General Education

Learning Goals for the General Education Program Top of Page

General Education Requirements for 2014-2016

The goals of the General Education Program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior are to foster the growth of the following skills and habits of mind:

  1. Communication: Students demonstrate effective communication skills in writing, speaking, reading, and listening.
  2. Critical Thinking: Students engage in critical thinking based on multiple forms of evidence.
  3. Creative Expression: Students develop skills in creative expression, including abstract thinking.
  4. Diversity and Global Citizenship: Students demonstrate empathetic and ethical thinking based on knowledge of the diversity of human experience.
  5. Interdisciplinary Connections: Students connect knowledge and methods from a variety of disciplines through courses across the general education curriculum.

Description of General Education Core Categories Top of Page

1. Academic and Professional Writing (WRIT 101 and 102)

Improves students' abilities to read critically and write analytically and clearly; develops their rhetorical skills; enables them to see research as a means of discovering ideas, information, and evidence and to conduct library research; helps them learn to properly acknowledge, cite, and document sources; helps them learn to recognize various persuasive appeals in the arguments of others and to incorporate appropriate, reasoned appeals into their own arguments.

2. Communicating Arts (COMM 110)

Helps students develop essential interpersonal communication, group communication, and public speaking competencies through practice, analysis, and critical exploration of diverse human interactions.

3. Mathematics and Computer Science (MATH & CSCI)

Develops the skills necessary for analytical and quantitative problem-solving in all subjects, using central concepts and methods from mathematics and computer science, including number systems, symbolic representation, formal languages, mathematical modeling, and logical reasoning.

4. Health and Human Performance (HHP 102)

Provides students with a knowledge base, creating a positive attitude and lifelong skills concerning the seven dimensions of wellness:

  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual
  • Career
  • Social
  • Environmental (personal health)

Description of General Education Knowledge Categories Top of Page



Enables students to recognize that reasoned interpretations of the human past must be consistent with verifiable historical evidence and are, nonetheless, contested as they are reshaped to serve the concerns of the present; and empowers students to create personal meaning by developing their own reasoned interpretations of the human past.


Instills the joy of reading literature; stimulates the power of the imagination; promotes the analysis of various types of literary expression; and explores different traditions and modes of telling stories.

World Language, Culture, and Philosophy

Encourages students to make connections across all areas of knowledge, different modes of communication, and diverse cultural, linguistic, and conceptual traditions; and encourages students to develop empathy and understanding for other cultural, linguistic, and conceptual traditions.


Enables students to examine human behavior or interaction using the methods and assumptions of social science research.


Environmental Course

Enables students to understand our natural environment and the effects of human interactions on it.

Lab Course

Enables students to understand the nature of science and scientific inquiry through hands-on experiences.


Fine Arts History, Criticism, and Appreciation

Helps students to analyze, evaluate, and relate artists, creative artifacts, and artistic productions of diverse cultures from ancient times to the present.

Aesthetic Experience

Gives students practical experience in developing their own creativity in one or more genres of expression, and augments appreciation for the diversity of creative communication.

Description of General Education Diversity & Non-Western Categories Top of Page

Diversity Requirement

Promotes understanding of issues arising from diversities such as racial, ethnic, linguistic, class, religious, rural/urban/suburban, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, and national origin.

Non-Western Requirement

Promotes empathetic thinking about the world and its challenges through the study of at least one non-European or non-Euro-American society, country, or region.

General Education Requirements Top of Page

Students should check the Center for Academic Advising or their degree audit for additions or changes in courses that qualify for the General Education requirements.

The General Education requirements below do not necessarily meet the Department of Public Instruction requirements for Teacher Education certification. Check the Teacher Education program requirements for details.

Courses that satisfy a General Education requirement and are required as a part of a major and/or minor can be used to fulfill the General Education and major/minor requirements.

All students entering UW-Superior as freshmen must complete the Core General Education Requirements of WRIT 101 and 102, COMM 110, HHP 102 and their choice of MATH or CSCI among their first 60 credits. Failure to complete these courses by that time will result in a hold being placed on an ensuing registration that does not contain the missing course(s), which may not then be dropped. Students will only be able to register through the Registrar's Office and enrollment in the missing course(s) must be included.

A.  Core Courses

General Education requirements, especially the core courses, should be taken early. Core courses strengthen reading, writing, public speaking, problem solving, analytical, and interpersonal skills. Core courses (WRIT 101 and 102, COMM 110, HHP 102, and the MATH or CSCI course) cannot be applied or substituted for any major or minor requirement.

All core courses should be taken in the freshman and sophomore semesters: WRIT 101 and 102 taken sequentially; COMM 110 in the first year, MATH or CSCI started during the first year; HHP 102 in the first semester.

WRIT 101 and 102 (each 3 credits)

These are required courses for all students. Following the second semester of the freshman year, students who have not completed the College Writing sequence with a grade of C- or better will be required to enroll continuously in WRIT 101 or FYS 116 and WRIT 102 or FYS 117 until the courses have been completed with a grade of C- or better.

Placement in the College Writing sequence is done using students' ACT English or SAT Verbal scores. Prior to the time of enrollment, all entering freshmen, except those whose first language is not English, are required to take the Wisconsin English Placement Test (WEPT) if they do not have ACT or SAT scores. If the WEPT, ACT, or SAT score achieved is below that recommended for enrollment in WRIT 101, the student must be placed in WRIT 099, Fundamentals of Writing. The course must be taken during the first term of attendance or the first time the course is offered, and it may not be postponed. Students must successfully complete WRIT 099 before earning 30 credits. Students must continually enroll in the course until successful completion. WRIT 099 credits do not count toward graduation. If the WEPT, ACT or SAT score achieved is above a certain level, exemption from the WRIT 101 requirement is granted. A transfer student arriving with or near sophomore status but without having completed the full College Writing requirement must immediately enroll in and work continuously toward the completion of the College Writing requirement.

Credit by examination for WRIT 101 or 102 may be earned through taking the CLEP General Examination in English Composition with essay. A student may also earn credit for WRIT 101 through the appropriate AP (Advanced Placement) exam the English Literature and Composition or the English Language and Composition test.

Communicating Arts 110 or FYS 105 (3 credits)

No student may take COMM 110 or FYS 105 on a Pass-Fail basis.

Mathematics and Computer Science (3 credits)

Students must choose a minimum of three credits in MATH and/or CSCI courses from among these courses: MATH 112, 113, 115, 130, 151, 230, 240 or CSCI 101, 201 or FYS 110.

MATH 112, 130 and CSCI 101 are recommended. For students with appropriate preparation, MATH 113, 115, 151, 240 and CSCI 201 are also recommended. Students are encouraged to work with a faculty advisor to select a course appropriate to their level of mathematical preparation, interests, and major field of study.

All students entering UW-Superior are required to take the Wisconsin Math Placement Test. Test results are used to determine which Mathematics and Computer Science courses students are eligible to take at that time. Students with insufficient preparation may become eligible to take more advanced Mathematics and Computer Science courses by completing one or more lower-level courses as indicated by the Math Placement Test results. Students placing into the remedial level MATH 090 or MATH 095 are expected to complete the remedial course before earning 30 credits.

Health and Human Performance 102 (3 credits)

All students must successfully complete HHP 102 Health and Wellness or FYS 100. Students with medical restrictions should contact the coordinator of HHP 102 before the first lab session. All Health and Human Performance department majors and minors must earn a grade of C or better in HHP 102.

B.  Knowledge Categories

The General Education courses listed in the Knowledge Categories expose students to a broad array of concepts, perspectives and methodologies. They all integrate skills from the core courses into their content and require active engagement.

No more than six credits from any one program bearing the same prefix may be applied toward Knowledge Category requirements.

The credits given are the minimum for each category.

NW = Meets non-Western requirement

D = Meets diversity requirement

HUMANITIES (9 credits)

History (3 credits): FNS, 223 (D), 224 (D); FYS 101, 111 (NW), 115, 121 (D): HIST 111, 115(D), 151, 152, 160 (NW), 212, 218 (NW), 219 (NW), 220 (NW), 223 (D), 224 (D), 225 (NW), 230, 231, 240 (NW), 241 (NW), 254 (D), 264, 266, 281 (NW); POLS 175, 264, 266.

Literature (3 credits):  ENGL 211, 212, 221, 222, 228 (D), 229 (D), 241 (NW), 242 (NW); FYS 102, 112 (NW), 122 (D)

World Language, Culture, and Philosophy (3 credits): FNS 101, 110 (D), 201, 230 (D), 242 (D); FREN 101, 102, 201, 202; FYS 103, 113 (NW), 123 (D); GERM 101, 102, 201, 202; MUSI 161 (NW, D); PHIL 151, 160, 211, 212, 262; POLS 101 (NW), 262, 265; PSYC 212; SPAN 101, 102, 201, 202; WLLC 203, 207 and 279

Any foreign language course will meet the Humanities Elective requirement if it is a language proficiency (rather than culture) course and at minimum three credits.

SOCIAL SCIENCES (6 credits) (Must include two different prefixes)

ANTH 101 (D), 205; CJUS 106; ECON 235, 250, 251; FIN 210; FNS 151; FYS 104, 114 (NW), 124 (D); GEOG 100 (NW), 102 (NW); GST 150 (D), 210 (D); LSTU 115, 261; POLS 100, 150, 230, 260; PSYC 101; SOCI 101, 201, 210 (D), 273 (D)

NATURAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE (6 credits) one environmental and one lab course required

Environmental Course: BIOL 100; CHEM 100; FYS 106; GEOL 130

Lab Course: BIOL 111, 115, 123, 130; CHEM 102, 105; FYS 107; GEOL 110, 130; PHYS 100, 107, 160, 201


Art History, Criticism, and Appreciation (3 credits): ART 221, 222, 224 (NW), 331 (NW); COMM 104, 122, 285, 286; FYS 108, 118 (NW), 128 (D); MUSI 160, 266 (D)

Aesthetic Experience (3 credits): ART 101; COMM 125, 180, 200, 273; FYS 109, 119 (NW), 129 (D);  HHP 133; MUSI 104-116, 118, 120-139, 170; WRIT 250, 270

C. Diversity and Non-Western Requirement

Undergraduate coursework must include a minimum of three credits with a focus on issues of diversity. Courses within the Knowledge Categories that also satisfy this requirement are indicated with "D." Students must choose separate diversity and non-western courses.

Diversity (3 credits): ANTH 101; CJUS 312; COMM 467; ENGL 228, 229, 304, 328; FNS 110, 223, 224, 230, 242, 304, 324, 386, 460, 480, 491; FYS 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 128, 129; GST150, 210, 255, 258, 302, 322, 328, 348, 365, 372, 374, 460; HIST 115, 223, 224, 254, 302, 318, 322, 324, 333, 372; LSTU 357, 365; MUSI 161, 266; PHIL 330, 365, 459; POLS 374; PSYC 258, 360, 459; SO W 386; SOCI 210, 273, 460; SPAN 315, TED 270; WRIT 255

Undergraduate coursework must include a minimum of three credits with a focus on non-western issues. Courses within the Knowledge Categories that also satisfy this requirement are indicated with "NW." Students must choose a separate diversity and non-western course.

Non-Western (3 credits): ANTH 306, 315, 320, 368; ART 224, 322, 331; ENGL 241, 242; FNS 368; FYS 111, 112, 113, 114, 118, 119; GEOG 100, 102; GST 302, 372; HIST 160, 218, 219, 220, 225, 240, 241, 281, 302, 306, 333, 368, 369, 371, 372, 384, 385, 393, 394, 395; MUSI 161; PHIL 175; POLS 101;