Whitworth INQ | Whitworth University

We Believe a University Education

Should Equip You for More


Let's be real

Most students go to college because they want a good job, or better yet, a meaningful career.

But do you know what you want to do right now? Or if the job you want today will exist in 10 years, or will transform into something new? Will your skill set be versatile enough to switch careers down the road? What about the other parts of your life that keep you grounded and healthy? Or the causes and organizations you might volunteer with or support outside of your work?

Whitworth Inq was designed knowing…

  • Life is complex, and careers and interests evolve;
  • Employers seek people who can communicate effectively, see connections and patterns, think critically and problem-solve effectively, in addition to meeting job description specifics; and
  • Balance is key to personal well-being.

Your whole education adds up to something greater

Just as our lives and careers will expand beyond what we can imagine right now, Inq is a series of courses that build toward a richer understanding of the world and your discipline, and skills that you will use in many aspects of your life. Regardless of which courses you select, all students will be led to the same outcomes of exploring, reflecting and applying what they learn.

Be ready. Be well. Be distinctive.

Through Inq, you will take classes that interest and challenge you and help you stand out in your chosen career field, all while developing the mental, physical and emotional health you need to thrive throughout your life. Whitworth Inq helps you see the bigger picture, rather than causing you to ask, "What’s the point?"

How Inq works

Whitworth Inq is the shared general curriculum that all students are required to take, but with nearly 400 courses to choose from, it is flexible to your individual interests. These courses comprise a third of your Whitworth education. It's that important. In all of your courses, you will explore, reflect and apply what you are learning, which gives you a rich understanding of why this curriculum matters for your life and your career.

Start here:

GE 125/325: where you lay the groundwork for your college experience. This one-credit course helps you navigate college life and sets you up for success in your studies.

GE 126: It's important to understand how academic disciplines are connected, and this course sets the stage for the interdisciplinary learning you will engage with throughout your education.


The Inquiries

All courses within Inq fit into one of the following inquiry groups:

1. Belief

1. Belief

Courses that examine worldview and the Christian faith (e.g., Core 150)

2. Culture

2. Culture

Courses that involve English, storytelling and historical analysis, with a focus on U.S. and global diversity

3. Science

3. Science

Courses that involve problem-solving and quantitative literacy (research methodology, interpreting data)

4. Expression

4. Expression

Courses that explore fine arts and oral and written communication that help you create and analyze expression.

Praxis courses: Habits of Mind and Wellness

GE 125/325 and GE 126 are part of the fifth area of study called Praxis. The other credits you earn with Praxis come from physical wellness courses and courses with an emotional wellness component.

About tags

Tags are the method by which we ensure that all students take classes that explore U.S. and global diversity (U and G), which are part of most Culture inquiry group classes, and emotional wellness (E), which is incorporated into many fitness and P.E. courses which make up the physical wellness requirement (Praxis).


Sounds great. But what does this actually look like?

Here are a few examples of how students can form their own unique course line-up within the Inq curriculum:

Meet Haley

She's in Whitworth's pre-med program. As a biology major and chemistry minor, she is expected to take lab courses in general biology, organic chemistry and biochemistry, as well as calculus, physics, genetics and animal physiology.

After completing her medical degree, Haley wants to return to Alaska, where she has interned for the Office of Rural Health. There she plans on serving rural Alaskan communities that lack local healthcare providers.

What might her Inq coursework include?

  • SO 220: Race and Ethnicity (Culture and Diversity with U Tag)
  • EL 131: Native American Literature (Expression with U Tag)
  • SP 113: Interpersonal Communication (Expression)
  • TH 317: Cross-Cultural Ministry (Belief)

Meet Luis

He's a special education major. Due to certification and endorsement requirements, He takes all the required coursework for education majors, but also multiple courses in behavior assessment and intervention.

After graduation he would like to teach in his home neighborhood, a Latino community in Central Washington. There he could use his language skills to help students with special needs succeed. He has also thought about coaching soccer, a sport in which he excelled during high school.

What might his Inq coursework include?

  • ASL 101 and 102: American Sign Language (Culture)
  • COM 223: Small Group Communication (Expression)
  • PE 130: Soccer (P.E./Praxis)
  • SO 205: Social Stratification (Culture with a U-Tag)
  • WGS 427: Gender and Identity Formation: Culture with G-Tag)
  • TH 174: Diverse Christian Leadership (Belief)
Meet Max

He's a freshman business major with a concentration in accounting. As such, he has taken introductory business courses and some math prerequisites. Although he doesn't struggle with the content of his classes, he isn't sure he wants to become an accountant. Instead, he has really enjoyed becoming a Young Life leader, concentrating a lot of time and effort to ministry. He can see himself joining Young Life student staff in the near future.

What might his Inq coursework include?

  • TH 242: Life and Teachings of Jesus (Belief)
  • TH 339: Gospel and Growth in a Post-Christian Context (Belief)
  • HI 196: Pilgrimage (Culture)
  • COM 210: Introduction to Public Speaking (Expression)
Meet Haley

She's in Whitworth's pre-med program. As a biology major and chemistry minor, she is expected to take lab courses in general biology, organic chemistry and biochemistry, as well as calculus, physics, genetics and animal physiology.

After completing her medical degree, Haley wants to return to Alaska, where she has interned for the Office of Rural Health. There she plans on serving rural Alaskan communities that lack local healthcare providers.

What might her Inq coursework include?

  • SO 220: Race and Ethnicity (Culture and Diversity with U Tag)
  • EL 131: Native American Literature (Expression with U Tag)
  • SP 113: Interpersonal Communication (Expression)
  • TH 317: Cross-Cultural Ministry (Belief)

Meet Luis

He's a special education major. Due to certification and endorsement requirements, He takes all the required coursework for education majors, but also multiple courses in behavior assessment and intervention.

After graduation he would like to teach in his home neighborhood, a Latino community in Central Washington. There he could use his language skills to help students with special needs succeed. He has also thought about coaching soccer, a sport in which he excelled during high school.

What might his Inq coursework include?

  • ASL 101 and 102: American Sign Language (Culture)
  • SP 223: Small Group Communication (Expression)
  • PE 130: Soccer (P.E./Praxis)
  • SO 205: Social Stratification (Culture with a U-Tag)
  • WGS 427: Gender and Identity Formation: Culture with G-Tag)
  • TH 174: Diverse Christian Leadership (Belief)

Meet Max

He's a freshman business major with a concentration in accounting. As such, he has taken introductory business courses and some math prerequisites. Although he doesn't struggle with the content of his classes, he isn't sure he wants to become an accountant. Instead, he has really enjoyed becoming a Young Life leader, concentrating a lot of time and effort to ministry. He can see himself joining Young Life student staff in the near future.

What might his Inq coursework include?

  • TH 242: Life and Teachings of Jesus (Belief)
  • TH 339: Gospel and Growth in a Post-Christian Context (Belief)
  • HI 196: Pilgrimage (Culture)
  • SP 210: Introduction to Public Speaking (Expression)

Whitworth Inq: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Whitworth Inq?

Whitworth Inq is our new general education curriculum. It expresses the values of Whitworth's General Education Rationale by bringing together a traditional liberal arts education, steady engagement with contemporary culture and ideas, and a vigorous exploration of faith and worldview, with a special emphasis on investigating Christian belief. The shared curriculum strives to broaden the scope of general education through interdisciplinary learning. Courses in the shared curriculum encourage students to explore, reflect on and apply knowledge within four distinct inquiry groups: Belief, Culture, Expression, and Science.

What are the learning outcomes?

Student learning outcomes (SLOs) are statements that communicate to students the sets of knowledge and skills that students should achieve by the end of the course. The shared curriculum SLOs are structured in a way that has students explore a field of study, reflect on their learning in that field, and apply knowledge and skills from the field to their broader academic career. Students will encounter shared SLOs in four different groups of courses (called inquiry groups) and three specific topic areas (called tags).

How many credit hours am I required to take?

Depending on student options, such as world language sequencing and "E" tag fulfillment, the shared curriculum ranges from 47 to 51 credits.

How many courses are in the shared curriculum?

Students who do not have any transfer credits mush complete 5 courses to fulfill the Belief inquiry, 3 courses to fulfill the Culture inquiry, 4-5 courses to fulfill the Expression inquiry, 3 courses to fulfill the Science inquiry, and 5 courses to fulfill the Praxis inquiry. This will estimate students to complete approximately 20-23 courses within the shared curriculum.

What are inquiry groups?

Each shared curriculum course targets one of four distinct, but interrelated inquiry groups: Belief, Culture, Expression and Science. Belief works especially at the intersection of faith, worldview and reason. Culture directly engages with literature, history and multicultural complexities of the world. Expression encourages students to create and interpret different forms of expression. Science focuses on developing scientific habits of mind and wellness. A fifth area of study – called Praxis – promotes habits of mind and wellness.

What shared courses are required?

  • Belief Inquiry (15 credits): Biblical Literature, Core 150, Core 250, Core 350, Faith, Reason and Contemporary Issues
  • Cultural Inquiry (9 Credits): Historical Analysis, Literature and Storytelling, Culture and Diversity
  • Expressive Inquiry (13 credits): Written Communication, Oral Communication, Fine Arts, World Languages
  • Scientific Inquiry (9 credits): Math/Statistics, Natural Science, Social Science
  • Praxis (5 credits): Habits of Mind, Habits of Wellness

What are tags?

Tags help us to categorize all courses that fall under the shared curriculum. The three tags for shared curriculum courses include: "U," "G" and "E." "U" – United States Diversity and "G" – Global Diversity courses focus on issues of power, privilege, hierarchy, identity and/or interdependence in their respective contexts. U and G-tags are attached to Cultural Inquiry Group courses. The "E-tag" stands for "emotional wellness." Although there are some exceptions, most students will fulfill their E-tag through a physical wellness course (PE or FW). These courses allow students to build strategies for physical and emotional health, both of which are essential not only to a successful academic experience, but lifelong health.

What is SC 125 and SC 126?

SC 125 (First Year Seminar) is an introductory course involving presentations, discussions, and activities that encourage the successful transition to college life and help first-year students become a part of the Whitworth community. The purpose of SC 126 is for students to reflect on the importance of connections between academic disciplines, extra/co-curricular activities and student life experiences in relation to their individual plans for those areas of university life. SC 126 courses and the content varies depending on the section in which a student enrolls.

How do I know if a course meets my requirements?

The shared curriculum designations are available in Self-Service. Students can use the "Course and Section" tab to filter through the various offerings of shared curriculum courses every term. Students can also access shared curriculum courses by clicking on the "Search" button located at the header of each inquiry group on their program evaluation.

Why are some students not required to take the shared curriculum, but I am?

The shared curriculum program was recently introduced and replaced our prior general education program, so students who attended Whitworth prior to 2021 are similarly required to meet general education credits, however, their requirements fall under a different program (general education courses) instead of the shared curriculum program. All other students enrolled in the university during the 2020-21 academic year may switch to the shared curriculum if they elect to do so. All Whitworth students must complete either the shared curriculum or general education curriculum.

If I have my A.A. degree, do I have shared curriculum requirements?

For transfer students that come to Whitworth with their A. A. degree, all shared curriculum courses will be waived, except two Belief Inquiry Group courses and the world language requirements. For transfer students with less than 60 credits, course equivalency will be based on transfer agreements and one-on-one determinations. Students may waive one Belief Inquiry course. Shared curriculum requirements may vary among students at their advisor's or the registrar's discretion.

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