General Education Core Curriculum: A Student Guide
The purpose of the General Education Core Curriculum is to help you develop the foundation of knowledge you will need to be successful in college, in your career, in your community, and in life. Core coursework will help you develop principles of social and personal responsibility for living in a diverse world, gain knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world, and advance practical and intellectual skills that are essential for all learning.
Every undergraduate student at Texas State will complete a 42-semester credit hour program of General Education Core Curriculum to acquire the fundamental skills and cultural background that are the marks of an educated person. The General Education Core Curriculum serves as the common foundation for all majors and accounts for about 35 percent of the approximately 120 semester credit hours required for a bachelor’s degree.
When you complete your bachelor’s degree, you will be prepared not only for your major field of study, but also to be successful in a rapidly changing world as a result of completing coursework in six Core Objectives:
- Critical Thinking Skills (CT) - creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information
- Communication Skills (COM) - effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication
- Empirical and Quantitative Skills (EQS) - manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions
- Teamwork (TW) - ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal
- Social Responsibility (SR) - intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities
- Personal Responsibility (PR) - ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making
There are nine areas of study called Foundational Component Areas included in the Core Curriculum. These are prescribed by Texas law, which means students at all public institutions in Texas take courses in these areas. Each of the Foundational Component Areas has a set of semester credit hours (SCH) required for completion:
- Communication (6 SCH)
- Mathematics (3 SCH)
- Life and Physical Sciences (6 SCH)
- Language, Philosophy and Culture (3 SCH)
- Creative Arts (3 SCH)
- American History (6 SCH)
- Government/Political Science (6 SCH)
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 SCH)
- The Component Area Option (6 SCH)
Which of the General Education Core Curriculum objectives are required in the Foundational Component Areas?
This Table of Foundational Component Areas provides a summary of this information.
Who determines the requirements of Texas State University’s General Education Core Curriculum courses?
Texas State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which requires universities to provide a general education program of at least 30 hours for bachelor’s degrees. In addition to meeting SACSCOC requirements, Texas State must meet the State of Texas Core Curriculum requirements for a 42-hour Core. The Texas Core Curriculum is established in Texas Education Code Chapter 61, Subchapter S. The State of Texas has assigned oversight of the Core Curriculum to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Ultimately, the THECB must approve all courses for Texas State’s General Education Core Curriculum through an established process.
In order to meet requirements established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the university has established a process to propose and approve General Education Core Curriculum courses. Faculty have primary responsibility for the content, quality and effectiveness of the Texas State curriculum, so any new course must be proposed by faculty at the department/program/school level. This is a fundamental expectation of SACSCOC, the university's primary accreditor. If you have an idea for a Core course, you may want to begin by talking with faculty members who teach in the academic area of interest. The route for approval includes internal reviews at the university, as well as external reviews:
- Department or school faculty propose a course for addition
- Department or school curriculum committee
- Department chair, program director, or school director
- College Curriculum Committee
- College Council
- College Dean
- General Education Council
- General Education Chair
- Other college deans
- University Curriculum Committee
- Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
- Texas State University System Board of Regents
- Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
In the event that a course proposal receives a negative vote or is denied at any level, the proposal will be returned to the originating faculty for review and possible revisions and can be resubmitted for future consideration.
The review process usually takes one year before a course may begin. This Course Review Flow Chart provides a calendar overview for course additions:
You must complete a 42-hour Core, established by the State of Texas, in order to earn a bachelor’s degree at Texas State. Some students complete the Core by taking all coursework at Texas State, others complete the Core using all transfer coursework, and some have a mixture of Texas State and transfer coursework. The 42-hour Core established by the State of Texas is designed to facilitate transfer of coursework.
If you need to complete Core coursework, you should visit with your academic advisor to determine the most appropriate plan, as some degrees require specific Core courses for degree completion. You can see a list of Texas State's Core in the Undergraduate Catalog.
If you take some of your coursework at another Texas public institution, your Core coursework will transfer to Texas State into the corresponding Foundational Component Area. For example, if you take an approved Life and Physical Sciences Core course at another Texas public institution, that course is annotated on your transcript with a Core Code (030). Texas State will accept that course in the Core Life and Physical Sciences component area. Some degrees at Texas State require specific Core courses for degree completion, and with wise planning, you may take courses that satisfy both the Core Curriculum and specific degree requirements. Visit with your academic advisor to determine the most appropriate plan. See the Transfer Planning Guides for more information.
If you take some of your coursework at a private or out-of-state institution that you think might apply to the Core, visit with your academic advisor about how to have you the coursework evaluated.
There are two undergraduate student members of the GEC, selected by the Vice President for Student Affairs, with the advice of the President of Student Government. The other members are:
- Two appointed faculty representatives from the colleges of Applied Arts, McCoy College of Business Administration, Education, Fine Arts and Communication, Health Professions, Liberal Arts, and Science and Engineering
- One appointed faculty representative from the University College and the Honors College
- Two department chairs or school directors
- An ex-officio, non-voting academic advisor (selected by the Dean of University College)
- An ex-officio, non-voting chair of the University Curriculum Committee (UCC), when this faculty member is not a GEC member
- The Associate Vice President for Academic Success and Dean of University College serves as the non-voting chair of the GEC
Yes, the GEC meetings are open and are held regularly each long semester on Monday afternoons from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Agendas and locations are published on the AVPAS website prior to each meeting: GEC Meeting Agendas