General Education

IDEAS (Inquire, Develop, Experience, Apply and Serve)

We want you to graduate from Cal Lutheran prepared to make a difference, no matter where the future takes you. That's why, in addition to your major, you'll take courses from our general education curriculum to broaden your perspective and develop skills that will serve you well in both your professional and personal life.

We’ve designed IDEAS as the foundation of your Cal Lutheran education, so that you’re prepared to make a difference in the world.

Note: If you started at Cal Lutheran before Fall 2023, view the Core-21 General Education requirements

What is IDEAS?

Your IDEAS classes will give you opportunities to inquire, develop, experience, apply, and serve. They’ll expand your major and make you a more well-rounded musician, scientist, entrepreneur, or however you decide to apply yourself. IDEAS may even introduce you to possibilities you didn’t know existed.

You’ll share IDEAS courses with fellow students across every major, developing experiences, skills, and values that will prepare you to work together on complex problems while you’re at Cal Lutheran and after you graduate.

Inquire to make sense of your place in the world

You will ask big questions. You’ll find answers through study, discussion, and practice. Through inquiry you’ll know yourself and your responsibility to others.

Develop your ability to collaborate in a diverse world

You will build your ability to express yourself through speaking, writing, and the arts. But you will also come to recognize, respect, and welcome voices besides your own. That will make you a more effective collaborator. 

Experience how your studies shape your path through the world

You will gain deep knowledge through your studies. You will also encounter other cultures and different perspectives. And you’ll receive hands-on learning inside and outside of the classroom. Those experiences will give you the confidence to chart your course.

Apply your knowledge to build a better world

You will learn new skills and new ways of thinking about problems. Then you will be able to apply what you know to solve challenges in your community, and beyond. 

Serve others by sharing your unique contributions with the world

You will discover different ways to understand and explore the world. They will strengthen your potential to make a difference. And that will serve your family, workplace, and community.

IDEAS Course Requirements

You will meet the IDEAS objectives through the following course requirements.

View the full list of approved IDEAS courses

Foundational Requirements

  • First-Year Seminar – Univ 101
  • English composition – ENGL 110 and ENGL 111
  • Mathematics – one course above MATH 110
  • Religion and Theology – RLTH 100 or RLTH 300

Discipline Requirements

The discipline requirements will expose you to a range of knowledge from outside of your major.

  • Languages and Cultures – Proficiency at the second-semester level, which is achieved by taking one course from the approved list or showing proficiency with a satisfactory score on a designated language exam in a proctored setting. (The requirement is waived for international students who verify academic study of their native language through the high school level.)
  • Creative Arts – A minimum of 3 credits from the approved list of courses.
  • Humanities – Three courses from the approved list of courses in different departments or disciplines, excluding RLTH 100/300, ENGL 110 and ENGL 111.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – One course from the approved list of courses.
  • Natural Sciences – One course from the approved list of courses.
  • Physical Activity – One course from ACTV or ATHL subjects.

Content Requirements

The content areas listed below are not additional unit or course requirements. Instead, you'll fulfill them through courses that you select for your major, as your electives, or to satisfy the other IDEAS course requirements listed above.

  • US Diversity – One course from the approved list of courses.
  • Global Perspectives – One course from the approved list of courses.
  • Experiential Learning/Internship – An experiential learning or internship experience that is integrated into your major.

Transfer Students: Students with an approved state transfer completed (e.g. IGETC, CSU Breadth Certification, Associate Degree for Transfer) or 60 credits in transfer (excluding military credit) have fulfilled the main IDEAS requirements, as appropriate. Students are still held to the portions of IDEAS that integrated into the major.