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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.

The minimum acceptable grade for courses used to fulfill core curriculum requirements 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 (090, Institutionally designated option)

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 (010, Communication)

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 (040, Humanities)

> English 316K

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

3

American and Texas government (070, Political Science)

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

Government 312L, 312P, or 312R 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

American history (060, U.S. History)

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.

 government.

The following courses may be counted:

History 314K, 315G, 315K, 315L, 317L, 320L, 320P, 320R333L, 333M, 334L, 336L, 340S, 345J, 345L, 345M, 350R, 351N, 351P, 355F, 355M, 355N, 355P, 355S, 356G, 356K, 356N, 356P, 356R, 357C, 357D, 357F, 357P, 365G, 373C, 376F

6

Social and behavioral sciences (080, Social/Behavioral Science)

One of the following courses:

> Anthropology 302, 305, 307, 318L

> Core Texts and Ideas 302, 365

> Economics 301, 304K, 304L

> Geography 305, 306C, 307C, 308, 309, 312, 319

> History 329U

> Human Development and Family Sciences 304

> Linguistics 306, 312

> Psychology 301

> Religious Studies 310

> Sociology 302, 308, 308C, 308D, 309, 313K, 318, 319

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

3

Mathematics (020, Mathematics)

One of the following courses:

> Mathematics 302, 303D, 403K, 305G, 408C, 408K, 408N, 408R, 316

> Statistics and Scientific Computation 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 318

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

3

Science and technology, Part I (030, Natural science)

Six hours in a single field of study.

The following courses may be counted:

> Astronomy 301, 302, 303, 307, 309, 309L, 309N, 309Q, 309R, 309S, 309T

Only one of the following may be counted: Astronomy 301, 302, 303, 307. Astronomy 309Q may not be paired with 309N or 309R.

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

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

> Chemistry 301, 302, 301H, 302H, 304K, 305, 314N

It is recommended that students complete one of the following pairs of courses: Chemistry 301 and 302, 301H and 302H, 304K and 305.

> Geological Sciences 401, 302C, 302D, 302E, 302K, 302M, 302P, 303, 404C, 405, 305E, 307, 420H

Only one of the following may be counted: Geological Sciences 401, 303, 420H. Geological Sciences 404C may not be paired with 405.

> Marine Science 307, 308

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

Students may use NSC 306J and NSC 306K and either NSC 306L or NSC 306M to fulfill the requirements for science and technology, part I, and science and technology, part II.

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

Physical Science 303 may not be counted with Physics 301302K, 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. It is recommended that students complete one of the following pairs of courses: Physics 301 and 316; 302K and 302L; 303K and 303L; 309K and 309L; 317K and 317L; Physical Science 303 and 304.

Students in the Plan II Honors Program may use Biology 301E or Physics 321 to fulfill half of this requirement. To complete the six-hour requirement in this area, Plan II students may pair Biology 301E with Biology 301D or 311C, or Physics 321 with any physics course listed above. If Plan II students do not use Biology 301E or Physics 321 to fulfill this requirement, they may use them to fulfill the science and technology, part II, requirement.

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

6

Science and technology, Part II (031, Additional natural sciences)

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

Courses listed under science and technology, part I, may be counted toward this requirement; the following courses may also be counted:

> Anthropology 301, 304

> Biology 301C, 305E, 305F, 406D, 307D, 309D, 309F

> Computer Science 302, 307, 312

> Electrical Engineering 302, 306

> Geography 301C, 301K, 304E

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

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

3

Visual and performing arts (050, Visual/Performing Arts)

One of the following courses:

> American Studies 330

> Architecture 308, 318K, 318L

> Art History 301, 302, 303

The following courses may also be counted: Art History 325, 327N, 327R, 329J, 329R, 330G, 331K, 331L, 332K, 332L, 333K, 333L, 335P, 337K, 338L, 339J, 339K, 339L, 339M, 341K, 341L, 347K, 347L, 347M, 359, 361, 361L, 362, 362R, 363, 364, 365, 366J, 366N, 366P, 367, 370, 372.

> Classical Civilization 301, 302, 303, 307C, 307D, 317

> Core Texts and Ideas 350, 351

> Fine Arts 310

> Music 302L, 302P, 303M, 303N, 303P, 606A, 307, 313, 334

> Philosophy 317K, 346

> Radio-Television-Film 305, 314, 316

> Studio Art 320K, 320L

> Theatre and Dance 301, 302T, 303, 317C, 317D

> Visual Art Studies 320

3

Total 42

Signature Courses

The purpose of the signature course is to provide all students with a common intellectual experience that engages them in college-level thinking and learning early in their college careers.

Signature courses introduce undergraduates to academic discussion and analysis of issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. Signature courses are taught in small seminar format and large format. All signature courses are designed to:

  • engage students with an issue of contemporary importance, introduce them to the methods of more than one discipline, and emphasize college-level skills in communication, reasoning, and the interpretation of data;
  • familiarize students with at least one of the University’s special resources, such as libraries, museums, and research facilities;
  • incorporate at least one University Lecture, which will help create a common experience for all first-year students; and
  • help students acquire a measure of information literacy in disciplines relevant to the class.

The signature course is required for all students, regardless of major. New transfer students are encouraged to enroll in signature courses that are recommended for more experienced students. 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 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.

Most degree programs are in the process of implementing flag requirements. Students who choose to graduate according to the requirements of the 2012–2014 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 two years of high school foreign language coursework must earn credit for the second college-level course in a foreign language; this credit does not count toward the student’s degree. 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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