Curriculum Requirements

Core curriculum requirements consist of a minimum of 43 credits. These credits come from the different liberal studies areas discussed in more detail below. 

General Education Requirements
Course Name Credits
English 1130 3
English 1230 3
Math (1630 and higher) 3
Speech 2–3
Fitness Assessment 1
Physical Activity 1
Foreign Language * 4–8
Humanities, Fine Arts, and History: 12 credits
Humanities (English, SEJ, Philosophy) 3
Fine Arts (Art, Music, Theatre) 3
History 3
Second Course – same discipline 3
Social Sciences: 9 credits
Includes: Economics, Ethnic Studies, Geology, Geography, Physical Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Women's Studies
First Discipline 3
Second Discipline 3
Second Course – same discipline 3
Natural Sciences: 8–9 credits
Includes: Biology, Chemistry, Physical Geography, Geology, Physics, or Physical Science. Labs required in both courses.
First discipline 4–5
Second discipline 4–5
International, Gender and Ethnic Studies: 9 credits
International Education 3
Ethnic Studies 3
Gender Studies 3
* Foreign Language is completed if a student has obtained a "C" or higher in four (4) semesters of high school foreign language.
  • Some courses may count for more than one category to fulfill university requirements.

Entry Year Experience

Required of all students who enter UW-Platteville with fewer than 30 credits.

  • An introduction to college course (1 credit)
    • All sections must contain:
      • A core component of “survival skills” for freshmen (e.g. time management skills, information about campus resources, advising, etc.)
      • Information about engagement opportunities (e.g., PACCE)
      • Discussion of diversity issues
      • A participation requirement. Students are required to attend/participate in a minimum of three events or activities during the semester (may count participation in one meeting of a student organization as one event).


A total of 13–21 credits. At UW-Platteville, the competencies are comprised of the basic skills:

  1. English Composition (6 credits)
    Students must be able to write and read effectively.
  2. Foreign Language (0-8 credits)
    Students must be able to use a language other than English. Two years of the same high school language with a minimum of "C" average the second year fulfills this requirement.
  3. Mathematics (3 credits)
    Students must have a basic competency in computation, problem solving, and quantitative reasoning.
  4. Speech (2-3 credits)
    Students must be able to understand spoken English and communicate using it effectively.
  5. Wellness/Physical Activity (2 credits)
    Students must know how to achieve and maintain both their physical and mental well being.

The design of the basic competency program assumes that high school graduates have met the minimum standards of the university. Opportunities for testing out of certain basic requirements for the baccalaureate degree will exist. Students with exceptionally strong high school backgrounds may earn general education credit by CLEP (College Level Examination Program) or AP (Advanced Placement) testing. Entering students who do not meet minimum standards on the UW System English and Mathematics Placement Tests may be required to take remedial courses in these areas, and such courses will not count toward general education or graduation requirements.

Liberal Studies Areas

Students must take a minimum 29 credits; at least 6 credits at the 2000-level or above.

Ethnic Studies (3 credits)

The purpose of ethnic studies is to awaken the minds and spirits of students to the issues of race and ethnicity in the United States and the social realities and moral challenges of racism in U.S. culture. It strives to help students fulfill their intellectual, moral, and social potential, and encourages them to remove barriers that can prevent others from achieving their own potential.

Fine Arts/History/Humanities (12 credits)

  • The purpose of the study of fine arts is to help students become familiar with the historical and cultural heritage of the fine arts. They should also gain a basic understanding of the creative processes, forms, and concepts used in the arts.
  • The purpose of the study of history is to challenge students to understand and assess our past, in order to form a clearer perception of the present and to deal more effectively with public issues.
  • The purpose of the study of humanities is to explore the range of human thought and experience—achievements and failures, joys and sorrows, comedy and tragedy, life and death. It should challenge students to understand and evaluate how others, past and present, historical and fictional, have struggled with these issues.

This requirement is met by taking at least three credits in approved courses in each of these three areas: fine arts, history, and humanities. The remaining three credits must be a second, advanced course (2000 level or above) in the same discipline chosen from the fine arts, history, or humanities.

Gender Studies (3 credits)

The purpose of gender studies is to help students come to a better understanding of themselves as responsible individuals operating within a gendered cultural context, paying special attention to perspectives involving women.

International Education (3 credits)

The purpose of international education is to challenge students to understand our place within the world and to provide basic knowledge about cultures, people, or nations beyond the borders of the United States.

Natural Sciences (8 credits)

The purpose of studying the natural sciences is to help students understand nature and how the processes of scientific investigation lead to new discoveries. The credits must be taken in approved courses in two areas (for example, biology, chemistry, geography, geology, physics and physical science). In each area the course must include a laboratory component.

Social Sciences (9 credits)

The purpose of studying the social sciences is to develop an understanding of social systems, the dynamics of individual and group behavior and the forces that operate in social relationships. At least 3 credits must be taken in approved courses in each of two disciplines listed below (agricultural industries, communication, criminal justice, economics, ethnic studies, geography, political science, psychology, sociology, speech, and women’s studies). The remaining three credits must be a second, advanced course (2000-level or above) in one of the two disciplines previously chosen.

A course may fulfill more than one liberal arts requirement, but no student may use a single course to fulfill more than two liberal studies requirements. Courses that double-count must be approved by both sponsoring programs (e.g., ethnic studies and social sciences). Interdisciplinary courses are encouraged.

Writing Emphasis (WE) Requirement (6 credits)

“Writing Emphasis” (WE) courses must meet the requirements below. WE courses may be either general education courses or discipline-specific courses; in the former case, courses are also expected to satisfy all appropriate general education guidelines. More information about the Writing Emphasis...

  1. Instructors are expected to assign their students both informal and formal writing as means to gain and express an understanding of discipline-specific content. When and where appropriate, instructors should teach students the rhetorical strategies and writing conventions of their particular field or discipline.
  2. Instructors are expected to provide meaningful feedback on student writing. This may be achieved through direct lecture, handouts, class discussion, analysis of model writing, written feedback from the instructor, directed peer reviews, and instructor-student conferences. In addition, the Writing and Tutoring Resource (WATR) Center should be seen as a source of supplemental support rather than direct instruction.
  3. Writing activities must constitute a substantial component of the course. “Substantial portion of the course” is defined as either (a) a minimum of 30 pages of student writing, or (b) at least 30 percent of a student’s semester grade determined by writing assignments or activities. Written examinations consisting partially or wholly of essay questions may not be included in a course’s satisfaction of either of the requirements above.
  4. Multiple writing assignments are expected throughout the semester, as are opportunities to revise selected assignments. A single term paper without opportunity for revision does not meet this requirement.
  5. Before teaching a WE section, an instructor is required to participate in WE training presented by the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC).

In addition, the following requirements must be satisfied.

  • WE courses must be numbered at the 2000 level or higher.
  • WE courses must include ENGL 1230/Freshman Composition II as a co-requisite or prerequisites.

Writing Emphasis (WE) Course Submission Procedure

General Rules

  1. Only approved courses may be used to fulfill the core curriculum requirements. All approved core curriculum courses must meet at least four of the UW-Platteville Student Learning Outcomes. Multiple sections of core curriculum courses must have the following items in common: course title, course description, and student learning outcomes.
  2. Every student must earn a minimum of 42 credits in upper-division courses (courses numbered 3000 or above).
  3. All students must earn 32 credits in residence at UW-Platteville and also 23 of their last 32 credits in residence.

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