The UNIV Curriculum

UNIV (university-wide) courses are one-, two-, three-, and four-credit elective offerings designed to help students from all majors develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to succeed in college, engage in high impact experiences, and graduate career-ready.

UNIV courses fall into four broad categories including academic support and transition, career preparation and exploration, leadership and global citizenship development, and undergraduate research and creative discovery. The curriculum is managed and overseen by the UNIV Curriculum Committee.

UNIV Course Scheduling

If you would like to propose to teach a UNIV course that is not already scheduled, you must submit a request.

UNIV Courses Listed by Topical Category

Academic Support and Transition

Whether a student is new to WSU or continuing, these courses can help them be successful in their time here at WSU. Courses include:

UNIV 101: Developing College Success Strategies

This course is under development as a summer transition course for incoming first-year students.  Anticipated Summer 2024.

In development.

UNIV 104: First-Year Success Seminar

Course Prerequisite: Less than 30 credits. Strategies for college success, goal setting, integrative learning, and developing community connects in order to excel in the first year.

  • Enhance your cognitive and noncognitive skills (i.e., goal setting, time/project management, study skills, communication, self-efficacy, belongingness)
  • Increase your wellness (i.e., dealing with stress, finding balance, financial literacy)
  • Navigate and engage with university resources and effectively engage with faculty
  • Develop and reflect upon student identity and learn to effectively communicate across diverse cultural perspectives
  • *May include other topics such as: Initiating career skills, major exploration, leadership, additional foci for special populations, and illuminating and identifying important issues affecting students on campus and in their communities

UNIV 110: Developing Academic Strategies for Reading and Writing

Development of academic English vocabulary, grammatical competence, reading strategies, and academic writing skills. (Course Prerequisites: TOEFL iBT 64-75, TOEFL PBT 185-205, or IELTS 5.5-6; INTO Pathways Students only.)

  • Use a variety of reading strategies (e.g. previewing, predicting, skimming, scanning, inferencing, and questioning).
  • Identify main ideas, supporting details, organizational patterns, grammatical structures, evidence, and arguments in academic texts.
  • Infer meanings of unfamiliar words through context.
  • Identify reporting verbs, cohesive devices, and hedging in a text.
  • Use WSU library and Internet resources to find journal articles, books, and other research materials.
  • Use correct grammatical and sentence structures.
  • Use academic language including reporting verbs, cohesive devices, and hedging.
  • Summarize, paraphrase, and quote information to compose coherent and well-supported text.
  • Identify plagiarism, the consequences, and how it can be avoided.
  • Use correct citation format.
  • Use appropriate transitions between ideas and paragraphs.
  • Provide adequate context for reader/audience.
  • Develop adequate and clear support for ideas in writing using the language of different writing genres (e.g. compare/contrast, cause/effect, summary/response).
  • Synthesize information from multiple sources to support or explain an idea.
  • Develop an understanding of American university culture, expectations, and standards.
  • Demonstrate understanding of other university course requirements including materials, assignments, due dates, grading policy, and exit criteria.
  • Locate and utilize campus resources for academic support.
  • Use time management techniques to create a study plan.
  • Apply test-taking strategies.

UNIV 111: Developing Academic Strategies for Listening and Discussion

Refinement of academic English skills, focusing on listening and speaking in classroom contexts, as well as further development of critical thinking skills and academic success strategies in an American university setting. (Course Prerequisites: UNIV 110 with a grade of B or better; TOEFL iBT of 64-75, TOEFL PBT of 185-205, or IELTS of 5.5-6; INTO Pathways students only.)

  • Use various note-taking strategies such as abbreviations, symbols, and reduced forms.
  • Recognize the difference between essential and non-essential information in a lecture in order to take notes efficiently.
  • Differentiate between main ideas and supporting ideas in academic lectures and discussions.
  • Distinguish the parts and structure of a lecture (e.g., the introduction, examples, main ideas, and conclusion) by means of transitions and other cues.
  • Present and explain data such as charts and other graphics when appropriate.
  • Interpret common speech reductions used by native speakers in lectures and discussion (including elision), as they occur.
  • Recognize meaning conveyed by rhythm, intonation, word and sentence stress, and phrasing in production of academic English.
  • Use appropriate rhythm, intonation, word and sentence stress, and phrasing in production of academic and non-academic English.
  • Apply presentation skills such as body language, projection, and organization.
  • Use appropriate academic discussion language such as rejoinders, interjections, and question formation.
  • Clarify key vocabulary meaning and nuances.
  • Infer meanings of unfamiliar words through context.
  • Use and pronounce vocabulary appropriately.
  • Critically analyze the strength and validity of arguments, bias, and explicit and implied information.
  • Use available resources such as texts, online information, and discussion to support and add to understanding of concepts covered in lectures.
  • Explain course requirements including materials, assignments, due dates, grading policy, and exit criteria.
  • Locate and utilize campus resources for academic support.
  • Use time management techniques to create a study plan. 
  • Apply test-taking strategies.

UNIV 250: Success in College and Beyond

Academic skills and strategies that are critical for college success and personal growth.

  • Understand skills and attitudes necessary for success in college and beyond, while assessing areas/skills for improvement. 
  • Clarify goals and develop strategies for achieving them. 
  • Analyze current time use and develop strategies for priority-based self-regulation. 
  • Utilize a variety of campus resources to maximize success. 
  • Cultivate study strategies to maximize performance in the classroom. 
  • Understand personality and strengths to better inform major selection. 
  • Express concepts and beliefs coherently.

UNIV 304: Transfer Student Seminar

Course Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Seminar for students with transfer credit to acclimate to the university and develop skills for academic, personal, and career success.

  • Understand the transitions that transfer students experience
  • Identify and demonstrate where to find resources relevant to your success
  • Demonstrate mastery of academic, social, and life plans as it relates to your education
  • Understand the value of co-curricular engagement
  • Work toward reaching your academic and career goals
  • *Specialized section for veterans

Career Preparation and Exploration

These UNIV courses are designed to assist students with identifying a major or career and well as help them prepare for their future job search. The following UNIV courses from the WSU General Catalog fall under this category:

UNIV 100: College Majors and Career Exploration

Career development and the decision-making process; exploration of academic majors and careers.

  • Identify and describe your interests, skills, values, and motivations in relation to career options
  • Effectively explore career options
  • Gain knowledge of majors and minors offered at Washington State University
  • Increase confidence in educational/career decisions based upon what you know about yourself and what you learn through research
  • Learn important aspects of career development
  • Apply what you have learned in class to career decision-making beyond your time at WSU

UNIV 204: First-Year Career Exploration and Design Thinking

Development of strategies for turning college success into personal and professional personal success. Emphasis on design thinking through exploring major and career pathways. Recommended preparation: UNIV 104.

  • Define your values and interests as they relate to academic programs, the world of work, and careers.
  • Identify campus and community leadership opportunities.
  • Identify a diverse range of leadership styles and philosophies.
  • Learn how to effectively communicate their skills, values, and experience.
  • Demonstrate increased ownership for their education and professional development to achieve long-term goals.

UNIV 301: Career Exploration and Development

Course Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Career exploration through various types of research and professional development work including self assessments and preparation for entry into professional environments.

  • Recognize personal motivators, barriers, strengths, and values that affect academic success and career choices
  • Identify career paths congruent with personal interests, strengths, and values
  • Increase understanding of the relationship between majors, jobs, and careers
  • Gain the skills to undertake a successful job search, including completion of an Online-Portfolio with resume and related job search materials
  • Gain confidence in your major/academic plan and career choices, personal strengths, and future plans
  • Identify, research, and evaluate professional opportunities using tools such as networking, informational interviewing, and contacts with professional organizations relevant to internship and career opportunities.
  • Critically engage with employers and other students to develop appropriate strategies in job/internship search and acquisition.
  • Understand how an informational interview or job shadow assists in analyzing and evaluating potential employment/Internship or graduate school options
  • Be adept in the use of on-line career resources, including both those in general use as well as those specific to the professional arena.

UNIV 398: Internship

May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 15 hours. Cooperative educational internship with a business, government or non-profit organization. S, F grading.

In development.

Leadership and Global Citizenship

Leadership and global citizenship courses are for specific groups that are training to become leaders at WSU and beyond. Courses include:

UNIV 295: Introduction to Models of Leadership

Introduction to leadership theories; development of personal leadership skills and application of leadership strategies via experiential learning.

  • Define and understand leadership and the role of leadership
  • Identify and understand foundational leadership theories and styles
  • Identify and explain what their core values, leadership style, and personal strengths are
  • Increase awareness and demonstrate skills for managing health and wellness
  • Students will research and develop a personal leadership plan (core values, leadership style, and individual strengths).
  • Additional learning outcomes applicable to major/minor or population may be approved by the committee.

UNIV 490: Global Leadership Experience

Course Prerequisite: Admitted to the Global Leadership Certificate program; by permission. Intensive or sustained experiential global learning through experiences such as education abroad or local intercultural activities. S, F grading.

  • Understand that one’s own perceptions and behaviors are culturally influenced
  • Communicate with individuals and organizations across cultural backgrounds
  • Apply global experiences to interactions in everyday life

UNIV 491: Global Leadership Integrative Capstone

Course Prerequisite: Admitted to the Global Leadership Certificate program. Integrative culminating experience for global leadership.

  • Demonstrate cultural competency through attitudes, knowledge and skills appropriate for intercultural communication
  • Demonstrate skills in non-positional leadership appropriate to work with individuals, communities and organizations reflecting diverse origins
  • Reflect on the skills, experiences, and knowledge gained through the GLC and how they have influenced and facilitated the growth of your personal and professional goals
  • Think critically about the world around you
  • Make a difference; be the change

UNIV 492: Education Abroad Integrative Capstone

Integrative culminating experience for education abroad. Recommended preparation: Study abroad.

  • Provide a theoretical framework for analysis of one’s own experience
  • Identify intercultural competency skills and cultural learning gained abroad
  • Extend and apply that learning in new situations in daily life and in the future

UNIV 493: Global Leadership Experience

Course Prerequisite: By department permission. Enhancement of student skills, perspectives, and competencies relating to global experience at home or abroad.

  • Identify and reflect on various aspects of your experience through a series of reflective papers and in-class discussions
  • Conceptualize how your time abroad or being in a globally-related experience furthers your professional, academic and personal goals and be able to demonstrate that through a final Reflective project

UNIV 497: Peer Leadership

May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 9 hours. Development of leadership and interpersonal skills for specific peer leadership and paraprofessional positions.

  • Apply contemporary leadership models and theories to better understand themselves, and to interact effectively with diverse others in teams and communities.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing to inform, persuade, and reflect on leadership topics, issues, and situations.
  • Effectively demonstrate in groups and individually intercultural understanding to meet the needs of a diverse group of people
  • Demonstrate understanding and/or examples of building interactions, relationships, and/or communities
  • Demonstrate a lens that proactively seeks an understanding of bias and is welcoming and inclusive
  • Apply advanced knowledge of one or more leadership theories and/or approaches in the experiential component
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of one or more leadership theories in an academic report, research, and/or creative discovery assessment
  • *Additional learning outcomes applicable to major/minor or population may be approved by the committee.

Research and Creative Discovery

These courses are for students interested in, or already conducting, research at WSU and can help them navigate the undergraduate research process. Courses include:

UNIV 198: Foundations of Academic Research

Introduction to secondary research and scholarly communication; information-seeking, evaluation, and use; critical reflection on biases, authority, misinformation, and research process.

  • Define a research topic or question that is manageable, appropriate for the assignment, and leads to genuine engagement with available information sources.
  • Have a foundational understanding of the information-seeking process.
  • Integrate information from a variety of sources and perspectives with their own ideas and communicate this knowledge in an organized and meaningful way.
  • Critically evaluate information sources in context as part of an ongoing, socially situated conversation. This requires thinking about the meaning, purpose, and credibility of the source, but also considering the cultural and political underpinnings of knowledge claims and examining our own values and assumptions as researchers.
  • Develop comfort and familiarity with scholarly information practices and conventions.

UNIV 199: Introduction to Directed Research

May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 12 hours. Introduction to independent research, scholarship, reading analysis, creative project, or field experiences.

  • Learn how research, scholarship, and creative activities work at WSU and affiliated institutions in the region.
  • Learn how to find a research mentor to guide you in research, scholarship, or creative activities. 
  • Learn basic skills that will help you in all aspects of your education, and help you be more successful in research, scholarship, or creative activities. 
  • Learn how research is conducted in a variety of fields and the role research plays in academia and wider society. 
  • *Instructors may add additional goals specific to their section of the course.

UNIV 300: Accessing Information for Research

Scholarly research process and strategies, with emphasis on electronic resources for conducting academic research in the disciplines.

  • Analyze topics, develop search strategies, and use sophisticated search techniques to find information.
  • Recognize and evaluate the authority, reliability, scope, purpose and relevance of information, information sources, and information producers and distributors.
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a purpose.
  • Access and use information ethically and legally, with an understanding of its value and of information practices in various social contexts.

UNIV 394: Research Skills

May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 4 credits. Basic research skills including developing experiments, reading literature, building mentor/mentee relationship.

  • Manage a scientific project starting with developing a hypothesis to analyzing data and drawing conclusions
  • Comfortably communicate with your research mentor
  • Increasingly identify as a scientific researcher and improve in confidence and independence
  • Begin the process of applying for a summer research program and WSU Research Fellowships

UNIV 494: Advanced Research Skills

May be repeated for credit; cumulative maximum 4 credits. Course Prerequisite: UNIV 394; admitted to the MARC-WSU program. Advanced research skills including research ethics, science communication, building professional networks.

  • Have prepared and submitted applications for graduate school
  • Know how to make strategic decisions applying to graduate school programs
  • Be experienced in the detailed presentation of your own research and increase your own scientific expertise.
  • Increased your leadership and confidence
  • Apply scientific communication skills
  • Develop your professional identity
  • Increase your research identity and confidence