the next 15 credit hours attempted, the student must enroll in and complete the pre-general and foundational general education course(s). If not completed student course registrations for future terms will be blocked until the student meets with an advisor. Even after advising, self-service registration will not be allowed (staff-enabled registrations will include only required pre-general education coursework in all subsequent terms until completed).  

Credit Hours & Grades

  • Credit hours for the pre-general education courses are included in the total number of credit hours attempted to establish full time status.
  • Credit hours for ENGL 032, ENGL 033, MATH 093, and MATH 094 do not count towards total number of credit hours required to graduate.
  • The grades assigned for courses numbered less than 100 will be RI, RS, and RU.

Fraction of Credits for Transfer Students

Transfer credits applied to a general education goal meet the credit requirement if .33 credits (or fewer) remain for that goal. If .34 credits or greater remain to meet the minimum required credits for the goal, the student must take additional credits from the approved list of courses in the University Catalog. For example, a student who transferred in 5.67 credits towards the SGR #3 Social Science 6 credit requirement has met the goal.