General Education Requirements

State Required General Education

The state has two main general education requirements: State Mandated Core and State Required Communication and Computation (formerly known as Gordon Rule).

State Mandated Core

During the 2013 Florida legislative session, the Florida legislature voted to make changes to the general education requirements (

Beginning with students initially entering a Florida College System or Florida State University System institution in 2015/2016 and thereafter, students will be required to complete 15 hours of the 36 required credit hours of general education coursework from among a list of course options in the subject areas of communication, mathematics, social sciences, humanities and natural sciences. Students must complete one course from each subject area. For the list of require courses, click here.

For further information, please see the Florida Board of Governors Regulation 8.005. For USF students with questions, please contact your advisor. All other questions, please direct to Kyna Betancourt at 813-974-1388.

State Required Communication and Computation (formerly Gordon Rule)

State Required Communication

Courses approved to meet the USF State Required Communication enable students to demonstrate college-level writing skills through multiple assignments. Students will engage in writing as a "process," which means employing strategies such as pre-writing, co-authoring, document design, peer feedback, revising, and editing. Overall, students will learn how to develop ideas and texts that follow academic/disciplinary conventions for different contexts, audiences, and purposes. Such assignments may include, but are not limited to, research papers, essays, creative writing, journals, written examinations, portfolios, case studies, letters, and proposals.

State Required Computation

Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of six (6) credit hours of approved Mathematics coursework OR three (3) credit hours of approved Mathematics coursework and three (3) credit hours of approved coursework in Quantitative Reasoning. Both the mathematics course and the quantitative reasoning course must be taught at college algebra level or higher. At least one course must have either an MAC or an MGF prefix.Courses approved for quantitative reasoning must instill skills sufficient for responding critically to quantitative issues in the media and public life. Typical elements in such a course include:

  • Analyzing evidence.
  • Verbalizing problems into mathematical form.
  • Reading graphs.
  • Understanding logical arguments.
  • Detecting logical fallacies.
  • Understanding evidence.
  • Evaluating risks.
  • Assessing uncertainty.
  • Detecting errors in data.
  • Designing experiments.
  • Understanding creation of models.
  • Understanding validations and inferences.
  • Interpreting quantitative data.
  • Developing number sense.
  • Developing symbol sense.