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Academic Policies and Procedures

Basic Education Requirements

The University strives to enroll exceptionally well-prepared, highly motivated students and to produce self-reliant graduates who will become leaders in both their chosen professions and their communities. The University must not only equip its graduates with occupational skills, but also educate them broadly enough to enable them to adapt to and cope with the accelerated process of change occurring in business, professional, and social institutions today. Students must be exposed to a broad spectrum of arts and science so that they may be educated beyond vocational requirements and thus be prepared for responsible citizenship in an increasingly complex world.

All graduates of the University are expected to

  • communicate clearly and accurately, defend an idea on the basis of evidence, draw conclusions, and evaluate the arguments of others;
  • have a critical understanding of the society in which we live and the ways it has evolved through time;
  • be able to analyze ethical issues and their possible resolutions;
  • understand facets of science and the ways in which knowledge of the universe is gained and applied;
  • understand aspects of mathematics and apply quantitative skills to problem solving;
  • have a critical understanding of how human cultures are expressed in literature, philosophy, or language;
  • participate in and/or critically analyze some area of the visual and performing arts; and
  • participate in the process of inquiry through research, creative endeavors, or related activities.

To help students in all majors acquire the traits of an educated person, the general faculty of the University has adopted the core curriculum outlined below. All students, regardless of major, must complete the core curriculum prior to earning an undergraduate degree.

Often, courses required by the student’s degree program may be used concurrently to fulfill one or more of the core curriculum requirements listed below. When possible, students should select core courses that also satisfy specific requirements of their intended degrees. For more information, students should consult their advisers and the degree requirements given in the college/school sections of this catalog.

Core Curriculum

All students pursuing an undergraduate degree at the University must complete the following required coursework. These requirements are consistent with statewide core curriculum guidelines; the area of the statewide core that each requirement meets is given in parentheses in the following table. A single course may not be counted toward more than one core area.

Courses used to fulfill core curriculum requirements must be taken for a letter grade; the minimum acceptable grade is D-. Individual degree plans may not require a higher minimum standard for core courses in general. However individual degree plans may set a higher minimum grade standard for core courses that are also required in the major field or are required as prerequisites for courses in the major.

State law requires that courses fulfilling a core component area (including the institutionally designated option) at one Texas public institution must transfer and substitute for the receiving institution’s requirements. However, this only applies to courses taken when a student does not hold degree-seeking status at UT Austin. While a student holds degree-seeking status at UT Austin, courses taken to fulfill core curriculum requirements must meet UT Austin core definitions in the relevant UT Austin undergraduate catalog, regardless of where they are taken.

Core Area

Sem Hrs

First-year signature course (Texas Core Code 090)

One of the following courses, completed during the student’s first year in residence:

> Undergraduate Studies 302, 303

Students in the Plan II Honors Program may complete this requirement by taking Tutorial Course 302.

3

English Composition and Writing Flag (Texas Core Code 010)

Six hours are required.

> Rhetoric and Writing 306

Nonnative speakers of English may complete three hours of this requirement by taking Rhetoric and Writing 306Q. Students in the Plan II Honors Program may complete three hours of this requirement by taking English 603A or Tutorial Course 603A.

> A three-hour course with a writing flag designation

The writing flagged course counted toward this area of the core may also be used to satisfy other flag and major requirements outside the core, but may not be used to satisfy any other requirement of the core.

6

Humanities (Texas Core Code 040)

One of the following courses

> English 316L, 316M, 316N, 316P

Students in the Plan II Honors Program may complete this requirement by taking English 603B or Tutorial Course 603B.

3

   
   

American and Texas Government (Texas Core Code 070)

Six hours are required. This coursework partially fulfills the legislative requirement. ROTC courses may not be substituted for the core courses in government.

>Government 310L is required for all students and

>Government 312L or 312P may be used to satisfy the second half of this requirement.

Transfer students with five or more hours of coursework in American government may complete this requirement of the core by taking Government 105, which includes Texas government content that is consistent with the legislative requirement

6

U.S. History (Texas Core Code 060)

Six hours are required; three hours may be in Texas history. This coursework partially fulfills the legislative requirement. ROTC courses may not be substituted for the core courses in history.

The following courses may be counted:

History 314K, 315G, 315K, 315L, 317L, 320L, 320P, 320R, 333L, 333M, 334L, 340S, 345J, 345L, 350R, 351P, 355F, 355M, 355N, 355P, 355S, 356G, 356K, 356P, 356R, 357C, 357D, 365G, 376F

6

Social and behavioral sciences (Texas Core Code 080)

One of the following courses:

African and African Diaspora Studies 324E

Anthropology 302, 305, 307, 318L

> Core Texts and Ideas 302, 365

> Economics 301, 304K, 304L

> Geography 305, 306C, 307C, 319

> Health and Society 301

> History 329U

> Human Development and Family Sciences 304, 304H

> Linguistics 306, 312D, 312E

> Psychology 301

> Religious Studies 310

> Sociology 302, 307C307D307E307F307G307J307K307L307M307N307P307S307T, 308D308E308F308G308J308K308L308M308N, 309, 313K318, 319

Students in the Plan II Honors Program may complete this requirement by taking Social Science 301.

3

Mathematics (Texas Core Code 020)

One of the following courses:

> Mathematics 302, 305G, 408C, 408K, 408N, 408R, 316

> Statistics and Data Sciences 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 328M

Students in the Plan II Honors Program may complete this requirement by taking Mathematics 310P.

3

Natural Science and Technology Part I (Texas Core Code 030)

Six hours in a single field of study.

The following courses may be counted and should be paired as indicated below:

> Astronomy 301, 307, 309G, 309L, 309N, 309R, 309S

Choose either Astronomy 301 or 307 and one course from Astronomy 309G, 309L, 309N, 309R, and 309S.

> Biology 301D301E, 301L, 301M, 311C, 311D, 315H, 325H, 326M, 446L, 365S

Choose two courses chosen from Biology 301D, 301L, and 301M; or complete one of the following recommended pairs: Biology 311C and 311D, Biology 311C and 326M, Biology 311C and 446L, Biology 311C and 365S, or Biology 315H and 325H.

Students in the Plan II honors program may pair Biology 301E with Biology 301D, 311C, or 315H*.

> Chemistry 301301H, 302302H, 304K, 305

Students should complete one of the following pairs of courses: Chemistry 301 and 302; Chemistry 301H and 302H; Chemistry 304K and 305.*

> Geological Sciences 401, 302C, 302D, 302E, 302M, 303303C, 404C, 405

Only one of the following may be counted: Geological Sciences 401 or 303. Geological Sciences 404C may not be paired with Geological Sciences 405.*

> Marine Science 307, 308

> Natural Sciences 306J, 306K, 306L, and 306M

Students who use Natural Sciences 306J and Natural Sciences 306K to fulfill Natural Science and Technology, Part I may also use either Natural Sciences 306L or Natural Sciences 306M to fulfill the requirements for Natural Science and Technology, Part II.

>Physics 301, 302K, 302L, 303K, 303L, 309K, 309L, 316, 317K, 317L, 321; Physical Science 303, 304

Students should complete one of the following pairs of courses: Physics 301 and 316; Physics 302K and 302L; Physics 303K and 303L; Physics 309K and 309L; Physics 317K and 317L; Physical Science 303 and 304. Physical Science 303 may not be counted with Physics 301, 302K, 303K, 309K, and 317K to complete Science and Technology, Part I; Physical Science 304 may not be counted with Physics 302L, 303L, 309L, 316, and 317L to complete Science and Technology, Part I. Students in the Plan II Honors Program may pair Physics 321 with any of the Physics or Physical Science courses listed above.*

If Plan II students do not use Biology 301E or Physics 321 to fulfill Natural Science and Technology, Part I, they may use one of them to fulfill the Natural Science and Technology, Part II requirement as long as the two parts are in different fields of study.

Students who take the Natural Sciences 306J and 306K sequence to complete Natural Science and Technology, Part I may not use physical science or physics coursework to satisfy Natural Science and Technology, Part II. Students who use physical science or physics coursework to satisfy Natural Science and Technology, Part I may not use Natural Sciences 306J to complete Natural Science and Technology, Part II.

*See http://www.utexas.edu/ugs/core/sciencepairings for complete listing of allowed 6 hour pairing.

6

Natural Science and Technology, Part II (Texas Core Code 031)

Three hours in a field of study different from the field counted toward the preceding requirement.

Courses listed under Natural Science and Technology, Part I, may be counted toward this requirement; the following courses may also be counted:

> Anthropology 301, 304, 304T

Biology 305E, 305F, 307D, 309D, 309F

> Computer Science 302, 312

> Geography 301C, 301K, 304E

> Natural Sciences 306J, 306K, 306L306M

Students who use Natural Sciences 306J and 306K to fulfill Natural Science and Technology, Part I may also use either Natural Sciences 306L or 306M to fulfill the requirements for Natural Science and Technology, Part II.

> Nutrition 306

Students who take the Natural Sciences 306J and 306K sequence to complete Natural Science and Technology, Part I may not use physical science or physics coursework to satisfy Natural Science and Technology, Part II. Students who use physical science or physics coursework to satisfy Natural Science and Technology, Part I may not use Natural Sciences 306J to complete Natural Science and Technology, Part II.

3

Visual and Performing Arts (Texas Core Code 050)

One of the following courses:

> African and African Diaspora Studies 311C, 356C, 356D, 356E

> American Studies 330

> Architecture 308, 318K, 318L

> Art History 301, 302, 303325, 327N, 327R327S328J, 329J329N, 329R, 330G331J, 331K, 332K, 332L, 333L335J, 337K, 338L338M, 339J, 339K, 339L, 339M339P, 341K, 341L342J345J, 346L, 347K, 347L, 347M, 347N, 349K

> Classical Civilization 301, 302, 303, 307C, 307D

> Core Texts and Ideas 350, 351

> Design 308

> English 321P, 379P

> Fine Arts 308, 311, 330331, 332, 333

> Music 302L, 303M, 306M, 307, 313, 334

> Philosophy 317K, 346K

> Radio-Television-Film 305, 314, 316

> Theatre and Dance 301, 317C, 317D

3

Total 42

Signature Courses

The Signature Courses at The University of Texas at Austin connect students with distinguished faculty members in unique learning environments. By way of this rigorous intellectual experience, students develop college-level skills in research, writing, speaking, and discussion through an approach that is both interdisciplinary and contemporary. As of the 2010 Undergraduate Catalog, all students are required to take a Signature Course to fulfill university core requirements.

The Signature Courses (Undergraduate Studies 302 and 303) introduce students to college-level learning through a myriad of subjects and topics. These classes range from the arts and humanities to the hard sciences, but every class has unique components that help students throughout their college career and beyond. The Signature Courses:

  • put new students in contact with top faculty from across the University;
  • help guide students as they strive to become better writers, speakers, and problem solvers;
  • assist students in using research methods and critical thinking skills that are necessary to perform well in all of their other courses;
  • familiarize students with the gems of the University; and
  • engage students in a university-wide academic event.

More information about signature courses is available at http://www.utexas.edu/ugs/sig/.

Additional Basic Education Requirements

Skills and Experience Flags

In the process of fulfilling the core curriculum and other degree requirements, all undergraduates are expected to complete courses with content in the following six areas:

  • Writing: three flagged courses beyond Rhetoric and Writing 306 or its equivalent
  • Quantitative reasoning: one flagged course
  • Global cultures: one flagged course
  • Cultural diversity in the United States: one flagged course
  • Ethics and leadership: one flagged course
  • Independent inquiry: one flagged course

Courses used to fulfill flag requirements must be taken for a letter grade unless the flagged course is only offered on a pass/fail basis; the minimum acceptable grade is D-. Individual degree plans may not require a higher minimum standard for flagged courses in general. However, individual degree plans may set a higher minimum grade standard for flagged courses that are also required in the major field or are required as prerequisites for courses in the major. 

Courses with sufficient content in these areas will be identified in the Course Schedule by the appropriate flags. The School of Undergraduate Studies monitors flagged courses to ensure that they meet the guidelines set by the general faculty. When a course is approved to carry more than one flag, enrolled students may use all of those flags to fulfill degree requirements, except that the global cultures flag and the cultural diversity in the United States flag must be earned in separate courses.

While many degree programs require all of these flags, some are still in the process of implementing selected flag requirements. Students who choose to graduate according to the requirements of the 2014–2016 Undergraduate Catalog should consult their advisers and the degree requirements listed in chapters 3 through 16 of this catalog to determine which of the flag requirements apply to them.

Foreign Language

In addition to the core curriculum requirements above, undergraduates are expected to have completed two years in a single foreign language in high school. Students without at least two years of high school foreign language coursework in the same foreign language must earn credit for the beginning level proficiency course or sequence in a foreign language; this credit does not count toward the student’s degree. For the description of beginning level proficiency in a specific foreign language, please see http://www.utexas.edu/cola/student-affairs/Majors-and-Degrees/foreign-language-requirement.php. Students should consult their advisers and the degree requirements listed in chapters 3 through 16 of this catalog to determine whether additional foreign language requirements apply to them.


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