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Washington State University
UCORE: University Common Requirements Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

Foundational Competencies Courses

UCORE Foundational Competencies courses are intended for completion in a student’s first year of study. They provide students with essential skills in quantitative reasoning and communication needed for success throughout the remainder of the UCORE curriculum and in major fields of study.

Foundational Competencies Comprise 9 Credits

QUAN (3 credits): Quantitative Reasoning is both a WSU learning goal and a category of UCORE requirements that can be fulfilled by courses designated QUAN. The fundamentals of quantitative reasoning (e.g., calculations and memorization of numerical equations and formulas) are important and must be included in any QUAN course. However, students should also perform work to move beyond these basics and develop an understanding of how to interpret, evaluate, and critique the results of such analyses, and how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative methods. 

WRTG / COMM (6 credits): Communication is both a WSU learning goal and a category of UCORE requirements that can be filled by courses designated WRTG and COMM. The WSU learning goal requires students to develop and express ideas in writing and in other mediums. This learning goal includes adapting content and conventions to context, audience, and purpose. Typically, such adaptation requires skills involving: working with many different technologies; mixing texts, data, and images; and use of high- quality, credible, relevant sources. Finally, students will hone clarity, fluency, and accuracy.

To Meet the Communication Learning Goal and Related UCORE requirements, Students Take:

  • One 3-credit course focused on the written medium [WRTG], and
  • another 3-credit course which can be either [COMM] or [WRTG], focused on written and/or non-written mediums (oral, multi-modal or other), such as public speaking, conversational foreign language, interpersonal communication, visual literacy, multimedia authoring or intercultural communication.
  • Additionally, all students take two Writing in the Major [M] courses*, which further advance their writing skills, and which may also carry a UCORE designation.

*Writing in the Major [M] courses are not reviewed by the UCORE committee unless the course also carries a UCORE designation.