University Requirements

Common Program Prerequisites

Students entering most bachelor’s degree programs at any Florida public institution must successfully complete a set of lower division courses specified as “common prerequisites” for the selected program. The common lower division prerequisites for a given program are listed with other course requirements for that program. The Common Prerequisite Manual at FLVC.org (Florida Virtual Campus) lists the common prerequisite courses and substitutions for each university program. Students are urged to consult their advisor(s) early about choices of majors and to schedule General Education and common prerequisite coursework.

*BOG 8.010; BOG 8.011

Civic Literacy Requirement

The 2017 Florida Legislature amended Section 1007.25, Florida Statutes, to require students initially entering a State University System (SUS) and/or Florida College System (FCS) institution in 2018-2019 and thereafter to demonstrate competency in civic literacy.  The 2021 Legislature further amended Florida Statutes, requiring students to complete both a civic literacy course and exam. As a result, there are three cohorts of students currently matriculating at Florida public institutions subject to varying requirements. As demonstrated in the table below, the exact civic literacy requirements are based on the academic term in which a student first enrolled in a Florida public institution.

Students Included in Cohort Civic Literacy Competency Requirement
Cohort 1: Students first entering the SUS or FCS prior to fall 2018 None
Cohort 2: Students first entering the SUS or FCS in fall 2018 – summer A 2021 Complete a course or exam
Cohort 3: Students first entering the SUS or FCS in summer B 2021 (on or after July 1, 2021) and thereafter Complete both a course and exam


Additionally, the 2021 Legislature made two additional exceptions: approving the use of accelerated mechanisms for meeting the course competency requirement and exempting high school students who pass the Florida Civic Literacy Exam in high school from the postsecondary exam requirement. These two changes are in effect for Cohort 3.

There are multiple ways to satisfy this requirement. Students should work with their academic advisor to determine which option is best for their degree requirements/degree plan. 

Additional information can be found on our Civic Literacy website.

*BOG 8.006; s.1007.25(4,a-b) 

Foreign Language Requirement

Florida Statutes require that students admitted to a Florida public university meet the foreign language requirement for demonstrating competency in a foreign language. Students who have earned an A.A. from a Florida public community college may be admitted to the University, but must demonstrate competency prior to graduation with a baccalaureate degree. Students completing American Sign Language with passing grades will have satisfied the foreign language admission requirement. The foreign language requirement must be satisfied prior to progression to upper-division status. In addition, each academic department may determine specific language requirements for students and will recommend or require languages and proficiency according to individual needs, career objectives, and academic programs.

Competency may be demonstrated in the following ways:

  • Earning two credits of a single foreign language in high school or one credit in high school and the second semester (four semester hours) of the same foreign language at an accredited post-secondary institution demonstrating proficiency through the second level, OR
  • Satisfactory completion of a second level (i.e. SPN 1121, FRE 1121, etc...) foreign language at a post-secondary institution prior to admission to UWF demonstrating proficiency. Grades of "P" are acceptable for this requirement.
  • Language courses at the second level may require a course prerequisite in order to register. Pre-requisites and/or the second-level course (i.e. SPN 1120, FRE 1120, etc...) may be successfully completed by taking the appropriate UWF course or via credit by examination with appropriate test scores: CLEP subject matter examinations, MAPS-Latin examination published by the College Entrance Examination Board, or credit by proficiency (challenge examination) at UWF.
  • The University of West Florida accepts language exams taken through the Brigham Young University’s Foreign Language Achievement Testing Services (FLATS). This service will allow students to fulfill the foreign language competency requirement by passing a computerized foreign language exam. UWF will not grant credit for the BYU test, but instead, the foreign language requirement will be waived if the score meets the required passing requirement.

Undergraduate transfer students are exempt if one of the following applies: (1) they received an A.A. from a Florida public college prior to September 1, 1989; or (2) they enrolled in a program of study leading to an associate's degree from a Florida public college prior to August 1, 1989, and completed at least one academic course each twelve-month period beginning with the student's first enrollment in a Florida public college and continuing until the student enrolled at UWF.

*BOG 6.002; **Passed by UWF Faculty Senate on 12/09/2016

General Degree Requirements

In addition to the requirements for the major program of study, students must satisfy the following general University requirements:

General Education Requirements

All students (except for students holding an A.A. or certification of the completion of general studies requirements from a Florida public university or college) who enter UWF must complete the requirements specified as General Education. The General Education requirements are the basic studies that provide students with a broad educational foundation and are essential requirements for all A.A. and baccalaureate degree programs, per BOG Reg 8.005. Courses may not be taken on the pass/fail basis. The General Education requirements are specified in the distribution as follows:

Gordon Rule (Writing and Mathematics) Requirements

To fulfill the writing and mathematics requirement for earning the first baccalaureate degree, students are required to satisfy the Gordon Rule (BOG 6.017) through successful completion of coursework in English, Writing, and Mathematics.

  1. Six (6) semester hours of English Composition coursework and six (6) semester hours of additional coursework in which students are required to demonstrate college-level writing skills through multiple assignments.
  2. Six (6) semester hours of mathematics at the level of college algebra or higher are required.
  • Students are required to take six (6) semester hours of theoretical math or
  • three (3) semester hours of theoretical math and three (3) semester hours of applied math. 

For the purposes of this rule, a grade of "C" or higher shall be considered successful completion.

Courses may not be taken on the pass/fail basis. Students must complete these requirements before advancing to upper-division status. Transfer students should refer to the Transfer Credit section of this catalog. Students should consult the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for evaluation of transfer mathematics courses for General Education requirements, Gordon Rule, and credit for graduation.

*BOG 6.017

The following UWF courses are approved for Gordon Rule (some courses may be more or less than 3 sh):

Summer Hour Requirement

All students entering a university in the State University System with fewer than sixty (60) semester hours credit shall be required to earn at least nine (9) semester hours prior to graduation by attendance at one or more summer sessions at one of the state universities.  

Students may satisfy this requirement through online courses at UWF as well as any other UWF courses. Courses taken within the community college, state college system, or outside of the State University System of Florida cannot be used to satisfy summer hours.

*BOG 6.016

General Education Digital Badges

The 2021 Florida Legislature amended s. 1007.25, F.S. to require public postsecondary institutions to award students a nationally recognized digital badge upon completion of general education core courses that demonstrate career readiness, beginning with students who initially enter a postsecondary institution in the 2022-2023 academic year.

The digital badge is earned by completing general education core courses, which are already built into associate in science, associate in arts, and baccalaureate degree programs. Florida’s state universities and state colleges will automatically award the badge upon successful completion of the required coursework. The badge will appear on the student's FASTER* transcript, which will be accepted by all institutions if the student chooses to transfer to another Florida state college or university.

Pursuant to s. 1007.25(4), F.S., all students initially entering a public postsecondary institution in the 2022-23 academic year (Fall 2022) and thereafter and enroll in general education core courses are eligible for the awarding of a digital badge. This is inclusive of dual enrollment students who complete core courses while in high school in the 2022-23 academic year and thereafter. Institutions must award badges to students meeting these criteria.

Additionally, pursuant to s. 1007.27, F.S., Florida public postsecondary institutions must award credit earned through acceleration mechanisms, including credit by examination (e.g., AP, IB, AICE, and CLEP). Therefore, institutions may award digital badges to students who receive transcripted credit for the general education core course(s) required to complete the digital badge.

Fundamentals of Written Communication Digital Badge

Florida public postsecondary institutions now offer students a Fundamentals of Written Communication digital badge. With this badge, students will be able to enhance their personal communication skills and convey to future employers that they have acquired vital skills needed for professional success.

To earn the Fundamentals of Communication Digital Badge students will need to:

  1. Enroll in ENC 1101 English Composition I or ENC 1102 English Composition II.

  2. Successfully complete the course with a grade of "C" or better.

  3. Upon completion of the course with the required minimum grade, the digital badge will automatically be awarded at the institution where the student completed the course and will be added to their FASTER transcript.
    *FASTER is the Florida Automated System for Transferring Educational Records

What is effective written communication?

Effective written communication is the ability to communicate ideas, information, and perspectives clearly, adapt a message to different audiences and situations, and use the appropriate style to convey meaning in various written contexts. 

What are students learning by earning this badge?

By completing the college course associated with this badge, you will demonstrate information literacy, comprehension of written material, and conveying information in writing for a variety of rhetorical purposes and audiences. 

Some of the learning outcomes associated with the college course that results in this badge include:

  • Examining and analyzing written material.

  • Synthesizing information and ideas.

  • Developing content relevant to the purpose. 

  • Demonstrating the ability to write to a specific audience.

  • Presenting a perspective informed by research and critical thinking. 

  • Revising written communication based on feedback. 

Why is written communication important in the workplace?

  • Enhances an employee's ability to interpret and evaluate a wide variety of written material. 

  • Promotes research, critical thinking, and problem solving. 

  • Advances the development of clearly written material relevant to the intent. Enhances the use of appropriate language for an intended audience. 

  • Increases the competent, effective, and responsible use of information.

For more information about the General Education Digital Badges please contact generaleducation@uwf.edu.