General Education Pillars


(These are the core courses you need in order to graduate, typically taken during your first and second years.)

Almost every four-year college or university has general education requirements that students must meet in order to graduate. These courses are not always related to your major, but provide you with a strong foundation of knowledge across multiple disciplines and subject areas. At Coker, we want you to explore what it means to be a critical thinker and an engaged citizen so we’re taking an innovative, personal approach to the whole ‘general education’ thing.


Integrity, respect, scholarship, sustainability, service, and contribution.

Our student covenant blends together scholarship and community engagement, and encourages lifelong learning, personal growth, and service to others. Its six principles are incorporated into our general education requirements in an effort to provide you with the opportunity to learn, develop your ability to think critically, and put you in touch with those values that resonate most with you.


(You’ll pick two pillars and take three classes from each.)

Choose two pillars (one from the Integrated Knowledge area and one from Engaged Learning area) and select three courses from within each chosen pillar.  Within your two chosen pillars, you must take at least one course in each of the following knowledge areas: Arts, Behavioral Science, Humanities, and Science.


Integrity:  How do you define a meaningful life?  Explore examples and experiences related to justice, truthfulness, reliability, and resilience.  

Respect:  How can you get along with and learn from people who aren’t like you?  Build critical skills in understanding conflict and practicing respect by exploring the rich variety of humanity through culture, religion, and creative works.

Scholarship:  What does it mean to be a scholar?  Develop intellectually sound standards and learn to evaluate data and information necessary to produce scholarly, societal, and professional work.


Sustainability:  How do we impact the natural world?  Discover the ways humans have negotiated environmental, social, and economic needs and desires.

Service:  In what ways am I a part of my community?  Participate in courses that encourage “real world” relevance, engage problem-solving, and build understanding toward complex community relationships.

Contribution: What is my place in the world as a global citizen? Address fundamental questions of human existence through courses that encourage comparative analysis, connections with others, and a sense of continuity about the human condition around the world.


(Your capital course, which you will take after completing at least five pillar classes.)

In this final class, you will bring together all your experiences and gained understanding. You will be able to take what you’ve learned and apply it to the world around you, both through intellectual and practical skills, providing the essential groundwork for you to become a flexible employee, an engaged citizen, and a lifelong learner.  

Please note…
A maximum of one course taken to fulfill the General Education Pillars requirement may also be counted towards your major. Any courses taken to fulfill the General Education Pillars requirement may also be counted towards a second major/minor/specialization.

In addition to the covenant pillars courses, Coker’s general education program also includes:
*Foundational prerequisites (English and Math) – placement exemption available.  
*Intellectual foundation – essential skill areas required for lifelong learning
*College Success Courses – building pragmatic skills for navigating the Coker University experience

Download your General Education Pillars program guide