May 29, 2024  
2014-2015 General Catalog (Summer, Fall 2014) 
2014-2015 General Catalog (Summer, Fall 2014) ARCHIVED CATALOG: To search archives, MUST use search box to left. Current catalog:

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 upperdivision 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.

Communications Intensive (CI) (2 courses)

For most students, courses taken for the major will meet this requirement.

Quantitative Intensive (QI) (1 course)

For most students, a course taken for the major will meet this requirement.

Or one of the following exams:

  • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism: Score of 4 or higher
  • AP Physics C: Mechanics: Score of 3 or higher
  • AP Statistics: Score of 3 or higher
  • IBO Computer Science Test: Standard- or Higher-level Score of 4 or higher
  • IBO Physics Test: Higher-level Score of 5 or higher

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.

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 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)

A minimum of 2 credits is required for all students whose major is not categorized as Humanities (HU) or Creative Arts (CA).

Depth Life and Physical Sciences (DSC)

A minimum of 2 credits is required for all students whose major is not categorized as Life Sciences (LS) or Physical Sciences (PS).

Depth Social Sciences (DSS)

A minimum of 2 credits is required for all students whose major is not categorized as Social Sciences (SS).

Or one of the following exams:

  • DSST Personal Finance Test: Score of 400 or higher

Categorization of Majors

The courses that must be taken to satisfy University Studies Depth requirements depend on the classification of the student’s major. For example, Music is classified in the Creative Arts. Thus, a music major would not need to take a depth course in the Humanities and Creative Arts.

Following is the categorization of majors used for University Studies. These abbreviations are used: CA—Creative Arts, HU—Humanities, LS—Life Sciences, PS—Physical Sciences, and SS—Social Sciences.

College of Agriculture

Applied Economics, SS
Family and Consumer Sciences Education, SS
Environmental Soil/Water Science, PS
Landscape Architecture, CA
All other majors, LS

Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

All majors, SS

Caine College of the Arts

All majors, CA

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, SS
Early Childhood Education, (category same as area of emphasis)
Elementary Education, (category same as area of emphasis)
Family and Consumer Sciences, SS
Family, Consumer, and Human Development, SS
Health Education and Promotion, LS
Human Movement Science, LS
Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, (no undergraduate degree)
Parks and Recreation, SS
Psychology, SS
Secondary Education, (category same as teaching major category)
Social Studies Composite Teaching, SS
Special Education, (may use any category)

College of Engineering

All majors, PS

Humanities and Social Sciences

Agricultural Communication and Journalism, LS
American Studies, HU
Anthropology, SS
Asian Studies, HU
English, HU
French, HU
German, HU
History, HU
International Studies, (category same as area of emphasis)
Journalism, SS
Law and Constitutional Studies, SS
Liberal Arts, HU
Philosophy, HU
Political Science, SS
Religious Studies, HU
Social Work, SS
Sociology, SS
Spanish, HU
Speech, HU

College of Natural Resources

Environmental Studies, SS
Geography, SS or PS
Recreation Resource Management, SS
Watershed and Earth Systems, PS
All other majors, LS

College of Science

Biology, LS
All other majors, PS

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.