Core Curriculum Foundations


The Core Curriculum's Basic Components:


Senate Bill (SB) 148, enacted in 1997 by the 75th Texas Legislature, requires the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to adopt rules that include "a statement of the content, component areas, and objectives of the core curriculum" which each institution is to fulfill by its own selection of specific courses.

The University of Houston has adopted the core curriculum guidelines described below. These are predicated on the judgment that a series of basic intellectual competencies (reading, writing, speaking, listening, critical thinking, and computer literacy) are essential to the learning process in any discipline and thus should inform any core curriculum and indeed, all of undergraduate education. Although students can be expected to come to college with some experience in exercising these competencies, they often need further instruction and practice to meet college standards and, later, to succeed in both their major field of academic study and their chosen career or profession.


Reading at the college level means the ability to analyze and interpret a variety of printed materials-books, articles, and documents. A core curriculum should offer students the opportunity to master both general methods of analyzing printed materials and specific methods for analyzing the subject matter of individual disciplines.


Competency in writing is the ability to produce clear, correct, and coherent prose adapted to purpose, occasion, and audience. Although correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation are each a sine qua non in any composition, they do not automatically ensure that the composition itself makes sense or that the writer has much of anything to say. Students need to be familiar with the writing process including how to discover a topic and how to develop and organize it, how to phrase it effectively for their audience. These abilities can be acquired only through practice and reflection.


Competence in speaking is the ability to communicate orally in clear, coherent, and persuasive language appropriate to purpose, occasion, and audience. Developing this competency includes acquiring poise and developing control of the language through experience in making presentations to small groups, to large groups, and through the media.


Listening at the college level means the ability to analyze and interpret various forms of spoken communication.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking embraces methods for applying both qualitative and quantitative skills analytically and creatively to subject matter in order to evaluate arguments and to construct alternative strategies. Problem solving is one of the applications of critical thinking; it is used to address an identified task.

Computer Literacy

Computer literacy at the college level means the ability to use computer-based technology in communicating, solving problems, and acquiring information. Core-educated students should have an understanding of the limits, problems, and possibilities associated with the use of technology, and should have the tools necessary to evaluate and learn new technologies as they become available.


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History and Constitution Requirements


Senate Bill 254, passed by the 54th Legislature and amended by House Bill 935 of the 60th Legislature, provides that no individuals may receive an undergraduate degree unless they have credit for six semester hours or its equivalent in American history and six semester hours credit in the constitutions of the United States and Texas.

Please see the "History" and "Government" core categories respectively for specific information about how these History and Constitution Requirements impact the UH Core Curriculum.


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Catalog Publish Date: August 22, 2012
This Page Last Updated: April 27, 2011