All students complete a wide range of courses beyond their chosen major(s) and optional minor(s). Students who entered Wagner before the fall of 2018 will follow the general education curriculum described on this page. Students who entered Wagner beginning in the fall of 2018 will follow the Key Skills & Knowledge curriculum.
General education courses provide you with a foundation of liberal learning and analytical skills. The academic program provides knowledge of historical and sociocultural influences, leading to an awareness and appreciation of your own and other cultures. Communication skills are developed and reasoning skills are refined to promote clear expression, critical thinking, and constructive problem solving. Sensitivity to human expression and creativity is stimulated through study of the arts, and values are developed through the historical exploration of moral, ethical, and spiritual decisions.
General Education Requirements
Foundations (3-4 units completed by the end of sophomore year)
Strengthen your skills in communication, information technology, and quantitative reasoning, the building blocks of success in school and life.
- Writing — 2 units, one in the first year reflective tutorial and one in literature. Both units may not be taken simultaneously.
- Mathematics — 1 unit in Mathematics 110 or a higher-level course.
- Speech Proficiency — Proficiency by assessment or with 1 unit Speech course.
- Computer — Proficiency by assessment or with 1 unit in Computer Science 106 or a higher-level course.
Intercultural Understanding (2 units)
Understand and relate to diverse people with courses focused on international perspectives and American diversity.
- A course in American Diversity (marked by an “D”) develops your capacity to reflect on your own identity, as influenced by your cultural, racial, ethnic, and other significant differences. You'll also explore the diverse peoples of American society, reflecting on their values, institutional obstacles, and contributions to the American experience.
- A course in International Perspectives (marked by an “I”) provides in-depth coverage of global concerns. Its purpose is to acquaint you with historical or developing international trends through a comparative analysis of a culture beyond our borders.
Disciplinary Perspectives (10 units)
Expand the breadth of your knowledge with courses in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and the arts.
- Humanities: 3 units chosen from at least two of the following disciplines: English, foreign languages, history, philosophy, religion, and MDS 101, 105, 106, 107, or 108. One of the 3 units must be in history. Only one MDS course may be used to fulfill the humanities requirement.
- Social Sciences: 3 units in at least two of the following disciplines: anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and MDS 103, 104, 109, or 111. Only one MDS course may be used in fulfilling this area.
- Sciences: 2 units in two of the following disciplines; including one in a laboratory science: astronomy, biology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, physical sciences, and MDS 205. One of the courses must be from a science discipline that is a major: biology, chemistry, microbiology, or physics.
- The Arts: 2 units from different disciplines in the arts, from the following disciplines: art, music, theatre, and MDS 112.
Reflective Tutorials (2 units)
- One in foundations as part of the freshman learning community and one in the major as part of the senior learning community. The RFTs are linked to an experiential component in the freshman and senior learning communities.
Learning Communities (3 units)
- Three learning communities are required for graduation: the First-Year Learning Community, the Intermediate Learning Community in the sophomore or junior year, and the Senior Learning Community in the major field. An experiential learning component is part of the first and last learning communities.