TCU Core Curriculum

TCU's Core Curriculum prepares you for a life and career that no single major can encompass.

Explore interests. Navigate a changing world. Contribute to your community. Prepare for success in your career and life.


I get the invaluable opportunity to learn in classes that I might not have taken otherwise, with students from different majors. Living in a bubble does not lead to progress. Being exposed to other people’s opinions and ways of life allows me to grow in my knowledge and range of thinking.

Luke Fravel, Class of 2024, Pre-Business Major


Core Curriculum Q&A

Get answers to your questions in this Facebook Live session with the Dean of Admissions and the Director of the Core Curriculum.



Analyze Human Experience, Cultural Expression, Creativity

Develop Math and Science Literacy

Understand Social Responsibility in Diverse, Global Communities


Communicate Effectively


9 out of 10 employers look for these Core skills when hiring recent college graduates.



Students studying together

One course may fulfill more than one Core requirement or a requirement for your major.

Click here for more details. 

Download a chart to plan your courses.



Core Curriculum courses are clearly identified in color on the right side of Class Search at


Cultural Awareness, Global Awareness, Citizenship and Social Values, and six hours in Writing Emphasis must be taken at TCU. Transfer courses or exams may apply to Historical Traditions, Literary Traditions and Religious Traditions. Click the links below for more information.



Why am I required to take Core Curriculum courses?
Accredited universities require general education courses as part of all students’ degree plans to graduate. This assures that you get a breadth of knowledge and a range of skills with your college degree, and not just courses in your major. At TCU, we call our required general education courses the TCU Core Curriculum.

What will I learn in Core Curriculum courses?
We carefully select courses in four main areas: critical thinking, communication, responsible citizenship, and quantitative and scientific reasoning. Courses in these areas help you be successful in college and your career, and encourage you to be a lifelong learner and contribute to the world around you. Together with your major(s), minor, and electives, the Core Curriculum ensures you are ready to meet your future.

How is the Core Curriculum relevant to getting a job?
According to a national survey if business executives and hiring managers, a liberal arts education provides the knowledge and skills employers view as important for career success. This includes active and applied learning experiences, breadth and depth of learning, and personal aptitudes. Nine out of ten employers view the breadth of learning you’ll encounter in the TCU Core Curriculum as very important, according to an American Association of Colleges and Universities survey.

How many hours do I take to complete the Core Curriculum?
A minimum of 39 hours. Some students take more than that because they have major or minor courses or electives that also carry Core Curriculum designation.

Do I have to finish all of my Core Curriculum courses in my first and second years?
The TCU Core Curriculum is designed to be completed throughout your four years of study. Some majors or colleges require completion of specific Core Curriculum courses before entering the major, so be sure to check with your advisor.

I’ve heard about “double-dipping.” What does that mean? 
The TCU Core Curriculum is designed to allow some courses to meet more than one Core Curriculum requirement. We call this the overlay feature, commonly known as double-dipping.  When you choose courses that count for more than one category, you can make efficient progress through the Core Curriculum while still meeting the learning outcomes.

How do I know which courses meet Core Curriculum requirements?
On TCU Class Search, check the boxes in the colored panel on the right to see what is being offered. You may check more than one box to see if any courses meet more than one requirement.

How do I know how close to completion I am?
Check at any time. Your degree progress report has a section devoted to your progress in the Core Curriculum.

What if I can’t get the Core Curriculum course I want when I’m registering? 
Since there are many Core Curriculum requirements and you don’t have to do them in a certain order, you can be flexible when registering. We suggest having a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. If there’s a course you really want that is full this semester, shift to another course and look for that course in a future semester.

I am a transfer student. Can I transfer credits toward Core Curriculum requirements?
You may fulfill many Core Curriculum requirements through transfer or credit by exam. Once you are enrolled as a TCU student, you must follow TCU’s policy regarding transfer credits and seek approval in advance. NOTE: Global Awareness (GA), Cultural Awareness (CA), Citizenship and Social Values (CSV), and Writing Emphasis (WEM) may not be met through transfer credits.

Does Study Abroad fulfill Core Curriculum requirements?
Some do and some do not. Check with TCU Global.

Summer study abroad courses taught by TCU faculty may fulfill Core Curriculum requirements. If you plan to study abroad, consider Core Curriculum requirements in Humanities or Fine Arts. These are ideal courses to take while abroad.

Semester study abroad programs may meet some requirements but must be checked in advance. TCU Global provides all the information you need on how this works. NOTE: Global Awareness (GA), Cultural Awareness (CA), Citizenship and Social Values (CSV), and Writing Emphasis (WEM) may not be met through transfer credits. CA may be completed on semester study abroad courses by request.

I am in the John V. Roach Honors College. Are my Core Curriculum requirement different?
The Roach Honors College provides courses that are both Honors and Core Curriculum, as well as Honors sections of Core Curriculum courses offered in other departments. Use class search to see which courses carry Honors and Core Curriculum designations.

I really like a Core Curriculum course I’m taking and wonder if I should change my major or add it as a minor or second major. What should I do?
Make an appointment with the professor who is teaching the Core Curriculum course. They can help you with information about the major or minor the department offers, possible career paths, and how this could be a beneficial field of study for you to pursue. Then, check with your advisor. If you decide to make a change or add a major/minor, you can do that on