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Core Curriculum/General Education Requirements

Applicable to students who begin their college careers fall 1998 and after, except for students enrolled in the College of Engineering (see section titled College of Engineering Core Curriculum/General Education Requirements listed below).

To achieve a general education while pursuing a specific concentration in a chosen field of study, each undergraduate student will construct a curriculum that includes coursework in the following areas:

  1. Six semester hours of written composition (FC).
  2. Six semester hours in 300- and 400-level courses, preferably in the student's major, approved for the writing (W) designation. The (W) designation indicates that one of the conditions for a passing grade is that students write coherent, logical and carefully edited prose in a minimum of two papers, at least one of which will be graded and returned before mid-semester. All (W) designated courses are taught and graded by instructors who have at least the master's degree and preferably are limited to an enrollment of no more than 35 students. The (W) requirement must be satisfied with courses taken on this campus.
  3. Six semester hours of one of the following:
    • Six semester hours in courses that are approved for the computer (C) designation. These courses either substantially integrate the application of appropriate software or require writing computer programs. Students must make extensive use of the computer as a condition for passing the course. Courses approved for the (C) designation assume that students have a working knowledge of the computer.
    • Two semesters in one foreign language (FL). A grade of C or better must be earned in the first-semester course of the two-semester sequence that fulfills the requirement before the student will be allowed to enroll in the second semester course. Students with two or more high-school units of a foreign language will be assigned to foreign language courses by the foreign language advisers on the basis of placement test scores. Students placed into FR 103 French 1st Year Review, SP 103 Intensive Review Intro Spanish or intermediate courses (FR 201 Intermediate French, SP 201 Intermediate Spanish) will satisfy this requirement in one semester. NOTE: These six hours are in addition to the requirements for humanities or mathematics.
  4. Twelve semester hours of courses approved for the humanities and fine arts (HU, L and FA) designations, to include three semester hours of courses approved for the fine arts (FA) designation and three semester hours of courses approved for the literature (L) designation. Each student must complete a six-semester-hour sequence in either literature or history.
  5. Twelve semester hours of courses approved for the history and social and behavioral sciences (HI and SB) designations, to include three semester hours of courses approved for the history (HI) designation. Each student must complete a six-semester-hour sequence in either literature (L) or history (HI).
  6. Eleven semester hours of courses approved for the natural sciences and mathematics (N and MA) designations, to include eight semester hours of courses approved for the natural sciences (N) designation and three semester hours of courses approved for the mathematics (MA) designation. This mathematics requirement must be satisfied with MATH 110 Finite Mathematics or higher. A student must complete both the lecture and the lab in order to use either the lecture or the lab to fulfill the natural sciences (N) general studies core curriculum requirement.
  7. Pre-professional, major and/or elective courses applicable to the student's declared major program of study. Students are to consult with their major departments/program areas for specific course designations that fulfill this requirement.

A course may be used to satisfy only one core requirement. For example, if a course carries a designation for both foreign language (FL) and humanities (HU), it may only be used to satisfy one of these core requirements. An additional course or courses must be completed to satisfy the remaining requirement.

A student may satisfy some general education course requirements by demonstration of competence on a proficiency examination, such as the CLEP subject examination.

Review of general education (core curriculum) courses is an ongoing process. New courses may be approved and added to the list of those that meet core curriculum requirements. The Core designations for existing courses may be discontinued. A course carries general education designation if the course is approved at the time the course is taken. The student must consult the general education designations as found in the appropriate section of the schedule of classes booklet to ensure that the general education designation is in effect at the time the course is taken.

General education credit may be earned for courses taken at another institution, provided the courses transfer as the equivalents of courses that have been approved for general education credit at The University of Alabama. The (W) requirement must be satisfied in courses taken at The University of Alabama.

College of Engineering Core Curriculum/General Education Requirements

To achieve a general education while pursuing a specific degree program in the College of Engineering, each undergraduate student enrolled in that college will construct a curriculum that includes coursework in the following areas:

  1. Six semester hours of written composition (FC).
  2. Six semester hours in 300- and 400-level courses, preferably in the student's major, approved for the writing (W) designation. The (W) designation indicates that one of the conditions for a passing grade is that students write coherent, logical and carefully edited prose in a minimum of two papers, at least one of which will be graded and returned before mid semester. All (W) designated courses are taught and graded by instructors who have at least the master's degree and preferably are limited to an enrollment of no more than 35 students. The (W) requirement must be satisfied with courses taken on this campus.
  3. Nine semester hours of humanities (HU), literature (L) and fine arts (FA) area courses. A six-hour discipline depth study is required and may be taken in either HU, L, and FA or HI and SB. There are no mandatory general education requirements for literature or fine arts, except as required for a specific engineering program.
  4. Nine semester hours of courses in the areas of history (HI) and social and behavioral sciences (SB). A six-hour discipline depth study is required and may be taken in either HU, L, and FA or HI and SB.
  5. Twelve semester hours of mathematics (MA) and natural sciences (N) area courses, to include two hours of laboratory. Mathematics must be at the MATH 125 Calculus I level or higher.
  6. Either six hours of foreign language (FL) or computer (C) are required in addition to the humanities requirement. FL courses can count as HU credit if six hours of C courses are earned.
  7. Pre-professional, major and/or elective courses applicable to the student’s declared major program of study. Students are to consult with their major departments/program areas for specific course designations that fulfill this requirement.

A course may be used to satisfy only one core requirement. For example, if a course carries a designation for both foreign language (FL) and humanities (HU), it may only be used to satisfy one of these core requirements. An additional course or courses must be completed to satisfy the remaining requirement.

General education credit may be earned for courses taken at another institution, provided the courses transfer as the equivalents of courses that have been approved for general education credit at The University of Alabama. The (W) requirement must be satisfied in courses taken at The University of Alabama.