GE Mission and Program Learning Outcomes


UC Merced’s General Education program engages students with the values, practices and contributions of a research university which provides a framework for integrative learning. We do so in the context of the culturally and economically diverse Central Valley. In tandem with the major and the co-curriculum, General Education supports student development of the Hallmarks of the Baccalaureate degree. It nurtures the spirit of critical inquiry, building students’ knowledge of various fields, cultures, and perspectives. General education fosters collaboration, communication, and ethical action. It empowers students to share their learning and skills to address the local and global challenges of an interconnected, changing world.

Program Learning Outcomes

1. Life at the Research University: Asking Questions

UC Merced graduates take an inquiry-oriented approach to the world that reflects engagement with the mission and values of our research university.

  • They can articulate the benefits of attending a research university for their development as scholars, citizens, life-long learners;
  • They generate questions, identify problems, and formulate answers by applying appropriate theoretical, evidentiary, analytical and ethical frameworks from multiple intellectual perspectives;
  • They demonstrate intellectual curiosity and an understanding of the nature of knowledge and of themselves as learners;
  • They identify and act on their own values and talents through self-reflection;
  • They are at ease with the ambiguity that is inherent in the process of discovery.

2. Reasoning: Thinking Critically

UC Merced graduates are equipped with multiple tools of analysis to support accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.

  • They use analytical tools from scientific, social scientific, and humanistic disciplines;
  • They are able to identify and evaluate sources of information;
  • They identify, interpret and evaluate multiple kinds of data, including texts, media, observations, and experimental results.

3. Communication: Explaining and Persuading

UC Merced graduates communicate in a variety of ways to diverse audiences.

  • They use written, visual, oral and numerical modes of communication to explore and convey ideas;
  • They can adjust their communications depending on occasion, purpose and audience;
  • They can work independently and collaboratively.

4. Cultural and Global awareness: Engaging with differences

UC Merced graduates see themselves in relation to local and global cultures and systems of power, past and present.

  • They engage with multiple belief systems, social structures, and ways of thinking through attention to societies, languages and cultures of the past and the present;
  • They can identify the ways in which cultural, political, economic, technological, and environmental dimensions of society interact;
  • They can place their own experiences in relevant analytical frameworks through attention to the relationships of diverse cultures to each other;
  • They gain emotional maturity and resilience by understanding themselves in the world.

5. Citizenship: Contributing to the Public Good

UC Merced graduates are engaged with their communities for the benefit of society.

  • They are engaged citizens, having contributed to the building of academic and co-curricular communities at UC Merced;
  • They understand and work in diverse communities;
  • They engage with the ethical dimensions of their various roles;
  • They can articulate and act on their responsibilities to the multiple communities in which they participate.

Approved by the General Education Subcommittee on April 26, 2016.