General Education Requirements

The College is dedicated to providing all graduates of its associate degree programs a quality educational experience. All degree students, regardless of program, must complete the College's general education requirements to gain a breadth of experience outside as well as within their academic field and build interdisciplinary skills essential to academic, career, and personal development and success.

The general education requirements are grounded in six Essential Skills that students learn in required general education courses and develop in their program coursework at the College.

Community College of Philadelphia Essential Skills Definitions

Writing, Research, and Information Literacy

Students read critically, synthesize ideas from a variety of texts, and write essays that develop significant ideas in support of a thesis. Written works appropriately reflect the context and audience and adhere to the conventions of grammar, spelling, and formatting specific to the area of study. Building upon these skills, students will determine the extent of a need for information, access information effectively and efficiently, evaluate it critically, accomplish a specific purpose with it, and create new knowledge and participate ethically in communities of learning.

Cultural Analysis and Interpretation

Students analyze case studies, creative works, systems of human thought and behavior, material artifacts, and other primary and secondary sources from a range of academic disciplines to discern and respect diverse perspectives and experiences related, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, culture, region, country, religion, and/or language.

Oral Communication / Creative Expression

Students examine issues, problems, and cultural and aesthetic connections, using verbal and nonverbal methods to send messages in various modes. Students produce creative, visual, and/or oral works that reflect the situation, audience, and medium of communication and adhere to the conventions of artistic, verbal and/or nonverbal methods of expression.

Quantitative Reasoning

Students communicate mathematical principles and apply them to follow an extended line of formal reasoning and critical thinking. Students read and identify mathematical information that is relevant in a problem; interpret and critically analyze mathematical information presented; select appropriate methods and solve problems, estimating and evaluating the validity of results and effectively communicating quantitative concepts using correct mathematical syntax.

Scientific Reasoning

Students describe the Scientific Method and apply the scientific principles they have learned to theoretical and practical issues. Students interpret measurable and observable information through inference and analogy to develop hypotheses and draw conclusions. Students describe methods of scientific inquiry and use critical thinking skills to investigate, question, and solve problems. Students describe and carry out experimental procedures and/or perform laboratory tasks when appropriate to the field, interpret and communicate scientific information using written, oral and/or graphical means, analyze one or more relationships among science, technology and society, and apply logical reasoning in explaining natural phenomena and experimental procedures or outcomes.

Technological Competency

Students identify, create, and manipulate technological tools and digital content. Students operate computers, peripherals, electronic devices, learning management systems, and other technology as related to their program of study. Students use electronic spreadsheets and/or database management systems to organize, analyze, and/or retrieve data. Students use word processing and slide presentation software to design clear academic and professional documents that integrate design concepts, elements, applications, and objects. Students use computer technology to collaborate and network. Students identify and respond appropriately to ethical and legal issues related to privacy and security in information technology and the handling of data.

General Education Requirements

Students who follow the recommended course sequence for their degree programs will see required courses that introduce and develop the Essential Skills. Note: Program faculty select general education courses based on programmatic needs and the requirements of transfer institutions, accrediting bodies, and professional organizations and also select courses that enable students to gain a breadth of experience and skills across academic disciplines.
The College requires students to complete credit courses in the Essential Skills as outlined below:

Essential SkillsMinimum Credits
Writing, Research & Information Literacy6
Oral Communication/Creative Expression3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Scientific Reasoning3
Cultural Analysis and Interpretation3
Technological Competency3
 21 credits


The requirements listed above apply to all students who began their studies in the Fall 2021 semester or later. Students who began their studies prior to September 2021 should refer to a catalog for the year that they entered the College or should consult an academic advisor or counselor. Students who changed their curriculum on or after September 2021 are required to follow the new general education requirements regardless of when they entered the College. For more information regarding general education requirements, please contact Academic Advising at 215-751-8777 or email //advising [at] (Academic Advising).

Courses that Fulfill Essential Skills

Before reviewing the courses below, students should consult the catalog page for their programs. The catalog page includes a course sequence that shows the required courses for the program, and that is the best source of information about required courses.
The lists below are intended as a tool to help programs choose the general education courses that students are required take to fulfill general education requirements. In a few cases, a program may allow students to take any course that meets the general education requirement. In those cases, students may find the lists below useful. Students are encouraged to email or call Academic Advising (215-751-8777) or consult program faculty before choosing courses.

Writing, Research & Information Literacy 

Currently, this requirement is met by taking two courses at the College: ENGL 101 and ENGL 102. Students must complete both courses.

Oral Communication/Creative Expression   

Most programs require only one course in this category, which includes both Oral Communication and Creative Expression. The list below distinguishes between the two. Students should consult the catalog page for their programs for more information.

Quantitative Reasoning

The list below includes only those Foundational Mathematics (FNMT) and Mathematics (MATH) courses open to students who are FNMT 118 ready. Students who place in mathematics courses at MATH 161 or above will meet their Quantitative Reasoning requirement upon successful completion of MATH 151, MATH 152, MATH 161, or another higher-level Mathematics course. Students should consult Mathematics course offerings for more information.

Scientific Reasoning    

Some of the courses listed below require permission of the department head before registering. Students should consult the course offerings or the catalog page for their programs for more information.

Cultural Analysis and Interpretation  

As there are a large number of courses that meet the Cultural Analysis and Interpretation requirement, they are divided into five sub-categories based on course content: 1) Study of Human Diversity, 2) Study of Human Behavior and Systems, 3) Study of Creative Works, 4) Study of Material Artifacts, and 5) Study of World, Country, Region, or Language. Students should consult the catalog page for their programs for more information.

Technological Competency 

A few programs require students to complete two courses in order to meet the Technological Competency requirement. Students should consult their program's catalog page to determine which course (or pair of courses) meet the requirement.