Core Curriculum

Given the rapid evolution of necessary knowledge and skills and the need to take into account global, national, state, and local cultures, the core curriculum must ensure that students will develop the essential knowledge and skills they need to be successful in college, in a career, in their communities, and in life. Therefore, with the assistance of the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee, the Coordinating Board approved a 42 semester credit hour core curriculum for all undergraduate students in Texas, including a statement of purpose, six core objectives, and common component areas, to be implemented in Fall 2014.

Core Objectives

  • Critical Thinking Skills - to include creative thinking, innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information

  • Communication Skills - to include effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication

  • Empirical and Quantitative Skills - to include the manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions

  • Teamwork - to include the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal

  • Personal Responsibility - to include the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making

  • Social Responsibility - to include intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national, and global communities

  • The Core consists of 42 credit hours and is divided into 9 categories in the following Foundation Areas:
    • Communication
    • Mathematics
    • Life and Physical Sciences
    • Language, Philosophy and Culture
    • Creative Arts
    • American History
    • Government/Political Science
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Component Area Option

    Download the department's common syllabi for:

    Download the department's common syllabi for:

    Download the department's common syllabus for:

    Through a series of meetings with Division Chairs, other faculty and administrators, courses were selected for each Foundational Component Area. In the Life and Physical Sciences FCA, the following courses have been selected:

    • Biology 1406 – Biology for Science Majors I
    • Biology 1407 – Biology for Science Majors II
    • Biology 2401 – Anatomy and Physiology I
    • Biology 2402 – Anatomy and Physiology II
    • Biology 2421 – Microbiology for Science Majors
    • Chemistry 1411 – General Chemistry I
    • Chemistry 1412 – General Chemistry II
    • Physics 1401 – General Physics I
    • Physics 1402 – General Physics II
    These courses focus on describing, explaining, and predicting natural phenomena using the scientific method.

    The science faculty considers the laboratory portion of the science courses to be an integral and important part of the courses and should be required of all students, majors and non-majors. Thus, the Semester Credit Hours for the Life and Physical FCA will total 8 SCH, requiring 2 SCH transferred from the Component Area Option.

    All of the science courses will include the required Core Objectives – Critical Thinking Skills, Communication Skills, Empirical and Quantitative Skills and Teamwork. The particular activities and assignments to achieve the Core Objectives, and the evaluation of student achievement, will be described in each course syllabus.

    To determine if each Core Objective is being appropriately measured, and the attainment levels are satisfactory, a sample of student work for each Core Objective will be collected. These samples will be reviewed by an outside committee composed of science educators. Future class assignments will be modified based on the suggestions from the review committee.

    Download the department's common syllabi for: