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Home » 2022-2024 Graduate Bulletin » Policies » UW System and UW Oshkosh Missions, Learning Outcomes, and Principles

UW System and UW Oshkosh Missions, Learning Outcomes, and Principles



The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is both a major undergraduate, a regional graduate and doctoral campus in the statewide University of Wisconsin System, which ranks among the top education systems in the nation; it is one of thirteen four-year campuses in the System. Control of the System rests with the state, a Board of Regents, and an administrative head with the title of President. Each campus is administered under the leadership of a chancellor.


The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has a long and distinguished academic history, having served Wisconsin since opening its doors as Oshkosh Normal School in 1871. Keeping abreast of educational trends, the school was designated Wisconsin State Teachers’ College in 1927, and upon the approval of curricula in the liberal arts in 1951, became Wisconsin State College, Oshkosh.

Recognizing the growth in enrollment and programs and the inauguration of several graduate degrees, the college was designated as Wisconsin State University Oshkosh in July of 1963. Upon the merger of the Wisconsin State University and University of Wisconsin systems, the campus became the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 1971.

The Campus

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is located in the city of Oshkosh in the heart of the Fox River Valley. Situated in the near northwest section of the city, the modern campus of more than 52 buildings is arranged along a central mall and boulevard and bordered on the west by the Fox River.


The mission of the University of Wisconsin System is to develop human resources, to discover and disseminate knowledge, to extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campuses, and to serve and stimulate society by developing in students heightened intellectual, cultural, and humane sensitivities, scientific, professional and technological expertise, and a sense of purpose. Inherent in this broad mission are methods of instruction, research, extended training, and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition. Basic to every purpose of the UW System is the search for truth.


As institutions in the University Cluster of the University of Wisconsin System, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater share the following core mission. Within the approved differentiation stated in their select missions, each university in the cluster shall:

  • Offer associate and baccalaureate degree level and selected graduate programs within the context of its approved mission statement.
  • Offer an environment that emphasizes teaching excellence and meets the educational and personal needs of students through effective teaching, academic advising, counseling and through university-sponsored cultural, recreational and extra-curricular programs.
  • Offer a core of liberal studies that supports university degrees in the arts, letters and sciences, as well as specialized professional/technical degrees at the associate and baccalaureate level.
  • Offer a program of pre-professional curricular offerings consistent with the university’s mission.
  • Expect scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate degree level, its selected graduate programs and its approved mission statement.
  • Promote the integration of the extension function, assist the University of Wisconsin-Extension in meeting its responsibility for statewide coordination, and encourage faculty and staff participation in outreach activity.
  • Participate in inter-institutional relationships in order to maximize educational opportunity for the people of the state effectively and efficiently through the sharing of resources.
  • Serve the needs of women, minority, disadvantaged, disabled and non-traditional students and seek racial and ethnic diversification of the student body and the professional faculty and staff.
  • Support activities designed to promote the economic development of the state.


The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh provides a high-quality liberal education to all of its students in order to prepare them to become successful leaders in an increasingly diverse and global society. Our dedicated faculty and staff are committed to innovative teaching, research, economic development, entrepreneurship, and community engagement to create a more sustainable future for Wisconsin and beyond. High-quality academic programs in nursing, education, business, social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, fine and performing arts, engineering technology, information technology, health sciences, and applied and liberal studies—all delivered in an innovative and inclusive learning environment—lead to degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s and professional doctorate levels.

Vision Statement

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will be a research-enhanced comprehensive university built upon the ideals of a liberal education, inclusive excellence, and shared governance that reinforces a nationally recognized emphasis on sustainability.


  1. Student Success
  2. Inclusive Environment
  3. Sustainability
  4. Shared Governance
  5. Community Partnerships
  6. Creativity
  7. Workplace Joy

Strategic Priorities

A. Enhance Student Success

B. Promote Academic Excellence

C. Expand Community Engagement and Economic Development

D. Build an Inclusive and Supportive Institutional Environment

The Foundational Elements

These are infused in all we do.

  • Inclusive Excellence
  • Liberal Education
  • Shared Governance
  • Sustainability


In 2007, UW Oshkosh’s Liberal Education Reform Team (LERT) adopted the American Association of Colleges & Universities’ list of essential learning outcomes for college students to suit the specific strengths of UW Oshkosh. These UW Oshkosh essential learning outcomes underpin general education on this campus. They are what every UW Oshkosh graduate will have competency in for life.

Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World

Through study in fine and performing arts, humanities, mathematics and science, and social science focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring.

Skills, Both Intellectual and Practical

  • Identification and objective evaluation of theories and assumptions
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Written and oral communication
  • Quantitative literacy
  • Technology and information literacy
  • Teamwork, leadership, and problem solving practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects and standards for performance

Responsibility, as Individuals and Members of Communities

  • Knowledge of Sustainability and Its Applications
  • Civic Learning – local and global
  • Intercultural knowledge and competence
  • Ethical Reasoning and Action
  • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning developed through real-world challenges and active involvement with diverse communities

Learning: Integrated, Synthesized, and Advanced

  • Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems

[Click here to see the AAC&U essential learning outcomes.]


  • Maintain an open, inclusive, non-threatening environment
  • Embrace responsive shared governance
  • Treat people with respect and integrity
  • Encourage risk-taking
  • Respect the ideas, roles, and talents of all members of the team
  • Nurture, promote and integrate diversity of people and ideas
  • Preserve the ideals of altruistic leadership
  • Recognize, reward and celebrate success
  • Advocate for all aspects of the University
  • Empower and support others
  • Communicate honestly and constructively
  • Recognize our accountability to our internal and external constituencies
  • Listen carefully and respond clearly
  • Make decisions based on the priorities integral to the Governing Ideas of the University