Philosophy

The College of Letters and Science is the liberal arts college at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. It is the largest and most varied academic unit in the University with more than 335 faculty offering courses in 37 different majors as well as in general education.

The philosophy of the College is that a liberal arts education transcends preparation for specific careers. A liberal arts education prepares students to be responsible citizens who understand and contribute to the changing world in which they live. It exposes students to a broad spectrum of knowledge about the human experience and the natural world, from contemporary science to literature, music and art. It enhances the skills of communication and critical thinking. It challenges students to appreciate their cultural heritage, to be sensitive to diverse traditions and opinions and to value truth. It encourages students to develop a lifelong commitment to inquiry. In sum, a liberal arts education develops the whole person who values knowledge for its own sake as well as for the achievement of narrower objectives.

The majority of courses in the University Studies Program (USP) - the campus' general education curriculum - are based in the College of Letters and Science, with select courses also offered in the professional colleges.  The 41-credit USP embraces the traditional breadth of a liberal arts education to prepare students for the challenges of work, for engaged citizenship and for a meaningful and satisfying life.  In addition to the broad exploration of knowledge and the development of essential skills in critical thinking and communicating, students ask big questions related to three themes drawn from the campus Essential Learning Outcomes: knowledge or sustainability and its applications; knowledge of civic engagement, both local and global; and intercultural knowledge and competence.  Students participate in small learning communities, as disciplinary courses are paired with writing and speaking courses in the first two semesters.  In the third portion of this sequence, students participate in a community engagement project.  Finally, students integrate and synthesize knowledge from their USP experiences in an advanced writing course that allows them to reflect on their learning in their first two years of college, as they continue their studies in their selected majors.

Majors and minors offered in the College provide a broad range of choice for students. Majors are selected by students not only because they prepare students for careers, but also because they encourage students to be active, inquiring, adaptive and sensitive people throughout their lives. Students are challenged by a nationally recognized faculty committed to excellence in teaching, research and service.

In addition to their major, students also select the degree they wish to obtain. Students who select the Bachelor of Arts degree study a foreign language in addition to the general education program and the major. Students who select the Bachelor of Science degree take more courses in natural science and mathematics. Students majoring in Art, Music or Social Work receive degrees specific to the major.

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