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Muir promotes a full but flexible approach to general education requirements that fits well with any major on campus. We do expect you to have some focus (in terms of following our broad general education themes), but the college philosophy of celebrating the independent spirit lets you pursue a variety of academic interests while at UC San Diego. 

Our Academic Advising staff is trained to focus on helping you identify and build on your strengths, to find ways to balance your academic and co-curricular activities, and to think about ways we can help you find the resources to overcome barriers to your success. 

Academics At Muir

We have organized academic information into six categories:

  • Academic Requirements: Learn all of your degree requirements and ways to enhance your education. 
  • Academic Advising: Learn how to get assistance with navigating the university, planning, or dealing with problems that you face. 
  • Policies, Procedures, and Forms: A quick guide to policies and procedures that may affect you at UC San Diego
  • Academic Success: Tips and guides to make the most of your UCSD Educational Experience
  • Families: Information for families of Muir students with questions about academic issues facing their students. 
  • Prospective Students: Thinking of Muir? Recently Admitted? Then start here!

Our Learning Goals

Our goal with Muir General Education requirements are to give you a breadth of academic tools for approaching problems, understanding the world, and grasping how different academic disciplines approach the creation of knowledge. However, we also want you to have some structure and focus to your learning, which is why we require you to complete your requirements in a broad theme within that area. 

  • Muir College Writing Program courses focus on developing your abilities with rhetoric. At the most basic, we want you to understand what it is to make an academic claim, how to identify and critique your academic sources to support your claim, and how to create a persuasive argument. This is a foundation of critical thinking and writing that is essential both in college and, if you move on to graduate school, in developing a thesis or dissertation. 
  • Math or Natural Sciences courses focus on developing numeracy (understanding and working with numbers), understanding the scientific method, or deductive reasoning (predicting outcomes based on known principles). Much of life in the 21st century is based on arguments around numbers and conflicting narratives of science and pseudo-science, so we want you to have some of this knowledge, even if  you are not a STEM major. 
  • Social Sciences courses focus on inductive reasoning (developing working models from observation) and applying them to human behavior, though this includes a variety of different ideas of what qualifies as "human behavior." Again, the 21st century is based heavily on people using studies of human behavior to understand markets, get you to buy particular brands, predict your behavior, or influence how you interact in the world.
  • Fine Arts, Humanities, and Language Other Than English courses address multiple kinds of knowledge. One is finding ways to academically engage with culture and cultural artifacts.Culture, whether it is our historical narratives, art forms, or languages, are shape us and how we understand the world. We want you to make thoughtful critiques and arguments through critical thinking rather than just aesthetic or emotional reactions. We also want you to learn to argue where there is no single "right" answer because that's where you as an adult will find yourself throughout your life more often than not. 

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Learning Objectives

Muir general education requirements help studients develop academic skills that address broad skills for learning and academic achievement, as defined by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). You can review our Learning Objectives on our Inventory of Educational Effectiveness Indicators.  

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