Jun 15, 2024  
2021-2022 General Catalog 
2021-2022 General Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: To search archives, MUST use search box to left. Current catalog: catalog.usu.edu.

University Studies Depth Requirements

University Studies Depth Requirements

University Studies Objectives: The Citizen Scholar

Utah State University is one of the nation’s premier student-centered land-grant and space-grant universities. We foster the principle that academics come first; we cultivate diversity of thought and culture; and we serve the public through learning, discovery, and engagement.

In accordance with this mission, the mission of undergraduate education at Utah State University is to help students develop intellectually, personally, and culturally, so that they may serve the people of Utah, the nation, and the world. USU prepares citizen-scholars who participate and lead in local, regional, national, and global communities. University Studies is an integral part of every student’s experience—in both lower-division and upper-division courses. A solid University Studies foundation, combined with concentrated study in a major discipline and interdisciplinary studies, provides the breadth and depth of knowledge qualifying USU graduates as educated citizens.

The University Studies program is intended to help students learn how to learn—not just for the present, but also for the future. No individual can master all, or even a small portion, of society’s knowledge, but students can learn the basic patterns used to obtain and organize information, enabling them to discover or recover knowledge. University Studies involves a series of interrelated educational experiences which stimulate and assist students in becoming self-reliant scholars and individuals. The ultimate objective is for general and discipline-specific education to complement each other in helping students to:

  1. understand processes of acquiring knowledge and information;
  2. reason logically, critically, creatively, and independently, and be able to address problems in a broad context;
  3. recognize different ways of thinking, creating, expressing, and communicating through a variety of media;
  4. understand diversity in value systems and cultures in an interdependent world; and
  5. develop a capacity for self-assessment and lifelong learning.

By introducing ideas and issues in human thought and experience, University Studies courses help students achieve the intellectual integration and awareness needed to meet the challenges they will face in their personal, social, and professional lives. University Studies courses emphasize how knowledge is achieved and applied in different domains. Collectively, they provide a foundation and perspective for:

  1. understanding the nature, history, and methods of the arts and humanities, as well as the natural and physical sciences;
  2. understanding the cultural, historical, and natural contexts shaping the human experience; and
  3. interpreting the important cultural, socio-economic, scientific, and technological issues of the diverse global community in                 which we live.

A university education prepares students to work and live meaningfully in today’s rapidly changing global society. Together, general and discipline-specific education help students master the essential competencies making this goal possible. These competencies include:

  1. reading, listening, and viewing for comprehension;
  2. communicating effectively for various purposes and audiences;
  3. understanding and applying mathematics and other quantitative reasoning techniques;
  4. using various technologies competently; and
  5. working effectively, both collaboratively and individually.

University Studies Components

The University Studies program, along with study in the major, is designed to assist students in achieving the Citizen Scholar Objectives. The program consists of two sets of requirements: General Education Requirements  and Depth Education Requirements.

University Studies Depth Education Requirements

Beyond the General Education requirements, all students who receive a bachelor’s degree must complete two Communications Intensive, one Quantitative Intensive, and 2 credits minimum in each of two of the three depth categories outside of the category for which a student’s major is classified.

Communications Intensive (CI) (2 courses)


Quantitative Intensive (QI) (1 course)



Depth Course Requirements (4 credits minimum completed in two or more courses)

Students are required to take at least two upper-division courses outside of their major category.

Approved 3000-level or above courses must be taken from two of the following three categories: Depth Humanities and Creative Arts (DHA), Depth Life and Physical Sciences (DSC), and Depth Social Sciences (DSS). Each student must select at least one course from each of the two categories which do not include his or her major (e.g., Sociology majors are associated with the Social Sciences category and would select one or more 3000-level or above course(s) from the Depth Humanities and Creative Arts and one or more 3000-level or above course(s) from the Depth Life and Physical Sciences).  

Depth Humanities and Creative Arts (DHA)


Depth Life and Physical Sciences (DSC)


Depth Social Sciences (DSS)



Categorization of Majors

The courses that must be taken to satisfy University Studies Depth requirements depend on the classification of the student’s major. In order to satisfy the Depth requirements, students must satisfy at least one Depth course in each area outside of the area in which their major is classified.

The following tables list majors by college and classification and show which depth requirements a student in each major must satisfy. The major categories are abbreviated as follows: HA—Humanities and Creative Arts, SC—Life and Physical Sciences, and SS—Social Sciences.  Please Note: major categories are not assigned by college and some colleges offer majors in several categories.


College of Agriculture

Major and Classification Depth Required
Agribusiness SC X   X
Agribusiness and Agricultural Systems Technology Dual Major SC X X  
Agricultural Communication SC X   X
Agricultural Communication and Journalism SC X   X
Agricultural Education SC X   X
Agricultural Systems Technology SC X   X
Agricultural Systems Technology and Agribusiness (Composite) SC X   X
Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences SC X   X
Applied Economics SS X X  
Aviation Technology (all emphases) SC X   X
Business Education SS X X  
Climate Science SC X   X
Dietetics (all emphases) SC X   X
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics SS X X  
Family and Consumer Sciences Education SS X X  
Food Science SC X   X
General Studies: Agriculture (depends on emphasis) See advisor
Horticulture SC X   X
Landscape Architecture HA   X X
Nutrition Science (all emphases) SC X   X
Outdoor Product Design and Development SC   X X
Plant Science (all emphases) SC X   X
Residential Landscape Design and Construction SC X   X
Soils and Sustainable Land Systems SC X   X
Technology and Engineering Education SC X   X
Technology Systems (all emphases) SC X   X

Caine College of the Arts

Major and Classification Depth Required
Art HA   X X
Art History HA   X X
General Studies: Arts and Humanities (depends on emphasis) See advisor
Interior Design HA                                                                        X X
Music HA   X X
Music Therapy HA   X X
Theatre Arts HA   X X

Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

Major and Classification Depth Required
Accounting SS X X  
Data Analytics SS X X  
Economics SS X X  
Finance SS X X  
International Business SS X X  
Management SS X X  
Management Information Systems SS                                           X X  
Marketing SS X X  

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Major and Classification Depth Required
Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education SS X X  
Early Childhood Education (depends on emphasis)                      See advisor
Elementary Education (depends on emphasis) See advisor
Family Life Studies SS X X  
General Studies: Elementary Education (depends on emphasis) See advisor
General Studies: Human Services (depends on emphasis)  See advisor
Health Education and Promotion SC X   X
Human Development and Family Studies SS X X  
Human Movement Science SC X   X
Nursing SC X   X
Parks and Recreation SS X X  
Psychology SS X X  
Secondary Education (depends on teaching major) See advisor
Social Studies Composite Teaching SS X X  
Special Education (may choose any two areas) See advisor

College of Engineering

Major and Classification Depth Required
Biological Engineering SC X   X
Civil Engineering SC X   X
Computer Engineering SC X   X
Electrical Engineering SC X   X
Environmental Engineering SC                                                    X   X
General Studies: Technology SC X   X
Mechanical Engineering SC X   X

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Major and Classification Depth Required
Agricultural Communication and Journalism SC                            X   X
American Studies HA   X X
Anthropology SS X X  
Asian Studies HA   X X
Chinese HA   X X
Communication Studies HA   X X
English HA   X X
French HA   X X
General Studies: Arts and Humanities HA   X X
General Studies: Policy and Administration SS X X  
General Studies: Social Sciences SC X X X
German HA   X X
History HA   X X
International Studies (depends on emphasis) See advisor
Journalism SS X X  
Law and Constitutional Studies SS X X  
Liberal Arts HA   X X
Philosophy HA   X X
Political Science SS X X  
Portuguese HA   X X
Religious Studies HA   X X
Social Work SS X X  
Sociology SS X X  
Spanish HA   X X

S. J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources

Major and Classification Depth Required
Conservation and Restoration Ecology SC X   X
Environmental Studies SS X X  
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences SC X   X
Forest Ecology and Management SC X   X
General Studies: Natural Resources (depends on emphasis) See advisor
Geography SS X X  
Management and Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems SC                X   X
Rangeland Ecology and Management SC X   X
Recreation Resource Management SS X X  
Wildlife Ecology and Management SC X   X

College of Science

Major and Classification Depth Required
Biochemistry SC X   X
Biology SC X   X
Biological Science Composite Teaching SC X   X
Chemistry SC X   X
Computer Science SC X   X
Earth Science Composite Teaching SC X   X
General Studies: Science SC X   X
Geology SC X   X
Mathematics SC X   X
Physical Science Composite Teaching (Chemistry) SC                    X   X
Physical Science Composite Teaching (Physics) SC X   X
Physics SC X   X
Public Health SC X   X
Statistics SC X   X

Designation of Courses that Satisfy University Studies Depth Education Requirements

All courses approved for the University Studies Depth Education Requirements are clearly designated in this catalog. The designations used for University Studies Depth Education courses are as follows:

Intensive Courses

Communications Intensive, CI
Quantitative Intensive, QI

Depth Courses

Humanities and Creative Arts, DHA
Life and Physical Sciences, DSC
Social Sciences, DSS

Course Descriptions

See University Studies (USU) in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog.