UNI unveils UNIFI

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • UNI is cutting down credit requirements, changing and introducing classes as well as including the option to mix and match credits to receive a certificate.

  • UNI recently announced their new version of the Liberal Arts Core called UNIFI. The changes were made to give students a diverse range of classes to choose from and to freshen up the curriculum.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right


Students have long known (or dreaded)  UNI’s Liberal Arts Core requirements, which include humanities classes, science classes and other core classes. But with UNI recently unveiling UNIFI, their new version of the Liberal Arts Core, what does this mean for students?

The Curriculum Coordinator of UNIFI, Jeremy Schraffenberger, explained the switch.

“The three primary reasons were a) it was time to freshen it after 30 years, b) change was needed to meet the requirements of our university’s national accrediting body (the Higher Learning Commission) and c) to provide more flexibility for students to explore additional majors, minors, certificates or electives.”

UNIFI gives students a diverse range of classes to fulfill less credits than the current LAC curriculum UNIFI introduces new categories such as “Engage,” “Discover,” and “Connect.”

“Engage” involves classes like Written Communication, Oral Communication and Quantitative Reasoning. “Discover” includes credits from Human Condition (Global & Domestic), Scientific Reasoning and Human Expression and Responsibility. “Connect” encompasses electives from UNIFI that can turn into certificates. This being said, UNIFI only requires students to complete 37 credits, compared to LAC’s 45.

With the introduction of the new curriculum, there’s also comparison to the old curriculum. The Scientific Reasoning section now includes only four credits to complete in comparison to LAC’s seven credits.

“Since (UNIFI) is shorter in credits, it provides more flexibility for students to “stack” multiple credentials such as multiple majors, minors or certificates,” Brenda Bass, co-chair of the UNIFI committee commented. Students will also be able to find a wider range of classes to be able to take to fulfill their requirements. UNI has also added several courses to these lists. These include classes like Start a Podcast, Introduction to Literature in French, Climate Change and Human Migration and Conflict.

Alongside the many classes UNI is introducing, the university has also changed a handful of existing courses. World Geography has changed to Global Geography, Physical Geography has changed to Planet Earth and Introduction to Economics has changed to Introduction to Business Economics.

On top of cutting down credit requirements, changing and introducing classes, UNIFI also introduces the ability to mix and match credits to receive a certificate. Bass explained the UNIFI certificates, “UNIFI Certificates are an innovative addition to general education at UNI. They are meant to provide students with a multidisciplinary view around a single theme or issue, where students will engage on the topic from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. While they’re not required, if students choose this path within UNIFI, they will earn a certificate as part of their general education requirements, and it will be displayed on their transcript.” These certificates include Creative Expression and Meaning, Developmental Considerations, Sustainability and the THRIVE! Certificate.

UNIFI is meant to ensure that UNI students are meeting learning outcomes while still being able to reap full academic benefits of their major coursework. To make the switch to UNIFI, or to learn more, both Bass and Schraffenberger encourage students to make an appointment with their advisor. UNI students can find all things UNIFI at https://undergraduatestudies.uni.edu/unifi.