Undergraduate Education at The University of Tulsa
Through a wide range of courses and modes of learning, undergraduate education at The University of Tulsa challenges students to develop an appreciation of a liberal education, a breadth of knowledge, and the reasoning and communication skills that will enhance their ability to participate fully in contemporary society. Students enjoy not only diverse opportunities to participate in the scholarly process but also, through study in a major subject area or area of concentration, gain depth of understanding and proficiency in a particular subject.
Baccalaureate Degrees Awarded
The University of Tulsa offers the following undergraduate degrees:
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.)
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and
Bachelor of Science in the following fields:
Applied Mathematics (B.S.A.M.)
Business Administration (B.S.B.A.)
Biological Science (B.S.B.S.)
Chemical Engineering (B.S.Ch.E.)
Computer Engineering (B.S.Com.E.)
Computer Science (B.S.C.S.)
Computer Simulation and Gaming (B.S.C.S.G.)
Cyber Security (B.S.Cy.S.)
Electrical Engineering (B.S.E.E.)
Engineering Physics (B.S.E.P.)
Exercise and Sports Science (B.S.E.S.S.)
Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)
Petroleum Engineering (B.S.P.E.) and
Speech-language Pathology (B.S.S.P.).
Admission to certain degree programs may be limited and have additional academic requirements or a separate program application. See specific academic unit and program requirements for details.
Majors, Minors and Certificates
Students usually choose their major subject during their first year at The University of Tulsa. Each academic unit determines the number of hours required in the major subject.
Students in all undergraduate colleges may complete minors and certificate programs which allow them to acquire proficiencies in a specialized area of study. Many of the hours that count toward a minor or certificate will also count toward the student’s general education and major requirements or as electives. Collegiate requirements may be more restrictive and may prohibit or limit “double-counting.” See the collegiate academic policies for more details.
Minors and certificates are courses of study in a discipline or interdisciplinary cluster that is other than the student’s major area of study.
A minor typically comprises courses from one or more disciplines that are distinct from the major. A minor consists of at least 12 semester hours, six of which must be at the 3000 or 4000 level. A minor may be earned only in conjunction with a bachelor’s degree and at least one major.
A certificate may be earned in conjunction with a bachelor’s degree or separately by individuals who already possess one or more college degrees, and will not be awarded prior to awarding of a bachelor’s degree.
Upon matriculation, each incoming student is advised by a professional, collegiate advisor in the Office of Academic Advising. Once the student has selected a major and been accepted into an academic unit, the student is assigned a faculty advisor, with whom they meet in their sophomore year. Students are required to return to the Office of Academic Advising at least once during their junior year and again prior to the second semester of their senior year for a graduation check to ensure the timely completion of all degree requirements. Students may inquire at the Office of Academic Advising at any time with regard to specific needs or issues. The Office of Academic Advising maintains student records, and its professional staff coordinates advising activities within the College.
First Year Experience
FYE 1001 First Year Experience is an academic and personal development course designed to help students develop the skills necessary for making a successful academic and personal transition to The University of Tulsa. Incoming freshmen are required to enroll during their first semester at TU. Transfer students under the age of 21 with fewer than 30 credit hours and no prior FYE course credit enroll in FYE 3001 Transfer Experience during their first semester at TU.
The Tulsa Curriculum
Every undergraduate must fulfill the requirements of the Tulsa Curriculum, which has two parts: the core curriculum and the general curriculum. Most students complete the Tulsa Curriculum before beginning the junior year. The University Curriculum Committee exercises oversight of the Tulsa Curriculum.
The Core Curriculum
Core curriculum requirements in writing, mathematics, and languages include the development of fundamental intellectual skills that are not only immediately useful in helping students meet the requirements of general education courses but that also equip them with basic competencies. Courses in the general curriculum are distributed among intellectual categories to guarantee that each student has an understanding and an appreciation of several kinds of knowledge in addition to the knowledge acquired in the major and minor.
All undergraduates must complete, place out of, or show proficiency in ENGL 1033 Exposition and Argumentation or FS 1963 First Seminar I, an alternative first-year writing course that is equivalent to ENGL 1033. Additionally, all undergraduates must take at least one more writing course, dependent on their College. For their second course, students in The Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences take FS 1973 First Seminar II. For their second course, students in The College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, The Collins College of Business, and The Oxley College of Health Sciences take ENGL 3003 Writing for the Professions or a University-approved equivalent course. Some multilingual writers and other students who need developmental work in the fundamentals of writing, as evidenced by their Writing Program Guided Self-Placement questionnaire results, are required to enroll in ENGL 1004 Introduction to College Writing as a prerequisite for ENGL 1033.
Writing Core Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the writing core requirements will be able to:
- Assess writing situations to read, analyze, and compose texts appropriate for various purposes, audiences, and genres.
- Demonstrate the values and conventions of academic and professional writing.
- Apply a process-based approach to achieve successful written communication.
All incoming undergraduates must complete, place out of, or show proficiency in a basic mathematics course. Specific requirements vary by degree program. Refer to program requirements for details.
Mathematics Core Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the mathematics core requirements will be able to:
- Demonstrate independent learning of mathematics by connecting math concepts and problem-solving skills to solve new problems.
- Demonstrate critical thinking of mathematics by exploring examples, posing questions, and analyzing results.
- Communicate ideas and solutions effectively using mathematical vocabulary, notations, and technology.
Students in many degree programs are required to take a foreign language, as follows:
All Bachelor of Arts students must complete, place out of, or show proficiency in a foreign language through the second-year level.
All Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music Education students must complete or show proficiency in a foreign language through the first-year level (1004-1014) and either continue the foreign language through the second level or take two additional courses from Blocks I and II in the general curriculum.
All Bachelor of Science in Business Administration students must complete, place out of, or show proficiency in a modern foreign language through the first-year level (1004-1014).
Non-native English speakers should consult the Center for Academic Advising for language requirements for the degree in which they are enrolled.
All domestic students, regardless of self-identification as ESL, are required to complete Language Placement Assessment. Language Placement Assessment is waived for international students from non-English-speaking countries.
The placement examination does not grant academic credit, nor can it be used to test out of the language proficiency requirement.
By petitioning the School of Language and Literature, students who begin their language study in a course above the level of first semester and complete it with a grade of C or higher receive credit for the previous course as well, up to and including fourth semester. Such credit may not exceed four hours. Students with previous college, AP, or IB credit in a language are not eligible for delayed proficiency credit in that language, nor are native speakers who choose to study their native language. Delayed proficiency credit is awarded toward the completion of a College’s language proficiency requirement, but it is not granted if the language is being taken as an elective.
Students whose first language is English and who wish to fulfill their language requirement in a language which TU does not teach must arrange to take either the ACTFL OPI with a certified ACTFL examiner, the ACTFL WPT INTERNET exam, or the ACTFL APPT exam, at https://www.languagetesting.com/gsa-schedule. If the language in question is not found on ACTFL’s list, a student may appeal to the Dean of the Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences.
Prior to enrollment, incoming students with previous classroom or life experience in Chinese, French, German, or Spanish who intend to continue studying the same language must take its placement exam. This policy also applies to native speakers of a Romance language who intend to take courses either in their native tongue or in another language taught by the School of Language and Literature.
The level which must be achieved by students in order to be deemed proficient depends upon whether their degree requirement is two semesters or four. A two-semester benchmark requires a score at the intermediate-mid proficiency level, while a four-semester benchmark requires a score at the intermediate-high level. If the interested student has not declared a degree by the date of testing, the four-semester benchmark is applied.
The General Curriculum
Because the development of knowledge involves collaboration with the past and engagement with the present, the general curriculum, through the blocks defined below, is structured to encourage this collaboration and engagement. Its goal is to lead students to a breadth of knowledge and intellectual rigor rooted in the academic disciplines. Reflecting the University’s commitment to writing through the curriculum, courses in the general curriculum typically require significant amounts of writing. These courses also emphasize original texts, wherever appropriate, as well as current scholarship. Students choose from courses offered in the following categories: Aesthetic Inquiry and Creative Experience (Block I), Historical and Social Interpretation (Block II), and Scientific Investigation (Block III). The general curriculum requirements include the completion of two courses taken in Block I, four in Block II, and two including a lab in Block III.
This Bulletin and the Schedule of Courses for each semester specify course offerings in the general curriculum. In meeting the general curriculum requirement, a student may take no more than two courses from a single discipline. Course selection may be governed in part by a student’s prospective major. Except for students in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences who are typically exempted from Block III, each student must complete 25 hours of general curriculum courses: six from Block I, twelve from Block II, and seven from Block III.
Block I (AICE): Aesthetic Inquiry and Creative Experience (6 hours)
Block I courses consider the human activities of making, thinking, and doing. Two different approaches are offered: those that involve students in the creative process through study in courses designed to produce or perform creative works; and those that investigate the nature of texts, works of art or music, or systems of thought.
Block I Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the General Curriculum Block I requirements will be able to:
- Apply knowledge of texts, media, forms, practices and/or systems of knowledge in the arts and humanities through reading, viewing, analysis, and writing or creative production.
- Analyze, synthesize and evaluate texts, media, forms, practices, and/or systems of knowledges relevant to the arts and humanities through writing, creative production and/or the application of theories and approaches addressing fields such as textual studies, literary studies, philosophy, and the arts.
- Write and communicate clearly and effectively about the arts and/or humanities through genres common to their field of study such as essays, response pieces, presentations, and creative works.
- Recognize and analyze ethical issues from a range of perspectives raised by the arts and humanities.
- Use the arts and humanities to identify and address problems in local and global communities.
Block II (HSI): Historical and Social Interpretation (12 hours)
Block II courses investigate and interpret how human thought and action - and the products of such thought and action - are shaped by social, historical, cultural, environmental, and/or psychological factors.
Block II Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the General Curriculum Block II requirements will be able to:
- Make connections to other times and peoples, including their works, beliefs, and cultures.
- Demonstrate foundational knowledge and skills in the methods of investigating, expressing, and evaluating concepts as appropriate for the discipline.
- Write effectively as appropriate for the discipline using credible, adequate, and relevant evidence.
- Apply tools of analysis and critical thinking to understand problems related to human behavior.
Block III (SI): Scientific Investigation (7 hours)
Block III courses focus on methods of investigation and explore the relationships among key concepts in the sciences. The process of scientific inquiry - including hypothesis generation, data collection, analysis, and modeling, use of technology and mathematics, and presentation of results - is fundamental to courses in this block. These courses may also consider the interrelationships among technical concepts and contemporary societal issues. At least one of each student’s Block III courses must include laboratory or field experiences that provide practical experience in inquiry.
Block III Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the General Curriculum Block III requirements will be able to:
- Describe major theories that underlie an area of scientific study.
- Discuss examples of challenging and controversial scientific works.
- Describe the scientific method and apply it to methods of study.
- Articulate the relevant ethical framework for scientific investigation.
- Explain how science impacts everyday life.
Most undergraduates at The University of Tulsa complete their course of study with an intensive, rigorous, semester-long academic experience in the senior year. The nature of this requirement varies by discipline and may be a design project, a recital, an internship, or a specially designed interdisciplinary or major course. To determine the appropriate senior requirement, students should consult their faculty advisors or the Center for Academic Advisement.
Human/Cultural/Gender Diversity Requirement
In order to gain understanding about the human, cultural and gender diversity of the world in which they live and work, students at The University of Tulsa are required to complete at least one three-hour human/cultural/gender diversity course
. Collegiate academic policies may include additional requirements for meeting the human/cultural/gender diversity requirement. See collegiate academic policies which may include additional requirements for meeting the human/cultural/gender diversity requirement.
Human/Cultural/Gender Diversity Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the Human/Cultural/Gender Diversity requirement will be able to:
- Describe how [race/ethnicity/gender/sexuality] impacts individuals, groups, and societies,
- Evaluate facts and ethical dilemmas regarding issues of [racial/ethnic/gender/sexual] diversity in local and global contexts, or
- Identify and explain diverse cultural perspectives and their impact on individuals, groups, and societies.
Interdisciplinary and Pre-professional Programs
Undergraduates at The University of Tulsa may expand their intellectual and professional opportunities by participating in a wide range of interdisciplinary educational and pre-professional programs including the Honors Program, the Global Scholars Program, the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge, Leadership TU, Pre-health Professions, and Pre-law.