General Education Electives

YOU NEED MORE than the required job skills!

EMPLOYERS WANT people with a broad knowledge base and strong generic skills.

GENERAL EDUCATION courses will help you:

  • become more knowledgeable about the world around you
  • make thoughtful, creative and positive contributions to the society in which you live and work
  • enhance your sense of personal, social and civic responsibility

If you have any Gen-Ed concerns that are not addressed by this FAQ, or if you'd like further information regarding Gen-Ed, please feel free to contact the General Education Coordinator gened [at] (Kim Costello).

What is a General Education Elective?

General Education courses are those designed to broaden your academic base, extending your education beyond the main focus of your program of studies. Most students will be allowed to choose two or three General Education Electives from a menu of courses, each of excellent academic quality. The courses are taught by knowledgeable and experienced faculty from the Humanities & Social Sciences and Language Studies departments. The General Education Elective courses we offer to students are designed to meet the themes of General Education as defined by the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities. These themes are: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, Understanding Science and Technology.

Do I have to take a General Education Elective?

Most, but not all programs require you to take a General Education Elective. You can look up your Program of Studies in the Mohawk College course calendar or use the online version to find your particular program. If a General Education Elective is required, it will be indicated by one or more of the following:

  • OPEL XXXXX General Education (Elective)
  • OPEL XXXXY General Education (Elective)
  • OPEL XXXXZ General Education (Elective)

What courses may I take as a General Education Elective?

When registering for your semester courses on MyMohawk, if you are required to make a General Education selection, the choices will be listed in the block below your mandatory program courses.

You can click on each to get a course description to help you make a choice that meets your interests and fits your personal timetable.

There are courses designed for students whose first language in NOT English. If English is not your first language, it is strongly recommended that you choose one from that list, which can be found at the end of the course description section.

Course offerings vary from semester to semester. Some of or all of the following courses may be available to full-time students, please refer to the proposed Gen-Ed Electives section below. All courses may not be suitable General Education Electives for all programs of studies. If that is the case, a message will indicate which programs are unsuitable for each particular elective.


These are the courses that may usually be offered but there is no guarantee that all will be available in every semester.

View the General Arts and Science (College Transfer) program for more details on each elective.

  • ANTR 10000 - Plagues and People: History of Disease
  • ANTR 10001 - Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTR 10002 - Issues in Health and Healing
  • ANTR 10003 - Intro to Forensic Anthropology
  • ANTR 10004 - DNA: Diet, Nutrition & Ancestry
  • HIST 10020 - History of War & Society in the 20th Century
  • HIST 10023 - Art History
  • HIST 10010 - History: Myth & Reality
  • INDS 10022 - Aboriginal and Western Perspectives
  • INDS 10020 - Through the Medicine Wheel
  • PSOL 10010 - Critical & Innovative Thinking
  • PSOL 10011 - Introduction to Globalization
  • PSOL 10013 - Introduction to Government in Society
  • PSYC 10028 - Positive Psychology
  • PSYC 10030 - Human Relations
  • PSYC 10015 - Human Sexuality
  • PSYC SS271 - Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC SS156 - Introduction to Psychology
  • SSCI 10037 - Environmental Sustainability
  • SSCI 10058 - Aging in Society
  • SSCI AS106 - Popular Culture
  • SSCI SS108 - Introduction to Sociology
  • SSCI SS299 - Society, Technology & Social Issues
  • SSCI 10055 - Social Entrepreneurship
  • SSCI AS105 - Race & Ethnic Dynamics
  • SSCI SS109 - Sociology: Diversity & Social Change

General Education Electives for students whose first language in NOT in English

  • COMM 10304 Job Search Skills
  • COMM 10305 Presenting at Its Best
  • COMM 10306 Let's Talk
  • COMM 10307 Reading in Social Contexts
  • COMM 10308 Pronunciation Made Easy
  • COMM 10309 Cultural Norms at Work
  • COMM 10303 Communicating Across Cultures

How do I register for my General Education Elective?

Registration for General Education courses is accomplished on MyMohawk the same way as you register for your other courses. The only difference is that there will be a variety of courses from which you may make your selection.

When you are required to take a General Education course in a semester, the available courses will appear below the block of your mandatory courses.

When you click on a course name, a description of the course should appear to help you decide which course to choose.

What if a course is full but I really want to take it?

You are advised to register as soon as the registration system will allow (remember to check your MyMohawk mail or targeted announcements for your programs registration date and time). Courses are filled on a first come-first serve basis and seats are limited so, you may need to consider a second or third choice.

Are there any other courses I may take for my General Education Elective?

If you are unable to take your Gen-Ed Elective when required to do so, you may take a General Education Elective course either online through the Distance Education department or in class at night school through the Continuing Education department. Full course fees apply.

Pre-approved courses for General Education have (E) printed beside the course name in the Continuing Education Course Calendar. Remember, the course you select must NOT be related to your Program of Studies. Please verify with the General Education Coordinator gened [at] (Kim Costello) that the course is appropriate for your program.

Continuing Education Calendar to see the current offerings. For your convenience, many of these courses are offered through Distance Education. Please check with the Continuing Education office for details of availability.

Is there any way I may be exempt from taking my General Education Elective?

  1. Yes, you MAY be eligible for exemption from a General Education Elective using a course previously taken at a college or university.

    The course must have, as its major orientation, at least one of the General Education themes: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, Understanding Science and Technology.

    • The course must be unrelated to the student's main program of studies.
    • The course must be at the post-secondary level, usually from an accredited college or university.
    • The course must be a regular credit course graded either alphabetically or numerically.
    • There must be a minimum of 42 hours of classroom instruction involved
    • If the content of a course is unclear from the transcript, it is up to the student to provide further clarification (eg. course description or outline)
  2. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

* We recognize that not all education is gained through formal means. If you have work/life/educational experience that does not meet the above criteria, you may wish to explore the possibility of Credit for Prior Learning.

How do I apply for a General Education Elective exemption?

  1. The application for course exemption is available on-line.
  2. Log into MyMohawk using your personal ID and password.
  3. Click on the MY STUDENT ACCOUNTS tab.
  4. On the right-hand side, scroll down to the "COURSE OPTIONS " block and click on “APPLY FOR A COURSE EXEMPTION”.
  5. Key in your nine digit student number to access the application form.
  6. Select the "GENERAL EDUCATION" bubble, NOT Regular Course Exemption at the top of the page.
  7. Follow directions from there.
  8. You must PRINT OUT YOUR REQUEST and send or take it to The Square at the Fennell Campus.
  9. You must supply an original transcript from any institution other than Mohawk College and a full course outline or syllabus with your request. After delivery of the request and all the required documentation is submitted, check the status of your exemption on the same system to see if it has been approved or denied.

If your credentials are not Canadian, ensure that they have been validated by one of these international accreditation services.

Mohawk College recognizes that not all education is gained through formal means. If you have work/life/educational experience that does not meet the criteria for exemption, you may wish to explore the possibility of having your learning assessed through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition office.

To obtain further assistance with information contact the Prior Learning Assessment office at: 905-575-2395