General education philosophy
The major goals of Oakland University’s General Education program are to introduce students to a broad base of knowledge and to develop their analytical and evaluative skills, creating a solid foundation for productive and fulfilling lives of leadership, innovation and service. A well-educated person is not a narrow specialist, and the breadth of knowledge acquired through general education cannot be found in any single major. Through its three-part structure of Foundations, Explorations, and Integration, the General Education program complements the major to increase the student’s flexibility and options upon graduation.
- The FOUNDATION areas that all students must master are Writing Foundations and Formal Reasoning. These courses develop skills and understanding that are invaluable for all of the student’s subsequent education.
- The EXPLORATION areas that students must take include: Arts, Foreign Language and Culture, Literature, Global Perspectives, Natural Science and Technology, Social Science and Western Civilization. In addition to fundamental abilities, a well-educated person should also have a critical appreciation of the ways we gain knowledge and an understanding of the universe, of society, and of humankind that these courses develop. The Foreign Language & Culture General Education area is waived for international students whose native language is not English and who have completed the equivalent of a high school diploma at a school that used a language other than English for instruction. Appropriate documentation attesting to the language of instruction and graduation from high school programs is necessary.
- The INTEGRATION areas that students must master include: Knowledge Applications and the Capstone. For the well-educated person, the knowledge and capacities of the various disciplines and majors do not exist in isolation but form an integrated whole. The Integration Areas allow students to synthesize their knowledge, to see connections among the various disciplines and to apply their knowledge to real world problems. This integrated knowledge forms the basis for students to continue to learn and grow throughout their lives and prepares them for productive lives of service and leadership.
Oakland University’s General Education program also helps students develop more advanced writing skills, a breadth in understanding diversity issues in the United States, and a continuous education in the range of intellectual capacities that cut across all areas and disciplines.
- Through two WRITING INTENSIVE courses, students gain a depth in both general and discipline-specific writing abilities. Writing Intensive in General Education and Writing Intensive in the Major may be found in courses that also satisfy the Explorations and Integration areas.
- Oakland University is also committed to ensuring that students develop an understanding of the history, strengths and the challenges of the diversity found across the United States. Through U.S. DIVERSITY courses students develop an understanding of the history, strengths, and the challenges of the diversity found across the United States. U.S. diversity courses may also satisfy other areas within the General Education structure.
A sound education also requires capacities that cut across all of these areas, and general education courses are designed to enhance students’ abilities in critical thinking, information literacy, effective communication and social awareness.
General Education requirements
Each candidate for an Oakland University baccalaureate is required to satisfactorily complete approved courses in each of the following areas: Foundations, Explorations, and Integration. To fulfill the Foundations requirement, students must satisfactorily complete at least one approved course in both Writing Foundations (F.1) and Formal Reasoning (F.2). To fulfill the Explorations requirements students must satisfactorily complete at least one approved course in each of the following 7 subject areas: Arts (E.1), Foreign Language and Culture (E.2), Global Perspectives (E.3), Literature (E.4), Natural Science & Technology (E.5), Social Science (E.6), and Western Civilization (E.7). To fulfill the Integration requirement students must satisfactorily complete at least one approved course in both Knowledge Application (I.1) and Capstone (I.2). Students should make sure that three of these courses also fulfill their Writing Intensive in General Education (WI.1), Writing Intensive in the Major (WI.2), and U.S. Diversity requirements.
All students must complete all requirements of general education, including one course (of three or more credits) from the list of approved courses offered in each of the following 10 areas: Writing Foundations and Formal Reasoning (F.1 - F.2), Arts, Foreign Language and Culture, Global Perspectives, Literature, Natural Science and Technology, Social Science, Western Civilization (E.1 - E.7), and Knowledge Applications (I.1). Note that courses in these knowledge areas may not double count with each other.
Students using this catalog to meet general education requirements may also use any course subsequently approved by the General Education Committee and published in a later catalog to satisfy requirements in a particular area. If a course listed below is removed from lists of approved courses in later catalogs, it may still be used to meet a general education requirement by students following the 2017-2018 catalog until the catalog expires (six years).
Transfer students should refer to the course catalog section, Transfer Student Information.
F.1. Writing Foundations
The Writing Foundations area prepares students to demonstrate:
- knowledge of the elements, writing processes and organizing strategies for creating analytical and expository prose
- effective rhetorical strategies appropriate to the topic, audience, context and purpose
[For alternative ways of meeting this requirement, see the Writing Requirements section that follows the listing of general education area courses]. Students must earn at least a C in WRT 1060 to meet the Writing Foundations requirement.
F.2. Formal Reasoning
The formal reasoning area prepares students to demonstrate:
- knowledge of one or more formal reasoning systems such as computer programming, mathematics, statistics, linguistics or logic
- application of formal reasoning to read, understand, model and solve problems across a variety of applications
[Note: Formal Reasoning course must be taken prior to student’s junior standing]
The Arts area prepares students to demonstrate:
- knowledge of cultural or historic artistic traditions in visual, auditory, movement, theatrical or cinematic art
- knowledge of the role of art as critical commentary on society and as an aesthetic expression of experience
E.2. Foreign Language and Culture
The Foreign Language and Culture area prepares students to demonstrate:
- knowledge of a foreign language and culture
- knowledge of linguistic and cultural diversity and the contributions of such diversity to the global society
[Note: Courses do not count for Global Perspective area]
Students may meet this requirement in one of the following ways:
- satisfactory completion of any of the courses in the list below;
- satisfactory completion of a course that has as its prerequisite a 1140 level language course (providing the credits from the upper-level course are not used to satisfy any other general education area requirement).
E.3. Global Perspective
The Global Perspective area prepares students to demonstrate:
- knowledge of the environments, political systems, economies, societies and religions of one or more regions outside the United States and awareness of the transnational flow of goods, peoples, ideas and values
- knowledge of the role that different cultural heritages, past and present, play in forming values in another part of the world, enabling the student to function within a more global context
The Literature area prepares students to demonstrate:
- knowledge of how literature is an expression of culture
- knowledge of literary form
E.5. Natural Science and Technology
The Natural Science and Technology area prepares students to demonstrate:
- knowledge of major concepts from natural science or technology, including developing and testing of hypotheses; drawing conclusions; and reporting of findings and some laboratory experience or an effective substitute
- how to evaluate sources of information in science or technology
E.6. Social Science
The Social Science area prepares students to demonstrate:
- knowledge of concepts, methods and theories designed to enhance understanding of human behavior and/or societies
- application of concepts and theories to problems involving individuals, institutions, or nations
E.7. Western Civilization
The Western Civilization area prepares students to demonstrate:
- knowledge of the historical events and/or philosophical ideas of European or American culture
- knowledge of how Western ideas or institutions have evolved over time
I.1. Knowledge Applications
The Knowledge Applications area prepares students to demonstrate:
- how knowledge in a field outside of the student’s major can be evaluated and applied to solve problems across a range of applications
- knowledge of the personal, professional, ethical, and societal implications of these applications
[Note: Course must be outside the rubric of the student’s major.] Prerequisite for the application area is shown in parentheses.
The Capstone course prepares students to demonstrate:
- appropriate uses of a variety of methods of inquiry and a recognition of ethical considerations that arise
- the ability to integrate the knowledge learned in general education and its relevance to the student’s life and career
[Note: Requirement may be met by an approved course in the major or an approved course outside of the major.]
Courses approved to meet this requirement will be announced. Please check with your adviser.
WI.1. General Education Writing Intensive
(Note: Requirement cannot be met with or . Course may double count with an approved general education course. Students must have earned a grade of C in the Writing Foundations course to enroll in a Writing Intensive in General Education course. Students may substitute a second course from Writing Intensive in the Major (WI.2.) to satisfy this requirement. Students may not apply non-classroom experience (course competency, Advanced Placement and/or CLEP credits) to satisfy General Education requirements for Writing Intensive in General Education.)
WI.2. Writing Intensive in the Major
(Note: Course may double count with an approved major course. Students must have earned a grade of C in the Writing Foundations course to enroll in a Writing Intensive in the Major course. Students whose major department does not offer a Writing Intensive in the Major course may substitute a second course from Writing Intensive in General Education (WI.1.) to satisfy this requirement. Students may not apply non-classroom experience (course competency, Advanced Placement and/or CLEP credits) to satisfy General Education requirements for Writing Intensive in the Major.
U.S. Diversity prepares the student to demonstrate knowledge of how diverse value systems and societal structures in the United States are influenced by at least two of the following: race, gender, and ethnicity identify major challenges and issues these raise in society. Approved diversity courses may double count in the major and/or general education.