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Undergraduate Studies Texas A&M University Undergraduate Studies

Core Curriculum

About the Core Curriculum

A live record of approved Core Curriculum courses can be found at

The Texas Core Curriculum provides a transferable block of courses that reflect what are often referred to as general education requirements. Core Curriculum requirements provide a broad, introductory knowledge base to ensure students are well rounded and equipped with the skills needed to succeed in their college and career endeavors as well as to become productive citizens. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) always conceived of the Core as meeting the requirements of the Texas Legislature as well as the University’s accrediting agency’s general education requirements.
The Core Curriculum Council (CCC) is responsible for recommending courses to the Faculty Senate to be included in the Core Curriculum. Courses must apply for Core Curriculum inclusion and participate in the ongoing assessment and recertification process in order to maintain this designation. For additional information about the CCC, please visit the Faculty Senate website.

Course Application

Courses wishing to apply for a Core Curriculum designation may initiate the request in the Curricular Approval Request System (CARS). In order to meet the THECB expectations for general education, the Core Curriculum Council (CCC) will evaluate the proposed Core Curriculum courses with respect to the following criteria:
  • Core courses, with rare exceptions, are intended to be lower division courses. Based on the guidelines set forth by the THECB, 100- and 200-level courses are best suited to meet introductory general education requirements.
  • The content of the course should be considered general knowledge within the proposed Foundational Component Area.
  • The course should not be a "skills course." A skills course is defined as courses that focus on the attainment of defined skills such as competence in foreign languages or in musical or artistic performance.
  • The course should not have a curricular prerequisite (exception: sequence courses such as mathematics or science courses). 


Core Curriculum Recertification is the process by which the Faculty Senate's Core Curriculum Council (CCC) reviews core courses for inclusion in the core based on a variety of characteristics including: appropriateness of the course for the Foundational Component Area (FCA) and enrollment as well as explanations of how students are informed of the core objectives, how the course fosters student development of the core objectives, and how each mandatory core objective is evaluated in the context of the course.
In addition to recertification every four years, courses in the core curriculum must meet the following requirements:
  • The course must be offered annually.
  • At least 30 students per year must enroll in the course (official course census).
  • At least 10% of those students must use the course to meet their core requirement in the course’s FCA.
  • The course must demonstrate that it continues to meet the state required teaching objectives of the course’s FCA.
  • The course must generate artifacts (student work) that demonstrate that students are engaging with the core objectives of the curriculum. The assignments that generate these artifacts may be summative or formative but must not be optional. 
Students should be aware that a course is in the core curriculum and should understand how assignments correspond to the core objectives. Additionally, the relevant core objectives must be included in a core course's syllabus. 

Recertification is a two year process, with all core courses rotating through as members of four cohorts, Cohorts A, B, C, and D. Newly approved core courses will be assigned a cohort based on their initial approval year. These cohorts are reviewed annually and updated to add newly approved courses and remove any courses no longer designated as core courses.
The table below shows the academic years cohorts will begin their two-year recertification process. 

Cohort ACohort BCohort CCohort D

During the first year of recertification, courses collect evidence of student learning demonstrating the required core learning objectives and submit to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Evaluation (OIEE) for assessment using the Core Curriculum Assessment rubrics. During the second year of recertification, courses complete the curricular review requirements defined by the CCC.

Year 1

During Year 1, each section of the course offered during the long semesters (fall and spring) will submit student-produced work (artifacts) demonstrating the Core Objectives aligned with their respective FCA being assessed during that academic year to OIEE. OIEE will notify instructors of record of their upcoming assessment and recertification submission expectations. Submissions will be assessed using the Core Curriculum Council approved rubrics
The Core Curriculum Objectives are assessed on a three-year assessment schedule rotation as shown below:
Rotation 1
(AYs 19-20, 22-23, 25-26)
Rotation 2
(AYs 20-21, 23-24, 26-27)
Rotation 3
(AYs 21-22, 24-25, 27-28)
Visual Communication
Oral Communication
Critical Thinking
Social Responsibility
Written Communication
Personal Responsibility
Empirical & Quantitative Skills

More information about OIEE's assessment can be found at Questions can be directed to

Year 2

During Year 2, proposers submit course materials that describe how they are addressing all the core objectives required for a course's FCA.  As part of this process, they are asked to reflect on the assessment results as it relates to the course and ways they can contribute to improving the results within the course. 
Instructors should use results of Core Curriculum Assessment to drive improvements in teaching and learning. Assessment results will be shared with the Core Curriculum Council and made available online for instructors of core courses. These stakeholders should review the assessment results at the FCA level and (where appropriate or provided) campus and course level for each component of the rubric and identify areas for instructional and/or curricular improvement. The results of this analysis, and actions taken, should be submitted as part of the recertification forms described below.
The CARS form will ask proposers to address how the course fits its FCA, how students are informed about the core objectives addressed by that FCA, and how student learning is advanced and assessed for each objective in the FCA. Proposers will also be asked to address what changes they plan to make on how the course addresses core objectives based on the review of assessment results.
NOTE: If the course is a multi-section course taught by different instructors, the proposer will be asked to address how the core objectives are coordinated and met across course sections. If the course is taught at more than one campus (College Station, Galveston, Qatar), one campus will take the lead completing the CARS form and collecting supplemental forms from alternate campus sites and attaching those to the CARS form.
CARS Form–Curricular Approval Request System (submission portal).
Lead Campus Recertification Form–For proposers from the main (or only) campus where a course is offered.
Alternate Campus Recertification Form–For proposers from alternate campuses where a course is offered–mainly Galveston and Qatar.

Foundational Component Areas

Core courses by Foundational Component Area are listed in the University Catalog. The table below maps out the core objectives to their associated FCA.

Core Learning Objectives

FCACommunication: Written, Oral, & Visual
Critical ThinkingEmpirical & Quantitative Skills Personal ResponsibilitySocial ResponsibilityTeamwork
American History


Creative Arts

Government/Political Science

Language, Philosophy, & Culture

Life & Physical Sciences


Social & Behavioral Sciences

✔ = Core objective should be explicitly covered and assessed in every course with this FCA designation.


Students develop and practice core objectives in the context of 42 semester credit hours assigned to eight Foundational Component Areas, each made up of a selection of courses that meet the definition provided by the Texas Core Curriculum. Each FCA requires that different core objectives be addressed and assessed within a given course. Critical Thinking and Communication (Written, Oral, and Visual) are required for every core course, regardless of FCA. 
Students should be aware that a course is in the core curriculum and should understand how assignments correspond to the core objectives. Courses must also generate artifacts that demonstrate that students are developing and becoming proficient in the associated skill. The assignments that generate these artifacts may be summative or formative but must not be optional. Additionally, the relevant core objectives must be included in a core course's syllabus. 

Instructor Resources

Instructors teaching Core Curriculum courses are expected to address all core objectives associated with their Foundational Component Area (FCA) each time the course is taught. The resources below are intended to support instructors as they teach and assess the core objectives both in the context of their course as well as aid in completing the requirements of the recertification process.

Training & Informational Materials

CCC Checklist
Core Recertification Guidelines
FCAs & Objectives
January 2023 Core Recertification Workshop Slide Deck
Feburary 2024 Core Recertification Workshop Slide Deck

Assignment Checklists

The Assignment Checklists are intended to assist in the design and development of assignments to produce student work which develops and accurately demonstrates students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities on the learning objectives. These checklists are derived directly from the approved core rubrics and are available on OIEE's website.

Course Addendums

Single/Lead campus addendum (to be attached to the course proposal in CARS)
Alternate Campus proposal form

Assessment & Artifact Scores

Artifact Scores