Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Overview

General Education Requirements (GenEd)

Al Akhawayn University’s

General Education Requirements

2016-2017 Academic Year


A graduate of any institution of higher education is required to have specific knowledge, understanding, and competencies, regardless of his/her major field of study. For this reason, AUI is committed to providing students with a broad education through the General Education Requirements.

What are GenEds?

In accordance with Al Akhawayn’s dedication to the American liberal arts model, all students must take a pre-established number of General Education Requirements (GenEds). Regardless of degree program, GenEds complement the overall objectives of each program and support the introduction, acquisition, and application of a wide range of communicative and intellectual skills. In addition, AUI’s GenEds foster in students an awareness of the world’s most pressing challenges, a depth and consistency of moral judgment, the ability to speak and write with clarity and precision, a desire for life-long learning, and an awareness of global cultural diversity.

As a result of this broad training, each AUI student graduates with a breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding about the world and with the critical thinking skills necessary to make a positive difference in it.

Mission of the GenEds

The mission of the General Education program is to educate future global citizens and leaders who value intellectual independence, ethical and civic responsibility, and life-long pursuit of knowledge.  The General Education experience aspires to have enduring positive impact on students as they build lives and careers in an ever-changing, complex, and competitive world.


To educate students and citizens who:

  • Demonstrate intellectual independence, ethical and civic responsibility, and global awareness.
  • Rationally and critically approach local and global issues and intellectual challenges
  • Communicate effectively within and beyond their field of specialization.
  • Demonstrate competency in using information technology effectively, ethically, and responsibly.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of the place of the Arabo-Islamic culture among other world cultures, past and present.

What skills do the GenEds build?

  1. Written and oral communication
  2. Critical thinking and quantitative reasoning
  3. Knowledge of world cultures and the natural environment
  4. Information literacy
  5. Technology literacy

Why does AUI require you, an AUI undergraduate, to take GenEds?

  • To develop your global competence by learning to understand and interact appropriately in diverse and multicultural environments.
  • To help you understand the world and see how your studies relate to contemporary local, regional, and global issues.
  • To equip you with the tools to succeed in your studies regardless of your major and to develop a passion for life-long learning.
  • For you to develop personally, socially, and intellectually.
  • To build your creative- and critical-thinking skills through verbal and quantitative reasoning.
  • To ensure that you are trilingual – competent in oral and written English, French, and Arabic.

What is the value of a liberal arts education?

The Huffington Post (The Value of a Liberal Arts Education), Forbes Magazine (Why Getting a Liberal Arts Education is Not a Mistake), US News and World Report (There is Value in Liberal Arts Education, Employers Say), and the American Council on Education (The Myth that Liberal Arts Education is Becoming Irrelevant) all believe that graduates with liberal arts degrees are well-rounded and highly employable. According to Dr. Thomas Cech, President of Howard Hughes Medical Institute and liberal arts college graduate:

Just as mathematics is considered to be a good exercise for the brain even for those who will never use calculus in the future, so the study of great books, history, languages, music, and many other non-science fields is likely to hone a scientist’s ability to perceive and interpret the natural world.

The same can be said for humanists (who study non-science and math subjects) who improve their ability to discern observations and defend their claims by cross-training in the sciences. Studying a broad range of subjects makes you a better thinker, student, and world citizen.

What specific subjects do the GenEds cover?

  • Foundations for Academic Success
  • Arabic or French
  • Public Speaking
  • Computer Science
  • English
  • History or political science
  • Humanities I and Humanities II
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences

In the 2016-2017 course catalogue, what courses within each subject fulfil a GenEd?

Foundations for Academic Success

  • FAS 0210 Strategic Academic Skills
  • FAS 1220 Introduction to Critical Thinking

Public Speaking

  • COM 1301 Public Speaking


  • History OR Political Science
    • HIS 1301: History of the Arab World
    • HIS 1302: History of the Arab World (taught in Arabic)
    • HIS 2301: Contemporary World History
    • PSC 2301: Comparative Political Systems
  • Humanities I
    • HUM 2301 Islamic Art and Architecture
    • HUM 2302 Introduction to the Study of Islamic Civilization
    • HUM 2303 Introduction to the Study of Islamic Civilization (taught in Arabic)
    • HUM 2304 Islamic Art and Architecture (taught in Arabic)
    • LIT 2301 Major Works of Literature
    • LIT 2304 Introduction to Arabic Literature (taught in Arabic)
    • LIT 2305 Introduction to World Literature in Arabic (taught in Arabic)
  • Humanities II
    • HUM 2305 Science and Society
    • HUM 2306 Comparative Religions
    • PHI 2301 Philosophical Thought
    • PHI 2302 History of Ideas

Social sciences

  • GEO 1301 Introduction to Geology
  • PSY 1301 Introduction to Psychology
  • SOC 1301 Principles of Sociology
  • SSC 1310 Introduction to Anthropology
  • ECO 1300 Introduction to Economics

Quantitative Skills

  • Mathematics
    • MTH 1305 Mathematics for Business
    • MTH 1311 Calculus I: Differential Calculus
    • MTH 1388 Introductory Mathematical Thinking
  • Computer Science
    • CSC 1400 Introduction to Computers
    • CSC 1401 Computer Programming

Physical sciences

  • BIO 1400 Environmental Biology
  • BIO 1401 Principles of Biology
  • BIO 1402 Environmental Biology II
  • CHE 1400 Chemistry and the Environment
  • CHE 1401 General Chemistry I
  • PHY 1400 Conceptual Physics
  • PHY 1401 Physics 1

Linguistic Proficiency

  • Arabic
    • ARB 1310 Arabic for Academic Purposes
    • ARB 1320 Arabic for Communication Purposes
  • French
    • FRN 2310 / FRN 3310
    • French 2310 French for Academic Purposes II
    • French 3310 Advanced French Writing and Speaking Skills
  • English
    • ENG 1301 English Composition
    • ENG 2301 Critical Thinking and Written Communications
    • ENG 2302 Writing for Business
    • ENG 2303 Technical Writing