Undergraduate Learning Outcomes
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:
Diversity & Global Learning
Inquiry & Analysis
Students develop knowledge, skills and capacities through breadth and depth of a liberal education. Whatever their course of study, undergraduates can expect opportunities to work on at least one of these undergraduate learning outcomes in any WOU course they take and to graduate with competency in all of them.
As all undergraduates take part in the general education program, the alignment of the general education learning outcomes to the undergraduate learning outcomes allows undergraduates to grow in their experience with these skills. Careful contextual alignment of major and minor programs to undergraduate learning outcomes allows students to further build and enhance their skills as they grow in a discipline.
General Education Learning Outcomes:
Intellectual foundations and breadth of exposure: Put into practice different and varied forms of knowledge, inquiry, and expression that frame academic and applied learning. Aligns to Written Communication and Quantitative Literacy
Critical thinking: Demonstrate the ability to evaluate information and develop well-reasoned and evidence-based conclusions. Aligns to Inquiry & Analysis.
Citizenship: Articulate the challenges, responsibilities, and privileges of belonging in a complex, diverse, interconnected world. Aligns to Diversity & Global Learning
Multidisciplinary learning: Integrate knowledge, perspectives, and strategies across disciplines to answer questions and solve problems. Aligns to Integrative Learning
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 Student Success and Advising Center before enrolling in WOU courses.
The Baccalaureate Degrees at WOU have all been arranged by the academic programs to appropriately communicate the educational emphasis of the major. Each program has identified the appropriate requirements to both meet this emphasis and provide the requisite knowledge and skills associated with the course of study.
Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.)
B.A.S. 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.
B.A.S. degrees are presently offered in computer science, criminal justice, early childhood studies (non-licensure), economics, gerontology: aging and older adulthood, information systems, liberal studies, professional studies in the deaf community.
See the B.A.S. General Education requirement information.
The B.A.S. 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). B.A.S. 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 B.A.S. 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 B.A.S. curriculum will be determined in consultation with the academic adviser for the specific B.A.S program.
Baccalaureate Degrees (B.A., B.F.A., B.M., and B.S.)
Bachelor of Arts
A B.A. program is one where the emphasis is on educational breadth. Programs with Bachelor of Arts requirements provide students with an education that is organized around a relevant field, but covers a broad range of content, subfields, theories, tools and/or methods.
Bachelor of Science
A B.S. program is one where the emphasis is on educational specialization. Programs with Bachelor of Science requirements provide students with a more academically or professionally focused education, that covers a targeted range of content, subfields, theories, tools and/or methods. B.S requirements are often tailored to a specific set of preparations or professional accrediting standards.
Bachelor of Fine Arts
A B.F.A. program is one where the emphasis is on the specific practice and skills needed to prepare for a professional career in the visual and performing arts. Programs with Bachelor of Fine Arts requirements feature a significant component of studio time as an element of study.
Bachelor of Music
A B.M. program is one where the emphasis on the specific practice and skills needed to prepare for a professional music career. Programs with Bachelor of Music requirements include a course of study that builds toward proficiency in an applied music field.
Concentration and Focus
A concentration is an optional or required set of courses within a major that constitutes a sub-specialty within the discipline. In practice, sub-specialties have a minimum of 12 credits. A concentration is noted on your transcript when your degree is awarded.
A focus is an optional or required set of courses within a major that constitutes a sub-specialty within the discipline. A focus is not noted on your transcript when your degree is awarded.
Certificates & Minors
Certificates enable students to learn specific skills or knowledge, and are often career-focused in intent. Students should consult with their academic adviser about effective pathways toward realizing the educational opportunities and degree they desire.
Certificates may allow students to do any or all of the following:
- Prepare for a career
- Gain specialized skills and knowledge in a specific area related to employment or professional development
- Present potential or current employers with proof of specific skills and knowledge on their WOU transcript
The minor is an option, unless required as part of a specific degree program, 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 optional minor and designated elective credits 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
*Note: Courses that satisfy major requirements may not be used to satisfy minor requirements.
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 either at least 150 credits OR at least 45 of the last 75 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
*Note: For programs that require instruction at another regionally accredited college or university, please consult the academic program entry in the catalog for details regarding the appropriate alternate path to completing the academic residency requirement.
WOU’s Honors Program offers an alternative general education 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. 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 a student attends WOU, it is possible to be admitted before the start of one’s second year. Where appropriate and approved by the Honors Program director, AP, IB and transfer credits will count towards satisfying honors requirements.