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Looking for a Gen Ed course? The School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics offers a wide array every semester

9/1/2016  8:00 am

The University of Illinois requires that all undergraduate students take General Education—or "Gen Ed"—courses to gain and use broad knowledge beyond the specialized learning they will do in a major field of study. These Gen Ed requirements cover the kinds of knowledge all students should have: the humanities and arts, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences and technology, quantitative reasoning, composition/writing, and cultural studies.

Gen Ed courses at Illinois are mindful of our students' diverse backgrounds, needs, and interests, and are an essential component of the transformative learning that prepares our graduates to become alumni who make a significant societal impact. These courses build students' abilities to think critically, solve problems, generate new ideas and create knowledge, make connections between academic disciplines, respect and understand differences, and develop as citizens and leader.

Even within the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics (SLCL), people are often astonished to find out just how many of these courses the SLCL offers. It’s in part why we call the SLCL the “Gateway to a Global Learning Experience”. And, many of these courses are taught by full professors.

Below are a number of Gen Ed categories and the SLCL-related courses being offered for Fall Semester 2016. [Note that several of these courses are cross-listed between various departments and Gen Ed categories, and that in particular there is much crossover with the Cultural Studies: Non-Western/U.S. Minority Culture(s) listings and those for Cultural Studies: Western/Comparative Culture(s)]

Under Cultural Studies: Non-Western/U.S. Minority Culture(s):

  • Global Consciousness and Literature, CWL 114 (Comparative and World Literatures)
  • Afro-American Literature I, CWL 259
  • African Diasporic Literature of the Americas, CWL 400
  • East Asian Civilizations, EALC 120 (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Zen, EALC 132
  • Traditional China, EALC 220
  • Intro to Japanese Culture, EALC 250
  • Masterpieces of East Asian Literature, EALC 275
  • Japan Literature in Translation I, EALC 305
  • Japan Literature in Translation I, EALC 311
  • Language and Culture in India, HNDI 115 (Hindi)
  • Language in Globalization, LING 111 (Linguistics)
  • Asian Mythology, RLST 104 (Religious Studies)
  • World Religions, RLST 110
  • Introduction to Islam, RLST 214
  • Muslims in America, RLST 258
  • Intro to Latina/o Literature, SPAN 242 (Spanish)

Under Humanities and the Arts:

  • Sex & Gender in Antiquity, CLAS 262 (Classics)
  • Cross-Cultural Thematics, CWL 151
  • Comparative Literature Studies, CWL 201
  • Origins of Western Literature, CWL 220
  • Jewish Storytelling, CWL 221
  • Origins of Western Literature, CWL 227
  • Italy: Middle Ages & Renaissance, CWL 240
  • Literature: Europe & the Americas I, CWL 241
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales, GER 250 (German)
  • Viking Mythology, GER 251
  • Medieval Literature and Culture, CWL 253
  • Renaissance Literature and Culture, CWL 255
  • The Holocaust in Context, CWL 271
  • Sexuality and Literature, CWL 272
  • Literary Responses to the Holocaust, CWL 320
  • The Comic Imagination, CWL 322
  • The Short Story, ENG/CWL 267 (English/Comparative & World Literature)
  • Intro to French Literature I & II, FR 209/210 (French)
  • Intro to German Literature, GER 331 (German)
  • Language History, LING 210 (Linguistics)
  • Language in Human History, LING 240
  • Bible as Literature, RLST 101, (Religious Studies)
  • Religion & Society in the West I, RLST 108
  • Ancient Greek & Roman Religion, RLST 160
  • Philosophy of Religion – Introduction, RLST 230
  • Religion and Philosophy, RLST 231
  • Russian & Eastern European Science Fiction, SLAV 117 (Slavic Languages and Literatures) 

Under Social and Behavioral Sciences:

  • Intro to Japanese Culture, EALC 250 (East Asian Languages and Cultures)
  • Intro to Language Science, LING 101 (Linguistics)
  • Talking Culture, LING 104
  • Language, Mind, and Brain, LING 225
  • Language Diversity in the USA, LING 250

If you’re looking ahead to Spring Semester 2017 for Gen Ed courses, you can start by going to the Course Explorer website within the UIUC site: You can also check by academic unit within our School at: