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UHD General Education Program and Common Core Curriculum


Welcome to the General Education and Core Curriculum Resource Page!

UHD offers a General Education Program (GEP) that has 42 credit hours: those hours are made up of the UHD Common Core Curriculum.

 Please see resources below for details.


Earning a college degree signifies that intellectual development that merits formal recognition, measured in terms of depth and breadth of knowledge. In most college programs, you demonstrate depth of knowledge by completing courses required in the major field of study. Breadth of knowledge is insured by a group of general education requirements shared by students in all majors. The goal of the general education program is to provide you with experiences that define what it means to be a college-educated person. The centerpiece of UHD’s current general education program is made up of the “UHD Common Core Curriculum” because these courses comprise the core of the college experience.

At public colleges and universities in Texas including UH-Downtown, you must complete a common core of courses consisting of 42 semester credit hours (14 courses). The courses are selected from the 9 foundational areas of study provided below. At UHD-Downtown, you have the flexibility to choose from a variety of courses to complete the common core. See the UHD undergraduate catalog for a full list of common core courses. Departments often suggest certain courses that they prefer their majors to take to fulfill some of the core requirements, so you should carefully study the degree plans that interest you and consult your advisor.

The core objectives align with the abilities most in demand by employers for 21st century jobs. These core objectives are taught across several of the foundational areas so that you benefit from several opportunities to practice these skills in different fields of study. All core courses include critical thinking and communication.

Foundational Component Areas​

  • Written Communication (2 courses)
  • Oral Communication (1 course)
  • Mathematics (1 course)
  • Life and Physical Sciences (2 courses)
  • Language, Philosophy and Culture (1 course)
  • Creative Arts (1 course)
  • American History (2 courses)
  • Government/Political Science (2 courses)
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (1 course)
  • Freshman Seminar (1 course)


Faculty Resources

UHD Faculty issued a Report on the Core Curriculum in 1983. In 2014, UHD launched a revised core curriculum to meet new THECB requirements and subsequently developed the UHD General Education Policy PS 03.A.41 to govern decision-making for General Education and the Core Curriculum.

As per PS 03.A.41 the UHD General Education Program (GEP) is carried out by a representative General Education faculty committee that operates much like curriculum committees in departments and programs. Because the core curriculum serves all UHD programs, decisions about the GEP and core curriculum require university-wide resources, review, and action. All changes to the core curriculum must also be approved by the THECB and UHD can submit changes only 1 time per year. Please contact the Gen Ed Committee for information on the submission timeline.

Visit the UHD Common Core page for a list of current UHD approved core courses and the syllabi for each course as approved by the THECB.

The General Education Committee runs the assessment program for the core. This process requires faculty who teach in the core to submit student work each semester (signature assignments) based on a distributed assignment of the core outcomes to the 9 areas of the core curriculum.​​​

See the Core Assessment Fact Sheet for FAQs

For more details visit the UHD Core Curriculum Assessment page

All changes to the core curriculum, including proposals for new freshman and transfer seminars, must be submitted through the formal UHD curriculum process which uses Curriculog. If you are considering a new course or a new seminar, first contact the chair of the GEC to support your process and ensure that you have all needed information specific to the core course proposals. We also encourage you to review the Freshman Seminar Fact Sheet. April 2021.pdf 

In particular, we refer you to this list o FCAs and other materials. Link coming soon.

Student Resources

Visit the Navigate website to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Please visit the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website for more information.

The Core Curriculum is the foundation for every university degree in Texas—the goal is to give you an essential foundation in key skills that all majors will build on and skills that employers regularly identify as top needs like teamwork, problem-solving and communication. Basically, the core helps you learn how to work with others, communicate your ideas and knowledge, understand how to apply knowledge in new ways and learn new skills and be a productive member of organizations and society. Even when the content seems unrelated to your major, try to look for these key threads in your courses. The better you do in the core, the better you’ll do in your major!



Last updated 7/21/2021 10:33 AM