The University of Texas at Austin
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Core Curriculum

The degree plan of every undergraduate student at The University of Texas at Austin includes three components: core curriculum requirements, major requirements, and electives. Together, these components are designed to produce self-reliant graduates who will become leaders in their chosen professions and communities.


The 42-hour core curriculum is required for all students, regardless of major. The core begins with a common intellectual experience known as the first-year Signature Course and includes coursework in English composition, literature, government, history, social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences and technology, and visual and performing arts.

Students gain experience in writing, quantitative reasoning, global cultures, cultural diversity, ethics and leadership, and independent inquiry by completing core, major, and elective courses carrying flags in the aforementioned areas.

Curriculum Goals

Each graduate gains an in-depth understanding of a major field of study, and some majors prepare students for work in specific professions. But the curricular goals that distinguish university education from professional training are those embedded in the core curriculum.

The core requirements allow students to put their major coursework into a broader intellectual context and understand how other disciplines raise and answer important questions. The core also facilitates the exploration of prospective majors and, in some cases, serves as a foundation for more advanced coursework within the major.

Not the province of any single college, school, or department, the core represents a university-wide committment to general education, incorporating the perspectives of a broad array of academic disciplines and including courses taught by faculty members from every college and school. Having completed the core, broadly educated graduates leave the university prepared not only for any possible career path and responsible citizenship in a changing world, but also for a rewarding lifetime of continued learning.