You are here: Home / Students / Courses / Quest I / 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.
  • The courses listed below are all the approved Quest I courses.  For current semester offerings, please see Titan Web
  • The Explore category (Nature-XL, Culture-XC or Society-XS) is also listed after the course title. Some courses also satisfy Non-Western Culture (NW) or Ethnic Studies (ES) requirements. 
  • Each Quest I course is paired with Quest Writing (WBIS 188) or Quest Speaking (COMM 111).  Students that have earned prior credit for Writing or Speaking will take an unpaired Quest I course. 
  • This Quest I pair of courses creates a learning community and accounts for six* USP credits. (XL courses are 4 credits creating a 7 credit learning community.)

Sustainability (SUS)

How do people understand and create a more sustainable world?

Communication 254: Environmental Communication (XC)

This course focuses on the role that human communication plays in influencing the ways we engage the concept of sustainability and perceive the environment. It also explores how we construct environmental issues and decide what actions to take with regards to those issues.


Communication 275: Arguing Sustainability (XC)

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.


English 151: British Literature to the 18th Century (XC)
Revolutions are born from more than a single moment in time or even a string of events. We’ll uncover clues about the range of factors that contribute to revolutions by studying English literature from the Middle Ages through the Early Modern period. We’ll examine how revolutions contribute to the sustainability of a culture.


English 153: American Literature Through Civil War (XC)
An introduction to American literature from its origins to the end of the Civil War, 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  (XS)
An interdisciplinary course exploring the complex relationships between humans and ecosystems. Conservation biology, social science, and environmental ethics will be introduced to illuminate contemporary environmental issues (specific topics will vary). The course will facilitate critical questioning about the proper relationship between humans and the natural world, while providing an introduction to the field of environmental studies.  Prerequisite:  Course is to be limited to students with less than 60 credits or Environmental Studies majors and minors or those with department consent.


Foreign Languages and Literature 122: Sustainable Development Discourses (XC)

This Quest 1 course will explore how language and cultural background shape our views of the environment. Views of ethnic identity and environment were different for the Spaniards who arrived to what we call Latin America during the sixteenth century, than for the Indigenous people. Analysis of what constitutes "nature" and "sense of place" from different perspectives (literary, sociological, ecological, and historical) will be the main focus of the course through written primary and secondary texts, films, and a variety of other media.


Geography 106: Soils and Agriculture  (XS)
This course introduces students to the basic principles of soils and soil properties, the various types of agricultural systems, and applying sustainability as a lens of inquiry to examine the relationships between agriculture and soils.


Philosophy 104: Ethics (XC)
Analysis of the principal theories of ethics and their practical application to problems concerning the individual and society. Proposed methods of justifying moral principles will be examined. Ethics 105 is the Non-Western Culture version of Ethics 104. Students cannot receive credit for both Philosophy 104 and 105.


Physical Science 101: Workshop Physical Science (XL)

A hands-on course covering basic concepts in physical science through active engagement with guided computer-based laboratories, student-directed projects, interactive demonstrations, and class discussions. Emphasis on the nature and limits of science. For elementary education majors and non-science majors.


Physics/Astronomy 112: Energy in Today’s World (XL)
Focus is on the physics of energy, energy production, and energy consumption, conservation practices and alternative energy sources. Prerequisites: Completion of the minimal University general education math requirement or qualifying for Mathematics 104 or higher via the Mathematics Placement Exam.


Political Science 116: Environmental Politics and Sustainability (XS)
This course examines the political forces and challenges to developing and adopting sustainable environmental policies in the United States. This course provides an overview of the U.S. political system, sustainability as a lens of inquiry, and the policy making process. What values do we want to sustain? Do environmental policies support these values? Specific policy areas examined include air, water, land, energy, waste, plant, and animal life.


Social Justice 101: Introduction to Social Justice (XS)

This is an introductory course focused on social justice, designed to provide an understanding of contemporary issues related to social justice and in identifying and assessing relevant social, economic and behavioral factors which impact people experiencing injustice and oppression. Topics including race, gender, class, disability, gender orientation and environmental injustice, (historic and current) will be explored. Corrective measures which have been used as well as potential corrective measures will also be explored.


Theatre 160: Introduction to Acting (XC)

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.


Civic Learning (CL)

How do people understand and engage in community life?

Art 101: Elements of Studio Art (XC)
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 (XS)

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.


Communication 219: Introduction to Rhetoric and Public Advocacy (XC)
Advocacy explores the nature, function, and consequences of rhetoric. The course includes an introduction to rhetorical theorists and practitioners, a sampling of the major subject areas in the field of rhetoric, and the critical concepts included in these areas. Course assignments are designed to help students think critically about the study of rhetoric and what it offers to us as individuals and to society as a whole.


Communication 280: Intro to Organizational Communication (XC)
This course presents both historical and current perspectives on the origins and usefulness of organizational communication theory; it provides the knowledge for understanding and improving communication skills in a variety of organizational settings. Topics may include: decision making, organizational change, technology, globalization, emotion, assimilation, and other issues central to organizational communication.


Elementary/Secondary Education 110: Education Policy; Lies, Damned Lies, and Education (XS)
For more than three decades, public education policy in the United States has become a pervasive part of the public discussion. U.S. media is dominated by doom and gloom stories, and pessimistic assessments of U.S. students in international education rankings, and other failings of the U.S. public education system. This course will help learners scrutinize media accounts and public policy proposals for accuracy, bias and potential for effectiveness. By understanding how to critically examine a variety of claims, and learn about ways citizens can influence public policy learners will have a better capacity to engage in community life.


English 154: Odyssey: American Roadtrip (XC)
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 (XC)
A study of British literature written during the 20th century.


Geography 105: Geographies of Coffee (XS) (NW)
This course examines the physical factors that influence coffee production, the political and economic factors that influence the coffee trade, and the cultural factors that influence coffee consumption.


History 101: Early Civilization (SS) (XS)

Survey of development of civilizations, including beginnings in Mesopotamia and Egypt, through Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance.


History 110: Topics in the History of Modern Civilization (XS)
Selected topics in the History of Modern Civilizations. It may be offered with different content.


History 202: U.S. History since 1877: From Our Backyard & Beyond (XS)


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: Topics in the Early History of the United States (Optional Content) (XS)
Selected topics in the Early History of the United States designed specifically for the Quest courses in the University Studies Program. This course also fulfills requirements for the major and minor. It may be offered with different content.


Political Science 112: Power, Justice, and the State (XS)
Power, Justice, and the State invites you to consider critical themes of public interest. Why do we have a state? What should the state do and why? What should it not do and why should it not? Sate power may obviously be used for ill, but when and how can it be used for good? Does citizenship create obligations about how to treat others as well as benefits citizens? We will consider several major schools of thought about this, which we label theories of justice. We will discuss the strengths and shortcomings of these theories in practice, looking in depth at various arenas of state involvement.


Political Science 113: The Democratic Arena (XS)

Strong democracy requires citizens who are informed, knowledgeable, and actively engaged in the political process. This course will provide students with the orientation they need to make sense of the complex social questions that make up the nation's public agenda. We will first examine the popular debates over major social problems. Next we will devote considerable attention to those contested topics that challenge students to understand, care about, and become involved in national and local policy debates. Finally, this course will ask students to research the practice of Shared Governance on this campus, determine the way in which the academic political process actually works, and the attempt to explain how educational policy is determined at a university.


Theatre 180: Creative Process (XC)
This course explores the nature of creativity in ourselves through Theatre games and exercises. It will expand awareness, stimulate imagination, and develop freedom of expression. The class will focus on increasing observation skills, discovering abilities of the body and voice, gaining knowledge of self and raising self confidence. In addition, this class will heighten the student's understanding of Theatre, dramatic action and performance on stage and in all artistic disciplines.


Women’s Studies 201: Intro to Women’s Studies (XS)
Introduction to social scientific analysis of the cultural construction of gender and how it affects women's experiences past and present.  Includes interdisciplinary study of women's issues in the family, work place, media, education, politics, and other cultural institutions, as well as intersections of ethnicity, class, and gender.  Provides an introduction to the origins, purpose, subject matter and methods of Women's and Gender Studies as a discipline for majors/minors and others interested in the field.


Intercultural Knowledge and Competence (IKC)

How do people understand and bridge cultural differences?

Anthropology 123: Race, Class, and Gender in American Society (XC) (ES)

An analytical and descriptive survey of selected cultures representative of major American ethnic groups.


Art 102: Drawing I: Ethnic Studies (XC) (ES)

Beginning studio course in drawing for Art Majors and Minors. Emphasis on developing basic skills, and creative expression through visual exploration and problem solving. Credit cannot be received for both Art 111 and Art 102. The course will focus on the intercultural knowledge and competence question and counts toward the Ethnic Studies Requirement. Special fees may apply..


Art 106: Visual Communication Fundamentals (XC) (ES)

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


Communication 213: Intro to Interpersonal Communication (XC) (ES)

Examination of the components of interpersonal speech communication. Lectures, discussion, observations and controlled experiences will enable the student to learn and apply relevant concepts and variables of human interaction in dyadic, face to face communication situations. Intercultural Communication focused. Credit cannot be received for both Communication 213 and Communication 214.


Elementary/Secondary Education 111: Culture, Identity and Educational Journeys (XC) (ES)

Culture, Identity and Educational Journeys focuses 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.


English 161: Asian American Experiences (XC) (ES)

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.


English 168: Intro to American Multi-Ethnic Literatures (XC) (ES)
An introduction to the similarities and differences among themes, cultures, histories, and/or periods of development in a combination of U.S. racial and ethnic literacy traditions. This examination will include authors from racially marginalized groups, such as Asian Americans, Latinos, African Americans, and/or Native Americans.


Foreign Languages & Literature 120: Border-crossing and Migrant Identities in the Americas (XC) (ES)

This course will address the signature question: How do people understand and bridge cultural difference? The context for discussion will be the Americas and our focus will be on "borders" geographic, national, cultural, social, personal borders, and "migration" or border crossing.


Geography 107: People Places and Culture of the World (XS) (NW)
This course will focus on people's lifeways and cultures around the world from agricultural practices to sports. Students will also examine how people interact with individuals from different cultures and deal with cultural differences.


Political Science 111: Culture and the Politics of Memory (XS) (ES)

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.


Political Science 114: The Politics of Race and Sex (XS) (ES)
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. What does it mean for a group to receive representation? What forms can representation take? How does representation (or a lack of representation) impact the identities and meanings a group applies to itself, and it's relationships with other groups? We will examine these questions by investigating current theories of representation, with a critical eye toward the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. Moreover, we will apply these theories to the real world through attending events hosted by cultural groups present at UWO and throughout the Fox Valley.


Psychology 102: Introduction to Psychology (XS) (ES)

A beginning course in psychology designed to provide an understanding of contemporary approaches to human behavior and to lay the foundation for additional work in psychology. Students must complete a research requirement. Credit cannot be received for Psychology 101 and 102 and 110 or Psychology 102 or 104. This course will focus on the intercultural knowledge and competence question and counts toward the Ethnic Studies Requirement.


Religious Studies 102: World Religions (XC) (NW)

A historical survey of the basic experiential, mythical, doctrinal, ethical, ritual, and social dimensions in the world's major traditions: tribal religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Students may not receive credit for both Religious Studies 102 and Religious Studies 110.


Religious Studies 120: Religion, Children's Books, and Difference (XS) (ES)

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?


Religious Studies 123: Religion and the Other (XC) (NW)
This course will use novels and films to observe the ways that we in the West have thought and written about other people and places. Focusing on the religions of Asia and the Middle East, we will not only question the stereotypes we will have inherited, but we will also consider, for example, how Americans can be fascinated with Hindu yoga and Buddhist meditation while harboring an intense fear of Islam.


Social Justice 102: Introduction to Social Justice (XS) (ES)
This is an introductory course focused on social justice, designed to provide an understanding of contemporary issues related to social justice and in identifying and assessing relevant social, economic and behavioral factors which impact people experiencing injustice and oppression. Topics including race, gender, class, disability, gender orientation and environmental injustice, (historic and current) will be explored. Corrective measures which have been used as well as potential corrective measures, will also be explored. Credit cannot be received for both Social Justice 101 and 102. Course will focus on the Intercultural Knowledge and Competence question and count toward the Ethnic Studies requirement.


Sociology 101: Introduction to Sociology (XS) (ES)

By examining how Sociology can be used to bridge cultural difference, how Sociology can give voice to those who are silenced and how we can use this discipline to better understand the people with whom we share our world. This course will not only teach you to use Sociology to understand cultural difference, it will provide opportunity to actually experience cultural difference.


Sociology 111: Race, Ethnicity, and Society (XS) (ES)

This course is designed to cultivate and enhance your cultural and racial literacy through the employment of sociological perspectives. Broadly defined, sociology is an inquiry about the relationships between society and people, and in this course, the focus is on developing a sociologically-based intercultural and interracial knowledge and understanding. The course explores the ways in which social forces shape the ways we tend to think and act as social beings, the opportunities and obstacles that are unevenly distributed along racial/ethnic lines, and the consequences and implications of such inequities.


Theatre 150: Introduction to Theatre Design (XC) (ES)

An introduction to the basic elements of theatre from both the Western and non-Western perspective with a special emphasis on the role of the theatrical designer and the process of design.

Document Actions

Log in

Forgot your password?
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh — Where Excellence and Opportunity Meet.