No Specific Courses Should be Required in Colleges

Many college and university students complain that they need to take too many obligatory courses that are not related to their major. The students write petitions, discuss this question for many years, but the majority of higher educational institutions create curriculums with the general studies. Even though I agree with the statement that there is no need to take the courses that are not related to the specialization at all, I will try to compare the arguments of both sides to make the situation clearer.

The general education has a serious advantage – it gives all-round knowledge in different spheres of science and art. It is difficult to disagree with argument, because the basic knowledge in languages, art and history is not extra for engineers and managers. Perhaps, those who major in programming do have neither desire nor much talent to learn foreign languages or even write essays in their own. They have a different way of thinking and in their logical world of codes there is a no place verbal beauty. The problem is that even great programmers need to communicate with people, write emails and love letters to their girlfriends without mistakes, and even work abroad. Sometimes the knowledge of English is not a cure-all. That is why the universities and colleges make the language disciplines obligatory for them.

There is a universal counter-evidence to this statement. There is always a possibility for self-education. Nowadays there is no problem in finding information in the Internet and even in taking online courses. As the proverb says, where there is a need, there is a way. The students should always be motivated why they learn something. They know for sure that they have to be good in their major because it is their future profession. However, they really do not understand why it is necessary to learn French, if they can communicate perfectly in English and they do not need to work in France. The lack of motivation makes those obligatory general courses ineffective, so in the end both professors and students loose precious time.

Another argument for attending the courses that are not related to the major is that they teach students to think critically. It makes the brains work harder, if the student needs to master the subject that is not his specialization. However, this theory has more disadvantages in practice than advantages. First, an ability to think critically does not depend upon the subject the person is studying. The only thing that is important is the process of learning and mental abilities to compare facts and make conclusions. Second, it often leads to serious psychological problems. If the person is a talented musician and he/she is bad in mathematics, but still learns it, he/she constantly fails no matter how hard he/she studies. This state leads to depression, appearance of inferiority complex and decrease of self-rating. So, it is evident that there is no need to eat the cactus and to study integrals – it is better to make tequila out of it and learn solfeggio in case of the musical student.

The next argument to support the idea of the necessity of general studies in the college is that the variety of disciplines gives the students an opportunity to choose that they are interested in. This issue might lead to long discussions, because it refers to one of the most urgent problems in modern society like employment after graduation. Time is very expensive and not all students can search for the things that interest them for several years instead of getting a profession. Antique literature is an interesting and challenging thing, but the chances to be employed with such knowledge are low. Colleges do not always filter the disciplines applicable for real life and students might have problems with further professional adaptation.

Another very important issue that supports the idea that extra courses are not needed is money. Paying for tuition is not an easy thing for many families. The general courses are costly, obligatory for all students and in addition are not connected with the major. It is evident that the question of money obstacle for the majority of students.

Lack of money is not the only problem in the question of general studies. Time is also a precious thing that is always in short supply. Many college and university students work part time or have family issues that do not allow them to spend minimum four years “finding themselves”. No matter how good this idea is in theory, the reality where time and money are more important that self-identification makes its corrections.

It is possible to find a college with a flexible curriculum. There is always an option which institution to choose and this question is important, because there is no money-and-time back system in colleges and institutes. That is why every student needs to understand what his /her aim is, whether it is to get more generalized knowledge or to pay more attention to the major. An opportunity to take the courses that are related to the specialization is more practical that attending the disciplines that give the students the basics of everything in the world.


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Why you should consider a college that doesn’t require general education requirements. Education Insuder, Retrieved from

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