Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum is the part of each student’s degree program in which he or she takes courses that meet requirements common to all UTSA undergraduates. Candidates for a bachelor’s degree must achieve core objectives by completing the Core Curriculum.

Transfer of Core Curriculum Courses

In accordance with the Texas Education Code, Chapter 61, Sub­chapter S, the UTSA Core Curriculum consists of 42 semester credit hours of coursework. If a student successfully completes the entire core curriculum at another public institution of higher education in Texas, that block of courses may be transferred to any other public institution of higher education in Texas and must be substituted for the receiving institution’s core curriculum. Students will receive academic credit for each of the courses transferred and may not be required to take additional core curriculum courses at the receiving institution.

Students who have completed a portion of the Core Curriculum at another Texas public institution of higher education may use that coursework to satisfy UTSA Core Curriculum requirements if:

  • the course is designated as meeting a Core Curriculum requirement at the sending institution, and
  • the course fits within the UTSA Core Curriculum.

For transfer purposes, the designated Texas Common Course Numbering (TCCN) System courses will be accepted in transfer in lieu of these courses.

Students should consult with an academic advisor to determine the sequence of courses in the Core Curriculum and the major.

Resolution of Transfer Disputes for Core Curriculum Courses

Public institutions of higher education must follow these procedures in the resolution of credit transfer disputes involving lower-division courses:

  1. If an institution of higher education does not accept course credit earned by a student at another institution, the receiving institution will give written notice to the student and to the sending institution that the transfer of course credit is denied. At the request of the sending institution, the receiving institution will also provide written notice of the reasons it denied credit for a particular course or set of courses.
  2. A student who receives notice may dispute the denial of credit by contacting a designated official at either the sending or the receiving institution.
  3. The two institutions and the student shall attempt to resolve the transfer of the course credit in accordance with Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules and guidelines.
  4. If the transfer dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student or the sending institution within 45 days after the date the student received written notice of denial, the institution that denied the course credit for transfer will notify the Commissioner of Higher Education of its denial and the reasons for the denial.
  5. The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee will make the final determination about the transfer of course credit and give written notice of the determination to the involved student and institutions.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will collect data on the types of transfer disputes and the disposition of each case the commissioner considers.

If a receiving institution believes that a course that a student presents for transfer is not of acceptable quality, it should first contact the sending institution and try to resolve the problem. If the two institutions cannot come to a satisfactory resolution, the receiving institution may notify the Commissioner of Higher Education, who may investigate the course. If its quality is found to be unacceptable, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board may discontinue funding for the course.

Goals of the Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum reflects the educational goals of the University. It is designed to enable students to assess the perspectives and accomplishments of the past and to move to the future with an informed and flexible outlook. It promotes intellectual adaptability, ethical awareness, and transfer among diverse modes of thought.

An essential aim of the Core Curriculum is to cultivate the verbal, numerical, and visual skills necessary to analyze and synthesize information, construct arguments, and identify and solve problems. Another essential aim is to foster understanding of the intellectual and cultural pluralism of modern society as it is reflected in natural science and mathematics; behavioral, cultural, and social science; and literature and artistic expression. By encouraging multidisciplinary study, the Core Curriculum seeks to develop critical awareness of the continuities and discontinuities of human thought, history, and culture, thus helping prepare students to meet the demands of change.

The University reviews Core courses for their success in promoting the goals of the Core, and it encourages students to select Core courses that will best achieve these goals. Beyond the Core, each student must fulfill the requirements of a major.

Expectations for Entering Students

The Core Curriculum is built on the assumption that the foundations of the general part of a student’s education are laid in secondary school. Appropriate levels of proficiency in important subjects have been established as prerequisites for many of the courses in the Core, especially in the areas of rhetoric, mathematics, and language. Students who are unable to demonstrate proficiency may be required to take additional coursework before qualifying to take courses that meet Core Curriculum requirements. Entering students are also expected to possess proficiency in reading, knowledge of research and library tools, and a familiarity with basic computer skills. Students unable to demonstrate such proficiency and knowledge may be required to enroll in noncredit programs developed by UTSA to correct deficiencies in these areas.