General Education

SPU undergraduate students studying in Tiffany Loop

The General Education program at Seattle Pacific University consists of 71 credits distributed in two areas, the Common Curriculum and the Exploratory Curriculum. Additionally, as part of General Education (GE), students are required to:

  • Fulfill a Cultural Understanding and Engagement (CUE) requirement, beginning in the 2017–18 academic year.
  • Complete a capstone course required of every major.

These pages provide information about the GE program including general descriptions, sequencing, outcomes, requirements, and course applications, where appropriate.

Questions about the GE program? Contact Gaile Moe, PhD, RD, at gmoe@spu.edu or 206-281-2238.

Common Curriculum

The Common Curriculum has nine required courses spread over four years, as shown below. These courses are designed to help students develop critical academic skills, to understand and engage our multicultural and complex world, and to embrace the Christian story.

With the exception of the major capstone course, each course includes common texts and student learning outcomes. All courses, with exception of the University Colloquium (1 credit) and the major capstone (2–5 credits) are 5 credits.

All departments and faculty are invited to contribute sections to the University Colloquium and Writing 1100. These section descriptions are solicited Winter Quarter for the next academic year by the director of general education. Faculty new to teaching WRI 1100 are required to complete training with the Director of Campus Writing before teaching in the program. These contributions do not require the submission of a Course Change form in Sharepoint.

Common Curriculum Courses

First Year

  • University Colloquium
  • Writing 1000
  • Writing 1100
  • University Foundations 1000

Second Year

  • University Foundations 2000
  • University Core 2000

Third Year

  • University Foundations 3000
  • University Core 3000

Fourth Year

  • Capstone in the major

University Colloquium

The SPU Colloquium
Course specifics and frequently asked questions

To learn more about the stipends available to UCOL faculty, please read the full set of guidelines (.doc) and see the example reimbursement form (.pdf).

As of the 2016–17 academic year, this course is required of all incoming students who completed high school the previous spring. It is offered Autumn Quarter only.

Writing

As of the 2016–17 academic year, students complete WRI 1000 (offered Autumn and Winter quarters) and WRI 1100 (offered Winter and Spring quarters) in adjacent quarters of their first year.

Questions about writing programs at SPU? Contact the Director of Campus Writing Peter Moe, PhD, at moep@spu.edu or 206-281-2093.

University Foundations and Core courses

These courses are taught by faculty in designated schools and departments:

Exploratory Curriculum

Beginning with the 2013–14 academic year, students are required to complete 35 credits in the Exploratory Curriculum, comprised of Ways of Knowing (six categories) and Ways of Engaging. Students are not required to complete these courses during a specific year, but many choose to complete them in their first or second year.

Faculty may apply for their courses to have one of the Ways of Knowing or Ways of Engaging attributes by completing a course change form in Sharepoint. Applications are due in early October. This form directs the applicant to SAS faculty resources, where a separate application for the appropriate attribute is located. This application must be downloaded, completed, and then uploaded to Sharepoint. The mission, requirements, and goals and objectives for each WK category and the WE category are provided below.

Ways of Knowing and Ways of Engaging

Cultural Understanding and Engagement (CUE)

Beginning with the 2017–18 academic year, students are required to complete one course, of at least three credits, with the CUE attribute. Faculty are encouraged to apply for CUE attribute for appropriate courses. To do so, complete a course change form in Sharepoint. Applications are due in early October. This form directs the applicant to SAS faculty resources, where a separate application for the CUE attribute is located. This application must be downloaded, completed, and then uploaded to Sharepoint.

Teaching first-year students

This is some general information about working with first-year students:

“Fostering Student Learning and Success: The Value of High Impact Practices”
Report from Jillian Kinzie, Indiana University Center for Post-secondary Research.

First-Year Students
Notes and resource from the Teaching Our First-Year Students seminar.

The 13th Grade
Report from Drew C. Appleby, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, exploring the differences between high school and college.

General Education task force reports

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