The General Education curriculum at Geneseo dates to the early 1980s, when all degree candidates first began to take a "common core" of courses in natural science, social science, fine arts, humanities, and critical reasoning. The curriculum eventually grew to include a course in Non-Western traditions.
In 2000, critical reasoning was replaced by numeric/symbolic reasoning and a first-year course in critical writing/reading. At the same time, the curriculum grew again to include U.S. Histories and foreign language.
The Geneseo community finds its center in the particular ind of learning defined by the term "liberal arts." Traditionally the possession of a free person, a liberal education is also preparation for citizenship in a free society. The citizens of a free society must make choices. Some of these choices are personal, principally affecting the chooser. Others, because they are political, have a much broader impact. The voter who pulls the voting booth lever, freely choosing a candidate or a proposition, chooses not only for him- or herself but for every member of the political community. To equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to make such choices wisely, to prepare them for life in the community beyond Geneseo, is another purpose of Geneseo's general education curriculum.