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University Studies Program
Pollock House
(920) 424-1257
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The University Studies Program is UW Oshkosh’s general education program.  

All American universities have a general education program.  What makes the University Studies Program (USP) special are its small, first-year-experience classes, the community engagement experience that second-year students do, and the three signature questions that are woven throughout USP courses.

Typically, students who start at UW Oshkosh with fewer than fifteen college credits* participate in the 3-course Quest sequence of first-year and second-year experiences. Quest courses count as Explore courses. Typically students complete 9 Explore courses.  Along the way, one of these Explore courses will offer a focus on Global Citizenship, while another will offer a focus on Ethnic Studies. Every student also completes WBIS 188 (a first-year writing course), Communications 111 (a first-year speaking course), and English 300 (a second- or third-year writing course). 

*To determine your particular requirements, please meet with your academic advisor.

The program is structured to fit into students’ schedules like this:

When do you take it? What do you take?
1st Semester
  • Quest I – a 25-student Explore course with First-Year Experience
  • A WBIS 188 or Comm 111, paired with your Quest course
2nd Semester
  • Quest II – a 50-student Explore course with a focus on your Future and on Ethical Reasoning
  • Any WBIS 188 or Comm 111, whichever you haven’t taken
2nd Year
(Fall or Spring)
  • Quest III – a 50-student Explore course with Community Experience (some of your learning will happen outside the classroom, with a Community Partner)
Right After Quest III
  • English 300 – also known as Connect – a 28-student course focused on advanced writing and connecting themes learned in Quest courses
Any Time in College Career
  • Whichever Explore courses you have not yet satisfied in the Quest/Explore courses
    • Explore Culture (Arts & Humanities: XC in TitanWeb)
    • Explore Nature (1 Math & 2 Science: XM for Math and XL for Lab Sciences in TitanWeb)
    • Explore Society (Social Sciences: XS in TitanWeb)
  • An Ethnic Studies course (ES in TitanWeb)
  • A Global Citizenship course (GC in TitanWeb)

The USP was designed by the faculty of UW Oshkosh, and students started in the program in the Fall of 2013.  The USP was based on proven
High Impact Practices in higher education, as well as the Essential Learning Outcomes that UW Oshkosh wants every student to have learned by graduation.  

Click on the links above to learn more.  Check out the infographic, below, to get a different view of when you take which courses.


Pollock House
765 Algoma Boulevard
Oshkosh, WI 54901

(920) 424-1257