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Curricular Reform: Big Picture Thinking

Moving Toward a General Education "Program"—More Clarity, Less Confusion


  • Many of us thoroughly understand how to advise majors, minors, and emphases in our own programs but we may be less familiar with other components of the curriculum.
  • As you begin to think about the General Education courses you offer now (as individuals, programs, and departments) and the courses you may offer in the new General Education program, further clarity may be needed.
  • As the draft proposal for General Education continues to be discussed, many comments reveal confusion among us about the differences between General Education requirements and Degree requirements.


  • Of the 120 credits needed for graduation, a minimum of 42 are designated as "General Education" courses required of all students (regardless of degree or major).
  • In addition to those courses, various degrees have their own requirements (for example, additional lab science courses for those seeking a B.S. degree).
  • Each of the many degrees that UW Oshkosh students can earn has a list of specific requirements. Some of the courses that fulfill degree requirements may be taken by large numbers of students, but they are not "General Education" courses.
  • Currently, the academic community is engaged in a reform of General Education. The draft proposal for Gen Ed is focused on the 42 credits required of all students, not the degree requirements.
  • To see where courses in your department or program currently fit (Gen Ed or Degree), check this concise chart. The current General Education requirements are listed under the title "Minimum University Requirements."

Thank you for your continued collective effort as we work to create a cohesive, intentional General Education program designed to educate citizens for the 21st century.


Stay Up to Date with General Education Reform at: uwosh.edu/usp


Participate in the General Education Reform Discussion


Schedule a Visit from a Member of the General Education Reform Team

Questions or Comments?
Please send them to Lori Carrell, CETL Director and General Education Reform Facilitator, at carrell@uwosh.edu.
Watch for General Education Reform each Tuesday of the Fall 2011 Semester!
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
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