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About Us

Block U provides the best of both worlds by combining the personal attention of a small college environment with the unparalleled resources of a large research university. First-year students get the opportunity to participate in a learning community with students from a diverse set of social backgrounds representing a wide range of high schools across Utah, the United States, and throughout the world drawn together by shared goals and common intellectual interests. 

With a wide range of learning communities, students choose the one that best fits their personal interests and professional goals. All learning communities are tailored to create a supportive and caring learning environment. 

In addition to special course offerings, there are always activities going on within the learning communities and across the program, including field trips, guest speakers, community service projects, recreational athletics, research projects, and so much more. The small size, friendly environment, campus partnerships and special activities of Block U help ease the transition to college and lay the foundation towards a fulfilled future.

 

With Block U, you will:

  • Complete all of your General Education Intellectual Exploration requirements in one year
  • Develop the skills and knowledge to plan and take 15 credit hours or more each semester
  • Develop connections with Block U students, faculty, peer advisors, and campus resources
  • Receive official stamp on your transcript and Block U certificate
  • Conduct and produce relevant community-engaging projects

Explore Our Programs

For two semesters, a small group of students, peer advisor and faculty participate in a class built around a theme. In addition to the learning community class, students register for a schedule (block) of thematically organized classes that together with the learning community class, meet all the required Intellectual Exploration components of general education. In Block U classes, students develop skills that are important for all careers, such as problem solving, written and oral communication skills, and teamwork.

Da Vinci: Discovery Across Disciplines is about exploring how science interacts with and influences society. In this learning community students are asked to think about their roleas contributorand consumerof science. Like the great man himself, students will be encouraged to ask questions with your unquenchable curiosity and feverishly inventive imagination. Students engage in their own open-ended discovery activities and experiments, and design their own research projects for the spring symposium. Da Vinci: Discovery Across Disciplines is led by faculty in the College of Science.

LEARNING COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
  • Engage in your own open-ended discovery activities and experiments
  • Design your own research project
  • The classes associated with this learning community will provide you the opportunity to learn and explore the sciences, psychology, sociology, political science, and education pathways. 

View Class Schedule & More information

Families & Health is about exploring not just the genetic material we inherit from our families but also the shared culture, environment, and lifestyles that influence our health and wellness. In this learning community you will investigate how families can promote health and well-being, how they help manage chronic illnesses, and how these family-based strategies vary across developmental life stages.
 
LEARNING COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
  • Students create and participate in community-based projects focused on nutrition, movement, and literacy.
  • Led by faculty in the College of Social and Behavioral Science. 
  • The classes associated with this learning community will provide you the opportunity to learn and explore psychology, human development & family studies, health promotion and biology pathways. 

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Food, Culture, & Ecology is about how humans love to eat. We love to share food, watch others prepare it, and many of us even like trying out new cuisines. But food is  for more than mere pleasure or sustenance--it is political, cultural and even rhetorical. It is inextricably tied to the family, to tradition and the hearth.  It involves environmental issues and economic ones--and it is at the root of many of our social justice concerns. In this learning community students will explore a number of these issues (and a few more) from a variety of perspectives and in a handful of disciplines to try and answer the question, what does the food we eat say about us? Food, Culture, & Ecology is led by faculty in the College of Humanities.

LEARNING COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
  • Engage in your own open-ended discovery activities and experiments
  • Design your own research project
  • The classes associated with this learning community will provide you the opportunity to learn and explore the biology, geography, sociology, environmental studies, political science and writing pathways.

View Class Schedule & More Information

 Global Citizenship is about thinking more gloabally as you start to think locally in a different way. The world is a smaller and smaller place everyday. Globalization affects each of our lives everyday. From healthcare to the environment to poverty and popular culture, participation in the world is a global act. Global Citizenship is led by faculty in the College of Humanities.

LEARNING COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
  • Participate with others in a virtual self-exploration and study of tough issues facing our planet and its inhabitants
  • Explore and understand the footprint of your citizenship along with its rights and responsibilities, locally and globally
  • Satisfy your interest in having and managing global impact
  • Engage in and learn some of the most cutting-edge online community-building programs
  • The classes associated with this learning community will provide you the opportunity to learn and explore the writing, math, linguistics, economics, chemistry, and the art pathways.

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 Medical Humanities is about investigating and challenging what is normal in an ever-changing society. In this learning community, students critically engage with a variety of medical cases which challenge the difference between abnormal and normal. Students learn about medicine as a humane discipline and examine how medicine can (or should) intervene. Students, explore societal health issues, such as race and the human experience of illness, and the experience of disability. Medical Humanities is led by faculty from the College of Humanities.

LEARNING COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
  • Teams of students design their own research projects for the spring symposium
  • Led by faculty from the College of Humanities.
  • The classes associated with this learning community will provide you the opportunity to learn and explore pre-medicine, biology, psychology, philosophy, kinesiology, and nursing.

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 Work, Wellness and the Great Outdoors is about exploring the interconnectedness of work, wellness and the great outdoors. Students develop strategies for maintaining physical and mental wellness throughout life. They examine the role of wilderness in society and learn about the history of national parks, and their role in health. Students critically examine recreation businesses that prioritize employee wellness, outdoor recreation, and leisure time to save costs and improve the bottom line. Students in this course participate in community projects focused on health, nutrition and recreation. In this class, students experience multiple off-campus field trips. Work, Wellness and the Great Outdoors is led by faculty in the College of Health.

LEARNING COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
  • Develop an academic plan that balances career goals, personal wellness, and playing in the great outdoors of Utah
  • Team up with U-Explore and campus partners to be introduced to on-campus activities
  • Participate in a community-based project focused on health, nutrition, recreation and wellness
  • Experience multiple off-campus field trips
  • The classes associated with this learning community will provide you the opportunity to learn and explore parks, recreation & tourism, kinesiology, environmental sustainability, nutrition, business, and psychology.

View Class Schedule & More Information

Develop community-engaging projects

With Block U, students are encouraged to conduct research and create community engaging projects that relate to their personal and professional development. Every year, the Block U program provides an opportunity for students to present their work in a scholarly setting of peers, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the University of Utah community at the spring symposium. Explore more of our students' great work on our Community-Engaging Projects page.

 

A Team Dedicated to You

When you join the Block U program, you are surrounded with faculty, peer advisors and staff devoted to enhancing student learning at the University of Utah. In addition to their primary positions at the university, these individuals take an active role in the learning community initiative by serving on committees, conducting research, collaborating with departments outside of learning communities, and establishing connections between faculty and students at the university.

Be introduced to Our Campus Partners and resources

When students join Block U, they join a community made up of multiple resources dedicated to their success at the University of Utah. From academic advising, library resources to career planning, Block U has amazing campus partners that are intertwined with our Block U learning communities and programs.

 

Last Updated: 4/28/21