Pre-Fall 2019 Student FAQs

1. What are the main differences between the pre-2019 Arts & Sciences core curricula and the new unified core curriculum?
2. What are some of the major changes that have been made to the core curriculum?
3. What has not changed in the core?
4. Do I have to switch to the new core?
5. If I want to switch to the new core, what steps should I take?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?




Pre-Fall 2019 Student FAQs

1. What are the main differences between the pre-2019 Arts & Sciences core curricula and the new unified core curriculum?

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.

2. What are some of the major changes that have been made to the core curriculum?

  • Creative thinking: A creative thinking component is now required, consisting of one common course and one elective (from a fine arts list).
  • Formal reasoning: The formal reasoning requirement in the unified core includes one course from either mathematics, statistics or logic. While many students may choose a mathematics course, it is no longer a required course.
  • Foreign language: The foreign language requirement in the unified core is nine hours, in contrast to the pre-2019 requirement of six to 14 hours (depending on the degree). Note: there are no longer four-hour foreign language courses in the core curriculum. See the Undergraduate Catalog for details.
  • Writing: The research writing requirement in the unified core is one course, compared to the two courses that were required. ENG 1302, which many students would place out of with dual or transfer credit, is no longer required. And students have multiple choices in the type of research writing course they wish to take to fulfill the research writing requirement.
  • Communication: While most pre-2019 Arts & Sciences degrees did not require a course in communication, the unified core requires one three-hour course be completed in the all-important area of media literacy.
  • History: One common three-hour course in history is required; students previously had to take zero to six hours of history.
  • Science: Two science courses are required in the unified core; pre-2019 students were required to take either two or three science classes.
  • Social science: The social science requirement in the unified core is one course, while pre-2019 requirements in social science varied.

3. What has not changed in the core?

  • Religion: The pre-2019 requirement for two semesters of Chapel and two introductory religion courses remains unchanged in the unified core.
  • Political science: A revised political science course in the U.S. Constitution is required in the unified core as a common course.
  • Literature: Two literature courses are still required. One of these is a common course, while the other is selected from a larger list.

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.

5. If I want to switch to the new core, what steps should I take?

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.

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Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum

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