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Government Courses (legislative requirement)

The Texas Education Code §51.301 requires Texas public university and community college students to complete six semester hours of coursework in government/political science. But the statute does not specify how the required course content (study of the Federal and Texas constitutions and related topics) should be distributed across the six required semester hours.

As a result, two patterns of instruction have evolved among Texas universities and community colleges in which Federal and Texas government are studied either separately or in parallel.

  • At UT Austin the Federal and Texas constitutions are studied together in GOV 310L to satisfy the content requirement of §51.301; one course chosen from GOV 312L, 312P, or 312R rounds out the semester-hour requirement. Courses at institutions teaching Federal and Texas government in parallel transfer as GOV 310L & 312L.

  • Courses at institutions teaching Federal and Texas government separately transfer with the generic evaluations “GOV 3 US” and “GOV 3 TX,” to denote which course is dedicated to the Federal or Texas constitution.

The Texas Common Course Numbering (TCCN) system identifies two pairs of courses applicable to the legislative requirement:

*Beginning with the fall semester 2013, Texas community colleges
offer only the GOVT 2305+2306 sequence.
TCCN
course
title UT
evaluation
GOVT 2305* Federal Government (Federal constitution & topics) GOV 3 US
GOVT 2306* Texas Government (Texas constitution & topics) GOV 3 TX
GOVT 2301 American Government I (Federal & Texas constitutions) GOV 310L
GOVT 2302 American Government II (Federal & Texas topics) GOV 312L

The two courses taught at a single institution always transfer to fulfill the requirement at UT, but combining courses from two institutions with different instructional patterns may omit some state-mandated content.

It is strongly recommended that students complete both required government courses at one institution to avoid problems in satisfying the legislative requirement. Students who choose to take the required courses at two different institutions should at least be certain they transfer as one of the following combinations:

acceptable
credit combinations
comparable
TCCN designations
GOV 310L+312L GOVT 2301+2302
GOV 310L+3 US GOVT 2301+2305
GOV 310L+3 TX GOVT 2301+2306
GOV 3 US+3 TX  GOVT 2305+2306

Other credit combinations usually omit the Texas constitution component of the legislative requirement. For students with such credit, and for those with five or more semester hours of applicable government credit transferred from out-of-state institutions, a one semester hour course is available to complete the requirement – GOV 105, Texas Government, offered by University Extension.

Other Transfer Issues

More Transfer Credit Info

  • Our Transfer Guides for Austin Community College and other Texas community colleges recommend coursework prospective transfer students should take to apply toward specific UT Austin degree plans.
  • The Automated Transfer Equivalency (ATE) system provides interactive access to our database of more than 250,000 transfer credit evaluations for current and past courses at universities and community colleges throughout Texas.
  • The Interactive Degree Audit (IDA) system enables prospective transfer students and UT students studying away from UT to estimate the degree applicability of coursework taken at other institutions.
  • UT Austin's transfer credit policies are published in the General Information catalog.
revised 23 August 2013
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