University Seminar is an academic first-year experience for students entering SOU. This three-term sequence introduces students to key foundational skills that help them develop as researchers, critical thinkers, and communicators-the foundation strands of University Studies. Students have an opportunity to select a sequence designed around a theme relevant to contemporary issues and events. Usually, students remain with the same instructor and classmates for all three terms. The sequence incorporates at least one goal area in civic responsibility, science and technology, or diversity and global awareness.
Enrollment in University Seminar is required of all freshmen who have not completed the equivalent of both WR 121 and WR 122 . Successful completion of all three terms of University Seminar is equivalent to a full year of writing and a course in oral communication.
Through a structured sequence of writing experiences, students progress beyond unsupported assertion to reasoned argumentation and dialogue. Discussion, presentation, and small-group activities are also emphasized. In comparing the University Seminar with traditional communication and writing courses, the following guidelines may be useful: (1) successful completion of USEM 101 with a grade of C- or better is equivalent to 3 credits of introductory writing and 1 credit of communication; (2) successful completion of USEM 102 with a grade of C- or better is equivalent to 3 credits of academic writing and 1 credit of communication; (3) successful completion of USEM 103 with a grade of C- or better is equivalent to 3 credits of academic writing and 1 credit of communication. Only upon completion of the whole sequence do students receive the equivalent of 12 credits in writing and communication.
*The University Seminar administers the lower division WR 122 course. In rare cases, students may need to complete their University Studies written and oral communication requirement through one or more of those courses. Students should contact the University Seminar Office in Central Hall 008 or call 541-552-8160.
Lower Division Courses
University Seminar now teaches introductory composition courses and offers a writing waiver by portfolio. For questions and registration for lower division composition classes (WR 122 or 227), please visit the University Seminar office (Central 008).
*A combined maximum of 8 credit hours of WR 405, 407, and 409 may be applied to the major.