Bachelor's Degree General Education Program

According to our mission statement, Northwest Nazarene University offers an undergraduate curriculum that is designed to instill a habit of mind that enables each student to become God's creative and redemptive agent in today's world. This curriculum provides both depth (the student's major field of study) and breadth (the general education program) to nurture our students' highest intellectual, physical, and spiritual development.

The general education program is the foundation of all undergraduate education at Northwest Nazarene University. It purposely expresses through the curriculum the mission of the university as a Christian liberal arts institution in the Wesleyan heritage. The objective of the general education program is to provide a common experience for the personal and intellectual growth of each student. Students are brought into contact with great persons, ideas, movements, human culture and the Christian faith. The curriculum is intellectually challenging and designed to set the tone for all courses at the university.

General Education Requirements at a Glance (50 credits)

When planning a schedule, students should carefully review the detailed requirements following this summary.

Course Code

Course Name


Christian Formation

12 Credits



Introduction to Biblical Studies



Introduction to Christian Theology



Approved UD Bib Lit or Theology Elective



Approved Philosophy Elective



13 Credits



Approved Literature Elective



Approved Art History or Music History Elective



Approved U.S. History Elective



Approved non-U.S. History Elective



*Capstone (see list below)



15 Credits



Fundamentals of Wellness



Approved Kinesiology Activity Elective


Natural Science

Approved Natural Science Lecture Elective


Natural Science

Approved Natural Science Lab Elective


Social Science

Approved Social Science Elective


Additional Electives Electives from two of the following areas to equal 6 credits 6
  Approved Mathematics Elective  
  Approved Natural Science Elective  
  Approved Social Science Elective  
Intellectual and Practical Skills 9 Credits  
ENGL1040  Introduction to Academic Writing 3
ENGL3000W Studies in Composition and Rhetoric (or an ENGL course with a W designation) 3
COMM1210  Intro to Public Speaking  3
Math Proficiency Satisfactory score on the mathematics portion of the ACT, SAT, or ACCUPLACER or equivalent test. MATH0900 can be taken to prepare for ACCUPLACER. 0
Cultural Competency Requirement Completion of the NNU Cultural Competency Requirement  

RN-BSN students' General Education requirements may be found at

To complete the general education program at Northwest Nazarene University, the student must take 50 semester credits of courses distributed in five categories. The categories with the number of credits required in each are:

I. Christian Formation (12 credits)

  • BIBL1105 * Introduction to Biblical Studies (3)
    *To be completed during the first 3 semesters of residence, must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
    *Waived for students who transferred in with 60 or more credits
  • THEO2105 * Introduction to Christian Theology (3)
    *To be completed by the end of the fifth semester of residence, must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
  • Upper Division Bible Literature or Theology (3)
    BIBL or THEO course numbered above 2999. (3)
    *Waived for students who transferred in with 90 or more credits
  • Philosophy Elective (3)
    Select one course from:
    PHIL2020 Ethics (3)
    PHIL3080 Critical Reasoning (3)

II. Humanities (13 credits)

  • Literature Elective (3)
    Select one course from:
    ENGL2310 British Literature: Beowulf through the Age of Reason (3)
    ENGL2410 Major Literature of the Western World (3)
    ENGL2430 World Literature: The Enlightenment to the Modern Era (3)
    ENGL3210 Major Authors in American Literature (3)
    ENGL3510 Twentieth-Century Poetry (3)
    ENGL3750 Children's and Young Adult Literature (3)
  • Art History/Music History Elective (3)
    Select one course from:
    ARDE3750 Art History 2 (3)
    MUSC1010 A Survey of Art and Music (3)
    MUSC3270 Music History: Classic, Romantic, and Modern (3)
  • History Electives (one U. S. and one non-U. S.) (6)
    Select one U.S. history course from:
    ECON2275 American Economic History (3)
    HIST2030 United States History to 1877 (3)
    HIST2040 United States History from 1877 (3)
    HIST3010 Recent America (3)
    NURS4121 History of Nursing (3)
    Select one non-U.S. history course from:
    HIST1030 The World and the West I (3)
    HIST1040 The World and the West II (3)
    HIST3020 Modern Europe (1800-Present) (3)
  • Capstone: Completion of one of the following capstone courses approved by the General Education Council (1):
    BSNS4985 Senior Seminar in Business Capstone (3)
    EDUC4955 Seminar/Capstone (1)
    HUMN4015 Capstone (1)
    NURS4130 Transition to Professional Nursing (3)
    THEO4905 Senior Capstone in Ministry (1)

III. Sciences (15 credits)

  • Activities (2)
    Select Fundamentals of Wellness and one Activity Course
    KINE1005 Fundamentals of Wellness (1) 
    KINE1020 Heart Healthy Activity (1), or
    KINE1030 Lifetime Sport Activity (1)
    *Kinesiology activity waived for students who transferred in 60 or more credits
  • Select one natural science lecture and corresponding laboratory course. (BIOL, CHEM, NSCI, PHYS):
    BIOL1015 Introduction to Biology (3); and,
         BIOL1015L Introduction to Biology Lab (1)
    BIOL1060 Human Biology (3); and,
         BIOL1060L Human Biology Laboratory (1)
    PHYS1010 Introduction to Physical Science (3); and,
         PHYS1010L Introduction to Physical Science Lab (1)
    PHYS1060 Descriptive Astronomy (3); and,
        PHYS1060L Descriptive Astronomy Laboratory (1)
  • Social Science Elective (3)
    Select one social science course:
    CLTA1550 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)
    COMM2030 Interpersonal Communication (3)
    ECON1010 Personal Finance (3)
    ECON2275 American Economic History (3)
    ECON2415 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
    ECON2425 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
    EDUC3165 Learning and the Brain (3)
    GEOG1050 Intro to Geography (3)
    POLS1010 American National Politics (3)
    PSYC1550 Intro to Psychology (3)
    PSYC2100 Lifespan Development (3)
    PSYC2110 Educational Psychology (3)
    PSYC3165 Learning and the Brain (3)
  • Additional Science Electives (6)
    Select two additional courses from two of the following three areas:
    Mathematics (3):
    BSNS2335 Business Statistics (3)
    MATH1100 Liberal Arts Mathematics (3)
    MATH1300 College Algebra (3)
    MATH1400 Trigonometry (3)
    MATH2010 Fundamentals of Mathematical Structures I (3)
    MATH2240 Elementary Statistics (3)
    Or any MATH prefixed course numbered 1000 or higher
    Natural Science (3):
    Natural science (BIOL, CHEM, NSCI, PHYS prefixed courses)
    Social Science (3):
    Social science (CLTA, ECON, EDUC3165, GEOG, POLS, PSYC, or COMM2030)

IV. Intellectual and Practical Skills (9 credits)

  • ENGL1040 Introduction to Academic Writing (3)
    To be completed by the end of the first year of residence. Must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
  • ENGL3000W Studies in Composition and Rhetoric (3) or an ENGL course with a W designation
    Must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
  • COMM1210 Introduction to Public Speaking (3)
    Must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
  • Mathematics Proficiency (0)
    One of the following minimum test scores. Test scores must have been obtained within the previous five years.
    • ACT Math Score of 21 or higher
    • SAT Math Score of 570 or higher
    • ACCUPLACER QRAS Score of 250 or higher or equivalent test
    • Completion of an approved college-level math course with a grade of C- or higher
    • MATH0900. Essential Mathematics (3) can be taken to assist students with preparing to pass the ACCUPLACER QRAS.

V. Cultural Competency Requirement 

Online and adult program students are required to complete one course with the Cultural Competency (CC) designation.

The following courses have been approved for the CC designation:

  • BSNS4605 Global Business Strategies (3) 
  • CLTA1550 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)
  • EDUC2250 Cultural Diversity in Education (2) 
  • EDUC3175 Teaching Diverse Learners (3)
  • PRTH2405  Christian Missions (3) 
  • PRTH3755  Compassionate Ministries (3) 
  • NURS4114  Nursing of Diverse Communities and Populations (4) 
  • SPAN1010   Elementary Spanish I (4)
  • SPAN1020   Elementary Spanish II (4)

Additional Cultural Competency Information:

  • If a student grew up in a Bi-Cultural/Bi-Lingual home or spent time overseas after the age of 7, life experience may be considered as part of the Cultural Competency requirement. For consideration, students may fill out a request for approval with the General Education Council at
  • Concurrent credit or transfer courses will not be considered for CC credit.