You and the Texas Core Curriculum
If you first enrolled at a Texas public university or college in Fall 1999 or more recently, your degree requirements include a General Education Core Curriculum. Every public institution in Texas has a Core, which is designed to provide a solid foundation for your college education and to make transfers between and among Texas institutions of higher education as smooth and seamless as possible.
How the Core Curriculum Works
Each institution's Core Curriculum applies to all academic degrees. They range from 42 to 48 credit hours, depending on the college or university. Each Core Curriculum is divided into 8 or 9 categories that are common across the state. If you take the approved Core natural science courses at institution A, they are annotated on your transcript with a Core code by A and must be accepted as fulfilling that portion of the Core at institution B or any other Texas public institution. If Astronomy is a Core natural science at A and is not at B, it must still be accepted at B. This is a whole new way of doing things because the school where you take the course decides how it will transfer. And that decision is binding on any Texas school to which you transfer.
What You'll Find in the Webcenter
The following General Education Core Curricula have been gleaned from websites or the most recent catalog available and matched against information collected by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board staff. Since core curricula are reviewed periodically, resulting in courses being added or deleted, not all of these curricula can ever be absolutely current.
You may choose a major which has some more rigorous or more specific requirements than the Core. Most science majors, for instance have more intensive math and science requirements. In these cases, the major requirements have priority. So, switching institutions has become easier, but changing majors may still involve taking some extra courses.
For those and other reasons, no one should enroll in courses, Core Curriculum or otherwise, without consulting with a trained academic advisor or counselor at the appropriate institution.
How to Use the Core Webcenter
You may search this website by institution; course number, title or prefix; or Core category. Here is a brief descriptor of the 9 categories and 5 subcategories:
- 010 - Communication (English rhetoric/composition)
- 011 - Communication (composition, speech, modern language communication skills)
- 020 - Mathematics (logic, college algebra-equivalent or above)
- 021 - Additional Mathematics (finite math, statistics, calculus or above)
- 030 - Natural Sciences
- 031 - Additional Natural Sciences
- 040 - Humanities (literature, philosophy, modern or classical language/literature, or cultural studies)
- 041 - Additional Humanities
- 050 - Visual/Performing Arts
- 060 - U.S. History
- 070 - Political Science
- 080 - Social/Behavioral Science
- 081 - Additional Social/Behavioral Science
- 090 - Institutionally Designated Option (additional hours in areas listed above or computer literacy, health/wellness, kinesiology, capstone or interdisciplinary areas)
All Core Curricula must include courses in the 010, 020, 030, 040, 050, 060, 070 and 080 categories. Institutions then select from the remaining categories (011, 021, 031, 041, 081 and 090) to complete their own Core Curriculum. Because of all the combinations available, it is very likely that while similar, no two institutions will have exactly the same Core Curriculum. Never fear! If you complete the Core Curriculum at one institution, it really does substitute for the Core Curriculum at any other public college or university in Texas, even if there are differences.
One more thing to know: If you finish a 42-credit Core and transfer to a college or university that has, for example, a 47-credit Core, you may be required to complete those additional 5 credits. But you will never be required to complete a course or category you have already completed, unless one of those more rigorous major requirements intervenes.
Other Useful Websites
Links are also available to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website, which hosts common state requirements for certain majors (Field of Study curricula) and to the website for the Texas Common Course Numbering System, which includes a matrix allowing you to determine which courses at different institutions are equivalent to each other.
These sites may be useful to you if you know what your transfer major is going to be. One more reminder: Some majors have specific requirements which take precedence over the Core. In those cases, it is important to know which course at College A transfers as a specific course to University B.
The Field of Study curricula tell you which majors have standard transferable requirements and Common Course Numbers tell you which course will meet another institution's major requirement.