First, instead of different requirements for each of the four degrees (BA, BFA, BS and BSAS), in the unified version all four degrees have the same requirements. Whether students are majoring in biology, art, religion or sociology, they have one set of core requirements. These requirements, considered foundational for any Baylor degree, assist students in becoming informed and productive citizens of a democracy and servant leaders of faith communities without regard to their major specialization or vocational interests and aptitudes.
Second, the credit hours required in the unified core provide students with much more flexibility in course selection, and in their overall degree plan. For example, the pre-2019 core curriculum requirements for the BA and BS degrees called for between 65 to 79 hours of coursework -- comprising one of the largest core requirements in the United States. By contrast, the new unified core requires 49 hours -- meaning that students have 16 to 30 more hours available to take additional electives, or to successfully complete more second majors, minors and certificates.
Third, there are more common courses in the unified core. Just what are common courses? While some requirements of the core curriculum can be satisfied through student selection, common courses are ones that all Arts & Sciences graduates must take, such as Chapel, the U.S. Constitution and Christian Scriptures. The unified core includes seven of these common courses, instead of the five required in the pre-2019 core. These additional courses allow students to have more vocabularies, texts and experiences in common with their classmates.
Fourth, the unified core calls for multidisciplinary courses and upper-level courses. Few such courses were available in the pre-2019 cores. Multidisciplinary courses examine common challenges or areas of interest that require input from various academic disciplines to solve or understand more completely.
4. Do I have to switch to the new core?
No, you may continue to meet your general education requirements under the catalog year that you matriculated. For many students, it will not be advantageous to switch.
You should make an appointment with your advisor of record, who will help you determine whether this would be advantageous to you.
CAUTION: The 2019-2020 general education requirements for students in the BA, BS, BFA and BSAS degrees are significantly different from previous catalogs. You should NOT drop or add courses based on new catalog requirements without conferring with an advisor. Doing so could delay your academic progress and jeopardize your ability to graduate on time.
6. If I switch to the new core, will I be allowed to substitute some of the courses I've taken in the old core in the new core?
No. Substitutions will NOT be approved. Some courses in the old core are, however, required courses or options in the new core.
7. If I switch to the new core, do I have to complete all 12 Cultural Event Experiences (CEEs), or will those be prorated according to my classification?
You will have to take all 12 CEEs. You are limited to taking 4 CEEs a year.
8. If I change to the new core and have completed all my foreign language credits at a different school, am I still required to take 6 hours in residence in the Foreign Language and Culture Distribution List at Baylor?
Yes. You may take 6 hours of language or culture in the Distribution List.
9. I'm not currently in the College of Arts & Sciences, but I'm considering a switch to a major in the College of Arts & Sciences. How do I determine which of my general education courses in my current major will count in the Arts & Sciences core?
You may ask your advisor of record to run an audit for you to determine which courses will count. Arts & Sciences will make some limited substitutions for internal transfers.
10. I'm an Arts & Sciences major now, but I'm thinking about changing to a non-A&S major. Will the courses I've taken for the Arts & Sciences core work in the new major I am considering?
It will be important for you to talk to your advisor of record to determine what will count.