About University Studies

University Studies -- UNCW's general education program -- encourages students to begin a lifelong journey of engaged inquiry and societal contribution. As a consciously integrated component of each student's overall education 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. University Studies 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, University Studies 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.

Learning Goals

All University Studies components align with UNCW’s Eight Learning Goals:

  1. Acquire foundational knowledge, theories and perspectives in a variety of disciplines (Foundational Knowledge)
  2. Engage in rigorous, open-minded and imaginative inquiry (Inquiry)
  3. Locate, evaluate, and effectively use information by applying a variety of academic and technological skills (Information Literacy)
  4. Integrate multiple methods and perspectives to critically examine complex problems (Critical Thinking)
  5. Effectively express meaningful ideas in speech and writing (Thoughtful Expression)
  6. Demonstrate basic proficiency in speaking, listening, writing and reading in a language in addition to English (Foreign Language)
  7. Describe and examine the importance and implications of human diversity (Diversity)
  8. Describe and examine the intellectual and ethical responsibilities of active global citizenship (Global Citizenship)
The following chart shows the connection between the university-level learning goals and University Studies components (click on the chart to see a larger version):

Self-Regulated Learning

We encourage students (and their advisors) to reflect on how they scaffold their learning in University Studies so that as they progress through the program they not only gain greater understanding but also greater independence in their learning process, ultimately becoming self-regulated learners. The core curriculum of Foundations and Approaches & Perspectives provides a solid interdisciplinary base upon which students can develop their competencies of information literacy, thoughtful expression, and critical thinking. These transferable skills have been identified by employers as highly desirable for new employees (see UNCW Career Center's Skill Seeker for further details).