A general education course ordinarily provides the students with critical reasoning and/or writing skills. Such courses are usually in the areas of social and behavioral science, English composition and literature, foreign language, mathematics, humanities, natural science, and the fine arts.

Courses specifically designed to develop vocational and technical skills or that are remedial in nature are not classified as general education. Examples of courses that are not classified as general education include, but are not limited to, physical education, performing arts, and keyboarding.