GER Classes to Take Freshman Year

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You may be asking, “What is a GER?”

GER stands for General Education Requirement

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Here at Furman, these general education requirements incorporate promoting three types of courses: writing courses, core courses, and global awareness courses.

Writing Courses

Two courses focused on writing, which must include:

  • A first year writing seminar (FYW)
  • A writing/research intensive course (WR)

Core Courses

Eleven courses meeting core requirements, which must include:

  • Two courses in the empirical study of the natural world, at least one with a separate laboratory component (NW and NWL)
  • Two courses in the empirical study of human behavior and social relations (HB)
  • A course using historical analysis to study past human interactions (HA)
  • A course in the critical, analytical interpretation of texts (TA)
  • A course (or four-credit equivalent) in the visual and performing arts (VP)
  • A course in mathematical and formal reasoning (MR)
  • A course in foreign language (FL)
  • A course considering ultimate questions (UQ)
  • A course emphasizing the importance of the body and mind (MB)

Global Awareness Courses

Two courses meeting global awareness requirements, including:

  • A course addressing humans and the natural environment (NE)
  • A course focusing on world cultures (WC)

Now, What Should I Take and When?

I know for a fact that as a freshman, I was extremely overwhelmed after looking at not only the amount of GERs that I had to complete, but the different types. Keep in mind that you can take GER classes in your major. For example, as a Communication Studies major, Digital Communications served as my VP, International Communication served as my WC, and Media History served as my HA.

Something I regret not doing freshman year was taking GERs that I was interested in learning more about. I put off a lot of my GERs until senior year and I have discovered an interest in a lot of the core class topics. It makes me think that if I would’ve taken some of these classes freshman year, I would’ve picked up an additional minor/major in addition to my major. By waiting until senior year to finish completing your GERs, you are stuck spending your last two semesters taking generic courses rather than focusing on core classes in your major. It won’t hurt you, but I don’t recommend pushing it off until your last year.

Here are some of the classes that I suggest you take your freshman year, if not your senior year:

  • Introduction to American Government
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Chemistry & Global Awareness (for non-majors)
  • Sustainability Science
  • Wellness Concepts


Best of luck signing up for classes!

Don’t forget, #imyourPALauren

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