Apr 24, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED]

University Requirements: General Education, Racial and Ethnic Studies, and Global Perspective

University Requirements

UW-Stout prepares students to graduate with broad, important understandings of daily life in a global society. Thus, there are three university requirements to be fulfilled prior to graduation:

   1. Racial and ethnic studies (RES)

   2. Global perspectives (GLP)

   3. General education (GE, divided into categories and areas)

Within the general education requirement, a single course cannot be used by students to fulfill multiple categories; however, a single course might be eligible for more than one category. For example, CHEM-110 is approved as both Natural Science and Cross-disciplinary Issues, but CHEM-110 will meet just one category in the student’s program.

Note: Some courses fulfill requirements in all three areas. An example of a single course that fulfills GE, RES, and GLP requirements is ANTH-320. Students who select courses that count for more than one requirement (GE, RES and GLP) reduce the total number of courses they take to fulfill the above university requirements.


Racial and Ethnic Studies Requirement (6 credits)

Since Fall 2013, the Racial and Ethnic Studies requirement has been six credits, with a minimum of three credits from the Category RES-A course list.


Global Perspective Requirements (6 credits)

Both the globalization of work and the career education that is part of UW-Stout’s mission make it desirable that students appreciate cultural, economic, political, environmental and social differences. Learning a second language at the college level and developing an understanding of another culture provides students with skills they will use in international situations. To earn a bachelor’s degree, students who started Fall 2010 or later must fulfill a global perspective requirement by:

  • Completing a program of university-approved work or study abroad, or
  • Completing six credits of courses approved as fulfilling the global perspective requirement.

The following Global Perspective (GLP) courses count toward the six-credit requirement:

General Education Requirements (40 credits)

The General Education Program provides the core of what it means to be a well-educated university graduate. The goal is to promote human excellence through a broad foundation of skills and knowledge required to realize a meaningful personal, professional, and civic life. The General Education Program is intended to enable students to contribute to and live responsibly in a diverse, interconnected, and technologically sophisticated global community.

In accordance with the general education program, general education courses should be accessible to a broad audience and should further the goal of providing a well-rounded education regardless of career aspirations or program of study.        

Each degree program has a general education component designed to provide you with knowledge and skills in communication, analytic reasoning, natural sciences, arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, cross-disciplinary issues , social responsibility and ethical reasoning. Listed below are the general education requirements and courses that will fulfill these requirements. General education courses are listed by category and area. Not all courses are offered each semester. Changes to the course list can occur at any time. Some degree programs have specific general education courses that must be taken in order to satisfy certification, accreditation or prerequisite standards. These exceptions are noted on your program plan sheet.

Analytical Reasoning and Natural Sciences (10 credits)

Courses must be from the areas of analytic reasoning and natural sciences. At least one mathematics or statistics course and a natural science course with a lab are required.

Arts and Humanities (6 credits)

Courses must be from two or more areas including art history/music & theater appreciation, creative/performing arts, foreign language and culture, history, literature, and philosophy.

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits)

Courses must be from two or more areas including anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology and sociology.

Cross-disciplinary Issues (3 credits)

Courses must be selected from the list of approved Cross-disciplinary Issues courses.

Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning (3 credits)

Courses must be selected from the list of approved social responsibility and ethical reasoning courses, which includes a wide array of disciplines (e.g., ethics and government, literature, science and society, wellness) and a variety of pedagogical methods (e.g., case studies, small group discussions, service learning, lectures, reading assignments, and activity courses).

Selectives (3 credits)

Courses/credits may be selected from any category to meet the 40-credit requirement.

Communication Skills (9 credits)

Communication skills courses encompass the study and application of expressive and receptive language skills, most often exercised in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, to develop the whole person. These courses ground theoretical and rhetorical concepts in interpersonal, practical, career-focused, and civic minded applications that emphasize communicating effectively and ethically in an increasingly diverse world. They also promote civic engagement and innovative solutions to problems.

Analytical Reasoning and Natural Sciences (10 credits)

Analytic Reasoning

Analytic reasoning is the formulation and critique of deductive and inductive arguments, both quantitative and non-quantitative. This reasoning is essential to many intellectual activities, such as critical thinking, creating new knowledge, and applying reason to solving problems. This requirement aims to engage students in mathematics, logic, statistics, or computer science learning experiences.

Natural Sciences

The Natural Sciences requirement aims to introduce students to the sciences of the physical world, its phenomena, and the laws governing these phenomena. The branches of Natural Sciences–such as astronomy, geosciences, biological sciences, chemistry, physics–deal primarily with matter, energy, and their interrelations and transformations; with living organisms and the principles governing all life forms; and with the physical processes and  composition of nature and its products.

Arts and Humanities (6 credits)


Arts employ conscious use of learned skill and creative imagination in the ideation, production, and analysis of artistic or cultural objects or performances. A flexible category with many disciplines, the arts produce outcomes that range from utilitarian-designed objects to work emphasizing values that stand outside conventional ideas of utility. Engaging with the arts at the university level invokes critical thinking skills, multicultural understanding, and human empathy. Students participating in the creation and critique of cultural objects and performances develop and broaden their individual outlooks which in turn expand and influence the scope of human culture.


Courses in the Humanities aim to build humane values for life in civil society. They investigate constructs and values through disciplines concerned with questions, concepts, and contexts basic to the formation of character and the establishment of humanistic values. Students engage in literary, aesthetic, and intellectual experiences to cultivate, refine, and integrate their faculties of emotion, thought, and body.  Therefore, courses in this category present students with a humanistic experience aimed at fostering appreciation for diverse traditions, cultures, and aesthetics. Students also apply humanistic perspectives to other branches of knowledge and issues of enduring human concern to better understand the interrelationship between creative arts, humanities, and the self. 

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits)

Social Sciences

Social sciences deal with the behavior of societal, economic, political, and cultural groups. This requirement focuses on the academic disciplines of sociology, economics, political science and cultural anthropology, insofar as these disciplines deal with general and non-applied knowledge concerning social behavior.

Behavioral Sciences

The Behavioral Sciences study the psychological behavior of human beings, insofar as this knowledge concerns the human being’s relationships to the self and to other individuals. Criteria focus on the general and non-applied learning experiences in the academic field of psychology.

Cross-disciplinary Issues (3 credits)

Cross-disciplinary Issues courses combine two or more relevant disciplinary perspectives.  These perspectives are used to understand and propose solutions to complex problems that impact society and are relevant to students of all fields and career paths. Focus on issues of significant and current concern.

  • An academic discipline is defined as a well-established and widely acknowledged branch of knowledge for which there are national organizations and professional, peer-reviewed journals dedicated to its study and advancement, as well as terminal degrees available. 
  • Disciplinary perspectives are defined as the body of theories, concepts, methodologies, and ways of looking at the world that are central to an academic discipline, as opposed to a skill set or content area.
  • The General Education Committee (GEC) requires course proposers to identify at least one additional academic discipline outside their area of expertise that will be used, and to consult with experts on campus from that discipline in creating course documentation.
  • Evidence of consultation must be provided, including commentary on the integration of their discipline, although ultimate course alignment with the CISS category is determined by the GEC.

Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning (3 credits)

Social responsibility refers to how we engage in the civic life of our communities and develop the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation for meaningful engagement. Ethical reasoning is reasoning about right and wrong human conduct. This category aims to engage students in thinking about ethics so that they can be informed and active citizens, while also contributing to their respective disciplines, professional fields, and civic life. Students’ sense of social responsibility evolves as they practice ethical decision-making skills and learn how to describe and analyze positions on ethical issues. Ethical reasoning requires students to be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas, and consider the ramifications of alternative actions. 


With careful planning, you may take a single course that fits into areas of general education, racial and ethnic studies, and/or global perspective. While credits count once toward graduation, they may be used to satisfy multiple requirements. When a course meets multiple requirements, codes indicating other categories are listed in parentheses next to the course listing.

Students planning to study abroad should refer to application materials and consult with advisor to see how courses taken abroad satisfy GE and RES requirements.

Exceptions, substitutions, and/or waivers regarding General Education, Racial and Ethnic Studies, or Global Perspective requirements must be approved by the Associate Vice Chancellor.