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Academics 101

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Core Curriculum

The core curriculum is how the university ensures that you’ve been exposed to a broad array of subjects and approaches to understanding the world. Such exposure is one of the hallmarks of a college-educated person. The core should not be something “to get through” en route to your major, and for some majors, faculty advise that you spread the core classes throughout your undergraduate career. While undeclared students should take courses in the core while investigating a major, they should not focus on the core to the exclusion of major and career exploration, which may include taking courses outside the core in areas that could be possibilities for a major.

The core constitutes roughly half of the undergraduate major, and is composed of 1000- and 2000-level courses in six areas. Five of these areas, accounting for 42 hours, are common across all degree majors, although as noted above, the approach to how you take courses in the core will differ based on your major.

While some courses may be available for use in more than one area of the core, credit hours earned will only be applied to one core area and will not count in multiple categories.


A major is an academic course of study, with specific requirements within an academic department. The major comprises roughly one-half (60 hours) of a degree program. To graduate, students must have a major.


A minor is a secondary area of academic emphasis, usually requiring 15 credit hours beyond introductory course work. Bachelor of Arts degrees require minors. Most other degree programs do not require minors, although students in these fields may elect to earn one. In these cases, students may be required to earn more hours than the minimum number of hours necessary for the degree program.

Additional Requirements Beyond the CORE and Major

FYE 1220 – First-Year Seminar (2 hours)

KINS 1525 – Concepts of Health and PE (2 hours)

Here is a quick introduction of the different components that make up the CORE curriculum.

Area A – Essential Skills (9 hours)

A1: Learning Outcome: Students will use research and analysis to produce written communication adapted appropriately for specific audiences, purposes, and rhetorical situations.

A minimum grade of “C” is required in all Area A courses.

ENGL 1101 – English Composition I (3 credits)

ENGL 1102 – English Composition II (3 credits)

A2: Students will apply mathematical knowledge using analytical, graphical, written, or numerical approaches to interpret information or to solve problems.

Select one math course from the options (3-4 credits). Keep in mind that some majors might require you to take a particular math course to satisfy this requirement.

Area B – Global Perspectives (7 hours)

Learning Outcome: Students will recognize and articulate global perspectives across diverse societies in historical and cultural contexts.

  • CORE 2000 – CORE Capstone Course (1 credit)
  • World History I or II (3 credits)
  • Global Perspectives Elective – Select one class from the approved options. (3 credits)

Area C – Humanities and Fine Arts (6 hours)

Learning Outcome: Students will identify and critically examine human values expressed in ideas and cultural products.

  • Literature or Philosophy Course – Select one class from the approved options. (3 credits)
  • Arts and Humanities Elective – Select one class from the approved options. (3 credits)

Area D – Science, Mathematics, and Technology (11-12 hours)

Area D1 (8 hours)

  • Lab Science Course #1 – Select one class from the approved options. (4 credits)
  • Lab Science Course #2 – Select one class from the approved options. (4 credits)

Students in Clinical Health Programs must complete a lab science sequence. Students in these majors should refer to the Clinical Health CORE for their options.

Area D2 (3-4 hours)

  • STEM Elective – Select one class from the approved options. (3-4 credits)

Area E – Social Sciences (9 hours)

Learning Outcome: Students will articulate and analyze how political, historical, social, or economic forces have shaped and continue to shape human behaviors and experiences.

  • POLS 1101 – American Government (3 credits)
  • US History Course – Select one class from the approved options. (3 credits)
  • Social Sciences Elective – Select one class from the approved options. (3 credits)

For a complete list of course options for each CORE requirement (for the current academic year), check out these links:

If you are on an older catalog year, you can click here to find your CORE curriculum (Armstrong State University and Georgia Southern University). Your catalog year is based on when you entered Georgia Southern as a degree seeking student and/or when you declared your current major.

Academic Standing Policy

A policy that governs students whose Institutional GPA falls below a 2.0, the GPA necessary for graduation. Students will be placed on Academic Warning, Probation or Suspension based on several factors. See the policy here.


Source for information about all of the university degree and program requirements, including course descriptions, prerequisite information, and academic policies and procedures. It also lists the academic credentials of the faculty.


Courses that must be taken together in the same term are co-requisites. Courses that require co-requisites are noted in course descriptions printed in the Catalog.


A period at the beginning of each semester during which students are able to drop courses for which they have previously registered and/or add any additional available courses to their schedule. Usually ends on the fourth day of class in a 15-week semester. Short term courses will have a smaller window.


Students taking 12 or more credit hours are considered full-time; however, students should take 15 to 17 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester in order to graduate in four years.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A measure of academic performance on a 4-point scale. There are several different kinds of GPA. Click on the “GPA and Academic Standing” button below for a description of the different types and for an explanation of how to calculate a GPA.


A course that must be satisfactorily completed prior to taking another course. For example, before taking ENGL 1102, a student must first pass (with a minimum grade of C) ENGL 1101. Prerequisites may be found at the end of course descriptions in the Catalog.

Registration Access Number (RAN)

A six-digit number allowing a student to register for classes. RANs are issued to students by their academic advisors. They ensure that students have been advised for the term for which they seek to register. Students have a different RAN for each semester.


“Web Interactive Network at Georgia Southern” is the University’s online student information system. Maintained by the Registrar’s office, it includes modules for registration, student information and records, student fees, financial aid, and more.

Withdrawing from a Course

Exiting a course after drop/add concludes. When done before the established deadline (roughly the 40th class day of a full semester), students are not assessed an academic penalty, although withdrawing can create significant problems for financial aid and delay graduation. Withdrawing should only be undertaken with the advice of a student’s instructor, academic advisor and financial aid counselor. Beginning in Fall 2018, students may withdraw from a maximum of six courses during their entire undergraduate careers (excluding summers). If students withdraw from courses beyond the maximum of six, they receive a failing grade in the course.

Types of GPAs

  • Institutional GPA: GPA earned for all non-Learning Support courses taken at Georgia Southern, in all semesters. This GPA is what determines your academic standing and eligibility to enter some degree programs. The Institutional GPA excludes courses taken at institutions other than Georgia Southern.
  • Term (or semester) GPA: The GPA you earn in a specific semester. Students make Dean’s List (3.5 or higher) or President’s List (4.0) based on their performance in a specific term. The mean (average) first-semester GPA for traditional first-year students at Georgia Southern is typically between 2.6 and 2.7. The Term GPA is particularly important if your Institutional GPA is below a 2.0; speak with your advisor early in the semester about this if your Institutional GPA is below 2.0.
  • Transfer GPA: GPA earned in courses taken at other post-secondary institutions.
  • Overall GPA: GPA earned in all post-secondary courses a student takes. Students graduating with honors must meet the GPA minimums for both Overall GPA and Institutional GPA.
  • HOPE GPA: The GPA used to determine HOPE eligibility. Very similar to the Overall GPA, the HOPE GPA also includes Learning Support coursework.

Calculating Your GPA

Your grade point average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total amount of quality points earned by the total amount of credit hours attempted. If you choose to withdraw from a course before the last day to withdraw without academic penalty, you will not include those hours. Your GPA may range from 0.0 to a 4.0.

Quality points are used to calculate your GPA. You can calculate your quality points by multiplying the number of credit hours by the quality point scale (see below).

A = 4

B = 3

C = 2

D = 1

F = 0

If you are taking a 3 hour course and anticipate making an A, you would multiply 3 x 4, giving you 12 quality points.

To calculate a GPA beyond the one semester, you will have to add up all past quality points and GPA hours from previous semesters. You will divide the quality points by the GPA hours. For previous semesters, this information can be found in your Web Transcript in WINGS.

Academic Standing

Click here to view the academic standing policy.

Last updated: 5/10/2024