May 18, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2016-2017 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 Contemporary 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, contemporary 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.

Contemporary Issues (3 credits)

Courses must be selected from the list of approved contemporary 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.

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, problem-solving, creating and applying. This component requires students to engage in general learning experiences in mathematics, logic, statistics, or computer science.

Natural Sciences

The Natural Sciences are 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 vital processes; with the laws and phenomena relating to organisms, plants and animal life; with the physical processes and phenomena of particular systems; and with the physical properties and composition of nature and its products.

Arts and Humanities (6 credits)


Arts employ conscious use of skill and creative imagination in the production of artistic objects or performances which stress values that stand outside of conventional ideas of utility.


The Humanities investigate human constructs and values, as opposed to those studies that investigate natural and physical processes and those that are concerned with the development of basic or professional skills. The humanistic disciplines–such as art history/music & theatre appreciation, creative/performing arts, foreign language & culture, history, literature, and philosophy–are concerned with questions, issues and concepts basic to the formation of character and the establishment of values in a human context; they induce an organic study of letters and knowledge; they provide literary, aesthetic and intellectual experiences which enrich and enlighten human life.


Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits)

Social Sciences

The social sciences formulate and verify general hypotheses regarding human behavior. The social sciences deal with the behavior of societal, economic, political and cultural groups. Consequently this component 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 include general knowledge about 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 applied learning experiences in the field of psychology.

Contemporary Issues (3 credits)

Contemporary Issues courses engage students in interdisciplinary learning experiences focused on significant issues of current concern. These courses immerse students in the analysis of significant and current issues that require two or more disciplinary perspectives to synthesize solutions. Contemporary Issues courses aim at understanding the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge and the application of an interdisciplinary approach needed to solve many complex contemporary problems.

Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning (3 credits)

Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning courses engage students in identifying, analyzing, and evaluating issues involving social responsibility and/or ethical decision making. This can be done in the context of a variety 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).


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.