Mar 29, 2020  
2015-16 Catalog 
2015-16 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Division of Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate Studies is collaboration across divisions and programs providing students a broader knowledge of the wider world through University Studies foundations, explorations, and integrations curriculum; engaging students in transformational change to thrive in a contemporary world.

Undergraduate Studies offers all students an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. SOU’s general education program, known as University Studies or UStudies, reflects the SOU Faculty’s academic road map for a sound liberal arts education.  UStudies, the driver of general education, provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world through foundations, explorations, and integration courses. Built on student learning outcomes and progressively challenging courses, UStudies helps students adapt knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new challenges. The curriculum allows for alignment of course work, balancing learning in the majors with a broader perspective of liberal arts and fosters civic, social, and personal responsibility. The curriculum is also based on student learning, with specific learning proficiencies embedded in courses that qualify for UStudies. 

University Studies Strands A - J

  • Foundation Learning Goals (A, B, C, D) stress developing and enhancing fundamental communication, critical thinking, information literacy, and quantitative reasoning skills.
  • Explorations Learning Goals (E, F, G) stress acquiring a broadly informed knowledge of the various disciplines and becoming familiar with the kinds of inquiry that occur within the aesthetic, social, and scientific worlds.
  • Integrations Learning Goals (H, I, J) stress the deepening, application and transfer of knowledge across the disciplines. Students explore ethical perspectives in science and technology, citizenship and community, and diversity and global awareness.

Undergraduate Studies provides oversight for the following areas. University Studies is predominately the driver of the oversight:  University Studies, the SOU complete general education model includes: approval of University Studies courses, implementation and scheduling of University Studies classes, and assisting with assessment of student work samples.

  • University Seminar (First year experience) Completes strands A, B, C
  • House Experience (Three year experience) Completes stands A, B, & C; one E, F, & G exploration strand; as well as all H, I, & J strand integration requirements.
  • Honors College (General Education) All General Education Completed in Honors
  • Accelerated Baccalaureate Program (Degree in 3: General Education Model Augmented)
  • Academic English for ESOL Students Complete strand E for ESOL students
  • Success at Southern (Support for Student Success)
  • Learning Commons (Support for Student Success)

House Experience

Along with pursuing a traditional major, House members participate each term in a problem-based seminar that cover our university’s general education requirements and foster supportive relationships with faculty, staff, and other students.  The House Experience goes beyond the structured core general education . The House Experience offers students a three year approach to completing the majority of the required general education .  Houses are learning communities with shared common interests that matter in the real world.  Houses provide an educational experience that consciously ignites passion, creativity and curiosity through practical application, collaboration, adventure, and a strong sense of community.  Education in the House Experience  is a change from the typical classroom; house members consider real world issues in a hands-on way-not only to learn about them through experience, but to actually start problem-solving.

The House first year is an academic 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 in the House Experience remain with the same instructors and classmates for all three terms. The sequence incorporates University Studies Foundational goals and completes strands A, B, and C. Enrollment in University Seminar or a House Experience is required of all freshmen who have not completed the equivalent of both WR 121 and WR 122  prior to attending SOU. Successful completion of all three terms of House 101, 102 and 103 is equivalent to a full year of writing and a course in oral communication (must earn a C- or better in each section must be earned).

Students transferring writing and oral communication credits to Southern Oregon University are welcome to join a House Experience in year two. House Experience 201, 202, and 203 completes one course of Explorations in strands E, F, and G. Three courses in each of the Exploration strands are required. The third year of the House Experience 301, 302 and 303 completes the Integration strands (H, I and J) of the University Studies general education requirements. Core General Education  University Studies requirements include strands A - J. Students can complete almost all of their general education in the House Experience. 


Foundational Skills

USEM 101, 102, 103 = A, B, and C strands

Mth = D* completed outside of the House


(HSE 201 E strand, 202 F strand, and 203 G strand)

Humanities = E *

Social Science = F *

Science = G *

*Students complete 2 additional sections of each explorations strand outside of the House Experience to meet full general education requirements.


HSE 301 = H, HSE 302= I and HSE 303 = J strand)

Strand H (Science, Technology and Society)

Strand I (Citizenship and Social Responsibility)

Strand J (Diversity and Global Awareness)