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University Studies Program
Pollock House
(920) 424-1402
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The University Studies Program (USP) is UW Oshkosh’s general education program.  

All American universities have a general education program.  The name University Studies Program has been chosen for UW Oshkosh general education to convey that this program is intentionally designed to support high impact practices and inclusive excellence. Some of its unique features are 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. This has all been achieved without adding credits to graduation.

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 WRT 188 (a first-year writing course), Communications 111 (a first-year speaking course), and Writing 288 (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 WRT 188 (Writing) or Comm 111 (Communication), 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 WRT 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
  • Writing 288 – 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)

Follow this link for the
USP General Education Requirements flier.

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.  


Pollock House
765 Algoma Boulevard
Oshkosh, WI 54901

(920) 424-1402