Carnegie Mellon University

General Education Policies

The following policies apply to all students following the General Education curriculum for Fall 2021 and beyond:

Letter Grades Required

  • All courses fulfilling General Education requirements must be taken for a letter grade and not completed as pass/no pass.

Grand Challenge Seminar Drop Policy

  • Students must register for and complete a Grand Challenge seminar in the first year. Student requests to drop or withdraw from a Grand Challenge Seminar will only be considered in exceptional circumstances with approval from the Associate Dean for Student Success. If you believe you are experiencing extenuating circumstances, please speak with your Academic Advisor.

Advanced Standing Credit

  • Advanced Standing credit (AP, IB, Cambridge) that transfers into CMU as generic elective credit will not count towards General Education requirements.
  • In instances where direct course credit is granted, students will be eligible to use the credit towards General Education requirements (e.g., a 5 on AP Statistics grants credit for 36-200: Reasoning with Data which would fulfill the Foundations: Data Analysis requirement).

Transfer Credit

  • Students may request to transfer in a course from another accredited institution to fulfill the General Education requirements, with the exception of the Grand Challenge Seminar and the Senior Capstone.
  • To request a transfer course, students must complete a transfer credit form, which includes providing a course syllabus and explaining how the course aligns with the course category of the GenEd. Students should speak with their Academic Advisor to discuss the transfer credit process.

Course Petitions and Category Waiver Requests

  • Students may not petition specific non-approved CMU courses to count for General Education requirements. Only the courses on the approved list at the time the student satisfies the requirement will be permitted to count.
  • We will consider waivers from a category requirement in rare cases where students can demonstrate completion of a combination of other courses and/or the completion of higher level courses not currently approved as options within the General Education Program. Students can submit a waiver request via this form.