Jul 18, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

General Education Requirements

General Education at Southern Oregon University

The faculty has developed a General Education curriculum that must be completed by all baccalaureate students regardless of the major or type of baccalaureate degree.

SOU’s compact General Education program is a part of a student’s learning from day one to diploma, seamlessly integrating with their major and giving them more opportunities to earn complementary minors and certificates. As contemporary disciplines and fields of study continue to innovate, SOU knows that strengthening human capacities, no matter a student’s major, will always remain relevant and valuable.

General Education at SOU is made up of 39-44 credits. Students select courses that carry specific capacity designations to develop six critical skills areas:

Purposeful Learning makes a case for intentional lifelong learning and is the foundation for developing all other capacities. The capacity for Purposeful Learning builds perspective and enhances self-knowledge. Purposeful Learning promotes meaningful self-reflection that enables learners to adapt flexibly to changes, explore personal and professional options, productively pursue new opportunities, leverage skills to progress toward goals, and continuously learn and improve.

The capacity for Communication and Expression enables learners to identify, develop, and share ideas in diverse social settings, listen to others, receive feedback, engage in dialogue, and show up in the world proficiently and proactively. Understanding how information is shared, particularly how Communication and Expression function in the information age, is critical to the future.

The capacity for Creativity and Innovation contributes to discovering, planning, and implementing original and valuable approaches to complex problems. Creativity and Innovation foster the deep curiosity and ambition needed for bold, confident action. The capacity for Creativity and Innovation is about self-starting, leading, motivating, and managing creative ideas and solutions.

The capacity for Inquiry and Analysis is the bedrock of all knowledge and discovery.  Inquiry and Analysis prepare learners to ask meaningful questions, apply research methods to those questions, analyze and evaluate data, synthesize information, formulate conclusions, and discover answers for themselves and others. This capacity leads to deeper understanding and ethical decision-making based on solid evidence.

The capacity for Numerical Literacy prepares learners to investigate quantitative questions about our world, apply appropriate mathematical methods of data exploration, and effectively communicate results in various numerical formats. Numerical Literacy is the ability to speak a language crucial to understanding and participating in our complex, data-driven world. Understanding data, facts, figures, and statistics informs opinions, perspectives, and decisions as individuals and members of the larger community.

The capacity for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion prepares learners to contribute to equitable living outcomes in local and global communities, develop empathy and respect, and strengthen the communication tools needed to be contributing members of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive society. This capacity is about working cooperatively and collaboratively with others, valuing our shared humanity and life experiences, and honoring the social awareness that allows us to work well with people from all walks of life.

While no course, program, or major can address every one of these essential capacities, a university education strives to develop them all to a greater degree over time. Lifelong learners know that these skills improve continually with every learning adventure.

Core Capacity Model

Students must complete the following requirements. With the exception of the first-year experience, no more than 4 credits may be taken in any one disciplinary course prefix.

  1. Take the 12-credit first-year experience: WR 121Z , WR 122Z , and WR 123  (or equivalents). This satisfies the Purposeful Learning capacity.
  2. Take a 3-to-4 credit lower-division course in each of the remaining five capacities.
  3. Take an upper-division course in the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion capacity.
  4. Take 8 additional credits of upper-division courses from two different capacities.

Full list of General Education courses  


No more than 4 credits may be taken in any one disciplinary course prefix.   Total Credits:   39-44   Transfer Map

Purposeful Learning:

First Year Experience


WR 121Z 

or equivalent

4 credits required


WR 122Z 

or equivalent

4 credits required


WR 123 

or equivalent

4 credits required


WR 121Z  

will count


WR 122Z  

will count


WR 123 , WR 227, COMM 218Z,

COMM 111Z, or COMM 225

will count

Communication & Expression   One 3-4 credit Lower-Division Course required   3-4   If no direct articulation, any 3-4 credit Lower-Division Communication, English, or Writing course will count
Creativity & Innovation   One 3-4 credit Lower-Division Course required   3-4   If no direct articulation, any 3-4 credit Lower-Division Arts or Humanities course will count
Inquiry & Analysis   One 3-4 credit Lower-Division Course required   3-4   If no direct articulation, any 3-4 credit Lower-Division Social Science or STEM will count
Numerical Literacy   One 3-4 credit Lower-Division Course required   3-4   If no direct articulation, any 3-4 credit Lower-Division Math will count
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion  

One 3-4 credit Lower-Division Course required

4 Upper-Division Credits required

  7-8   If no direct articulation, any 3-4 credit Lower-Division Cultural Competency will count
Upper Division Capacity Exploration  

8 Upper-Division Credits required

No more than 4 in any one capacity


Direct articulation or petition only for Upper-Division requirements

Students who complete their General Education requirements will receive a Certificate in Applied Learning and Essential Skills .