Frequently Asked Questions

What is the General Liberal Education Requirement (GLER)?

The General Liberal Education Requirement is part of the liberal arts focus of the University. The GLER ensures that students gain knowledge and experience in a wide variety of areas. The GLER is an opportunity to explore new subjects, to investigate career paths, and to develop skills that will complement your degree.

How do I complete the GLER?

The GLER consists of 12 Arts and Science courses selected from three lists: Fine Arts and Humanities (List I), Social Sciences (List II), and Sciences (List III). You are required to take four courses from each list (courses from your major may be included), and no more than four courses from any one department may be used to meet this requirement.

The 12-course requirement can be reduced by successfully completing both Liberal Education (LBED) 1000 and 2000 and by successfully completing both LBED 3010 and 4000. For complete details about the GLER, see the 2009/2010 Calendar, pp. 82-85.

What is the difference between the GLER and the Divisional Course Designation?

The GLER is a university-wide requirement. The Divisional Course Designation applies only to the Faculty of Arts and Science. The Divisional Course Designation refers to lists Science and non-Science courses for the purpose of degree and major requirements.


If you are hesitant about trying new courses, you may put them on Credit/Non-Credit (see the 2009/2010 Calendar, pp. 67-68).

What is a cognate?

A cognate is a course from outside a defined discipline which complements and enhances the breadth of knowledge and skills found within the area of study.

What are prerequisites and corequisites?

A prerequisite is a course that you must have completed with at least a 'D' (1.00 on a 4.0 scale), 'Credit,' or 'Pass' before you are eligible to register in a given course. A corequisite is a course that you must take prior to or concurrently with the course in which you want to register.

The 'Courses' section in your Calendar lists every course that may be offered at the University over a two-year period. Prerequisites and corequisites are listed for each course. Remember that you must follow the CURRENT Calendar for prerequisites and corequisites.

What is a recommended background?

In the 'Courses' section, the Calendar may list one or more courses as recommended background for another course. This means that you are advised to take a certain course(s) before you register in this particular course, but you are not required to do so. You will be eligible to register in the course without the recommended background, but you should be aware that you will probably do better if you do have the recommended course(s).

What is an Independent Study?

An Independent Study is a course that consists of an individual research project for which you may earn course credit. You may complete a maximum of five Independent Studies. Independent Studies may be numbered 2990, 3990, or 4990.

If you want to do an Independent Study and have a particular area of interest, you should contact an instructor who has some interest and expertise in that field. Together, you and your instructor will devise a set of course requirements on which you will be graded. The course requirements will vary depending on the nature of your proposed topic; you may be required to do library research, field work, oral exams and/or research papers. Refer to the Academic Schedule in your 2009/2010 Calendar for registration deadlines.

What is an Applied Study?

An Applied Study is an employment or volunteer arrangement for which students may be allowed to earn course credit. The job or volunteer work should be directly related to your career or academic goals and should not duplicate any course learning or practical experience you have had already. For more information, contact the Applied Studies Coordinator (B610; 403-329-2000).

What should l do if I repeat a course?

You are allowed to repeat a course only once. Only your second attempt will be counted toward your degree. When you repeat a course, you must submit a Repeated Course Form to the Registrar’s Office and Student Services (ROSS) so that your GPA will be recalculated using the new grade.

What if I have more questions?

Many of your questions are answered in the University Calendar. Make sure you are familiar with Part 7 (Faculty of Arts and Science), which contains information on your degree and major requirements. You should read Part 4 (Academic Regulations) as well, since it explains the UofL grading system and tells you what you have to do to remain in good standing in your program.

If you can't find the answer to your question in the Calendar, you can make an appointment with an Academic Advisor. Advisors are available to talk to you about any academic or other concerns you may have. If you choose to ask an Advisor's advice about planning your program, please complete the appropriate program planning guide (and worksheet) and bring it with you to your appointment.