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Overview of Volunteer Core Requirements

Effective Communication – 5 courses, 9-15 credit hours

Written Communication (WC) – 3 courses

  • English first-year composition sequence – 2 courses, 3 credit hours each
  • Additional WC-designated course1 – 1 course, minimum 1 credit hour (may be in major)

Oral Communication (OC)2 – 2 courses

  • OC-designated course – 1 course, minimum 1 credit hour (may be in the major)
  • Applied Oral Communication (AOC)-designated course3 – 1 course, minimum 1 credit hour (may be in major)

Expanded Perspectives – minimum of 31 credit hours

Individual courses may appear under more than one Volunteer Core category if they fulfill the learning outcomes of multiple categories (e.g., a single course might qualify for both GCUS and SS designations). However, no course may be used to satisfy two Expanded Perspectives requirements (e.g., a student may not use one course to satisfy both the GCUS and an SS requirement).

Ways of Knowing – minimum of 6 courses

  • Arts & Humanities (AH) – 1 course, minimum 3 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences (NS) – 2 courses, minimum 3 credit hours per course

At least one of the courses must have a laboratory.

  • Quantitative and Logical Reasoning (QR) – 2 courses, minimum 3 credit hours per course
  • Social Sciences (SS) – 1 course, minimum 3 credit hours

Global Citizenship – minimum of 2 courses

  • International Focus (GCI) 1 course, minimum 3 credit hours
  • US Focus (GCUS) 1 course, minimum 3 credit hours

Expanded Perspectives Electives – 6 credit hours

  • Selected from any of the following designations: AH, AAH4, GCI, GCUS, or SS

Engaged Inquiries5 (EI) – 9 credit hours, minimum 2 courses

Engaged Inquiries courses may be within the student’s major, minor, elective, or any Volunteer Core area (AH, AAH, AOC, GCI, GCUS, OC, NS, QR, SS, WC). Students must complete at least 9 EI credits from at least 2 different subjects (course prefix).

Courses in the WC category must have the following prerequisite: English 102, 132, 290, or 298 (plus any others specific to the particular course).

2 Courses may apply for either OC or AOC but not both categories.

3 Courses in AOC category: We strongly encourage that the oral communication (OC) Volunteer Core requirement used in your program serve as a prerequisite for the AOC course (e.g., CMST 210, 240; CE 205; Phil 244).

4 Applied Arts & Humanities (AAH) courses allow students to learn by doing through performances or creative activities.

Engaged Inquires courses are defined as courses that meet learning outcomes from at least 2 of the following domains: (a) Integrative or Multidisciplinary Knowledge; (b) Applied Learning; (c) Collaborative Learning; (d) Reflective Development.


  • A student’s college and/or program may require specific Volunteer Core courses.
  • A college may limit the applicability of Volunteer Core courses to the requirements of the major or program.
  • Volunteer Core courses may be at the 100, 200, 300, or 400 level.