Earn a Degree
Earning a Bachelor's Degree
This page introduces you to the requirements for earning a UO bachelor’s degree. As you begin to plan your academic program, it is helpful to understand the UO degree requirements including the general education requirements. Check out the new Academic Jumpstart Tutorial!
The Importance of General Education
University students sometimes ask why it is important to take general education classes. A classical, liberal arts education, used to be available only to the sons of wealthy, white men who understood the value of education. These young men studied and discussed philosophy, literature, and other disciplines in small classes. Because the students’ families were wealthy, the students didn’t have to worry about getting a job after school. Many other people their age were apprenticing in a trade or working as servants. The student body today is much more diverse.
Today you need to read, discuss, write, and express philosophy, literature, and other disciplines like those young men did; however, most of you also need to get a job when you graduate. At the University of Oregon, we are trying to offer students both of these sometimes disparate outcomes.
At the university general education focuses on the three chief types of human knowledge, imagination, and activity: Social Science, Arts and Letters, and Science. Through a liberal arts education, you have the opportunity to creatively design and shape your own experience: through the general education classes, majors, and electives you choose, through practical learning experiences, and by getting to know professors and other students. We hope you will learn not only ‘book knowledge,’ but also how to live as an ethical, creative actor in society. While your education will be varied, it is connected and under girded by your learning to question and reason seriously, rationally, and analytically.
As you choose classes and a major, you too may find the beauty in a liberal arts education; learning to analyze and evaluate data, developing in-depth knowledge in specific topics, and learning specific skills. The ability to reason and communicate clearly—in writing and speaking—is important in education, as well as in employment and other parts of your life. These abilities are enhanced through writing and math classes. While people often say they will not use math after college, you will, whether it is your kid’s homework, figuring out real estate interest rates, balancing your checkbook, or choosing between jobs after figuring the costs of transportation, dependent care, and taxes.
Being able to communicate also means understanding, tolerating, and celebrating people unlike yourself. Learning a second language and the cultures in which that language is used is an invaluable way to communicate and expand yourself.
DUCKWEB offers access to the Degree Audit and to other advising tools such as unofficial transcripts. The Degree Audit documents completion of general education and university degree requirements. With the UO ID and PAC number, students may log on to DUCKWEB at duckweb.uoregon.edu. Students can access their most recent Degree Audit through the "View Degree Audit" heading on the Student Menu of DUCK WEB.
Current Degree Audits are important for students and their adviser to use in assessing their progress toward completing degree requirements.