The Core Curriculum


The Core Curriculum lays the foundation for a liberal education, giving students the academic footing they need to succeed in their disciplinary courses. Components of the Core are dictated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and feature six defined Core Objectives:

  • critical thinking (CT)
  • communication (COM)
  • empirical and quantitative reasoning (EQS)
  • teamwork (TW)
  • personal responsibility (PR)
  • social responsibility (SR)

The THECB then categorizes core courses around traditional disciplinary lines called Foundational Component Areas (FCA) including:

  • communication
  • mathematics
  • life and physical sciences
  • language, philosophy, and culture
  • creative arts
  • American history
  • government/political science
  • social and behavioral sciences.

Each FCA is defined and is tied to particular core objectives according to the state (see page 5 here.)

In addition to FCAs, THECB requires students complete a Component Area Option (CAO). There are two types of CAO options: CAO-A and CAO-B. CAO exists to allow faculty to have more flexibility in their courses. While FCA has required core objectives, CAO-B is not as prescribed.

  • CAO-A courses look just like FCA courses, but notification is required to THECB if UNTD wishes to have a class under both a FCA category and a CAO-A category.
  • CAO-B courses look similar to FCA courses but they allow for a little more flexibility in terms of the faculty member deciding the core objectives to include in the class. The benefit of CAO-B courses is that the faculty member has the ability to design the course a little more freely. The CAO-B course must still be aligned with a discipline: communication; creative arts; language, philosophy, and culture; life and physical sciences; mathematics; American history; government/political science; or social and behavioral sciences. The CAO-B course must still also include three core objectives. Two of those must be critical thinking and communication. The other one may be decided by the faculty member. 

Students must take 36-hours in FCAs plus 6-hours in a Component Area Option (CAO) to complete the Texas Core Curriculum. For CAO, students can either take 3-credits in Option A and 3-credits in Option B, or 6-credits in Option A. They cannot take 6-credits in Option B.

Core Courses at UNT Dallas

Approved core courses at UNT Dallas are organized by year approved; see this link to look them up. You may also view them in the UNTD Catalog.

Approval Process and Form

To have more UNT Dallas courses approved for the Core, faculty must apply to the internal UNTD Core Curriculum Committee (CCC) using this form. If approved, CCC will submit it to the UNTD Academic Council. If AC approves, it will be sent to THECB for state-approval.

The CCC submission dates for AY 19-20 are provided below. If approved by THECB, the courses will be included in the Core in the AY 20-21 catalog for the exception of those with an asterick (*); those would be included in the Core in the AY 21-22 catalog if approved by THECB.

For the AC meeting on Submissions are due to CCC by CCC Reviews by Revisions (if needed) to CCC by
October 22 October 1 October 7 October 14
November 26 November 5 November 11 November 18
January 28 December 3 December 9 December 16
January 28 January 7 January 13 January 20
February 25 February 4 February 10 February 17
*March 24 March 3 March 9 March 16
*April 28 April 7 April 13 April 20
*May 26 May 5 May 11 May 18

(Please note that if the course being proposed for the Core is a brand new course not currently found in the UNTD Catalog, it would need to go through a couple additional steps prior to the CCC. It would first need to go to the School Curriculum Committee, then University Curriculum Committee, and then CCC. Once CCC received it, it would follow the normal process of CCC>AC>THECB.)

Members of the UNT Dallas Core Curriculum Committee

Additional Links