2. University Studies (General Education Requirement)
This requirement does not apply to Liberal Studies majors or students formally admitted to the University Honors College. Honors College general education requirements are satisfied with specific Honors courses.)
The purpose of the general education program at Portland State University is to enable students to acquire and develop the knowledge, abilities, and attitudes which form a foundation for lifelong learning. This foundation includes the capacity and the propensity to engage in inquiry and critical thinking, to use various forms of communication for learning and expression, to gain an awareness of the broader human experience and its environment, and to appreciate the responsibilities of persons to themselves, to each other, and to community.
To accomplish this purpose all freshmen entering with fewer than 30 prior university credits are required to complete the following program (See www.pdx.edu/unst/ for course descriptions and capstone offerings):
Freshman Inquiry (15 credits). One year-long course which must be taken in sequence (UnSt 100-level).
Sophomore Inquiry (12 credits). Students are required to choose three Sophomore Inquiry courses, each linked to a different University Studies cluster for a total of 12 credits UnSt 200-level).
Upper-Division Cluster (Junior and Senior Years) (12 credits). Students are required to select three courses (for a total of 12 credits) from one upper-division cluster (300 to 400-level courses designated with a U) which is directly linked to one of the three Sophomore Inquiry classes previously taken.
Senior Capstone (6 credits). This 6-credit capstone course (UnSt 421) is the culminating general education course for seniors. Students join an interdisciplinary team, develop a strategy to address a problem or concern in the community, and implement this strategy over one, two, or three quarters of work.
Note: Students may not use any course to satisfy both cluster and major requirements. Cluster courses must be taken outside of the major. This includes courses that might be cross-listed elsewhere with the student's major prefix.
Attention transfer students:
The following placement within University Studies is based on total credits accepted at term of admission to PSU.
- Transfer students who have earned fewer than 30 quarter credits of transfer work are required to complete all of the University Studies program requirements, including the entire sequence of Freshman Inquiry.
- Transfer students who have earned 30-89 quarter credits of transfer work are required to complete the University Studies program beginning with Sophomore Inquiry as follows: 30-59 credits, three courses; 60-74 credits, two courses; and 75-89 credits, one course. (The upper-division cluster must be linked to one of these Sophomore Inquiry classes.)
- Transfer students who have earned 90 or more credits of transfer work are required to complete the University Studies program beginning with an Upper-Division Cluster. It is recommended that they complete the Sophomore Inquiry course directly linked to the Upper-Division Cluster they choose.