2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    Oct 06, 2022  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Education


It is the goal of the university to provide an education in the liberal arts tradition and in professional areas, balancing a broadening experience in its general education program with the depth necessary to concentrate in one of the major programs.

The undergraduate curricula at Point Loma Nazarene University include a wide variety of programs. The university also encourages and assists students who wish to study abroad. Many programs feature internships and practicum experiences. Off-campus cooperative programs also offer students the benefits of spending a part of their educational experience in nearby locations or on the other side of the globe.

General Education Learning Outcomes (GELO)

Context #1: Learning, Informed by our Faith in Christ
ILO* #1: Students will acquire knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world while developing skills and habits that foster life-long learning.

GELO 1a. Written: Students will be able to effectively express ideas and information to others through written communication.

GELO 1b. Oral: Students will be able to effectively express ideas and information to others through oral communication.

GELO 1c. Information Literacy: Students will be able to access and cite information as well as evaluate the logic, validity, and relevance of information from a variety of sources.

GELO 1d. Critical Thinking: Students will be able to examine, critique, and synthesize information in order to arrive at reasoned conclusions.

GELO 1e. Quantitative Reasoning: Students will be able to solve problems that are quantitative in nature.

Context #2: Growing, In a Christ-Centered Faith Community
ILO #2: Students will develop a deeper and more informed understanding of self and others as they negotiate complex environments.

GELO 2a. Students will develop an understanding of self that fosters personal wellbeing.

GELO 2b. Students will understand and appreciate diverse forms of artistic expression.

GELO 2c. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the complex issues faced by diverse groups in global and/or cross-cultural contexts.

Context #3: Serving, In a Context of Christian Faith
ILO #3: Students will serve locally and/or globally in vocational and social settings.

GELO 3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of Christian Scripture, Tradition, and Ethics, including engagement in acts of devotion and works of mercy.

*ILO - Institutional Learning Objective

General Education

The purpose of general education is to provide a common educational experience, to develop essential skills, and to provide a broad cultural background for personal and professional growth. The general education curriculum is listed under a four-fold division. This structure provides continuity with the Wesleyan approach to knowledge by emphasizing the human response as foundational to the developing, exploring, and seeking aspects of education. The divisions, although not mutually exclusive or all-encompassing, organize similar themes relevant to faith and learning. Each complements the others and, in each, conscious efforts are made to reveal connections, develop perspectives, and build synthetic thinking skills. These divisions are: Responding to the Sacred, Developing Cognitive Skills, Exploring an Interdependent World, and Seeking Cultural Perspectives.

General Education Committee

The general education program is approved and sustained by the faculty under the direction of a faculty committee. The General Education Committee directs an on-going cycle of review and improvement based on established goals and objectives.

General Education Prerequisites

Students are required to demonstrate basic competence in mathematics and writing based on standardized test scores. Any remedial courses, numbered below 100, taken to satisfy competency requirements, are in addition to the minimum of 128 units required for graduation.

General Education Requirements

The specific requirements in general education, as established by the faculty, represent a broad-based experience in skills and ideas. The following selection of courses is designed to guide the student toward a liberalizing educational experience in the arts and sciences while allowing for substantial choice in the development of that education.

I. First Year Experience

First Year Experience  

II. Responding to the Sacred

A study of Scripture and Christian heritage as foundational in the pursuit of knowledge and the development of personal values.

Students transferring to the university for the first time with 48 or more units, none of which are in religion, take only five units in this category at Point Loma Nazarene University (three of which must be at the upper-division level).

III. Developing Cognitive Abilities

A pursuit of personal awareness and skill development, focusing on the analytical, communication, and quantitative skills necessary for successful living in modern society.

A. Personal Development [1 course; 3 units]

B. Critical Thinking and Communication [2 courses; 5-7 units]

At least three (3) units of College Composition must be completed in the student’s first two semesters as a part of the First Year Experience program.  

All students must fulfill the composition requirement prior to the junior year.


A diagnostic exam given in the beginning of the semester will determine if the student needs to co-enroll in WRI 097 , along with WRI 110  or WRI 116 .

**WRI116 is for students who have transferred the first half of the GE writing requirement or received 3 units of AP English Language credit. It is a supplemental 2 unit research course, which fulfills the second half of the GE writing requirement.

IV. Exploring an Interdependent World

An introduction to the natural and social sciences as tools for exploring the world, with emphasis on collecting and interpreting empirical data for both theoretical and practical purposes.

A. The Natural World [2 courses; one from each group, and at least one with a lab; 8 units]

B. Physical Fitness and Nutrition [2 courses; 3-5 units]

One of the following courses is required: 

V. Seeking Cultural Perspectives

A survey of human endeavors from a historical, cultural, linguistic, and philosophical perspective, including developing critical appreciation of human expression–both artistic and literary.

A. The History of World Civilizations [2 courses; 6 units]


B.S.N. candidates choose between two Literature options or one Literature and one Philosophy.

D. Literature [2 courses; 5 units]

Two courses; LIT200 and one upper division Literature course. 


A foreign language is not required for B.S.N. candidates.

Students who believe they may qualify for a language waiver are advised to make application no later than spring of the sophomore year (or in the semester transfer to PLNU) to avoid possible delay in graduation.