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.