When senior year of high school rolls around, all anyone can talk about is where they’ll be attending college. One friend was accepted here, another was rejected there. As admissions decisions are being made in colleges across the country, how many seniors are rushing home to check their mailbox for the letter?  

We don’t blame them. Every academic decision they’ve made has led to this moment, when they finally find out which college colors they’ll be wearing. And although college hopefuls understand that attending college is a rewarding experience, not all of them fully understand why.  

College develops students into well-rounded individuals, capable of critical thinking and clear communication, and prepares them to succeed in all aspects of their lives, including their careers. As part of a core curriculum, general education is essential for helping students become enlightened, engaged citizens. Yet many wonder why general education courses are required—and you may be wondering the same. Rest assured, the real-world benefits of general education courses are well worth the credit hours. 

Building the Foundation for Your Success 

Critics of general education believe that the purpose of higher education is to instill students with exclusively work-related skills. However, focusing on one area of study to the detriment of others is not a practical approach. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average baby boomer holds about 12 jobs throughout their lifetime. COVID-19 and the Great Resignation are sure to increase this number for younger generations. Given the number of hats students are likely to wear throughout their careers, colleges and universities focus on providing a diverse set of foundational skills students can apply to any career.  

Despite the diversity of roles most individuals take on throughout our professional lives, there remains immense pressure for students to declare their major and career intentions from now until the end of time. Considering that one-third of undergraduates switch their major within three years of enrollment, providing students with a narrow set of work-related skills may not prove beneficial in the long run. A Gallup survey of over 2,000 college graduates found that those who aligned their work with their interests, values, and strengths were three times more likely to find purposeful work, and those who did find purpose in their work were ten times more likely to prosper. 

General education ensures you have the fundamental skills needed to succeed in college and life, regardless of your intended area of study. Even if you’re certain of your academic goals, these basics are the foundation upon which you’ll build specific work-related skills. They could even spark an interest in a new career path—one where you do what you love.  

General Education at UT Permian Basin  

Most colleges require a certain number of general education courses as part of the core curriculum, and The University of Texas Permian Basin is no different. Consisting of 42-47 semester credit hours, our General Education Core Curriculum covers the following foundational areas: 



A sterling resume can only take you so far if you’re unable to articulate your knowledge and experiences. Communication courses will help you develop your oral, written, and visual literacy skills and express your ideas clearly regardless of the subject matter or setting.  



By studying the past, you’ll learn about the complex interactions between individuals, communities, states, and nations that make the U.S. what it is today, and you’ll gain a new perspective on your role in society.  


Language, Philosophy, and Culture 

Culture has a tremendous impact on the human condition. Understanding and appreciating how people are shaped by their customs and beliefs is key to becoming a well-rounded individual who excels in any work or social situation.  



Deepen your understanding of logic, patterns, and quantitative relationships in courses like College Algebra. Although you may have a supercomputer in your pocket, these skills are irreplaceable in countless careers, especially those in the STEM fields.  


Life and Physical Sciences 

There’s a universe of natural phenomena that seems impossible to explain — that is, until you dive into the science. Biology and geology courses explore Earth and its diverse lifeforms, down to the microscopic cells that sustain everyday life.  


Political Science 

Political science courses, like our history courses, instill a deep sense of civic responsibility by exploring issues affecting the world around us. Take an in-depth look at U.S. politics, exploring political institutions and parties as well as their philosophical foundations. 


Creative Arts 

Artistic expression is human creativity given form. By looking at works of art through a critical lens, and by learning how music, paintings, and sculptures uniquely convey ideas, you’ll develop new ways to engage with different forms of expression. Who knows? You could even find your next creative passion.  


 Social and Behavioral Sciences 

Courses like psychology and sociology look at how scientific methods can be used to shed light on what makes us human, exploring the root causes of our behaviors and their effect on society and culture. When you notice the obscure mechanisms influencing life, you’ll be better able to navigate its twists and turns.  

Become a Well-Rounded Professional at UT Permian Basin  

General education ensures that UT Permian Basin graduates can communicate effectively, think critically, and reach informed conclusions, among other skills essential for learning and thriving in any field. Given its importance, core instruction is provided to all UT Permian Basin students, whether they’re online or on campus. 

At UT Permian Basin, you can satisfy the general education requirements by enrolling in one of our many online undergraduate programs. We also accept transfer credits from accredited institutions. Designed to be convenient and affordable, our online courses can help you gain essential skills, meet degree requirements, and become a more well-rounded individual without burdening you as you prepare for the next stage of your life.  

Ready to become a Falcon? Browse through our course and program catalog, and when you’re ready, apply to become UT Permian Basin’s latest undergraduate student.