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University Studies Requirements Guide

Welcome to SOU. This is your guide to University Studies, SOU’s general education program. University Studies reflects the SOU Faculty’s academic road map for a sound liberal arts education. It is your responsibility to know and complete all these graduation requirements. The following can be used as a guide to the successful completion of your degree at SOU.

University Studies – Strands, Goals and Proficiencies

General education is one way SOU supports a student’s learning of basic foundational skills and how to become a productive member of society. At SOU, we believe learning to communicate effectively and evaluate information and ideas are essential attributes of an educated person. We also want students to gain a broad understanding of the world and all its diversity. The University Studies program at SOU consists of the following 10 strands which reflect the values of the University Studies Curriculum of SOU’s liberal arts education program:

  • Foundational strands (4): communication; thinking goals; information literacy; quantitative, inductive & deductive reasoning;
  • Exploration strands (3): humanities; social science; and science;
  • Integration strands (3): science, technology and society; citizenship and social responsibility; and diversity & global awareness.

Goals – Within each strand, there are specific goals. These goals describe learning outcomes - the knowledge and skills that students will aim to achieve by taking these courses.

Proficiencies – Each course also has documented proficiencies to measure each student’s success.


A.B.C. Writing and Oral Communication – University Foundations (12 credits, HSE 101, 102 & 103) Communication Goals: Communicate effectively using writing, speech, and image. Thinking Goals: Conceptualize ideas holistically, logically, and creatively. Information Literacy: Access and use information resources effectively and ethically. 

D. Quantitative Reasoning: Effectively formulate and use mathematical models and procedures to address abstract and applied problems. (4 credits)

EXPLORATION STRANDS – University Explorations

E. Humanities (Arts & Letters): Recognize human accomplishments in the creative and performing arts and understand the role of the humanities in clarifying individual and social values. (12 credits)

F. Social Science: Understand fundamental concepts of social science and the interconnections among social institutions, values, individuals and groups. (12 credits)

G. Science (Physical, Biological, and Computer Science): Understand the fundamental concepts, methods and applications of the natural sciences and their impact on human experience. (12 credits)

INTEGRATION STRANDS – University Integrations

H. Science, Technology, and Society: Understand the interactions of science, technology and human affairs. (3-4 credits)

I. Citizenship and Social Responsibility: Understand and apply moral standards to individual conduct and citizenship through ethical inquiry. (3-4 credits)

J. Diversity and Global Awareness: Understand institutions, assumptions and values from national and global perspectives. (3-4 credits)

For a list of all courses that meet A - J strand requirements, please visit:

Advising Roles and Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

  • Devote time to develop your academic plan
  • Bring necessary material to advising sessions
  • Make thoughtful decisions
  • Be open to explore
  • Follow through with your plans
  • Understand why you need to complete certain requirements

Adviser’s Role

  • Know SOU’s academic policies and procedures
  • Allow students to make their own decisions
  • Support student’s best interests
  • Acknowledge your perspective
  • Know SOU student resources
  • Uphold confidentiality laws

Shared Responsibilities

  • Participate actively in the advising partnership
  • Be open to different possibilities and paths
  • Acknowledge different perspectives
  • Be honest with each other
  • Uphold your agreements
  • Respect one another
  • Ask questions for clarification

Advising Tips

Register for classes. Use the following benchmark dates to remind you to make your advising appointment for the next term: Halloween (Oct 31st), Valentine’s Day (Feb 14th), Cinco de Mayo (May 5th).

Check, click on Academic Services, then Registration Timetables; your registration date will be contingent upon how many credits you have completed. 

  • Check for holds on MYSOU – Student SIS WEB before your registration date (e.g. Measles vaccination).
  • Meet with your Academic Advisors often and establish an advising relationship early.
  • Use the resources around you; GET INVOLVED! 

IT HELP Desk contact 541-552-6900 or 

Academic Advising ( – located in the Stevenson Union, call 541-552-6213 for an appointment. 


For more information, visit:

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