2020-2021 Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Campus Wide Requirements: Compass Curriculum


The Compass Curriculum is UCCS’s unique approach to general education. Students in every college will take courses designed to help them learn to Evaluate and Create, Know and Explore, and Act and Interact, the three major goals the faculty approved for general education for the entire campus.



General education at UCCS prepares students for success in their majors, professional pursuits, and lives as creative, thoughtful, informed, and engaged members of our diverse, global society.

The goals of the Compass Curriculum focus on three interrelated areas of learning, all of which are essential to an undergraduate education. Through the Compass Curriculum, students will develop competencies in each area and the ability to integrate these competencies as a foundation for lifelong learning.

1) Evaluate and Create

Students will develop intellectual and practical skills central to investigation, creative pursuits, and problem solving. Students will gather, understand, analyze, and evaluate information as well as synthesize that information in order to create and articulate new ideas. This area includes:

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Quantitative and qualitative reasoning
  • Information literacy
  • Communication: reading, writing, speaking, and listening

2) Know and Explore

Students will have a broad understanding of fundamental explorations, applications, and innovations in the natural sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and arts and humanities. This area includes knowledge of:

  • The physical and natural world
  • Humanities, arts, and culture
  • Society, social and economic institutions, health, and human behavior

3) Act and Interact

Students will cultivate self-awareness and understanding of their impact-locally, nationally, and globally. Students will be prepared to participate effectively in a society that encompasses diverse experiences, perspectives, and realities. This area includes:

  • Responsibility-personal, civic, and social
  • Engagement-creative, collaborative, artistic, and innovative
  • Inclusiveness-competencies for cultural responsiveness across social differences in contexts ranging from local to global
  • Sustainability-understanding the interaction between human development and the natural environment

The Compass Curriculum stretches across all six UCCS schools and colleges, and all four years of a student’s education. In addition to the 24 credits that make up the Compass Curriculum, each school or college has additional courses they require of the students majoring in that college (please see your school or college’s section of the catalog for those requirements). The Compass Curriculum is portrayed visually like this:



Gateway Courses

Gateway Program Seminar   3 credits
ENGL 1310    3 credits
2nd Writing Course (ENGL 1410, 2080, 2090 or INOV 2100) As required for student’s major 3 credits
Quantitative Reasoning Course As required for student’s major 3-4 credits


Explore Courses

Students complete one course in each of the three areas of knowledge identified in the Know and Explore goal. Some majors may designate specific courses students in that major must use to fulfill one or more of these requirements.

The physical and natural world 3-4 credits
Humanities, arts, and culture                                                                 3 credits
Society, social and economic institutions, health, and human behavior  3-4 credits


Navigate Course                                                                                            3 credits

This course integrates and applies learning from multiple disciplines. Navigate courses may be interdisciplinary or an upper-division course in a major. Some majors may designate specific courses students in that major must use to fulfill this requirement.

Summit Course                                                                                              0-3 credits

Each major has designated a specific course, project or experience within the major that will assist students in integrating what they have learned in the major with the goals of the Compass Curriculum.

Writing Portfolio                                                                                             0 credits

Students will submit samples of work they have completed for other courses at least one full semester prior to graduation to demonstrate they have achieved proficiency in written communication.

Other Requirements

There are additional requirements associated with the Compass Curriculum that may not require taking any additional courses, depending on how the student chooses to fulfill them. Courses that fulfill these requirements may be in any of the categories above, in the major or count as electives. Some majors may designate specific courses students in that major must use to fulfill these requirements.

Inclusiveness (Global/Diversity)   one course required
Sustainability one course required
Writing Intensive two courses required, one of which must be upper-division


Transfer Students

UCCS applies transfer courses to fulfill Compass Curriculum requirements to the extent possible. Students who have fulfilled all lower-division general education requirements at any public institution in Colorado, including gtPathways, are deemed to have fulfilled the Gateway and Explore requirements from the Compass Curriculum. These students will still be required to complete the Navigate course and their major’s Summit course, as well as the upper-division writing-intensive course. They may also need to take a second writing-intensive course and courses that fulfill the Inclusiveness and Sustainability requirements if they do not have comparable courses in transfer. Please note that each of the colleges, and some individual majors, have additional general education and graduation requirements beyond the Compass Curriculum. Students with more than 30 credits in transfer will have the Gateway Program Seminar requirement waived. Transfer students should work closely with transfer advising to insure the most effective articulation between the student’s transfer work and the Compass Curriculum.

More Information

For more information, please visit the Compass Curriculum website https://www.uccs.edu/compasscurriculum/.