Southern Oregon University’s new capacity-based General Education model begins in the fall of 2023 and replaces the strand-based University Studies model. Students attending SOU before the fall of 2023 may choose to complete the University Studies model for the catalog year in which they began studies at SOU or change to the new General Education model (learn more about catalog year options on the Academic Policies page). Transfer students who are admitted and attend SOU in the Fall of 2023, and who began academic coursework at another institution before arriving at SOU, will work directly with Student Success Coordinators and/or the Registrar’s Office to articulate to the new General Education model.
During the transition to the new model, course descriptions will list both the General Education Capacity (if any) and/or University Studies Strand (if any) for which a course is approved.
The University Studies model requirements can be found below.
University Studies Requirements
The faculty has developed a core curriculum that must be completed by all baccalaureate students regardless of the major or type of baccalaureate degree. This curriculum is designed to give each student the skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary to become a responsible and productive citizen of an increasingly international community. The core curriculum includes two sets of requirements: University Studies requirements and components in the major.
University Studies, SOU’s student-learning, outcomes-focused, general education program, is designed to provide undergraduates with effective critical thinking, communication, and research skills. These requirements develop in students an awareness of the connections and relationships among the social, artistic, cultural, and scientific traditions of human endeavor. The desired outcome of the University Studies program is a person who is capable of resolving complex issues with intelligence, compassion, and understanding.
The University Studies program includes both lower and upper division requirements. The lower division requirements include the University Seminar, Quantitative Reasoning, and various Explorations courses. The upper division requirements include three Integration courses.
Outline of the University Studies Curriculum
16 credits, earned through University Seminar and Math classes
Strand A: Communication Goals
- USEM 101 - University Seminar 4 credits
- HON 101 - Honors Foundations 4 credits
Strand B: Thinking Goals
- USEM 102 - University Seminar 4 credits
- HON 102 - Honors Foundations 4 credits
Strand C: Information Literacy
- USEM 103 - University Seminar 4 credits
- HON 103 - Honors Foundations 4 credits
*Successful completion (C- or above) of the entire USem, HSE, or HON sequence (101, 102, and 103) is required to satisfy A, B, and C strand requirements.
Strand D: Quantitative Reasoning
Explorations Strands (Lower Division)
24 credits, earned with 2 courses in each of the following categories:
Strand G: Sciences - Physical, Biological, and Computer
Integration Strands (Upper Division)
Select one course in either H or I Strand. Select one course in J Strand. The Integration courses must carry a different prefix.
Strand H: Science, Technology and Society
- ARTH 330 - Art, Culture, and Technology 4 credits
- ARTH 347 - Medicine: Historical Perspectives in Art and Culture 4 credits
- BA 450 - Using GIS in Business 4 credits
- BI 451 - Microbiology 5 credits
- BI 451L - Microbiology Laboratory 0 credits
- BI 382 - Biology and Society 3 credits
- CS 346 - Computer Forensics 4 credits
- CH 300 - Forensic Investigation 4 credits
- CH 320 - The Elements of Disaster 4 credits
- CH 325 - The Chemistry of Drugs 4 credits
- CH 330 - Metals and Civilization 3 credits
- COMM 460D - Technology, Communication, and Culture 4 credits
- COMM 460E - Visual Communication 4 credits
- COMM 486 - Health, the Internet, and Technology 4 credits
- ED 437 - Science and the Young Child 4 credits
- EMDA 331 - The Art of Data 4 credits
- ENG 383A - Environmental Writing 4 credits
- ENG 456 - The History of Publishing: From Alphabet to E-Book 4 credits
- ENG 480 - Advanced Topics in Rhetoric 4 credits (when topic is Podcasting)
- ENG 497 - Language and Law: Forensic Linguistics 4 credits
- ES 353 - Oceanography 4 credits
- ES 354 - Marine Conservation: Science, Policy, and Management 4 credits
- ES 360 - Environmental Geology 4 credits
- ES 379 - Biodiversity 4 credits
- ES 486 - Environmental Data Analysis 5 credits
- ES 481 - Geomorphology 4 credits
- GSWS 313 - Fat Studies: Bodies, Culture, and Politics 4 credits
- HON 319 - Science, Nature, and Society 4 credits
- HST 393 - Oil, Politics, and the Environment 4 credits
- PS 393 - Oil, Politics, and the Environment 4 credits
- HST 421 - Environmental History 4 credits
- INL 437 - Creative Thinking 4 credits
- NAS 331 - Language Revitalization 4 credits
- OAL 470 - Environmental Physiology 3 credits
- PE 470 - Environmental Physiology 3 credits
- PH 306 - Sustainability: Materials Technology and Design 3 credits
- PH 308 - Energy and the Environment 3 credits
- PH 309 - Energy Alternatives 3 credits
- PH 310 - Energy Policy 3 credits
- PH 312 - Space, Time, and the Cosmos 3 credits
- PH 313 - Acoustics, Sound, and Music 3 credits
- PH 314 - Light, Vision, and Optical Phenomena 3 credits
- PH 315 - Cosmology 3 credits
- PH 361 - Digital Electronics 5 credits
- PHL 329 - Science and Religion: Critical Explorations 4 credits
- PHL 330 - Science, Democracy, and Citizenship 4 credits
- PHL 339 - History and Philosophy of Science 4 credits
- PS 340 - Law, Science, and the Environment 4 credits
- PSY 437 - Creative Thinking 4 credits
- SOAN 350 - Human Evolution 4 credits
- SOAN 355 - People and Forests 4 credits
Strand I: Citizenship and Social Responsibility
Strand J: Diversity and Global Awareness
- ARTH 311 - Art and Music of the Twentieth Century to Present 4 credits
- MUS 311 - Art and Music of the Twentieth Century to Present 4 credits
- ARTH 343 - Globalization and Contemporary Art 4 credits
- ARTH 344 - Art, Culture, and Politics 4 credits
- ARTH 450 - Race, Gender, and Ethnicity in Art 4 credits
- BA 447 - International Marketing 4 credits
- BA 475 - Organizational Behavior 4 credits
- BA 476 - Business Ethics 4 credits
- BA 477 - International Business 4 credits
- CCJ 361 - Juvenile Delinquency 4 credits
- FR 350 - Topics in French Film 4 credits
- DCIN 364 - Theories of Film Production 4 credits
- COMM 441 - International Communication 4 credits
- COMM 460A - Women Transforming Language 4 credits
- EC 389 - America in the Global Economy 4 credits
- ED 398 - Teaching Global Perspectives Through Children’s Literature 4 credits
- ENG 398 - Teaching Global Perspectives Through Children’s Literature 4 credits
- ED 438 - Children Around the World 4 credits
- ED 460 - Multicultural Education 4 credits
- ED 477 - Honors Multicultural Education 3 credits
- ENG 341 - Class, Culture, and Feminism in Victorian and Edwardian England 4 credits
- ENG 347 - Slumming in the Nineteenth Century 4 credits
- ENG 443 - Chicanx Literature 4 credits
- ENG 447A - Irish Literature 4 credits
- ENG 447B - Race in Britain: Literature after 1945 4 credits
- ENG 447C - The Decadent 1890s 4 credits
- ENG 447E - The Harlem Renaissance 4 credits
- ENG 447F - African American Literature: Urban Realism 4 credits
- ENG 447G - African American Women and Unknowability 4 credits
- ENG 447H - Poetry of Witness 4 credits
- ENG 448A - James Baldwin 4 credits
- ENG 454A - U.S. Ethnic Literature and Societal Stereotype 4 credits
- ENG 454B - U.S. Ethnic Literature and the American Dream 4 credits
- ENG 457 - Decolonization: Literature and Theory 4 credits
- ENG 491 - History of the English Language 4 credits
- GSWS 301 - Global Gender Movements 4 credits
- GSWS 302 - Contemporary U.S. Women’s Movements 4 credits
- GSWS 311 - Masculinities 4 credits
- GSWS 312 - Trans Histories, Trans Futures 4 credits
- GSWS 343 - Gender, Race, and the Body 4 credits
- SOAN 343 - Gender, Race, and the Body 4 credits
- GSWS 417 - Sexual Politics in U.S. History 4 credits
- HON 315 - Art, Culture, and Humanities 4 credits
- HST 320 - Religion in America 4 credits
- HST 342 - Modern Europe 4 credits
- IS 350 - World Politics 4 credits
- IS 370 - Topics in International Political Economy 4 credits
- IS 380 - Regional and Country Studies 4 credits
- MUS 360 - Music History: Early Music Through Baroque 3 credits
- MUS 361 - Music History: Classical & Romantic Music 3 credits
- MUS 362 - Music History: 20th Century Music to Present 3 credits
- NAS 318 - Native North America 4 credits
- NAS 375 - Representing “el indio” in Latin American Anthropology, Literature, and Culture 4 credits
- NAS 440 - American Indian Identities 4 credits
- PHL 373 - Philosophy and Sexuality 4 credits
- PS 320 - International Law 4 credits
- PSY 313 - Human Behavior and Film 4 credits
- PSY 369 - Human Sexuality 4 credits
- PSY 432 - Personality 4 credits
- PSY 479 - Abnormal Psychology 4 credits
- SOAN 310 - Topics in American Culture and Society 4 credits
- SOAN 319 - Cultures of the World 4 credits
- SOAN 323 - Sociology of Sports 4 credits
- SOAN 333 - Global Culture, Media, and Politics 4 credits
- SOAN 334 - Anthropological Perspectives on the Native American Frontier 4 credits
- SOAN 336 - Topics in Global/Local Interconnections 4 credits
- SOAN 337 - Racial and Ethnic Relations 4 credits
- SOAN 339 - Vikings in Anthropology, History, and Contemporary Society 4 credits
- SOAN 340 - Anthropology and Sociology of Gender 4 credits
- TA 349 - Fashion in Western Culture 4 credits
- TA 458 - Topics in Drama 4 credits
- UGS 325 - Diversity Dialogues 4 credits
Components in the Major
Each academic major leading to a bachelor’s degree includes two upper division requirements for students completing that major.
Writing and Research Component
Demonstrate writing and research skills within the academic field of study chosen as a major. This upper division requirement is in addition to the University Studies writing requirement. It is met through coursework in the major that is designed to encourage the use of professional literature.
Students who have achieved the writing and research goals will be able to:
- systematically identify, locate, and select information and professional literature in both print and electronic formats within the knowledge base of the specific discipline;
- critically evaluate such materials;
- use the materials in a way that demonstrates understanding and synthesis of the subject matter; and
- develop cohesive research papers that use data and professional literature as evidence to support an argument or thesis following the style and conventions within the discipline of the major.
Complete a capstone experience designed to focus on and provide understanding of the major field of study. Each program specifies the manner in which its majors must meet these requirements. There is variation among fields of study. Please refer to the program listing of major requirements for details regarding the implementation of these requirements.
SOU is committed to improving the quality of instruction by assessing student outcomes. The University determines the progress of the learning process by relating outcomes to clearly defined learning objectives. During their collegiate careers, students actively participate in the outcomes assessment process. Student participation contributes to curriculum design and the evolution of the learning community.
Transfer Student Policies
Students entering SOU with transfer credit from an accredited institution must meet one of the following lower division general education requirement options listed below. In addition, all students must complete three upper division University Studies Integration courses at SOU. Students entering SOU with transfer credit will be assigned to one of the following options:
Lower Division University Studies Requirement Options
Students entering SOU with transfer credit will be assigned to one of the following options:
Option 2. Completion of any one of the following: Associate of Arts-Oregon Transfer degree (AAOT), Associate of Science-Oregon Transfer degree (ASOT), Oregon Transfer Module (OTM) as certified by an Oregon community college, Direct Transfer Associate Degree (DTA) as certified by a Washington college, or an Associate Degree for Transfer (AA/AS Transfer) as certified by a California community college.
Option 3. Completion of general education requirements at an accredited four-year institution of higher education. Students must provide documentation from the institution stating that general education requirements were met.
Option 4. Completion of Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) or the California State University requirements, or an Articulated Program Agreement with Southern Oregon University. Students must provide documentation stating this curriculum was completed.
Upper Division University Studies Requirements
All students (in all transfer options) must complete the upper division Integration course requirements (6-8 credits), one course from each of the following:
- Strand H: Science, Technology, and Society (3-4 credits)
- Strand I: Citizenship and Social Responsibility (3-4 credits)
- Strand J: Diversity and Global Awareness (3-4 credits)
For the most recent list of upper division Integration courses in the University Studies program, see the class schedule on the SOU website.
Guidelines for Normal Progress
The following serves as a guide for students and advisors to assess the rate at which students should complete University Studies and major requirements.
- At the completion of 45 credits of study applicable to a bachelor’s degree, the student should have:
- a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA; and
- completed 12 credits of the University Seminar and at least 12 credits of lower division Explorations courses.
- At the completion of 91 credits of study applicable to a bachelor’s degree, the student should have:
- a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA;
- completed all 24 credits of the lower division Explorations courses and a Quantitative Reasoning course or sequence; and
- declared a major. Registration is blocked for any student who has not declared a major after the completion of 91 credits.
- At the completion of 144 credits of study applicable to a bachelor’s degree, the student should have:
- obtained a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA;
- completed at least one of the two upper division Integration courses;
- completed at least half of the credits in the declared major; and
- completed at least 30 credits of upper division coursework.
- At the completion of 180 credits of study, the student should have completed all requirements for the baccalaureate degree.
Guidelines for Normal Progress Notes
- Most baccalaureate degree programs at Southern Oregon University are designed to be completed in four academic years at an average academic load of 16 credits a quarter. Some students, however, pursue the degree at an average rate of fewer than 16 credits a quarter and complete the degree in a proportionately longer period of time. The guidelines above address the content of the program rather than the rate at which the student pursues the degree. Consequently, these guidelines are applicable to both full-time and part-time students.
- The guidelines above are designed for a student whose total academic program is at Southern Oregon University. A transfer student’s normal progress toward a degree should be evaluated on the basis of credits accepted for transfer to SOU by the Admissions Office plus credits completed at the University.
- Some majors, particularly in the sciences and preprofessional programs, require a heavy academic load in the major and supporting areas during the first two years due to the sequential structure of the major program. Students in these majors may need to delay certain elements of the University Studies program until their junior or senior year. These students and their advisors may need to modify items 1b, 2b, and 3b of these guidelines to accommodate the special needs of the major.