Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is University Studies?
When did University Studies begin?
How will students know requirements or what phase they are held to?
How many credit hours is University Studies?

How Courses Count

Do transfer courses count towards University Studies?
What courses count for multiple criteria in University Studies?
Why is a course not counting in Living in our Diverse Nation or Living in a Global Society when it is a double-count course?
Can a student take two courses in the same discipline to fulfill AIL, HPA, SANW, or UHIB?
What is First-Year Seminar and who has to take it?
If a student transfers in a First-Year Seminar course, will it count toward satisfying UNCW's UNI 101 requirement?
How can a student satisfy the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement?
Why is my transfer work not counting in the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement?
How can a transfer student get credit for LDN or LGS?
Can one-off or special topic courses count for University Studies?
Can a student get University Studies credit for a UNCW course not approved for University Studies?
Can a student change or rearrange how courses count on their degree audit?
How does one find which new courses have been added to University Studies for the upcoming academic year?
Does ANT 207 count for both HPA and UHIB?
What if a transfer course appears to satisfy the LDN/LGS requirement but doesn't have a UNCW course equivalent?

Exceptions, Waivers, and Forms

If a freshman attended a NC Community College, are they granted an exception for University Studies?
If a re-enrollee attended a NC Community College, are they granted an exception for University Studies?
What will be waived in University Studies under the CAA, which links UNCW to NC Community Colleges?
Why isn't an AA/AS/AFA degree waiver for University Studies showing in the Degree Audit?
What is waived with a prior Bachelor's degree from a UNC System school?
What is waived from a prior Bachelor's degree from a school outside of North Carolina?
How will waivers display in the Degree Audit?
What's the difference between a Substitution and a Petition Form?
Is there a reason why a student with transfer credit, who should be granted an exception, is not granted an exception?
Can a course recieve post hoc approval for a University Studies component?

Foreign Language

How do students know what Foreign Language to take? What is the requirement for Foreign Language?
If a student speaks a language fluently, do they still have to complete the Foreign Language requirement?
The Degree Audit says "none on record" under the Foreign Language requirement. What does that mean?

Thematic Transdisciplinary Clusters

What is a Thematic Transdisciplinary Cluster and how do students declare one?
Who is exempted from completing a Thematic Transdiciplinary Cluster?
How does a student declare a cluster and does it show on the degree audit?

Building Competencies

Does a class that is under the Mathematics and Statistics also count for the Quantitative and Logical Reasoning requirement?
Why is a UNCW course that counts for a Building Competency falling under "un-used" in the Degree Audit?
How does a student petition for a transfer course to count toward a Building Competency?
A transfer course did not get approved for Building Competency via petition. Can the course equivalent be taken?
What will happen with Building Competencies in future catalogue years?

Capstone Courses

Can transfer courses be used to satisfy the Capstone requirement?

General

What is University Studies?

University Studies replaced Basic Studies as UNCW's general education program. The University Studies program encourages students to begin a lifelong journey of engaged inquiry and societal contribution. As a consciously integrated component of each student's overall undergraduate educational experience, the program reflects our institution's fundamental commitment to fostering ethical and intellectual development and to promoting the growth of well-informed, creative, literate members of society. The University Studies program first establishes the basis of an essential liberal education through a multi-faceted exploration of our diverse intellectual heritage. As it extends through each student's educational career, the University Studies program builds upon this foundation through a course of study designed to cultivate the skills and capacities students require to respond to and anticipate the complexities of modern citizenship in an inclusive and creative manner.

Check out our University Studies graphic for an overview for the curriculum.

University Studies Curriculum

When did University Studies begin?

Phase I of University Studies began for students who were in the 2011 - 2012 catalogue year. For this catalogue year, students were held to "The Core Curriculum." The second phase began for students who were in the 2012 - 2013 catalogue year. This included Phase I and expanded to include First-Year Seminar, Building Competencies, Explorations Beyond the Classroom, Capstone Courses, and Thematic Transdisciplinary Clusters. Find out more information about catalogue years and University Studies.

How will students know requirements or phase they are held to?

The Degree Audit displays the correct University Studies requirements for each student's catalogue year. Faculty: Find out how to run a degree audit. Students: Find out how to run a degree audit.

How many credit hours is University Studies?

The minimum number of hours to complete University Studies is 39. The majority of students will need more than 39 hours. The maximum number of hours varies due to placement scores, transfer credit, the major chosen, and other variables. Students should review their degree audit and work closely with their advisors to establish how many hours they need to complete University Studies requirements.

Run a degree audit in SeaNet to find out student-specifics. Faculty: Find out how to run a degree audit. Students: Find out how to run a degree audit.

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How Courses Count

Do transfer courses count in University Studies?

Yes, currently transfer work counts in University Studies requirements, except where indicated on the Degree Audit and in the UNCW Catalogue. Residency requirements affect the Thematic Transdisciplinary Clusters (3 of the 9 hours must be taken at UNCW); Building Competencies (3 of the 9 hours in Writing Intensive and Information Literacy- those required in the major must be taken at UNCW); Explorations Beyond the Classroom and Capstone Course requirements.

What courses count for multiple criteria in University Studies?

Courses that double-count in the "Core Curriculum" of University Studies are highlighted on this advising resource. For courses that count in multiple categories of University Studies, talk to your academic advisor.

Why is a course not counting in Living in our Diverse Nation or Living in a Global Society when it is a double-count course?

Only one course from the requirements of Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives through Understanding Human Institutions and Behaviors may count again Living Our Diverse Nation OR Living in a Global Society. Check the Degree Audit to see if the eligible course has already counted in the other requirement. Faculty: Find out how to run a degree audit. Students: Find out how to run a degree audit.

Can a student take two courses in the same discipline to fulfill Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives, Historical and Philosophical Approaches, Scientific Approaches to the Natural World, or Understanding Human Behaviors and Institutions?

No. Students must take courses with different prefixes to fulfill these components. This rule applies to crosslisted courses as well. For example, if a student takes CLA 209, which is crosslisted with ENG 209, to fulfill 3 hours of the AIL requirement, she cannot take another ENG course to complete the AIL requirement.

What is First-Year Seminar and who has to take it?

First-Year Seminar is a requirement for University Studies that can be fulfilled by taking either UNI 101 or HON 110. This requirement is waived for Transfer Students and will not display on the Degree Audit. Learn more about the First-Year Seminar requirement.

If a student transfers in a First-Year Seminar course, will it count toward satisfying UNCW's UNI 101 requirement?

No. Other universities' First-Year Seminar courses transfer in as UNI 001. A UNI 001 course does not satisfy UNCW's First-Year Seminar requirement, nor does it satisfy the Information Literacy competency. If a student transferring in UNI 001 believes their course meets the learning outcomes for Information Literacy, they can work with their advisor to submit the appropriate petition to have the course reviewed.

Transfer students who transfer in 27 or more credit hours are waived from the First-Year Seminar requirement. The First-Year Seminar requirement will not show up on the Degree Audit for students who do not have to fulfill this requirement.

How can a student satisfy the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement?

Approved courses will automatically satisfy the requirement. Additionally, students can complete the following:

Read more about the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement.

Why is my transfer work not counting in the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement?

This requirement must be fulfilled at UNCW. Certain international experiences may count, with approval. Read more about the Explorations Beyond the Classroom requirement.

How can a transfer student get credit for Living in our Diverse Nation or Living in a Global Society courses?

When a transfer course articulates as an existing UNCW course, the department chair should receive the request first (in the form of a Substitution Waiver Form) with the transfer university's catalogue course description and/or course syllabus attached.

When a transfer course does NOT articulate as an existing UNCW course, the Substitution Waiver Form should go directly to the Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences (Bear Hall, room 109) with the same materials attached. The advisor's role is simply to help with completing the Substitution Waiver Form and to submit it correctly. The Substitution Waiver form for the Living in our Diverse Nation and Living in a Global Society courses must be submitted with a paper form because there is no direct course match at UNCW.

Can one-off or special topics courses count for University Studies?

Yes, with a little preparation. Instructors planning to teach a one-off or special topics course according to the Student Learning Outcomes of any University Studies component should submit a course proposal form to the University Studies Advisory Committee prior to the semester or academic year the course will be offered. For a one-time circumstance rather than a permanent course approval, the instructor should make sure to indicate that this request is for a one-time situation and is not a request to approve the entire course for the University Studies component as indicated in the catalogue. If the course is approved, then the Dean of Undergraduate Studies will process a blanket petition for that section (if it involves competency). If it involves other components of University Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean will process a substitution waiver. If approved, the instructor and department can then advertise the course as fulfilling specified University Studies requirements.

In extraordinary circumstances, instructors and department chairs can submit requests for courses currently being taught directly to the Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences (Bear Hall, room 109) for non-competency components, or to the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies if it is a competency, who will then assess the situation accordingly. In these rare instance, instructors should not advertise that the course fulfills any University Studies requirement until the College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean or the Dean of Undergraduate Studies reviews the request.

Can a student get University Studies credit for a UNCW course not approved for University Studies?

In almost every instance, no. However, in the rare instance when a student takes a course that may meet the Student Learning Outcomes of a University Studies component, the student's advisor or instructor should contact the College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean (Bear Hall, room 109) regarding non-competency components or the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies if it is a competency component, for an assessment of the request.

Can a student change or rearrange how courses count on their degree audit?

Yes, students can use a different previously-completed and approved University Studies course to count in a particular category. The student should ask their academic advisor to email the Office of the Registrar at registrar@uncw.edu to make the change on their degree audit.

How does one find which new courses have been added to University Studies for the upcoming year?

Refer to our website updates or to the Faculty Senate minutes online to find a list of newly approved courses. Each new year's Undergraduate Catalogue will also include the updated, final list.

To receive the most recent updates on University Studies courses, policies, and procedures, faculty and staff can sign up for the University Studies ListServ.

Does ANT 207 count for both Historical and Philosophical Approaches and Understanding Human Institutions and Behaviors?

No, double-counting does not apply in this instance. A student can only fulfill one of those component requirements with that course. The same rule applies to CLA/ENG 210 which can fulfill either Historical and Philosophical Approaches OR Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary.

If a student wants to move ANT 207 from the Historical and Philosophical Approaches category to Understanding Human Institutions and Behaviors, for example, please submit a Substitution Waiver Form.

What if a transfer course appears to satisfy the LDN or LGS requirement but doesn't have a UNCW course equivalent?

Such a course is eligible to fulfill either the Living in OUr Diverse Nation or Living in a Global Society requirement. Advisors should use the standard Substitution Waiver Form to make this request.

Advisors and Chairs should note the difference in routing a Substitution Waiver Form that requests the use of a transfer course for the LDN and LGS requirements. The form should be routed as follows: Advisor --> Chair --> AVC and Dean of Undergraduate Studies --> Office of the Registrar.

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Exceptions, Waivers, and Forms

If a freshman attended a NC Community College, are they granted an exception for University Studies?

No, freshmen are not granted an exception for University Studies, even if they attended a North Carolina Community College. Only transfer students can receive exceptions for University Studies requirements. The logic behind this exception is that community college students would have been advised as to what transfers to UNCW.

If a re-enrollee attended a NC Community College, are they granted an exception for University Studies?

No, re-enrollees are not granted an exception for University Studies, even if they attended a North Carolina Community College. Only transfer students can receive exceptions for University Studies requirements. The logic behind this exception is that community college students would have been advised as to what transfers to UNCW.

What will be waived in University Studies under the CAA, which links UNCW to NC Community Colleges?

This depends on the student's catalogue year. Run a degree audit to view the catalogue year on the top right of the screen. (Find out how to run a degree audit.)

North Carolina Community College transfer students entering UNCW fall 2014 and spring 2015 are held to all components of University Studies. Those who have earned an AA or AS degree will receive a waiver of Foundations and Approaches & Perspectives requirements with the exception of PE, foreign language, Living in Our Diverse Nation, Living in a Global Society, and First Year Seminar. They will be held to all other requirements. All other transfer students will be held to University Studies requirements in their entirety, with the exception of First Year Seminar.

North Carolina Community College transfer students who have earned an AA or AS degree meeting the requirements of the North Carolina Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) that matriculate summer 2015 will receive a waiver of Foundations and Approaches & Perspectives requirements with the exception of PE; foreign language; and 3 credits from Living in Our Diverse Nation or Living in a Global Society. They will also receive a waiver of 3 credits each of Writing Intensive, Information Literacy, and Quantitative and Logical Reasoning competency requirements. AS and AA degree-holding transfer students will be held to all other University Studies requirements. All other transfer students will be held to University Studies in its entirety, with the exception of First Year Seminar.

University Studies includes both lower division general education components and graduation requirements related to the major. For those articulation agreements specifying transfer of lower division general education requirements, lower division general education components of University Studies include: Foundations, Approaches & Perspectives (only 3 credits of Living in Our Global Society or Living in Our Diverse Nation may apply as lower division credit), 3 credits of Quantitative and Logical Reasoning Competency, 3 credits of Writing Intensive Competency, and 3 credits of Information Literacy Competency.Note that other credit meeting University Studies requirements may transfer on a course-by-course basis and some courses may be exempted by specific agreements (e.g. lifetime wellness and foreign language requirements by the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement).

Why isn't an AA/AS/AFA degree waiver for University Studies showing on the Degree Audit?

The Office of the Registrar could be missing an official transcript that shows the date and type of degree awarded. Contact the Office of the Registrar to see if a new transcript has been received and is not yet posted, or if the transcript has not been received.

What is waived with a prior Bachelor's degree from a UNC System school?

Students who are transferring to UNCW for a second baccalaureate after having earned a baccalaureate from any UNC institution will be given a waiver for the following University Studies requirements: Composition; Lifetime Wellness; Mathematics and Statistics; Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives; Historical and Philosophical Approaches; Scientific Approaches to the Natural World; Understanding Human Institutions and Behaviors; and Thematic Transdisciplinary Clusters. For the foreign language requirement, all students should first consult with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

What is waived with a prior Bachelor's degree from a school outside of North Carolina?

Students who possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university must appeal to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies (or his or her designee). After consultation with the chair(s) of the academic department(s) through which the student is pursuing a second degree, the Dean will determine the extent to which the previous course work meets the spirit of UNCW's University Studies requirements and will determine any remaining requirements that need to be completed.

How will waivers display in the Degree Audit?

A waiver from a North Carolina Community College displays as follows:

Waiver from NCCCC

A waiver from a UNC sister institution displays as follows:

Waiver from UNC

What is the difference between a Substitution and a Petition Form?

The Substitution Form is used to take a course that is un-used in the General Electives of the Degree Audit and to submit it to be satisfied toward a specific degree requirement.

The Petition Form is only used for courses that are trying to be approved to satisfy a Building Competency (Writing Intensive, Information Literacy, or Quantitative Logic).

Find out more about these forms.

Is there a reason why a student with transfer credit, who be granted an exception, is not granted an exception?

Yes. Freshmen are required to meet all components of University Studies, even if they bring in transfer, AP, or IP credit. Contact the Office of the Registrar if you have questions.

Can a course receive post hoc approval for a University Studies component?

UNCW's curricular procedures hold that the University Studies Advisory Committee and Faculty Senate approve all course proposals prior to allowing any course to fulfill University Studies requirements. In exceptional circumstances, instructrors and department chairs should contact the Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences (Bear Hall, room 109) for non-competency components or the Associate Vice Chancellor and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies if it is a competency component.

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Foreign Language

How do students know what Foreign Language to take? What is the Foreign Language requirement?

The Degree Audit has been encoded to pick up the high school language a student studied. It will report the language and give the correct requirements to follow. The student can continue to study the same high school language and fulfill the University Studies requirement by completing through the 201-level. Students can also choose to study a new foreign language, as long as it is different from the high school language, and fulfill the University Studies requirement by completing through the 102-level. Learn more about the Foreign Language requirement.

If a student took two high school foreign languages, both will show on the Degree Audit. The student may choose which one to pursue and the audit will close the one that is not followed. See Degree Audit example.

If a student speaks a foreign language fluently, do they still have to complete the Foreign Language requirement?

The student should contact Dr. Raymond Burt, Chair of the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department, at (910) 962-7684 or burtr@uncw.edu to inquire about the possibility of a waiver.

The Degree Audit says "none on record" under the Foreign Language requirement. What does that mean?

None on record means the student has no foreign language on record in Banner, so they must complete 201-level in a new foreign language. It is possible that foreign language was not required for Admission or it could have been missed in the high school transcript. Please note: students need more than one high school semester in the language for it to be recorded as a high school language.

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Thematic Transdisciplinary Clusters

What is a Thematic Transdisciplinary Cluster and how do students declare one?

A Thematic Transdisciplinary Cluster is a set of three courses from University Studies and departmental majors that allow students to investigate a common theme through different perspectives. Through the completion of a cluster, students will develop their critical thinking skills by integrating the methods and findings specific to each disciplinary perspective. Cross-disciplinary study equips students with the skills to seek creative solutions to the difficulties they will encounter when dealing with the complex problems that shape our modern world. Various clusters are offered and are viewable on the UNCW Catalogue. See a list of all Clusters available in the Clusters requirement.

At least 9 credit hours and 3 courses are required. Students must take at least 3 of the 9 required hours at UNCW. All courses are eligible for multiple counting.

Students declare their cluster in mySeaport in the Major Declaration system. Students should discuss with their academic advisor which cluster to declare.

Who is exempted from completing a Thematic Transdisciplinary Cluster?

How does a student declare a cluster and does it show on a degree audit?

A student can declare a cluster through the online major declaration system on mySeaPort. Studes do not need to declare a cluster when they declare a major. Their cluster will not show on the degree audit until it has been declared.

Clusters cannot be run against a "what-if" degree audit in SeaNet. Please use the UNCW Catalogue to view the cluster courses. Clusters show on the degree audits in the same location a minor would: at the very bottom, after the major.

Until a cluster is officially declared a "placeholder' cluster is put on the student's degree audit, as such:

cluster

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Building Competencies

Does a class that is under the Mathematics and Statistics Foundations category also count for the Quantitative and Logical Reasoning requirement?

No, it does not. Transfer students should review the Undergraduate Catalogue under Academic Programs for more information.

According to the learning outcomes for the Quantitative and Logical Reasoning Competency: In order to function successfully in the modern world, its citizens educated at UNCW must be ready to understand, apply, and communicate logical and quantitative approaches to commonplace issues as they arise in the public forums of democracy or in the choices to be made that will enrich one's own private life. Though these quantitative and logical reasoning skills are encountered in the mathematics requirement, they will be refined and enhanced by the study of applications of such reasoning within the student's own major or other disciplines or by additional study within mathematics, statistics, or logic. Courses that fulfill this Quantitative and Logical Reasoning component must be one of the following:

  1. (Quantitative Reasoning) An additional course beyond the mathematics or statistics courses used for the Mathematics and Statistics requirement or a quantitative methods course from any discipline that acquaints a student with how quantitative reasoning is applied. In order to be listed here, at least half of the course content of a quantitative methods course must involve some of the following: modeling and problem solving using quantitative methods, data collection, representation, and interpretation, mathematical or statistical analysis and numerical reasoning.
  2. (Logic) An introductory logic, symbolic logic, or critical thinking course that will improve student ability to reason critically by analyzing, evaluating, and extending argument.

The degree audit shows this requirement as follows:

Math and Stats Requirement is Complete

But the Competency Requirement is not completed.

Why is a UNCW course that counts for a Building Competency falling under "un-used" in the Degree Audit?

Building Competencies have date-ranges for when they were approved and are for UNCW courses only. Courses taken prior to these date-ranges do not fulfill the requirement, because the competency was not part of the course.

Any courses added to University Studies during and after a student's catalogue year are eligible to fulfill University Studies requirements. If a student takes a course before its addition to University Studies, the course will not automatically fulfill University Studies Building Competency requirements.

How does a student petition for a transfer course to count in Building Competencies?

Read the Competency Checklist. Students, if you feel your course meets the requirements of a University Studies Competency, meet with your advisor. The advisor will complete the Petition for Crediting a US Competency Requirement. The advisor initiates and signs the form, then routes it to the department chair of the course, then to the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies for approval. Find out more about the Petition form.

A transfer course did not get approved for a Building Competency via petition. Can the course equivalent at UNCW be taken?

The course cannot be repeated here if it has the same content.

What will happen with Building Competencies in future catalogue years?

Starting in the 2014 - 2015 UNCW Catalogue, some transfer courses may articulate automatically to fulfill competency requirements. The catalogue may, however, exclude other transfer courses from fulfilling the Building Competency requirements. In those cases, students, in consultation with their advisors, may submit a Petition Form to the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Studens in prior catalogue years will not be affected by this change.

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Capstone Courses

Can transfer courses be used to satisfy the Capstone requirement?

Yes, if the Department Chair of the student's major evaluates the transfer course as being a suitable substitute for the UNCW requirement.

Advisors and Chairs should note the difference in routing a Substitution Waiver Form that requests the use of a transfer course for the Capstone requirement. The form should be routed as follows: Advisor --> Chair --> AVC and Dean of Undergraduate Studies --> Office of the Registrar.

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