Learning Outcomes: Undergraduate Education at WOU
At WOU, all undergraduate students develop core skills that will serve them long after they graduate. Undergraduates prepare for 21st-century challenges by gaining skills in the areas of:
Written Communication (W)
Quantitative Literacy (Q)
Inquiry & Analysis (IA)
Integrative Learning (IL)
Undergraduates can expect opportunities to work on at least one of these skills in any WOU course they take and to graduate with competency in all of them. We call these Undergraduate Learning Outcomes (ULOs). Sometimes they are abbreviated as indicated above. The outcomes are drawn from the AAC&Us Liberal Education, America’s Promise (LEAP) framework, which WOU adopted in 2015.
Students study the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, histories, languages and the arts and engage with big questions, both contemporary and enduring. By doing so, students hone their skills and gain knowledge of the human cultures and the physical and natural world.
Students develop the knowledge, skills and capacities through breadth and depth of education including majors, minors, general education and elective coursework. To broaden their academic experience, students are encouraged to take advantage of service learning, research opportunities, international study, internships and student-led, co-curricular activities.
Students are responsible for reading and understanding information in this catalog. All students should regularly seek academic advice. Transfer students, in particular, should consult with an adviser in the Academic Advising and Learning Center before enrolling in WOU courses.
An undergraduate degree consists of 180 credits distributed among three general areas: up to 90 credits for the major program of study (inclusive of all coursework required* by the major) and 90 credits for general education curriculum and free electives (approximately 60 general education requirement credits; with the remainder, approximately 30 credits, reserved for electives).
*Note: completion of some optional pre-professional pathways and additional learning experiences may require students to exceed the 180-credit threshold for the baccalaureate degree. Some degree programs may, to meet state or national accreditation requirements, require more than 180 credits.
All undergraduates must satisfy these university requirements:
- Complete a minimum of 180 credits, including at least 60 upper division credits
- Complete at least 45 of the last 60 credits in Western Oregon University courses
- Maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) for all work completed at WOU
- Students are limited to 16 credit hours for each open-ended course set: (199,399) (403) (406,408) (407) (409)
- Complete a major including at least 36 upper division credits
- Complete the general education requirements appropriate for the degree pursued
Beginning with the 2018-2019 academic catalog, unless required as part of a specific degree program, the minor is an option that students are advised to consider. Often, the minor enables students to augment their primary program of study with a coordinated ancillary program that helps prepare them for postgraduate studies or specific career goals. Students may also choose to take free elective courses that meet their academic interests or career preparation goals. Students should consult with their academic adviser about effective pathways toward realizing the educational opportunities and degree they desire.
The increased flexibility afforded by this change will more effectively support students’ efforts to:
- minimize “lost” transfer credits by using more credits from previous college credit-bearing learning experiences
- pursue a minor, double major, or other elective coursework
- complete an internship, practicum, or study abroad experience if not already required by the chosen major
- improve language proficiency or learn an additional language
Students who started at WOU prior to Fall 2018 have the option of choosing to continue with their existing catalog that requires a minor (if applicable) or choosing to use the 2018 catalog with the new optional minor. Students must fulfil all academic requirements of whichever catalog they choose to follow.
- Applies to students pursuing B.A., B.S., B.F.A. with B.A. general education requirements and B.F.A. with B.S. general education requirements.
- Students must complete the mathematics portion of their graduation requirements by the end of the sophomore year (90 credits); students who fail to meet this requirement will be put on mathematics notice.
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) students complete a 4 credit mathematics course (MTH 105 or above-see MTH course descriptions for prerequisites) and a 2-credit computer science course (CS 101 or above).
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) students will complete a combined total of 11-12 credit hours in mathematics, computer science, and/or designated quantitative literacy courses. A minimum of one course in mathematics at the level of MTH 111 or above (see MTH course descriptions for prerequisites) and one course in computer science (CS 121 or above) is required. The remaining required credit hours may be from either discipline or designated quantitative literacy courses. To enroll in MTH 111 , students must complete MTH 095 with a grade of C- or better, receive a satisfactory score on WOU’s math placement test.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) students will complete the math, computer science, and/or quantitative literacy requirements required by the general education path (B.A., B.S.).
- If any of MTH 211 , MTH 212 , MTH 213 are to be applied toward graduation requirements, the entire sequence must be completed.
- Qualifying quantitative literacy courses, are identified by the “Quantitative Literacy” notation in the catalog and you may search for them using that designation.
- Applies only to students pursuing B.A. and B.F.A. with B.A. general education requirements.
- Proficiency through the third term (second semester) of the second year (usually 24 credit hours) of college work or the equivalent, in a second language. Proficiency is demonstrated by achieving a C- or better in 203 (the last course in second year language study). Students who do not meet this standard, including transfer students from accredited and unaccredited U.S. institutions, can show proficiency by passing the departmental proficiency exam with 80 percent. Native speakers who have attended high school in their own language may not use that language to fulfill this requirement.
- International students whose first language is not English must provide high school or college transcripts as evidence of formal training in the native language and a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 500 (paper based) or a score of at least 61 (internet-based) or a IELTS score of at least 5.0 to the International Education and Development Office. International students must also meet all special graduation requirements related to writing intensive coursework.
- Applies to all students.
- Students will satisfy this requirement by completing six credits of “writing intensive” coursework taken from within any portion of the student’s major or minor program. Writing intensive courses carry a “W” designation. If the course also meets the cultural diversity requirements, it will carry a “C” designation.
- Three credits of this requirement may be met by any upper division non-creative writing course (WR prefix) even if the class does not carry the “W” designation.
- Students must complete WR 122 (or its transfer equivalent) before enrolling in upper division writing intensive courses. Must be passed with a grade of C- or better to meet the LACC requirement.
- Qualifying writing intensive courses, are identified by the “Writing Intensive” notation in the catalog and you may search for them using that designation.
- Applies only to students pursuing B.S., B.M., B.F.A. with B.S. requirements and A.B degree (without a second language).
- Students will satisfy this requirement by successfully completing six credits of coursework that emphasizes a topic or subject dealing with cultural diversity from within any portion of the student’s degree plan. Cultural diversity courses used to complete this requirement carry a special “D” designation. If the course also meets the writing intensive requirements, it will carry a special “C” designation.
- Students meeting the second language requirement for a B.A. degree will have satisfied this requirement.
- Students earning six credits through a WOU study abroad program or international internship will have met the WOU cultural diversity requirement
- International students seeking a degree at WOU will have met the cultural diversity requirement.
- Qualifying cultural diversity courses, are identified by the “Diversity” notation in the catalog and you may search for them using that designation.
Applied Baccalaureate (A.B.)
A.B. degrees serve the needs of individuals with a terminal or non-transfer associate’s degree who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree to advance in their careers, change careers or who may seek to pursue graduate education.
A.B. degrees are presently offered in psychology, gerontology, computer science, information science and economics.
See the Applied Baccalaureate Core for general education requirement information.
The A.B. degree is not open to traditional students currently enrolled at WOU (e.g., students who started college at WOU or came to WOU with a transfer degree such as the AAOT). A.B. students must meet the following criteria: have completed an A.A.S. degree (or other terminal/non-transfer associate degree) or have completed a minimum of 60 quarter credits toward an A.A.S. degree (or other terminal/non-transfer associate degree).
Students who have pursued and/or completed an Oregon Transfer Module (OTM), Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT) degree, Associate of Science Oregon Transfer Business degree, Associate of Science degree or Associate of Science Oregon Transfer (ASOT) are not eligible for admission into the A.B. track. They will be admitted into our traditional B.A., B.S., B.F.A. and B.M. degrees.
Placement of transfer credit units into the A.B. curriculum will be determined in consultation with the academic adviser for the specific A.B. program.
WOU’s Honors Program offers an alternative LACC to students who have demonstrated outstanding ability, motivation and academic achievement. Upon completion of the honors curriculum, honors students are ideally prepared to excel in their academic major and minor courses. Each honors student integrates his or her learning into a thesis/major project that is publicly presented during senior year.
Honors Program courses are open only to students enrolled in the WOU Honors Program. Students interested in exploring the challenge of the Honors Program should contact the honors director as soon as they begin to consider this opportunity. Although acceptance usually occurs before the student attends WOU, a limited number of students can be admitted before the start of their second year. Where appropriate and approved by the Honors Program director, AP, IB and transfer credits will count towards satisfying honors requirements.
In addition to the Honors Program LACC courses (see Honors LACC ), graduation in the Honors Program requires the following additional courses:
Honors colloquia (approved by Honors Program director) (9 credits)
H 303 Thesis Orientation Credits: 1-2
H 353 Thesis Development Credits: 1-2
H 403 Honors Thesis/Senior Project Credits: 1-6
Completion of the honors curriculum satisfies WOU’s writing intensive and cultural diversity requirements.