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Undergraduate Transfer of Credit and Texas Core Curriculum - Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out whether my course will transfer?

There are several guarantees of transferability within the public colleges and universities of Texas. They include

  • Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual: Courses listed in the most recent version of the Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM), the pre-approved course inventory from which community colleges choose most of the academic courses they offer each semester.
  • The Texas Core Curriculum: Approved for a public college, university, or health science center, the core curriculum is guaranteed to transfer and to apply to any undergraduate degree. Find your institution's current core curriculum in the catalogue for your institution, or by asking your academic advisor. (Many institutional core curricula can be viewed at the Texas Core Webcenter. Be sure to check the date listed beside the institution's name: some core curricula may have been modified since the latest update at this site.)
  • Field of Study Curricula (FOSCs): A Board-approved Field of Study Curriculum provides a statewide guarantee of transfer to any public college or university in Texas, and further promises that the courses in the approved Field of Study Curriculum (FOSC) will apply to the relevant degree program/s.
  • Texas Common Course Numbering System: The Texas Common Course Numbering System provides common number for courses that have been identified as equivalent by the college or university that offers the course. A fully searchable resource, the TCCNS can help students understand how credit earned at one Texas public college or university will be counted in transfer at another Texas public college or university
  • Articulation Agreements: Many colleges and universities make partner-style agreements that allow for the transfer of additional or different courses. Students should check with the college or university where they are enrolled or intend to transfer to find out whether there is a specific articulation agreement for their intended degree plan/major.
  • Where can I find an application form to transfer?

    There is a common application for transfer, similar to the common application for beginning your college studies. Another helpful site is www.applytexas.org

    Where can I find information about the structure required for baccalaureate general education core curricula at Texas public institutions of higher education?

    Information about the Texas Core Curriculum, Board-approved Field of Study Curricula, and other Transfer-related policies can be found here: Transfer Policies and Resources Coordinating Board Rules (with the two charts that make up the state-level template for institutional core curricula) are linked from that page.

    Is it permissible to have a range of semester credit hours in the core curriculum, depending on specific course options a student chooses?

    Each institution must develop a core curriculum of at least 42 semester credit hours (SCH). Institutions desiring to require a larger number of SCH in the core curriculum will be approved up to 48 SCH if the core curriculum plan itself is in compliance with statutory requirements and Coordinating Board rules. The number of SCH in the core curriculum must be identical for every student. However, this does not mean that students cannot choose courses for more SCH to satisfy certain requirements. For example, you may have a three-hour computer science requirement as an institutionally designated option in your core curriculum, but an individual student may prefer to take a four-hour course. The fourth hour would not be counted as part of the core curriculum; it should be applied to other degree requirements. One cautionary word: If all of the courses that could satisfy the requirement are four-hour courses, you must build the four hours into the core curriculum. The core curriculum requirement can be three hours only if three-hour courses are actually available.

    Can we allow students to choose among different possibilities for the Institutionally Designated Option (IDO) - for example, a computer science course or a wellness course or an additional social science course?

    The institutionally designated option was intended to give flexibility across institutions in designing curricula that best fit their institutional missions. However, it was not intended to allow individual students to choose core curriculum components that meet widely different educational objectives. In designing an institutionally designated option, institutions should begin by identifying a set of exemplary educational objectives and a corresponding institutionally-designated component area. Courses selected for the area should be those that satisfy the objectives. Courses may be approved from a broad variety of departments or disciplines, depending on the IDO component area; for example, a multi-cultural requirement could include courses from English, Anthropology, History, Music, Art, Sociology, Political Science, Business, Asian Studies, African-American Studies, or Mexican-American studies departments, as long as each course can demonstrate that it meets the Exemplary Educational Objectives identified by the institution for that option.

    How should course selections in the Humanities/Visual and Performing Arts category be listed?

    Each student must take at least 3 SCH of strictly Visual and Performing Arts course work, and at least 3 SCH of other general Humanities course work. In designing each core curriculum, institutions should make it clear that 6 SCH of general Humanities that does not include 3 SCH of Visual and Performing arts would not satisfy the requirements. The Congress of the United States, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and various state-level agencies connected with the NEH have adopted official definitions for the term "Humanities" that include various academic disciplines. These definitions should be consulted in any institutional conversation about what is appropriate for inclusion within the Humanities portion of the Humanities & Visual & Performing Arts component area.

    Why is modern language included in both the Communications and the Humanities component areas on Chart II? Can foreign language courses satisfy the Humanities requirement?

    Although modern languages appear in both places, the types of courses that will satisfy each area are quite distinct. Introductory modern language courses for communication purposes - generally the first three or four semesters of language education - may be used to satisfy Communication, but not Humanities requirements. On the other hand, courses in classical languages or literature/cultural studies classes in modern languages may be used to satisfy Humanities, but not Communication requirements

    May community colleges use courses from the Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM) in the core curriculum?

    No. All courses in the core curriculum must be academic transfer courses. If a course is listed in both the WECM and the Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM), students taking the core curriculum must take the academic version of the course, which must be taught by a faculty member with the appropriate qualifications.

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