The general education program is predicated on the belief that a particular body of knowledge and a particular set of competencies exist which are common to liberally educated people and which enable them to function as whole persons in a pluralistic society. In essence, the purpose of the general education program is to prepare all students to function as individual contributors to society, as members of the larger society, and as members of their native social and political environment.

Since the underlying assumption of the general education program is that there exists a common body of knowledge which binds together all human experiences, then all courses and activities which comprise the general education curriculum are designed around a common set of goals: to acquire, organize, evaluate knowledge and communicate knowledge.

As a result of the general education core and the companion discipline requirements, every Hampton University student prior to graduation should attain the following Core Competencies:

  1. Critical Thinking is the ability to identify how to act after careful evaluation of the evidence and reasoning in a communication.
  2. Ethics is the ability to identify ethical ideas, issues and apply ethical principles and relating to personal, professional and academic conduct.
  3. International Diversity is the ability to understand the social customs, traditions, and artifacts of a culture.
  4. Information and Technology Literacy is the ability to use electronic media to support research activities and the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information and its sources.
  5. Oral Communication is the ability to deliver a spoken message of depth and complexity in a way that elicits a response from an audience of understanding, appreciation, assent or critical inquiry.
  6. Quantitative Reasoning is the ability to use numeral, geometric, and measurement data and concepts, mathematical skills and principles of mathematical reasoning to draw logical conclusions and to make well-reasoned decisions in professional, financial, and/or real world situations
  7. Scientific Reasoning is the ability to describe, understand, predict, and control natural phenomena by adherence to a self-correcting system of inquiry, the scientific method, and reliance on empirical evidence.
  8. Written Communication is the ability to develop and express complex ideas clearly, coherently, and logically in a style appropriate for both purpose and audience and demonstrate mastery of accepted standards of written communication.