I found this comment on a youtube video:

My own community college graduation is tonight actually. I’m getting two associate’s degrees and will be transferring to University of California, Irvine. I paid about $1800/year out of pocket but saved roughly $65,000 by not going to university right after high school. Community college is a great option and allows you to get your GEs out of the way.

What is a GE?

1 Answer 1


Presumably, "general education [credits]."

In the US, major requirements are broader than elsewhere. For example, students of any major may be required to take a year of a language, or two or three arts classes (for the sciences) or two or three science classes (for the arts).

So, "general education" often refers to these, or entry-level courses like Chemistry 101 that students will often take at community colleges where they are cheaper, and sometimes easier (i.e. not weed-out classes). Often class sizes are smaller, too.

Suggested in the comments was "general electives," which would be similar. You might need 200 credits to graduate, but your major only prescribes 150. So your last 50 credits would be "general electives." Popular ones at my alma mater were drawing classes, Earth Science 101 (space!), or stuff like "Human Sexuality" or "Taboo Language."

They are slightly different in that "general education" credits are required to be those classes, where as electives are class you take just to reach a number of credits.

  • 1
    Synonymous to your description, general electives is another possibility.
    – Cardinal
    Dec 10, 2020 at 19:38
  • @Cardinal Slightly different, but added. Dec 10, 2020 at 19:54
  • 2
    @Cardinal Plausible, but GE/"gen-eds"/"generals" for general education credits is a pretty common term in the US. You wouldn't expect something else unless it was stated.
    – Bryan Krause
    Dec 10, 2020 at 20:15

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