Program Learning Goals

FMH building.

The purpose of the general education program at Portland State University is to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, abilities, and attitudes which will form a foundation for lifelong learning among its students. This foundation includes the capacity and the propensity to engage in inquiry and critical thinking, to use various forms of communication for learning and expression, to gain an awareness of the broader human experience and its environment, and appreciate the responsibilities of persons to themselves, to each other, and to the community.


Students will enhance their capacity to communicate in various ways—writing, graphics, numeracy, and other visual and oral means—to collaborate effectively with others in group work, and to be competent in appropriate communication technologies.

Freshman (FRINQ) and Sophomore Inquiry (SINQ) courses meet PSU students' writing requirements
Writing Outcomes

Writing Rubric - Analytic (PDF) 
Writing Rubric - Holistic (PDF)
Quantitative Literacy Rubric (PDF)


Inquiry and Critical Thinking

Students will learn various modes of inquiry through interdisciplinary curricula—problem-posing, investigating, conceptualizing—in order to become active, self-motivated, and empowered learners.

Inquiry and Critical Thinking Rubric (PDF)


Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice

Students will explore and analyze identity, power relationships, and social justice in historical contexts and contemporary settings from multiple perspectives.

Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice Rubric (PDF)


Ethics, Agency, & Community

Students will examine values, theories, and practices that inform their actions and reflect on how personal choices and group decisions impact local and global communities.

NEW! Ethics, Agency, & Community Rubric (PDF)
Former Ethics and Social Responsibility Rubric (PDF)