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Courses

Examine your first Signature Question in a learning community of two paired courses: a Quest I course paired with either a Quest Writing or Quest speaking course. Quest I course options are listed below.
  • In this list, Quest I courses paired with Writing have "Writing" after the course title; those paired with Speaking have "Speaking" after the title.
  • The Explore category (Nature, Culture or Society) is also listed after the course title.
  • This Quest I pair of courses creates a learning community and accounts for six USP credits.
  • Short course descriptions and writing course themes will be added to this list.

Sustainability (SUS)

How do people understand and create a more sustainable world?

  • Communication 275: Arguing Sustainability (Writing; Explore Culture)

    This course will focus on the foundations of building credible and persuasive arguments. Forms of reasoning, sources of evidence, testing of evidence and the opportunity to construct arguments in relationship to the concept of sustainability will be provided.

  • Environmental Studies 101: Introduction to Environmental Studies (Writing; Explore Society)

    The goal of this course is to explore our relationship with the natural world and how our behaviors and actions affect it. To do this, we will examine case studies that explore topics including people and wildlife, climate change, chemicals and agriculture and environmental disasters.

  • Foreign Languages and Literature 122: Sustainable Development Discourses (Writing; Explore Culture)

    We create our sense of place through processes that are both rational and emotional. Our attachment to a particular place can be the result of our knowledge of its geography, of the richness of its landscapes, of the flora and fauna, of its history, and/or of the people who inhabit it. Our knowledge of our sense of place is also emotional. Our senses help us to create a sense of familiarity, of belonging to a community and to nature.

  • Philosophy 105: Ethics (Writing; Explore Culture)

    The philosopher is someone who asks questions, who scrutinizes proposed answers to those questions and who does not accept an answer until it has been adequately tested. The philosopher’s tools are his or her abilities to read, to listen, to think creatively about an issue and to propose and evaluate arguments. In this course, we will become philosophers.

  • Physical Science 101: Workshop Physical Science (Writing; Explore Nature)

    Observations, theory and experiments will be combined to study some of the basic principles of physics, astronomy and Earth science and their application to everyday life. Physical science 101 is a hands-on course based on group work and critical thinking to explore important scientific concepts.

  • Political Science 116: Environmental Politics and Sustainability (Writing; Explore Society)

    Environment Politics and Sustainability examines competing political views of developing environmental policies in the United States. Often, competing political views get in the way of developing environmental policies that are sustainable. This course first asks students to examine what values in society should be sustained and then asks student to evaluate whether existing policies concerning animals, land, water, air and energy are sustainable.

  • Social Justice 101: Introduction to Social Justice (Writing/ Explore Society)

    This course serves as an introduction to the concept of social justice designed to provide an understanding of how justice issues are intrinsic to questions of prejudice and discrimination, social-economic standing, the environment, human rights and activism.

  • Theatre 160: Introduction to Acting (Writing; Explore Culture)

    Basic theories and techniques of acting. Body and voice training as a basis for development of dramatic characterization. Application of course content through performance presentations. Signature question of "How do people understand and create a more sustainable world?" will serve as a focus for the course.

  • English 151: British Literature to the 18th Century (Speaking; Explore Culture)

    We will read violent epics, sexual medieval romances, heartfelt sonnets, chaste Christian prayers and passionate plays all with the question of how sustainability influences the works and how the works influence sustainability. We will look at the saints and sinners, the violent and the lovers, of medieval and early modern English literature, contextualized through the lens of sustainability.

  • English 153: American Literature Through Civil War (Speaking; Explore Culture)

    An introduction to American literature from its origins to the end of the nineteenth century, with a particular emphasis on sustainability. Throughout the term we’ll explore the richness and diversity of America’s literary heritage, and we’ll seek to understand the many complex ways in which American writers reflected, recorded, challenged and helped to shape American culture.

  • Environmental Studies 101: Introduction to Environmental Studies (Speaking; Explore Society)

    The goal of this course is to explore our relationship with the natural world and how our behaviors and actions affect it. To do this, we will examine case studies that explore topics including people and wildlife, climate change, chemicals and agriculture and environmental disasters.

  • Foreign Languages and Literature 122: Sustainable Development Discourses (Speaking; Explore Culture)

    We create our sense of place through processes that are both rational and emotional. Our attachment to a particular place can be the result of our knowledge of its geography, of the richness of its landscapes, of the flora and fauna, of its history, and/or of the people who inhabit it. Our knowledge of our sense of place is also emotional. Our senses help us to create a sense of familiarity, of belonging to a community and to nature.

  • Geography 106: Soils and Agriculture (Speaking; Explore Society)

    Do you like eating? Like getting your hands dirty? Join us to get the dirt on how food is grown and impacts the environment and how agriculture will need to adapt to a changing climate and expanding population. You will get hands-on experience working with soils and first-hand experience with several ways to grow food.

  • Physical Science 101: Workshop Physical Science (Speaking; Explore Nature)

    Observations, theory and experiments will be combined to study some of the basic principles of physics, astronomy and Earth science and their application to everyday life. Physical science 101 is a hands-on course based on group work and critical thinking to explore important scientific concepts.

  • Physics 112: Energy in Today’s World (Speaking/ Explore Nature)

    This course focuses on the physics of energy, energy production and energy consumption. With so many headlines relating to energy resources, it is important to be informed on how that energy is produced and how it is used.

  • Philosophy 105: Ethics (Speaking; Explore Culture)

    The philosopher is someone who asks questions, who scrutinizes proposed answers to those questions, and who does not accept an answer until it has been adequately tested. The philosopher’s tools are her abilities to read, to listen, to think creatively about an issue and to propose and evaluate arguments. In this course, we will become philosophers.

  • Social Justice 101: Introduction to Social Justice (Speaking; Explore Society)

    This course serves as an introduction to the concept of social justice designed to provide an understanding of how justice issues are intrinsic to questions of prejudice and discrimination, social-economic standing, the environment, human rights and activism.

Civic Learning (CL)

How do people understand and engage in community life?

  • Art 101: Elements of Studio Art Business (Writing; Explore Culture)

    You will view and make art as a means of exploring, critiquing and expressing ideas related to three important themes: identity, community and sustainability.
  • Business 150: A Community History of Business (Writing; Explore Society)

    In this course, students will review the historic role of business in many communities from the ancient Greeks and Romans through the industrial era of Great Britain and the U.S. Students will do extensive research on the civic engagement of business in a local community of their choosing.
  • Elementary/Secondary Education 110: Education Policy: Lies, Damned Lies, and Education (Writing; Explore Society)
    The course will focus on three broad questions: (1) What is the purpose of schooling? (2) How can we educate “all” students? (3) What does it mean to be a teacher?
  • Communication 219: Introduction to Rhetoric and Public Advocacy (Writing; Explore Culture)
    What role does rhetoric play in civic life? How have people in the past and in the present engaged in community life and advocated for the common good? When some people hear the word “rhetoric” they think of spin, propaganda, or other undesirable labels. Introduction to Rhetoric and Public Advocacy provides students with a more accurate and complex understanding of rhetoric, showing the central role it plays in the development of democracy and civic life.
  • Communication 280: Intro to Organizational Communication (Writing; Explore Culture)
    Organizations, places or groups in which we come together to get things done are a critical part of each of our lives. We work in organizations, many of us play in organizations and we count on organizations for our health care, schooling, shopping and other needs. You will be given the opportunity to study the internal processes of an organization in which you actively participate as well as an opportunity to study some of the larger corporations that influence our society as a whole.
  • Geography 105: Geographies of Coffee (Writing; Explore Society)
    Coffee is not simply an enjoyable beverage – it dominates the economy, politics and social structures of entire countries, as well as threads together diverse communities operating at the local, regional, national and global scales. This course examines coffee in detail as a way of introducing geography as a discipline for understanding both the physical world and human society.
  • History 110: The University: Past and Present (Writing; Explore Society)
    We will examine the history of universit[ies] – [including] the history of our university – focused around three main questions:
    1. How did universities develop and evolve from the medieval to the modern world?
    2. How did universities specifically develop and evolve within the history of the United States?
    3. What is the history of our university, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh?
  • History 205: The History of Pirates (Writing; Explore Society)
    Pirates were simultaneously outsiders who defied the laws and social norms of their time and innovators who built new kinds of communities based on their own ethics. We will not only look at the reality of pirate lives, but how people have imagined pirates in fiction and film.
  • History 205: Ben Franklin, Abigail Adams & Olaudah Equiano (Writing; Explore Society)
    Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams and Olaudah Equiano each overcame obstacles to acquire an education and build new kinds of community, such as the United States of America and a British antislavery movement. This course focuses on their stories and your own education.
  • Political Science 112: Power, Justice and the State (Writing; Explore Society)
    We will discuss different ideas about justice, examining their strengths and weaknesses by applying them to four arenas of state involvement: schools, marketplaces, nations and the world as a whole.
  • Women’s Studies 201: Intro to Women’s Studies (Writing; Explore Society)
    Gender – how our culture defines masculinity and femininity – shapes us profoundly from birth through old age. This course will equip you with analytical tools that will help you see how gender functions in our pink and blue world.
  • Elementary/Secondary Education 110: Education Policy: Lies, Damned Lies, and Education (Speaking; Explore Society)
    The course will focus on three broad questions: (1) What is the purpose of schooling? (2) How can we educate “all” students? (3) What does it mean to be a teacher?
  • English 154: Odyssey: American Roadtrip (Speaking; Explore Culture)
    We will read several non-fiction accounts by American writers of their trips across the United States by various means (car, camper, bicycle, walking) and of these writers’ experiences thinking, talking and learning about their country, their fellow citizens and themselves.
  • English 165: 20th Century British Literature (Speaking; Explore Culture)
    A study of British literature written during the 20th century.
  • History 101: Early Civilization (Speaking; Explore Society)

    This section of Early Civilizations focuses on the history and development of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Israel, the Greek city-states and Rome. For each civilization that we study, we will look closely at the geographical environment, social and economic divisions (including the roles both men and women played in their communities), educational and cultural life, what the architecture of the society can reveal about the community and what political systems and laws each civilization devised to order their lives. The answers to these questions still shape our society today.

  • History 202: U.S. History since 1877: From Our Backyard & Beyond (Speaking; Explore Society)

    History 202 promises to awaken your understanding and appreciation of America’s rich past. By taking this course you will understand that the enormous changes that have taken place within local communities, the state of Wisconsin and the United States at large since 1877 did not evolve by accident but rather were shaped by complicated social, political, economic and cultural forces — forces shaped by generations of Americans who, just like you and me, struggled to survive and thrive given their own individual circumstances.

  • History 205: Ben Franklin, Abigail Adams & Olaudah Equiano (Speaking; Explore Society)

    Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams and Olaudah Equiano each overcame obstacles to acquire an education and build new kinds of community, such as the United States of America and a British antislavery movement. This course focuses on their stories and your own education.

  • Religious Studies 115: Religion and the Making of Community (Speaking; Explore Society)

    Through fiction, autobiographies, scholarly essays, and interviews this class will explore how religion serves both to create community and isolate individuals both on campus and in the wider community. We will discuss how religious communities from German Lutherans, Hmong, and Muslims to Ho-Chunks, Evangelical Christians, and secular individuals transform and retain their traditions as meet each other in the classroom and the public square.

  • Theatre 180: Creative Process (Speaking; Explore Culture)

    A process course, not a performance course. It is designed to provide the student, through active participation, with an understanding and appreciation of the basic artistic process of the performer and how that process may lead to self-realization and heightened awareness in any endeavor…includes exploring the nature of creativity in ourselves.

  • Women’s Studies 201: Intro to Women’s Studies (Speaking; Explore Society)

    Gender — how our culture defines masculinity and femininity — shapes us profoundly from birth through old age. This course will equip you with analytical tools that will help you see how gender functions in our pink and blue world.

 

Intercultural Knowledge and Competence (IKC)

How do people understand and bridge cultural differences?

  • Anthropology 123: Race, Class, and Gender in American Society (Writing; Explore Culture)

    The intersections of race, ethnicity, gender and class, especially in terms of how these factors combine to shape one's identity and experience of American society. We will draw on a number of examples that highlight the diversity and complexity of our society and the many perspectives that differentiate people and/or draw them together.

  • Art 111: Drawing I (Writing; Explore Culture)

    Engaged in the discipline of drawing, students will examine cultural perspectives, rules, biases and interactions in order to develop proficient intercultural knowledge and competence. Course work will emphasize development of visual literacy, cultivation of creative expression and acquisition of basic drawing skills.

  • Communication 214: Intro to Interpersonal Communication (Writing; Explore Culture)

    Designed to help you access, analyze, critique and communicate information in a way that is culturally sensitive to others. In addition to working on your own interpersonal communication skills, we will also examine the role of communication, both our own communication behaviors and the communication of others, in creating and transforming personal relationships.

  • Elementary/Secondary Education 111: Culture, Identity and Educational Journeys (Writing; Explore Culture)

    We will focus on developing an understanding of culture in our lives, examine personal and group concepts of identity, and make connections to diverse culture groups — specifically those from refugee and immigrant backgrounds — through the process of creating narratives of educational journeys.

  • Foreign Languages and Literature 120: Border-crossing and Migrant Identities in the Americas (Writing; Explore Culture)

    As we study and discuss “borders” we will include the issue of movement across borders — border-crossing or migration — as a necessary, ongoing and sometimes complicated part of our human experience.  It is through border-crossing that communication and relationships can be built — for better and sometimes worse.

  • Geography 107: People Places and Culture of the World (Writing; Explore Society)

    The different environments people live in, cultural attitudes and many other factors shape how people live their lives. In this class we will focus on languages, religions, agricultural practices, economic activities, food and sports as examples of culture. Through examples from around the world this course will help you understand and appreciate cultural diversity.

  • Political Science 111: Culture and the Politics of Memory (Writing; Explore Society)

    We will examine the political controversies and compromises surrounding how we choose to memorialize or forget traumatic histories and analyze the political role of commemoration in South Africa, Argentina, Germany and the United States.

  • Psychology 101: Introduction to Psychology (Writing; Explore Society)

    This class is an overview of the science of psychology where we study a variety of behaviors and mental processes, such as memory, intelligence, psychopathology and development. For some of these topics, one of the UW Oshkosh signature questions (intercultural knowledge and competence) provides focus through the lens of cultural self-awareness, knowledge of worldwide cultural frameworks, similarities and differences in communication within and between cultures and recognition of different worldview.

  • Religious Studies 120: Religion, Children's Books, and Difference (Writing; Explore Culture)

    How can children’s and young adult literature help us to think about religious difference? We all come from varied religious, racial, ethnic and gender backgrounds. The heroes and heroines of our texts all face, and sometimes bridge, intercultural differences. How will our own encounter with these stories affect how we imagine diversity in America?

  • Social Justice 101: Introduction to Social Justice (Writing; Explore Society)

    This course serves as an introduction to the concept of social justice, designed to provide an understanding of how justice issues are intrinsic to questions of prejudice and discrimination, social-economic standing, the environment, human rights and activism.

  • Sociology 101: Introduction to Sociology (Writing; Explore Society)

    Description coming soon.

  • Art 106: Visual Communication Fundamentals (Speaking; Explore Culture)

    The technical experience of fundamental visual communication as a way of knowing, reporting, and problem solving

  • English 161: Asian American Experiences (Speaking; Explore Culture)

    In this course, we will survey the spectrum of Asian American issues regarding gender, race and class, as well as their shared experience formed against and through the mainstream power structure in the United States.

  • Geography 107: People Places and Culture of the World (Speaking; Explore Society)

    The different environments people live in, cultural attitudes and many other factors shape how people live their lives. In this class we will focus on languages, religions, agricultural practices, economic activities, food and sports as examples of culture. Through examples from around the world this course will help you understand and appreciate cultural diversity.

  • Political Science 114: The Politics of Race and Sex (Speaking; Explore Society)

    The Politics of Race and Sex invites students to explore similarities and differences in the values, history and influence of U.S. cultural groups through the lens of representation in government … help you foster a curiosity about your own and other cultures, openness to interact with culturally different others and knowledge, both of how history, values, politics, beliefs, economics and communication styles have influenced your culture, and the cultures of others.

  • Psychology 101: Introduction to Psychology (Speaking; Explore Society)

    This class is an overview of the science of psychology where we study a variety of behaviors and mental processes, such as memory, intelligence, psychopathology and development. For some of these topics, one of the UW Oshkosh signature questions (intercultural knowledge and competence) provides focus through the lens of cultural self-awareness, knowledge of worldwide cultural frameworks, similarities and differences in communication within and between cultures and recognition of different worldview.

  • Religious Studies 123: Religion and the Other (Speaking; Explore Culture)

    Popular American literature provides us with a unique lens to clearly see what we think of ourselves as Americans and also what we think about others — especially religious Others. This course will examine why we think of Native Americans as connected to the Earth, Hindus as devoted, Buddhists as peaceful and Muslims as violent, and will question why we go to such trouble to do so.

  • Social Justice 101: Introduction to Social Justice (Speaking; Explore Society)

    This course serves as an introduction to the concept of social justice, designed to provide an understanding of how justice issues are intrinsic to questions of prejudice and discrimination, social-economic standing, the environment, human rights and activism.

  • Sociology 111: Race, Ethnicity, and Society (Speaking; Explore Society)


    Broadly defined, sociology is an inquiry about the relationships between society and people, and in this course, we will focus on developing a sociological intercultural and interracial knowledge and understanding. We will explore the ways in which various social forces shape the ways we tend to think and act as social beings, the unevenly distributed opportunities and obstacles in human lives along racial/ethnic lines, and the consequences and implications of such inequities.

  • Theatre 150: Introduction to Theatre Design (Speaking; Explore Culture)

    This course will introduce the student to the world of design in theatre and the aesthetics and techniques required for scenic, costume and lighting designers.