Undergraduate degrees at AUA consist of two components: the Major requirements and the General Education requirements.  While the Major gives students depth, specialization, and career preparation, General Education gives breadth and a foundation of general knowledge, perspectives, and skills for life.  Both are carefully designed components to assure that graduates are ready for life-long learning, whether in the classroom, on the job, or on their own.

The General Education requirements consist of a minimum of 15 courses or 45 semester credits and have two components: Foundation Courses (18 credits/6 courses), and Breadth Requirements (a minimum of 27 credits/9 courses), in coherent clusters of three courses in each of three broad sectors (Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, Quantitative Sciences), selected from a range of electives outside the student’s major in consultation with the student’s academic adviser (BSES students should check with the Program Chair for their QS requirements).  

 Each of the three clusters must include at least one upper division (integrative or advanced) course.


Cohesive Clusters are groups of three or more related courses that are connected thematically by content and build on and/or complement each other (give depth or breadth) in one or more disciplinary ways of thinking. In order to assist students, courses suitable for forming cohesive clusters are coded by quadrant numbers. Courses from the same quadrant form clusters that satisfy the GenEd breadth requirement. For more information, please visit:  http://aua.am/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/GENED-Clusters-Formation-May-17-2017.pdf

Quadrants 1, 2, 3 satisfy Arts and Humanities (AH)

Quadrants 4, 5, 6 satisfy Social Sciences (SS) 

Quadrants 7, 8, 9 satisfy Quantitative Sciences (QS)


Some Sample Clusters: The numbers in parenthesis indicate the quadrant for GenEd course cluster formation.




CHSS 112 Logic and Rhetoric (1, 3)

CHSS 130 Introduction to Art (1)

CHSS 272 Comparative Religion (1, 2, 3, 4, 6)

PSIA 103 Intro to Armenian Government (4)

CHSS 128 History of the Modern World (2, 4)

CHSS 290 Cultural Geography (2, 4)

ENV 101 Intro to Environmental Sciences (7, 8, 9)

ENV 230 Water (7, 8)

CSE 241 Data Mining (7, 8, 9)

The upper level courses in each cluster (in italics) build upon and integrate the knowledge and skills of the other courses, adding perspectives, depth and breadth of knowledge and disciplinary approaches, and subtlety and complexity of analysis.

The term “foundation” in “foundation courses” refers to the fact that these are university-wide requirements for all undergraduates–a learning experience shared as a common point of reference for all undergraduate students.  It does not refer to the content of the courses per se, but to the function of these courses in the overall General Education program at AUA. 


All undergraduate students must take the following required Gen Ed courses:

o   Foundation Courses

Under Armenian law, all undergraduate students must take the following 6 foundation courses:

Semester/Year Freshman Year Sophomore Year Junior Year
Fall Freshman Seminar 1 Armenian Language & Literature 1 Armenian History 1
Spring Freshman Seminar 2 Armenian Language & Literature 2 Armenian History 2

Armenian Language/Literature 1 and 2 and Armenian History 1 and 2 are taught in Armenian.  International students not proficient in Armenian (at least CEFR B2 level-upper intermediate) may fulfill this requirement after reaching this level of proficiency or may substitute Introduction to Armenian Language & Culture (GE-AH) plus 3 courses in Armenian literature, history, and culture (taught in English).  For more information on foundation courses please visit: http://aua.am/gen-ed-foundation-courses-year-2-and-year-3/

o   Physical Education, First Aid, Civil Defense

Under Armenian law, all undergraduate students are required to take 120 hours of Physical Education, and 40 hours of First Aid and Civil Defense training during their studies.  At AUA, Physical Education is scheduled for the first two years, and First Aid and Civil Defense are scheduled during the first year only. Please visit FND 110, 152 and 153 syllabus fall-spring 2016-17  for more information about the Physical Education, First Aid and Civil Defense requirements.


For further information on General Education at AUA, please visit:  http://aua.am/gen-ed/