General Education, Racial and Ethnic Studies, and Global Perspective Requirements

This section describes the purpose of and outlines the requirements of each of these course categories.

Each degree program has a general education component designed to provide you with knowledge and skills in communication, analytic reasoning, natural sciences, arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, contemporary issues, social responsibility and ethical reasoning.

The university also requires students to take courses to learn about the diverse cultures that make up the United States. With careful planning, some of the general education courses and racial and ethnic studies courses may overlap. That is, you may take a course that meets both general education and racial and ethnic studies requirements. While the credits you earn count once toward graduation, they may be used to satisfy requirements in these two areas.

The global perspective requirement for undergraduates stems from the goals of UW-Stout's distinctive mission and array of programs that combine theory, practice and experimentation

General Education Credit Distribution

Communication Skills  »  9 credits

  • ENGL-101 Composition I or
    ENGL-111 Freshman English – Honors I
  • ENGL-102 Composition II or
    ENGL-112 Freshman English – Honors II or
    ENGL-113 Honors Seminar I
  • SPCOM-100 Fundamentals of Speech

Analytic Reasoning and Natural Sciences  »  10 credits

Courses must be from the areas of analytic reasoning and natural sciences. At least one mathematics or statistics course and a natural science course with a lab are required.

Arts and Humanities  »  6 credits

Courses must be from two or more areas including art history, creative arts, foreign language and culture, history, literature, music appreciation, performing arts, and philosophy.

Social and Behavioral Sciences  »  6 credits

Courses must be from two or more areas including anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology and sociology.

Contemporary Issues  »  3 credits

Courses must be selected from the list of approved contemporary issues courses, which includes technology.

Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning  »  3 credits

Courses must be selected from the list of approved social responsibility and ethical reasoning courses, which includes health, health education, and athletics.

Selectives  »  3 credits

Courses/credits may be selected from any category to meet the 40-credit requirement.

Some degree programs have specific general education courses that must be taken in order to satisfy certification, accreditation or prerequisite standards. These exceptions are noted in the general education requirements of each program.

Lists of the general education courses in each category are available online here [pdf].  In the course description listing in this bulletin, general education courses are identified by category.


Racial and Ethnic Studies Requirements

The Racial and Ethnic Studies requirement is six credits with a minimum of three credits from RES-A. Each student must satisfy the racial and ethnic studies requirement as preparation for being an engaged citizen in a highly diverse society. Racial and ethnic studies courses prepare students for being engaged citizens in a highly diverse society and to come to appreciate, understand, value and respond respectfully to cultural diversity. Through the study of U.S. cultures other than those from a European origin, we hope to discourage racism and thus reduce its effects. An important emphasis is critical reflection and application of acquired learning to professional and personal contexts.
Lists of the racial and ethnic studies courses in each category are available online.
Transfer students who have fulfilled the racial and ethnic studies requirement at another UW System university are exempt from meeting UW-Stout's criteria.

Global Perspective Requirement

Both the globalization of work and the career education that is part of UW-Stout's mission make it desirable that students appreciate cultural, economic, political, environmental and social differences. Learning a second language at the college level and developing an understanding of another culture provides students with skills they will use in international situations. To earn a bachelor's degree, students who started Fall 2010 or later must fulfill a global perspective requirement by:

  • Completing a program of university-approved work or study abroad, or
  • Completing six credits of courses approved as fulfilling the global perspective requirement.