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Core Curriculum

The School of Undergraduate Studies is responsible for the core curriculum requirements for all students pursuing an undergraduate degree.

As of fall of 2016, the core course lists are updated annually and are not tied to a student’s undergraduate catalog.

All students should

  • Consult the current core course list for the 2019-2020 academic year to view approved courses and descriptions of allowed course pairings.
  • Consult the future core course list for the 2020-2021 academic year to view approved courses and descriptions of allowed course pairings.
  • Check the Course Schedule to search for the approved core course offerings for a given semester

Students graduating under a catalog prior to 2016 should follow the recommendations listed above or view the core course list in their undergraduate catalog.


Have you taken courses at other institutions that you believe satisfy a core or flag requirement? Learn about petitioning courses.

Transfer Core Complete

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 comparable requirements. However, this only applies to courses taken when a student does not yet hold degree-seeking status at UT Austin. Once 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.

Students who have completed at least 42 core hours and are recognized at any public institution of higher education in Texas as having completed the core will be marked on the transcript from the sending institution as “core complete.” The School of Undergraduate Studies works with advisors and students to identify students who are core complete prior to attending UT and will perform any necessary corrections to the student’s degree audit to reflect this status. The general rule is that students whose transfer transcript indicates they are core-complete will automatically be marked as core complete in the UT Austin student records database. There are a few cases, however, listed below, in which this automatic designation may be wrong and will have to be adjusted as they are identified.

  • If a student acquires core complete status at another Texas public institution based on coursework taken after enrolling at UT, that coursework must comply with UT core rules. This means that reverse transfer of UT course credits back to a previous institution in order to become “core complete” at that institution will not yield core complete status at UT unless all UT core requirements are fulfilled. For example, most other institutions do not require a Signature Course or a third science course in their core, but UT does.
  • Grades of D are not accepted in transfer. Students may need to retake areas of the core for which a grade of D was used to become core complete at that institution.

Therefore, students who transfer to UT core complete should always double check with an advisor to make sure this status is correct.

Choice of Catalog

The university’s core curriculum requirements were tied to the undergraduate catalog prior to fall 2016, students graduating under a catalog between 2010-2016 should carefully consider the effect that changing catalogs may have on their core requirements. These students should speak to an advisor in their home college or school before electing to change the Catalog under which they will graduate.