Which GE is for me?

 IGETC | CSU GE | Individual Campus

General Education (G.E.) is a pattern of courses determined by a 4-year institution to represent its "general" or "breadth" philosophy of what constitutes a well-educated graduate. Each college has its own philosophy of education;  its own G.E. pattern.

General Education courses are graduation requirements not admission requirements. However, at some schools, completion of the G.E., or certain portions of it may be used as an admission screening criteria for transfer students.

There are several options from which students may choose to satisfy lower division transfer G.E requirements before leaving SBCC. Some campuses may have additional Upper Division G.E requirements that students will have to complete after they transfer.

Finally, SBCC has its own G.E pattern for completion of the Associate of Arts/Science degree. With careful planning, students may be able to complete both the SBCC G.E. for the AA/AS degree and their transfer institution's G.E.

NOTE: Admission and graduation requirements are often confused. ADMISSION requirements to colleges and universities are based upon:

  1. Completion of certain high school subjects,
  2. The college grade point average (GPA) and
  3. The minimum number of transferable units (usually 60).

While some campuses use G.E. completion, or partial completion, as an additional admission screening criteria, meeting G.E. requirements relates to a student's graduation from the transfer institution.

The best choice of a G.E. Pattern varies, depending on a student's choice of school, major, previous course work and personal preference. Students should make an appointment with a counselor or visit the University Transfer Center to discuss specific situations and be sure to right the choices are made.

IGETC (download pdf)

The most popular of the G.E. pattern options, IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum) will complete the Lower Division G.E. requirements for the California State Universities (CSU) and for the University of California (UC) campuses. (Exceptions can be found on the back of the IGETC form). IGETC must be certified at SBCC. Students must request this certification, which is sent to the transfer institution.


  1. Keeps students' options open if they don't know where they are going to transfer.
  2. With careful course selection, closely parallels SBCC G.E. and CSU G.E./Breadth.
  3. Provides flexibility in course selection with most areas.
  4. Competition of IGETC satisfies high school admission requirements, which some students may be missing.
  5. Completion of IGETC satisfies the new (Fall '98) UC transfer admissions criteria.


  1. Certain high unit majors (i.e.: sciences) require more Lower Division preparation, leaving little room to complete a G.E. pattern before transfer.
  2. Students completing math admission requirements in high school may not wish to take more math-as required on IGETC- if math is not required for the major they choose.
  3. Must be completed before enrolling at the transfer institution in order to "count" for meeting graduation requirements. If IGETC is not completed, students must fulfill G.E pattern of the transfer campus before graduating from that campus.
  4. No grade lower than a "C" may be used on IGETC. A grade of "C-" will not count.
  5. No foreign work may be used on IGETC.
  6. Should not be used for all majors.

CSU G.E. BREADTH (download pdf)

The 23 campuses of California State University System have agreed upon a CSU G.E pattern that can be certified by SBCC to satisfy lower division graduation requirements for any CSU campus. CSU G.E. must be certified at SBCC. Students must request this certification which is sent to the transfer institution. There are still variations among the CSU campuses as to how each views the CSU G.E. Breadth, but the following comments represent the safest course of action. For most schools, students must complete all of "Area A" and "Area B4" in addition to 30 units of G.E course work before transfer. Completion of these courses will make up any high school deficiencies for admission to a CSU campus.


  1. Pattern usually does not have to be completed before transfer. Students can finish certain areas after transfer.
  2. Grades of "D" may be used except for "Area A" and "Area B4".
  3. Compared to IGETC, CSU G.E./Breadth is more flexible and offers more choices in many of the areas.
  4. Students transferring to most CSUs can double count their Social Science or Humanities and American Institutions if using the pattern. IGETC does not allow this.


  1. Students may change their mind and wish to go to a UC campus. Courses taken for CSU may not necessarily count for UC.


Each independent campus and some colleges of the UC and CSU state system have their own G.E. pattern. Depending upon a student's individual case (math preparation, major, etc.), it may be easier to follow campus college-specific G.E. If students transferring to a UC do not finish IGETC before enrolling, they must revert to the campus G.E. and complete any missing work to graduate.


  1. Pattern does not have to be completed before transfer.
  2. Some campuses allow "D" grades to be used.
  3. Some campuses do not have math on their G.E.
  4. Campus G.E. pattern are not certified by SBCC.


  1. Some campuses are heavy on certain subjects (i.e. UCLA in science, UCSB in literature.)
  2. Students following campus G.E. may change their mind or not be accepted at their first choice, thus cutting off options and flexibility.