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Academic Programs / University Core

The Core Curriculum

Michele O'Connor
500 Conwell Hall
Telephone: 215-204-0550
Fax: 215-204-3175

All transfer students admitted to Temple University in the 2008-2009 academic year are required to complete the Core Curriculum.  Freshman admitted Fall 2008 and after follow the General Education (GenEd) requirements.

The Core Curriculum is currently Temple University's liberal education requirements for all undergraduate students who were admitted to Temple prior to Fall 2008 and all transfer students*. It guides students in taking a set of courses, many of them chosen by the student from lists of approved courses. The Core, in combination with a major field of study, is intended to provide the intellectual skills and the knowledge needed for academic success in college and provide a useful education for one's career, citizenship, and personal life.

*Please note that new freshman follow the GenEd Curriculum.  While transfer students can take GenEd courses to satisfy Core requirements, all transfer students are required to complete Core, not GenEd.

Overview of the Core Curriculum

The world changes, experience changes, networks grow, dot-coms come and go. Where does college take you?

No matter how fast the world changes, your education will provide you with an experience that will make you grow and change at the same time, and you will always be able to rely on it. When we speak of liberal education, we mean learning that will endure: broad acquaintances with areas of knowledge and experience that will help you live well, using your intellectual powers, imagination, and judgment. A liberal education prepares you to deal with a rapidly-changing world. It prepares you for leadership and responsibility in the vocational, social, and personal areas of your life. It enables you to keep on learning throughout your life.

A liberal education is bigger than the sum of its parts. Core curriculum, major, and elective courses; internship, volunteer, and other learning experiences; the social milieu of the campus--all come together to give you something full, whole, integrated. A liberal education happens inside and outside the classroom as you meet and learn with a diverse array of peers and teachers. This is the kind of learning that enhances experience in all dimensions of life. It's the kind of education a degree from Temple University represents.

The Core Curriculum is one part of that education. The Core courses will teach students how to use language effectively, handle quantitative data, and appreciate the creative arts; students will also gain an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and the impact of technology on society, the history and culture of the United States and of other societies, the differences between individual and communal needs, and the many ways in which race and racism affect all of us. Each Core area focuses on one of these goals, but courses and experiences in other Core areas and in the majors build upon and reinforce Core skills and knowledge. All undergraduate students who were admitted to Temple prior to Fall 2008 and all transfer students who are admitted to Temple prior to Fall 2010 complete some form of the Core Curriculum.

Students entering Temple as transfer students with fewer than 45 transfer credits complete these Core requirements:

  • Temple Information Literacy Tutorial (TILT) (formerly known as Library Skills) - 0 s.h.
  • Analytical Reading and Writing - 4 s.h.
  • Intellectual Heritage - 6 s.h.
  • American Culture - 3 s.h.
  • The Arts - 3 s.h.
  • The Individual and Society - 3 s.h.
  • International Studies/Language - 3-6 s.h.
  • Quantitative Reasoning - 6-8 s.h.
  • Science/Technology - 6-8 s.h.
  • Studies in Race - 3 s.h.
  • Additional Writing-Intensive Courses* - 3-9 s.h.

Total Core Credits** = 40-52

* Three Writing-Intensive courses are required in addition to the two Writing-Intensive Intellectual Heritage courses. The three additional courses include Writing-Intensive courses required by the student's major and an additional approved Writing-Intensive course.

** The total number of Core credits varies as a result of courses that may satisfy multiple Core areas.  Additionally, the results of placement tests and options in the International Studies area may result in lower numbers of required courses and credits.

Advanced transfer students satisfy the Core through either the 45+ Transfer Core or Core-to-Core Transfer and should go to the Core Transfer Programs page for information on these versions of the Core.

Highly-motivated students who seek especially challenging courses may wish to apply for admission to the University Honors Program, which offers special Honors courses that meet Core requirements.

Core Information

Each Core area has a list of courses approved as satisfying the requirements for that area. Descriptions of the Core areas and their approved courses can be found by clicking on the links under the Core Areas menu to the left.  Although Core courses no longer offered by departments do not appear in these lists, students who took them continue to receive Core credit for them, as indicated in their DARS document. Questions about the past, present, or future Core status of a course can be answered by the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies.

In addition to the approved Core course lists, students required to complete any version of the Core Curriculum can use GenEd courses to satisfy the Core equivalent area.  For more information about using GenEd courses to satisfy Core requirements, click here.

Descriptions of Core and GenEd courses are available in the printed Undergraduate Course Descriptions catalog published each spring before the registration period for fall courses, and online through the web version of this Bulletin (www.temple.edu/bulletin/ugradbulletin/ucd/ucdtoc.html). Because not all approved courses are offered every semester, each semester's Guide to Registration contains a list of Core and GenEd courses being taught that term. Lists of newly-approved Core courses, other changes and notices, additional information about the Core, and an e-mail link for questions are available on the Core web site (www.temple.edu/vpus/ucc/index.htm).

Finding a Core Course

Writing-intensive courses are identified by their course numbers. Any course ending in "96," "97," or "98" is an approved Writing-intensive course.

Current students can find courses that fulfill other Core areas by using the following tools:

  • OWLnet: Click on the "Register/Roster" tab, then click on the "find a course" button and choose a department.  The two-character Core code for a course appears in the "Core Course ID (RCI)" column.
  • The Course Schedule: Select a semester, then select a department and a Core area to display.
  • The Course Descriptions catalog (both in print and online): The Core courses are listed by Core areas in the front of the catalog, plus the two-character Core codes appear near the course titles within the course descriptions.
  • The Course Renumbering web site (http://renumbering.temple.edu/courses.asp): Select a Core area in the "Required Course Identifier (RCI)" box and click "Search" to see a list of all of the Core courses offered in that area.

Some courses exist in several Core versions, or in Core and non-Core versions.  The two-character Core codes indicate the version of a course.

RCI - Required Course Identifier - Shows which Core requirement(s) a course fulfills:

Core RCIs

AC - American Culture

AR - The Arts

CO/GW - Composition/Analytical Reading & Writing

IA/GY, IB/GZ - Intellectual Heritage

IN - The Individual and Society

IS - International Studies

LA, LB, LC - Language

QA - Quantitative Reasoning, First Level

QB - Quantitative Reasoning, Second Level

RA*- Studies in Race and the Arts

RC - Studies in Race and Composition

RG*- Studies in Race and International Studies

RN* - Studies in Race and Individual and Society

RS - Studies in Race

RU* - Studies in Race and American Culture

SA - Science and Technology, First Level

SB - Science and Technology, Second Level

WI - Writing-Intensive

WR - Studies in Race and Writing-Intensive

XA - The Arts, Studies in Race, and Writing-Intensive

XC - American Culture, Studies in Race, and Writing-Intensive

XN - The Individual and Society, Studies in Race, and Writing-Intensive

XS - International Studies, Studies in Race, and Writing-Intensive

*added to accommodate new numbering system.

GenEd RCIs

GW - Analytical Reading & Writing

GY, GZ - Mosaic

GA - Arts

GB - Human Behavior

GG - World Society

GU - U.S. Society

GD - Race & Diversity

GS - Science & Technology

GQ - Quantitative Literacy


Important Core Policies for All Students

  • All Core courses must be completed with a grade of C- or higher to satisfy a Core requirement.
  • Core courses cannot be taken for credit/no credit. See Credit/No Credit Courses.
  • Students may not complete requirements in more than two Core areas with courses in their major fields. This restriction does not apply to writing-intensive courses that are not also in a Core area or Studies in Race courses that are not also in another Core area.
  • The three-semester sequence of Analytical Reading & Writing (English 0802, 0812, or 0902) and the two Intellectual Heritage courses (0851 or 0951, and 0852 or 0952) is intended to serve as the foundation of the Core curriculum at Temple and to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary for successful completion of other Core requirements. To make the most of these opportunities, students should take these courses as soon as possible after entering Temple, in order, and immediately after one another.
  • In two Core areas, 1) Quantitative Reasoning and 2) Science and Technology, students should not take a second-level (B) course until they have completed an appropriate prerequisite first-level (A) course with a grade of C- or higher. Students should check with their advisors for the A-B sequences appropriate for their program of study. However, the policy on transfer of Core science courses applies to all students with transfer credits in science (see Science and Technology). 
  • Students who are candidates for a Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Technology, Tyler School of Art, and Communication Sciences and Disorders majors within the College of Health Professions are required by their college to complete both the foreign language and the International Studies components of the Core (see International Studies or Language).
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