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Degree Requirements

Overall Requirements

In order to receive a bachelor’s degree from UTSA, a student must meet these minimum requirements:

  1. Complete a minimum of 120 semester credit hours, at least 39 of which must be upper-division level.
  2. Complete the University Core Curriculum requirements outlined in this chapter.
  3. Complete at least one course in the University Core Curriculum designated as a Q-course to satisfy the Quantitative Scholarship requirement.
  4. Complete the major and support work requirements and the free elective requirements for the desired degree. Free electives refer to any semester credit hours accepted by UTSA in transfer or awarded by UTSA that, for degree purposes, are not applied to Core Curriculum, major, minor, or support work requirements. The only restrictions placed upon courses used as free electives are as follows:
    1. that a specific number of free elective credits must be at the upper-division level for some degree programs
    2. that a maximum of 6 semester credit hours of physical activities courses can be applied to the free electives allowed for any UTSA degree program
    3. that a maximum of 9 semester credit hours of military science can be applied to the free electives allowed for any UTSA degree program.
  5. Meet all requirements for a degree as put forth by the Texas State Education Code, including the following:
    1. All students must complete 6 semester credit hours of American or Texas history.
    2. All students must complete 6 semester credit hours of government or political science, including the Constitution of the United States and constitutions of states, with special emphasis on Texas.
  6. Meet the minimum UTSA residence requirements.
  7. Achieve an overall 2.0 grade point average in all work attempted at UTSA and a 2.0 grade point average in all work included in the major.
  8. Be in good academic standing at UTSA.
  9. Apply formally for the degree before the deadline in the Office of the Registrar.

Minimum UTSA Residence Requirements

The following minimum UTSA residence requirements are in accordance with requirements established for all institutions in The University of Texas System and are requirements for all bachelor’s degrees:

  1. A minimum of 25 percent of the total number of semester credit hours required for a bachelor’s degree must be completed at UTSA before a degree can be conferred.
  2. Twenty-four of the last 30 semester credit hours applied to the degree program must be completed in residence, with the exception that among University of Texas System components, a student may, with the approval of the appropriate dean, transfer additional coursework to the program at the degree-granting institution.
  3. Of the minimum 39 upper-division semester credit hours required in all degree programs, 18 must be earned in UTSA courses.
  4. At least 6 semester credit hours of upper-division coursework in the major must be completed at UTSA. Additional hours in the major sequence may be required under individual UTSA degree plans.

Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum is the part of each student’s degree program in which he or she takes courses that meet requirements common to all UTSA undergraduates. Candidates for a bachelor’s degree must achieve core objectives by completing the Core Curriculum. To meet the Quantitative Scholarship requirement, all candidates for a bachelor's degree must complete at least one course in the Core Curriculum designated as a Q-course in the Schedule of Classes.

Transfer of Core Curriculum Courses

In accordance with the Texas Education Code, Chapter 61, Subchapter S, the UTSA Core Curriculum consists of 42 semester credit hours of coursework. If a student successfully completes the entire core curriculum at another public institution of higher education in Texas, that block of courses may be transferred to any other public institution of higher education in Texas and must be substituted for the receiving institution’s core curriculum. Students will receive academic credit for each of the courses transferred and may not be required to take additional core curriculum courses at the receiving institution unless the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved a larger core curriculum at that institution.

Students who have completed a portion of the Core Curriculum at another Texas public institution of higher education may use that coursework to satisfy UTSA Core Curriculum requirements if:

  • the course is designated as meeting a Core Curriculum requirement at the institution, and
  • the course fits within the UTSA Core Curriculum.

For transfer purposes, the designated Texas Common Course Numbering (TCCN) System courses will be accepted in transfer in lieu of these courses.

Students should consult with an academic advisor to determine the sequence of courses in the Core Curriculum and the major.

Students who have successfully completed the entire core curriculum at another public institution of higher education in Texas will be required to complete at least one Q-workshop to meet the Quantitative Scholarship requirement. Q-workshops will be scheduled at different times during the academic year.

Resolution of Transfer Disputes for Core Curriculum Courses

Public institutions of higher education must follow these procedures in the resolution of credit transfer disputes involving lower-division courses:

  1. If an institution of higher education does not accept course credit earned by a student at another institution, the receiving institution will give written notice to the student and to the sending institution that the transfer of course credit is denied. At the request of the sending institution, the receiving institution will also provide written notice of the reasons it denied credit for a particular course or set of courses.
  2. A student who receives notice may dispute the denial of credit by contacting a designated official at either the sending or the receiving institution.
  3. The two institutions and the student shall attempt to resolve the transfer of the course credit in accordance with Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules and guidelines.
  4. If the transfer dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student or the sending institution within 45 days after the date the student received written notice of denial, the institution that denied the course credit for transfer will notify the Commissioner of Higher Education of its denial and the reasons for the denial.
  5. The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee will make the final determination about the transfer of course credit and give written notice of the determination to the involved student and institutions.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will collect data on the types of transfer disputes and the disposition of each case the commissioner considers.

If a receiving institution believes that a course which a student presents for transfer is not of acceptable quality, it should first contact the sending institution and try to resolve the problem. If the two institutions cannot come to a satisfactory resolution, the receiving institution may notify the Commissioner of Higher Education, who may investigate the course. If its quality is found to be unacceptable, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board may discontinue funding for the course.

Goals of the Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum reflects the educational goals of the University. It is designed to enable students to assess the perspectives and accomplishments of the past and to move to the future with an informed and flexible outlook. It promotes intellectual adaptability, ethical awareness, and transfer among diverse modes of thought.

An essential aim of the Core Curriculum is to cultivate the verbal, numerical, and visual skills necessary to analyze and synthesize information, construct arguments, and identify and solve problems. Another essential aim is to foster understanding of the intellectual and cultural pluralism of modern society as it is reflected in natural science and mathematics; behavioral, cultural, and social science; and literature and artistic expression. By encouraging interdisciplinary study, the Core Curriculum seeks to develop critical awareness of the continuities and discontinuities of human thought, history, and culture, thus helping prepare students to meet the demands of change.

The University has recently added a quantitative scholarship requirement designed to enhance quantitative reasoning and critical thinking skills. In keeping with the educational goals of the University, this requirement will help students understand and evaluate data, assess risks and benefits, and make informed decisions in all aspects of their lives.

The University reviews Core courses for their success in promoting the goals of the Core, and it encourages students to select Core courses that will best achieve these goals. Beyond the Core, each student must fulfill the requirements of a major.

Expectations for Entering Students

The Core Curriculum is built on the assumption that the foundations of the general part of a student’s education are laid in secondary school. Appropriate levels of proficiency in important subjects have been established as prerequisites for many of the courses in the Core, especially in the areas of rhetoric, mathematics, and language. Students who are unable to demonstrate proficiency may be required to take additional coursework before qualifying to take courses that meet Core Curriculum requirements. Entering students are also expected to possess proficiency in reading, knowledge of research and library tools, and a familiarity with basic computer skills. Students unable to demonstrate such proficiency and knowledge may be required to enroll in noncredit programs developed by UTSA to correct deficiencies in these areas.

Core Curriculum Component Area Requirements

COMMUNICATIONS (010) (6 semester credit hours)

To achieve the objectives of the Communications component area, students must demonstrate competent writing in English; critical proficiency in oral and graphic communication; competence in constructing valid arguments and criticizing arguments; and critical proficiency in using diverse theoretical perspectives to identify and formulate problems and draw conclusions.

Students must complete the following courses, for a total of 6 semester credit hours:

English Rhetoric/Composition

WRC  1013  Freshman Composition I
WRC  1023  Freshman Composition II

MATHEMATICS (020) (3 semester credit hours)

Students must demonstrate knowledge of higher mathematics sufficient to understand the basis of mathematical reasoning. Students will typically complete this requirement in 3 semester credit hours of coursework.

Students must complete one course (3 semester credit hours) from the following or another mathematics or statistics course at an equivalent or more advanced level:

MAT  1023  College Algebra with Applications
MAT  1033  Algebra with Calculus for Business
MAT  1043  Introduction to Mathematics
MAT  1073  Algebra for Scientists and Engineers
STA  1043  Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning
STA  1053  Basic Statistics

NATURAL SCIENCES (030) (6 semester credit hours)

Students must demonstrate knowledge of the methods, intellectual approaches, social significance, and history of the physical and natural sciences. Students will typically complete the requirements in 6 semester credit hours of coursework. Students must complete two courses from the following lists. At least one course must be chosen from Level Two. Level Two science courses are more rigorous than those in Level One.

Level One

ANT  2033   Introduction to Physical Anthropology
ANT  2043   Introduction to Archaeology
BIO   1233   Contemporary Biology I
BIO   1404   Biosciences I
CHE  1033   Chemistry in Our Daily Lives: A Pathway to Scientific Literacy
CHE  1073   Basic Chemistry
ES    2013   Introduction to Environmental Systems I
GEO  1013  The Third Planet

Level Two

AST  1013   Introduction to Astronomy
AST  1033   Exploration of the Solar System
BIO   1243   Contemporary Biology II
BIO   1413   Biosciences II
CHE  1103   General Chemistry I
CHE  1113   General Chemistry II
GEO  1103   Introduction to Earth Systems
GEO  1123   Earth History
GRG  2613   Physical Geography
PHY  1013   Universes
PHY  1603   Algebra-based Physics I
PHY  1623   Algebra-based Physics II
PHY  1903   Engineering Physics I
PHY  1923   Engineering Physics II
PHY  1943   Physics for Scientists I
PHY  1963   Physics for Scientists II

HUMANITIES & VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS (6 semester credit hours)

Students should demonstrate an understanding of the conceptual approaches and history of at least one of the arts, as a means of comprehending the aesthetic patterns that underlie human creativity; and an understanding of literary concepts and contemporary trends in interpretation, as a means of comprehending the metaphoric or analogical potential of human language.

  1. Literature, philosophy, modern or classical language/literature and cultural studies (040) (3 semester credit hours)

    Students must complete one of the following courses:

    CLA  2033   Introduction to Classical Literature
    CLA  2323   Classical Mythology
    CSH  1103   Literary Masterpieces of Western Culture I
    CSH  1113   Literary Masterpieces of Western Culture II
    CSH  2313   Introduction to Literary Studies
    ENG  2013   Introduction to Literature
    ENG  2213   Literary Criticism and Analysis
    ENG  2383   Multiethnic Literatures of the United States
    ENG  2423   Literature of Texas and the Southwest
    FRN  2333   French Literature in English Translation
    GER  2333   German Literature in English Translation
    IDS   2303   World Literature I: Through the Sixteenth Century
    IDS   2313   World Literature II: Since the Sixteenth Century
    ITL   2333   Italian Literature in English Translation
    RUS  2333   Russian Literature in English Translation
    SPN  2333   Hispanic Literature in English Translation


  2. Visual and Performing Arts (050) (3 semester credit hours)

    Students must complete one of the following courses:

    AHC  1113   Survey of Art and Architecture from Prehistoric Times to 1350
    AHC  1123   Survey of Art and Architecture in Europe and the New World from 1350 to 1750
    AHC  1133   Survey of Modern Art
    ARC  2413   History of Architecture: Prehistory through Medieval
    ARC  2423   History of Architecture: Renaissance through Nineteenth Century
    ART  1103   Introduction to Visual Arts
    ART  1143   Art for Non-Art Majors
    BBL   2023   Latino Cultural Expressions
    MAS  2023   Latino Cultural Expressions
    MUS  2243   World Music in Society
    MUS  2623   Fundamentals of Music for the Non-Music Major
    MUS  2633   American Roots Music
    MUS  2663   History and Styles of Jazz
    MUS  2673   History and Styles of Rock
    MUS  2683   Masterpieces of Music
    MUS  2743   Music and Film

SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES (18 semester credit hours)

Students must demonstrate critical understanding of the political and economic dimensions of social life; knowledge of U.S. history sufficient for understanding current developments in American society within a historical context; substantial knowledge of social, racial, cultural, and gender diversity in the United States and Texas; and knowledge of the history, theory, methods, and intellectual approaches of the social and behavioral sciences, including similarities and differences with respect to one another and to other modes of understanding.

Students typically fulfill the requirements in 18 semester credit hours of coursework.

  1. United States History and Diversity (060) (6 semester credit hours)

    Each student must complete two of the following courses for a total of 6 semester credit hours. In meeting this requirement, students fulfill the statutory requirement in United States or Texas history.

    HIS  1043   United States History: Pre-Columbus to Civil War Era
    HIS  1053   United States History: Civil War Era to Present
    HIS  2053   Texas History

  2. Political Science (070) (6 semester credit hours)

    Students must complete the following courses to fulfill the statutory requirement in United States and Texas government:

    POL  1013   Introduction to American Politics

    and one of the following:
    POL  1133   Texas Politics and Society
    POL  1213   Topics in Texas and American Politics

    Note: Students who have passed the Advanced Placement (AP) examination in American Government (with a score of 3 or better) will receive 3 semester credit hours of AP credit in American government, equivalent to POL 1013 Introduction to American Politics. Students may request that this examination be used to satisfy 3 hours of the UTSA six-hour Core Curriculum requirement in Political Science, after they have completed POL 1133 Texas Politics and Society.

    Students who pass the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) examination in American Government will receive 3 hours of credit in American government, equivalent to POL 1013 Introduction to American Politics. Students may request that this examination be used to satisfy 3 hours of the UTSA six-hour Core Curriculum requirement in Political Science, after these students have completed POL 1133 Texas Politics and Society.

  3. Social and Behavioral Science (080) (3 semester credit hours)

    Students must complete one of the following courses:

    AMS  2043   Approaches to American Culture
    ANT  1013   Introduction to Anthropology
    BBL   2003   Language, Culture, and Society
    BBL   2033   Cultures of the Southwest
    COR  1203   Freshman Seminar
    CRJ   1113   The American Criminal Justice System
    CRJ   2813   Introduction to Courts and the Legal System
    GRG  1013   Fundamentals of Geography
    GRG  2623   Human Geography
    IDS   2113   Society and Social Issues
    PSY  1013   Introduction to Psychology
    SOC  1013   Introduction to Sociology
    SOC  2013   Social Problems
    SOC  2023   Social Context of Drug Use

  4. Economics (081) (3 semester credit hours)

    Students must complete one of the following courses:

    ECO  2003   Economic Principles and Issues
    ECO  2013   Introductory Macroeconomics
    ECO  2023   Introductory Microeconomics

WORLD SOCIETY AND ISSUES (090) (3 semester credit hours)

Students should demonstrate intellectual flexibility, explore the bridges and barriers among various forms of understanding, and understand the nature and limits of different ways of knowing and different academic fields. Students should obtain a broad acquaintance with the cultures of major portions of the world (including non-Western cultures), knowledge of the contexts of international relations, and knowledge of world geography.

Students will typically fulfill the requirements by completing 3 semester credit hours of coursework from the following:

ANT   2053   Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANT   2063   Language, Thought, and Culture
ARA   1014   Elementary Arabic I
ARC   1413   Architecture and Culture
ARC   1513   Great Buildings and Cities of the World
ASL   1013   American Sign Language: Basic I
BIO   1033   Drugs and Society
CHN   1014   Elementary Chinese I
COM  2343   Introduction to Mass Communication
CS     1023   Cultural Implications of the Information Society
CSH   1203   Introduction to Hispanic Cultures
CSH   1213   Topics in World Cultures
CSH   2113   The Foreign Film
FRN   2013   Intermediate French I
FRN   2023   Intermediate French II
GER   2013   Intermediate German I
GER   2023   Intermediate German II
GRG   1023   World Regional Geography
GRK   2113   Intermediate Classical Greek I
HIS   2123   Introduction to World Civilization to the Fifteenth Century
HIS   2133   Introduction to World Civilization since the Fifteenth Century
HIS   2533   Introduction to Latin American Civilization
HIS   2543   Introduction to Islamic Civilization
HIS   2553   Introduction to East Asian Civilization
HIS   2573   Introduction to African Civilization
HIS   2583   Introduction to South Asian Civilization
HUM  2093   World Religions
IDS   2203   World Civilization to the Fifteenth Century
IDS   2213   World Civilization since the Fifteenth Century
ITL    1014   Elementary Italian I
JPN   1014   Elementary Japanese I
LAT   2113   Intermediate Latin I
LAT   2123   Intermediate Latin II
MUS  2693   The Music of Latin America and the Caribbean
PHI    2123   Contemporary Moral Issues
RUS   1014   Elementary Russian I
SPN   2003   Spanish for Elementary Education
SPN   2013   Intermediate Spanish I
SPN   2023   Intermediate Spanish II
SPN   2513   Spanish for Special Purposes
SPN   2523   Hispanic Culture and Communication
WS    2013   Introduction to Women’s Studies

Catalog of Graduation

Students have seven years from their term of original registration to complete a degree program under the catalog in effect when they initially registered. A student may choose a subsequent catalog under which to complete graduation requirements, provided the student has completed at least one course during a semester in which the selected catalog was in effect with a letter grade other than “W,” “NR,” or “F.” The student must complete all degree requirements under the subsequent catalog. Choosing a new catalog begins a new seven-year time limit. Students who graduate under one catalog and begin a second degree must begin the new degree under the catalog in effect at that time. A student must have an approved catalog at the time an application for graduation is filed.

Multiple Degrees

Pursuing One Degree Covering More Than One Major

A student completing one type of baccalaureate degree at UTSA (i.e., Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science) may elect to concurrently complete other majors of that type. In such cases, only one bachelor’s degree, which includes all majors, is awarded.

If a student wishes to pursue more than one major, all requirements for a single degree and major, plus the additional requirements for the other major(s), must be completed. It is unlikely that a student fulfilling more than one major can complete all requirements within the same number of semester credit hours required for a single major.

Pursuing Two Degrees Concurrently

Students pursuing degrees of different types (i.e., a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science) at the same time must satisfy the specific catalog requirements for each degree. Courses common to both degree programs (such as Core Curriculum requirements) may be counted toward the requirements for each degree. Additional courses required in one degree program may be used as free or directed electives in the other degree program.

Pursuing Additional Degrees after Graduation

A student holding a baccalaureate degree from UTSA or another accredited institution may receive an additional bachelor’s degree from UTSA as long as it is in a different major (regardless of the concentration) or minor. Such a student continues to be classified as an undergraduate and must:

  1. complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of UTSA courses (of which at least 12 hours must be at the upper-division level in the major field) for each baccalaureate degree sought beyond the first
  2. complete all requirements for the additional major(s), as set forth in this catalog
  3. complete all requirements for the additional degree(s), including grade-point-average requirements, Core Curriculum requirements, support courses, elective courses, and upper-division courses, as set forth in this catalog
  4. complete requirements under the catalog in effect at the time of beginning the second degree.

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