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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.

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

First Year Experience Requirement (3 semester credit hours)

All students must complete the following course, for a total of 3 semester credit hours:

AIS  1203  Academic Inquiry and Scholarship (core component area 090)

Communication (010) (6 semester credit hours)

Courses in this category focus on developing ideas and expressing them clearly, considering the effect of the message, fostering understanding, and building the skills needed to communicate persuasively. This requirement involves the command of oral, aural, written, and visual literacy skills that enable people to exchange messages appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience.

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

WRC  1013  Freshman Composition I
WRC  1023  Freshman Composition II

Mathematics (020) (3 semester credit hours)

Courses in this category focus on quantitative literacy in logic, patterns, and relationships. They involve the understanding of key mathematical concepts and the application of appropriate quantitative tools to everyday experience.

Students must complete one of the following courses, for a total of 3 semester credit hours:

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
MAT  1093  Precalculus
MAT  1193  Calculus for the Biosciences
MAT  1214  Calculus I
STA  1053  Basic Statistics

Life and Physical Sciences (030) (6 semester credit hours)

Courses in this category focus on describing, explaining, and predicting natural phenomena using the scientific method. This requirement involves the understanding of interactions among natural phenomena and the implications of scientific principles on the physical world and on human experiences.

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

ANT  2033   Introduction to Physical Anthropology
AST  1013   Introduction to Astronomy
AST  1033   Exploration of the Solar System
BIO   1233   Contemporary Biology I
BIO   1243   Contemporary Biology II
BIO   1404   Biosciences I
BIO   1413   Biosciences II
CHE  1033   Chemistry in Our Daily Lives: A Pathway to Scientific Literacy
ES    2013   Introduction to Environmental Systems I
ES    2023   Introduction to Environmental Systems II
GEO  1013  The Third Planet
GEO  1123   Life Through Time
GRG  2613   Physical Geography
PHY  1013   Universes
PHY  1943   Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
PHY  1963   Physics for Scientists and Engineers II

Language, Philosophy and Culture (040) (3 semester credit hours)

Courses in this category focus on how ideas, values, beliefs, and other aspects of culture express and affect human experience. This requirement involves the exploration of ideas that foster aesthetic and intellectual creation in order to understand the human condition across cultures.

Students must complete one of the following courses, for a total of 3 semester credit hours:

AAS  2013   Introduction to African American Studies
AAS  2113   African American Culture, Leadership and Social Issues
ANT  2063   Language, Thought, and Culture
ARA  1014   Elementary Arabic I
ARC  1113   Introduction to the Built Environment
ARC  1413   Architecture and Culture
CHN  1014   Elementary Chinese I
CLA  2013   Introduction to Ancient Greece
CLA  2023   Introduction to Ancient Rome
CLA  2323   Classical Mythology
CSH  1103   Literary Masterpieces of Western Culture I
CSH  1113   Literary Masterpieces of Western Culture II
CSH  1213   Topics in World Cultures
CSH  2113   The Foreign Film
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  1014   Elementary French I
FRN  2333   French Literature in English Translation
GER  1014   Elementary German I
GER  2333   German Literature in English Translation
GLA  1013   U.S. in the Global Arena
GRG  1023   World Regional Geography
GRK  1114   Introductory 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
ITL   1014   Elementary Italian I
ITL   2333   Italian Literature in English Translation
JPN   1014   Elementary Japanese I
LAT  1114   Introductory Latin I
MAS  2013   Introduction to Chicano(a) Studies
PHI   1043   Critical Thinking
PHI   2023   Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
PHI   2033   Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy
PHI   2123   Contemporary Moral Issues
RUS  1014   Elementary Russian I
RUS  2333   Russian Literature in English Translation
SPN  1014   Elementary Spanish I
SPN  2333   Hispanic Literature in English Translation
WS   2013   Introduction to Women’s Studies

Creative Arts (050) (3 semester credit hours)

Courses in this category focus on the appreciation and analysis of creative artifacts and works of the human imagination. These courses involve the synthesis and interpretation of artistic expression and enable critical, creative, and innovative communication about works of art.

Students must complete one of the following courses, for a total of 3 semester credit hours:

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  1213   Design I
ARC  1513   Great Buildings and Cities of the World
ART  1103   Introduction to Visual Arts
ART  1143   Art for Non-Art Majors
CLA   2033   Introduction to Classical Literature
ENG  1113   Introduction to Creative Literary Arts
HUM  2023   Introduction to the Humanities I
HUM  2033   Introduction to the Humanities II
HUM  2053   History of Film
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  2693   The Music of Latin America and the Caribbean
MUS  2743   Music and Film
PHI   2073   Philosophy of Art

American History (060) (6 semester credit hours)

Courses in this category focus on the consideration of past events and ideas relative to the United States, with the option of including Texas History for a portion of this component area. These courses involve the interaction among individuals, communities, states, the nation, and the world, considering how these interactions have contributed to the development of the United States and its global role.

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

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

Government-Political Science (070) (6 semester credit hours)

Courses in this category focus on consideration of the Constitution of the United States and the constitutions of the states, with special emphasis on that of Texas. This requirement involves the analysis of governmental institutions, political behavior, civic engagement, and their political and philosophical foundations.

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

POL  1013   Introduction to American Politics
POL  1133   Texas Politics and Society

Social and Behavioral Sciences (080) (3 semester credit hours)

Courses in this category focus on the application of empirical and scientific methods that contribute to the understanding of what makes us human. These courses involve the exploration of behavior and interactions among individuals, groups, institutions, and events, examining their impact on the individual, society, and culture.

Students must complete one of the following courses, for a total of 3 semester credit hours:

AMS  2043   Approaches to American Culture
ANT  1013   Introduction to Anthropology
ANT  2043   Introduction to Archaeology
ANT  2053   Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
BBL   2003   Language, Culture, and Society
BBL   2243   Globalizing the Local: Bilingual Families, Communities, and Schools
CRJ   1113   The American Criminal Justice System
ECO  2003   Economic Principles and Issues
ECO  2013   Introductory Macroeconomics
ECO  2023   Introductory Microeconomics
EGR  1343   The Impact of Modern Technologies on Society
GRG  1013   Fundamentals of Geography
GRG  2623   Human Geography
HTH  2413   Introduction to Community and Public Health
HTH  2513   Personal Health
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

Component Area Option (090) (3 semester credit hours)

The courses listed below meet the requirements specified in one of the foundational component areas above.

Students must complete either one of the following courses or any additional core curriculum course not previously used to satisfy a core competent area requirement, for a total of 3 semester credit hours:

COM  2113  Public Speaking
CS    1173   Data Analysis and Visualization using MATLAB
EGR  1403   Technical Communication
ENG  2413   Technical Writing
PAD  1113   Public Administration in American Society
PHI   2043   Introductory Logic

Catalog of Graduation

Undergraduate students have six years from their semester 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 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 four-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 with a four-year time limit to complete the second degree under that catalog. A student must have an approved catalog at the time an application for graduation is filed. All continuing students requesting a catalog change must do so through their assigned advisor.

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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