Emory University’s new Blue General Education Requirement (GER) Plan — which is applicable to the Class of 2027 and future classes — states that students will no longer be able to fulfill GER requirements with Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credits, with the exception of one of two Intercultural Communications courses and the first-year writing requirement. However, students can still use AP and IB credits to fulfill their major’s prerequisites and accelerate into more advanced courses under the new policy.

There are multiple reasons for the change, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Joanne Brzinski wrote in an email to the Wheel. 

“The faculty wanted students to have a common experience in their general education requirements at Emory, so the requirements focus on courses students take as college students, not the work they completed in high school,” Brzinski wrote.

Brzinski also noted that the variability of AP courses offered in high schools around the country creates “an equity issue.”

“Prior to the change this fall for the Class of 2027, some students entered Emory with a great deal of credit toward their general education requirements already fulfilled, and others had to complete all the requirements at Emory,” Brzinski wrote.

Autumn Molina (27C), an IB student in high school, also addressed the equity issue the new policy aims to resolve.

“I see where they’re coming from for students who don’t have access to higher level education like AP or IB,” Molina said. “But I feel like it’s kind of unfair to students who do and worked super hard those years to have this general requirement not to be worried about.”

The Blue Plan requires 15 classes — three fewer than the Gold GER Plan, which is still effective for the Classes of 2024, 2025 and 2026.

“Though all students need to complete the same requirements, there are also fewer courses required to complete those requirements,” Brzinski wrote. 

Emory University Students reflect on changes in required GERs. Courtesy of Hayley Powers/ Visual Editor

Krisha Jain (27C), who took six IB courses in high school, said the Blue Plan has benefited her by giving her a chance to explore her interests. She originally planned to only take business classes but now will try to enroll in astronomy or astrophysics next semester. 

“It benefits me because I’m not 100% sure on my major yet,” Jain said. “Taking new natural science courses or other ones gives me the opportunity to check what I really want to do.”

Jain also said that retaking courses she had already completed would be much easier because she had prior knowledge of class material.

“It is a tiny bit annoying that I already have credits for classes and I have to retake them, but then again it just helps my GPA,” Jain said.

Molina said she wanted to take more challenging classes this year related to nursing, which she plans to major in, but the new policy forces her to retake classes similar to what she took in high school.

“It pushed me back in terms of what I wanted to do here at Emory,” Molina said. “I thought that I could just get my general requirements out of the way and focus on other interests I wanted to do.”

Molina said that the new policy put her back “at square one.”

“I wanted to take advantage of the liberal arts for the first year and explore, but now I feel like I can’t because I have to do the same kind of courses that I was taking,” Molina said. 

Molina said she is still excited about her time at Emory, despite the policy change. 

“My goal here at Emory is just honestly to get the best education,” Molina said.


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Amelia Dasari (she/her) (26C) is from Sharon, Massachusetts, majoring in neuroscience and behavioral biology on the pre-medical track. Outside of the Wheel, Dasari is involved with undergraduate research, Best Buddies, EUMR, RHA, and rez-life. In her free time she enjoys playing the violin, exploring coffee shops, and reading mysteries (especially Agatha Christie).