Division of Undergraduate Education

Principles of Undergraduate Learning

The IUPUI Principles of Undergraduate Learning were developed in 1997 and have been praised by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) as being instrumental in shaping the LEAP (Liberal Education and America's Promise) Essential Learning OutcomesThe PULs provide a principles-based framework for the learning outcomes that every undergraduate student should attain. At the campus level, attainment of the PULs for seniors is measured as a continuing assessment strategy. Some professional schools have mapped the PULs to professional accreditation standards. For example, the Kelley School of Business adopted the Principles of Business Learning in 2004, and the School of Nursing has further differentiated PUL-based learning outcomes for each level of the undergraduate experience. 

PUL 1: Core Communication and Quantitative Skills

Core Communication and Quantitative Skills: The ability of students to express and interpret information, perform quantitative analysis, and use information resources and technology--the foundational skills necessary for all IUPUI students to succeed.

Core communication and quantitative skills are demonstrated by the student's ability to:

  1. express ideas and facts to others effectively in a variety of formats, particularly written, oral and visual formats;
  2. comprehend, interpret, and analyze ideas and facts;
  3. communicate effectively in a range of settings;
  4. identify and propose solutions for problems using quantitative tools and reasoning;
  5. make effective use of information resources and technology.

PUL 2: Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking: The ability of students to engage in a process of disciplined thinking that informs beliefs and actions. A student who demonstrates critical thinking applies the process of disciplined thinking by remaining open-minded, reconsidering previous beliefs and actions, and adjusting his or her thinking, beliefs and actions based on new information.

The process of critical thinking begins with the ability of students to remember and understand, but it is truly realized when the student demonstrates the ability to:

  1. apply
  2. analyze
  3. evaluate, and
  4. create knowledge, procedures, processes, or products to discern bias, challenge assumptions, identify consequences, arrive at reasoned conclusions, generate and explore new questions, solve challenging and complex problems, and make informed decisions.


PUL 3: Integration and Application of Knowledge

Integration and Application of Knowledge: The ability of students to use information and concepts from studies in multiple disciplines in their intellectual, professional, and community lives.

Integration and application of knowledge are demonstrated by the student's ability to:

  1. enhance their personal lives;
  2. meet professional standards and competencies;
  3. further the goals of society; and
  4. work across traditional course and disciplinary boundaries.


PUL 4: Intellectual Depth, Breadth, and Adaptiveness

Intellectual Depth, Breadth, and Adaptiveness: The ability of students to examine and organize disciplinary ways of knowing and to apply them to specific issues and problems.

Intellectual depth, breadth, and adaptiveness are demonstrated by the student's ability to:

  1. show substantial knowledge and understanding of at least one field of study;
  2. compare and contrast approaches to knowledge in different disciplines;
  3. modify one's approach to an issue or problem based on the contexts and requirements of particular situations.

PUL 5: Understanding Society and Culture

Understanding Society and Culture: The ability of students to recognize their own cultural traditions and to understand and appreciate the diversity of the human experience.

Understanding society and culture is demonstrated by the student's ability to:

  1. compare and contrast the range of diversity and universality in human history, societies, and ways of life;
  2. analyze and understand the interconnectedness of global and local communities; and
  3. operate with civility in a complex world.


PUL 6: Values and Ethics

The ability of students to make sound decisions with respect to individual conduct, citizenship, and aesthetics. A sense of values and ethics is demonstrated by the student's ability to:

  1. make informed and principled choices and to foresee consequences of these choices;
  2. explore, understand, and cultivate an appreciation for beauty and art;
  3. understand ethical principles within diverse cultural, social, environmental and personal settings.