General Education Program


The California State University Maritime Academy embraces the principles of general education for the California State University as outlined in the California State University Executive Order 1100: "CSU General Education Breadth requirements have been designed to complement the major program and electives completed by each baccalaureate candidate, to assure that graduates have made noteworthy progress toward becoming truly educated persons." Whenever possible, Cal Maritime subscribes to the breadth and depth requirements, but given the number of high-unit professional and licensure major degree programs, some exceptions may apply. Specific information on exceptions and curricular paths can be found in those catalog sections devoted to specific majors.

General Education Requirements

  • Every baccalaureate candidate who has not completed either the IGETC or UC-campus pathway shall complete the CSU General Education Breadth requirements totaling a minimum of 48 semester units.
  • A grade of C- or better is required of each CSU or transfer student completing courses in written communication in the English language, oral communication in the English language, critical thinking, and mathematics or quantitative reasoning.
  • At least nine of these semester units must be upper-division level, taken no sooner than the term in which upper-division status (completion of 60 semester units) is attained.
  • At least nine of the 48 semester units must be earned at Cal Maritime.
  • Through a process of campus-wide curriculum review and approval, Cal Maritime permits the "double counting" of courses for General Education Breadth with major requirements and prerequisites only after giving careful consideration to the impact of such actions on general education programs.
  • Cal Maritime permits up to six semester units taken to meet the United States History, Constitution, and American Ideals Requirement to be credited toward also satisfying General Education Breadth Requirements.

General Education Subject Area Distribution

Instruction approved to fulfill the following subject-area distribution requirements should recognize the contributions to knowledge and civilization that have been made by members of diverse cultural groups and by women as well as men.

Area A: English Language Communication and Critical Thinking
A minimum of nine semester units or twelve quarter units in communication in the English language, to include both oral communication (subarea A1) and written communication (subarea A2), and in critical thinking (Area A3), to include consideration of common fallacies in reasoning.

Area B: Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
A minimum of twelve semester units to include inquiry into the physical universe and its life forms, with some immediate participation in a related laboratory activity, and into mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning and their applications. In subareas B1-B3, students develop knowledge of scientific theories, concepts, and data about both living and non-living systems. Courses in subarea B4 have an explicit intermediate algebra prerequisite, and students develop skills and understanding beyond the level of intermediate algebra.

Area C: Arts and Humanities
A minimum of twelve semester units among the arts, literature, philosophy and foreign languages. Across the disciplines in their Area C coursework, students cultivate intellect, imagination, sensibility and sensitivity. Students respond subjectively as well as objectively to aesthetic experiences and will develop an understanding of the integrity of both emotional and intellectual responses.

Area D: Social Sciences
A minimum of twelve semester units dealing with human social, political, and economic institutions and behavior and their historical background.
Area E: Lifelong Learning and Self-Development
A minimum of three semester units in study designed to equip learners for lifelong understanding and development of themselves as integrated physiological, social, and psychological beings.

Graduation Requirement in Writing Proficiency

The Graduate Writing Examination (GWE)

The Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) requires that all CSU students demonstrate competence in written communication before they are granted a baccalaureate degree. At Cal Maritime, all students who have achieved junior standing and have completed EGL 100 - English Composition and at least 60 units of academic coursework must either take EGL 300 - Advanced Writing or successfully complete the Graduate Writing Examination (GWE).

The GWE may be attempted twice, but students who fail a second time must take EGL 300. The class and the exam are offered every semester. Students who sit for the GWE will be charged a fee.

Please note that according to the Chancellor's Office Executive Order 665 of 1997, "Students shall be matriculated at the CSU campus where they satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)." Unless a student has previously met this requirement at another CSU campus before transferring to Cal Maritime, he or she must satisfy the GWAR at Cal Maritime.

Students taking the GWE read a passage of roughly 600 to 800 words and use that reading as a basis for their written commentary. Students are expected to answer a question (or questions) in a 700-word essay with clarity, quality of thought, sound writing mechanics and completeness, as well as unity and development of concepts. Students have three (3) hours in which to complete the handwritten exam and they are allowed to use dictionaries and thesauri. Non-native English speakers and students with documented disabilities will receive special accommodation, upon request.

For more information about the GWAR or the GWE at Cal Maritime, contact Dr. Aparna Sinha at


General Education Learning Outcomes

GELO 1: Demonstrate proficiency in oral communication in English, examining communication from the rhetorical perspective and practicing reasoning and advocacy, organization, and accuracy.
GELO 2: Demonstrate proficiency in written communication in English, examining communication from the rhetorical perspective and practicing reasoning and advocacy, organization, and accuracy.
GELO 3: Demonstrate ability to analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas; to reason inductively and deductively; and to reach well-supported conclusions.
GELO 4: Apply scientific principles and the scientific method to data about both living and non-living systems.
GELO 5: Demonstrate ability to reason quantitatively.
GELO 6: Explain and apply mathematical or quantitative reasoning concepts to solve problems.
GELO 7: Evaluate aesthetic experiences subjectively as well as objectively.
GELO 8: Demonstrate awareness of the relation between the arts [C1] and their cultural contexts.
GELO 9: Demonstrate awareness of the relation between literary and philosophical texts [C2] and their cultural contexts.
GELO 10: Identify and explain the links between human social, political and economic institutions and behavior.
GELO 11: Analyze social problems and issues in their contemporary as well as historical settings and in a variety of cultural contexts. 
GELO 12: Explore the principles, methodologies, value systems and ethics employed in social scientific inquiry.
GELO 13: Demonstrates ability to pursue knowledge and solve problems independently.
GELO 14: Applies knowledge and skills from one context to another.
GELO 15: Identify, access, and evaluate appropriate sources of information.