General Education

Students begin their Daemen University journey with courses designed to assist their transition to college, to entice them to explore new ideas and perspectives, and to help them develop the skills they need to succeed in their program. The skills and knowledge at the heart of the General Education Program will prepare students to participate in, and contribute to, an increasingly diverse and complex world.  Key to fostering the student’s development is the General Education Program, which is built around a solid foundation in the Liberal Arts.  The Program provides a common educational experience for all students, regardless of major. The Daemen University General Education Program is designed to strengthen students’ intellectual curiosity, professionalism, sense of civic literacy and responsibility, and ability to succeed in a globally integrated world.

The General Education experience consists of ten leaning outcomes that are introduced in the General Education Program and are woven throughout the entire curriculum and into the student’s major.  As a result of this regular exposure and practice, students develop a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the skills and knowledge which will be the foundation of their professional and public future.  As students complete the General Education Program, they acquire the ability to think, adapt and act in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing multicultural environment.

The core requires successful completion of 36 credits of approved General Education courses.

The General Education curriculum entails successful completion of a set of requirements as follows. (These requirements may be satisfied anywhere in the student’s program.)


The first-year experience Includes a first-year seminar and a learning community experience.

First-Year Learning Community experience (6 credits)

First-Year Seminar (3 credits)

Gearing Up.  It includes in person and web-based/experiential learning activities (not credit bearing).


 Students will take 9 credits (three courses) of interconnected classes that provide students with the opportunity to explore a topic or set of ideas in depth.  Students can fulfill this requirement with an approved Discovery topic, with their own adventure, with an approved interdisciplinary minor or with a Study-Abroad experience.

Approved Depth Discovery

  • Art and Human Expression

    • O brave new world, That has such people in’t,” marvels Shakespeare. Although some may question why people need the arts and humanities, many of us enjoy plays and films, go to museums, paint or draw, read books, and write poetry. These creative works take us into imagined worlds that help us to understand how others think and live—and understanding others helps us to become more compassionate and more able to deal with both personal and historic issues. How do we make sense of relationships, of love and suffering, of political and social conflict? How do we view ourselves, compared to those who have come before us and those who will follow us? Art, poetry, drama, philosophy—courses in this discovery will open you to the importance of human creativity as a reflection of our world and help you form your own response.
  • Bodies, Mind and Health

    • In recent years, healthcare professionals have begun to rethink how we understand health and wellness. Instead of only focusing on the current physiological state of the body, professional organizations and individual practitioners now recognize that psychological, emotional, and sociocultural factors play an equally important role in someone’s well-being. This discovery emphasizes how individuals psychologically process cultural definitions of health and philosophically evaluate ethical aspects of healthcare. Since each of these approaches depends on evidence-based scientific research, you will also explore how we analyze data about healthcare, both as a society and as individuals.
  • Building and Disrupting Community

    • The ancient philosopher Aristotle defined the human being as a ‘political animal,’ a creature that lives in a society and creates meaning by cooperating, communicating, and often struggling with others of its kind. Throughout our history, we humans have created communities of a few tens of people—small enough to know everyone by name—and of millions, so large we can only imagine them through symbols like flags, anthems, and idealized leaders. Courses in this discovery explore the processes by which people have created and destroyed communities around the world and across historical periods. What forces bring us together to collaborate for mutual gain? What processes— economic, military, environmental, political, or ideological—tend to tear us apart? You will have the opportunity to explore how different disciplines understand the birth and death of societies, and what different cultures (including art, literature, history, philosophy, religion, and so on) can reveal about the essentially social nature of human flourishing.
  • Challenges to Human Survival

    • Humanity faces a dizzying array of challenges including ecological and climate, food production, disease and poor health, racial and gendered oppression, authoritarian governments, imperialism, and military conflicts. These challenges raise difficult questions about humanity’s past, present, and future and may be serious enough to put humanity’s survival in doubt. These challenges—which are found in different times and locations—find their way into numerous disciplines including political-governing, agricultural, socio-political, religious, and medical health care. In this discovery, you will explore the origin and nature of such challenges, their current manifestations, their possible effects on our future, and strategies for addressing them. What must be done to ensure that humanity survives, and prospers, in the face of such challenges?
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    • As Martin Luther King explains, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. Human beings differ from each other in a variety of ways, including gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, and nationality. These differences can emerge out of biological features like body shape or sexual attractions, out of individual choices like political views, or out of an individual’s religious identity. These differences are also shaped by larger and less visible historical, political, and economic structures. Some- times these differences are celebrated and sometimes they are a source of conflict and even oppression. This discovery looks at human diversity from a range of disciplines- including historical, political, literary, sociological, and religious. With this discovery, you will be able to explore how it is possible to create a just environment where diverse people experience inclusion and equality while maintaining their individuality and unique identity.
  • Gender and Sexuality

    • “Women hold up half the sky,” a Chinese proverb states. Gender and sexuality are two of the main categories that we use to organize society, but their meaning, and the social structures built around them, vary dramatically in societies across the world. The study of gender and sexuality originated in social movements that were created to pursue gender equality and also to seek social transformation promoting justice for all people. This discovery enables you to understand gender issues across multiple fields of knowledge and to acquire a deep understanding and respect for human diversity on a global level. You will gain self-awareness and will learn to critique existing systems of knowledge and practice. By analyzing social structures and institutions you will explore the ways that gender and sexuality intersect with other categories, such as race, class, nationality, ethnicity, and religion.
  • Making Sense of the News

    • “Journalism is the first rough draft of history.” This quote, often attributed to Philip Graham, a one-time publisher and co-owner of The Washington Post, asserts the importance of journalism through the lens of history. The news provides an important bridge between those in power and those they serve. By monitoring those in power, journalists provide the information to help people make decisions and participate in democracy. The First Amendment protects a free press and free speech. Yet, that means we have to determine where and how we get our information and evaluate facts from misinformation and disinformation. By taking courses in this discovery, you will come away with an understanding of what goes into producing the news and how this news interacts with the political system. Your civic literacy, critical thinking, and communication skills will be strengthened, as they are all necessary in helping you make sense of the news.
  • Power, Conflicts, and Politics

    • More than a hundred years ago, Carl von Clausewitz, a Prussian military general, famously wrote that war is simply the continuation of politics by other means. Politics is also considered to be the pursuit and exercise of power. Power is the ability to make individuals or states do things that they would not otherwise do. Power is a means for states to achieve their national interests and hence all states engage in the pursuit of power. This discovery seeks to introduce you to the modern study of politics, from a social scientific perspective. We will be concerned with explaining why the world is as it is rather than how we might wish it to be. We will focus on patterns of conflict and cooperation between formal states, but we will also discuss global challenges particularly relevant to the contemporary period. You will also be exposed to the constitutional framework, institutions, and political processes of American government and politics gaining a deeper understanding of how fundamental aspects of politics work. You will learn through both historical as well as current events.

Approved Interdisciplinary Minors

  • Black Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Studies
  • Global and Local Sustainability
  • Global Studies
  • Medical Humanities
  • Pre-Law
  • Public Administration
  • Refugee and Migration Studies
  • Women Studies


Students will take 6 credits (two courses) in three areas: the Natural Sciences and Mathematics; the Social Sciences; and the Humanities


Students complete a minimum of three Writing Instructive (WIN) courses at Daemen, some within Gen Ed and some within the majors.  These courses are:

Composition 101 (WIN 1, a university wide rather than General Education requirement)

One General Education WIN course (WIN 2)

WIN 3, a departmental rather than General Education writing opportunity

Students who are bringing in AP Composition, will take two WIN 2 General Education courses.