Frozen Juniper Branch

General Student Inquiry

What is 'University Studies'?

'University Studies' is Southern Oregon University's name for General Education. University Studies connects students to an explicit pathway of learning at Southern Oregon University and to life beyond college. As students complete strands A through J in the areas of Foundations (Strands A, B, C, D), Explorations (Strands E, F, G), and Integrations (Strands H, I, J), they develop an understanding and appreciation for the complexities of the world and their role in it.

How do I complete the University Studies requirements?

Students are advised to complete Foundations (Strands A, B, C, and D) during year one, mixing in Explorations Strands E (Arts and Humanities), F (Social Science), and G (Science: 2 labs and 1 non-lab) during year one, two and three. Integrations courses (Strands H, I and J) are completed during the third and fourth years. There are, however, no specifications regarding the timing of the requirements as long as all are completed by graduation.

How do I decide which courses to take?

Students should select courses based on what seems most interesting and challenging to them. University Studies courses may be useful for exploring possible majors, minors, or certificates of interest. You can find a list of University Studies approved courses here:

Which transfer courses count towards University Studies?

If the course in question was not taken at SOU, please see: A complete listing of SOU courses that meet the goals of University Studies categories can be found at

If I'm planning to study abroad, can I count some of those courses towards University Studies?

Yes! Students should consult with their academic adviser, major adviser or meet with the Division Director of Undergraduate Studies to discuss a plan before they travel. If you transferred in a course that was not recognized as counting for University Studies, you may want to consider filing a Petition for Substitution. Courses from institutions that are not listed on the transfer student website, may still be considered.  Please meet with an academic adviser or major adviser to discuss the option.


University Studies Petition for  Substitution

Can upper division credits (300 - 400 level university classes) count for a Foundations or Explorations course?

No. Classes counted towards completion in the Foundation and Exploration strand areas need to be lower division course work (100 - 200 level, often taken at a community college in Oregon). For Integration courses, only classes completed at a university in the 300 or 300 level (upper division) will be considered.

What is a completed packet for Petition for Substitution?

A completed packet contains the following:
- A completed Petition for Substitution form
- Approval from your adviser
- A course description of the class you would like to have considered (whenever possible, a syllabus should be included)
- A copy of your DegreeWorks degree audit
- An essay describing how the proposed course meets the University Studies strand goal(s) specific to your petition

Still have questions?

Consider meeting with an academic adviser in the Stevenson Union or with your major adviser for assistance with questions about these forms. Only completed packets will be reviewed and signatures must be secured before submittal. Each course being considered for substitution must have a separate petition.


Petition for Substitution Forms

Please carefully review the FAQs in the section above before selecting a form. Depending on the type of course you would like reviewed, please download, print and complete the appropriate form:

Foundation Strands Petition (for Strands A, B and C)

Foundation Strands Petition for Quantitative Reasoning (for Strand D)

Exploration Strands Petition (for Strands E, F and G)

Integration Strands Petition (for Strands H, I and J)

Completed packets can be submitted to:

Elizabeth Whitman, CS 216
Foundation Strand packets (Strands A, B and C)

Dr. Sherry Ettlich, SC 157
Quantitative Reasoning Strand packets (Strand D)

Dr. Lee Ayers, CS 211
Exploration and Integration Strand packets (Strands E, F, G, H, I and J)