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Curriculum Resource Guide

Welcome to UTSA’s Curriculum Resource Guide. On this page, you will find the answers to your most common curriculum questions, including information about the Core Curriculum and the process for submitting undergraduate course and program proposals. The information on shared governance includes the participatory process the University follows for making decisions about academic matters. This page also includes resources and policies related to teaching and learning, as well as easy access to relevant student policies and forms.


Core Curriculum

An overview of UTSA’s General Education (Core) Curriculum

Course Proposals

Information for submitting a new Core Course for consideration

Academic Programs

Information about making changes to academic programs at UTSA

Proposing New Programs

Information about proposing a new program, such as a degree, certificate, track/concentration/specialization, or minor

Proposing Changes to an Existing Program

Information about requesting changes to an existing program or to close an existing program

Review and Assessment

Information about assessment and how it relates to SACSCOC accreditation

Types of Assessment

Shared Governance

Shared governance is a representative and participatory framework that ensures faculty, staff, and students are all involved in university decision-making. See “Shared Governance Decision Making” for additional details.

Executive Leadership Bodies

There are several executive leadership bodies that play different roles in shared governance decision-making. These include:

 Academic Council

The Academic Council oversees academic policies across campus, including reviewing proposals for new degree programs. It advises the Provost on matters related to academic programs, support, and services.

 President’s Cabinet

The President’s Cabinet, in conjunction with the University Leadership Council, meets to discuss and review ongoing progress on university initiatives. It advises the President on matters related to institutional strategy and tactics.

 Resource Management Team

The Resource Management Team makes high-level decisions related to the university’s fiscal planning.

 University Leadership Council

The University Leadership Council reviews administrative and operational policies and helps prioritize institutional initiatives. It advises the Provost on matters related to University strategy, tactics, and initiatives, who then advises the President.

  Teaching, Learning and Students

Teaching and Learning Resources

Course Syllabi

Learning Outcomes

Information for submitting a new Core Course for consideration.

Classroom and Behavior



Student Policies and Resources

The following section includes links to frequently requested student resources and policies so you can share them with your students when needed.

Student Resources

For an exhaustive list of campus services and information, visit the Student Resources Toolbox.

Student Policies


General Curriculum Terminology

Academic Program

An academic program is a program of study over a period of time that leads to a degree.


Undergraduate certificate programs provide skill development and/or training opportunities in a particular field of study for UTSA undergraduates. They typically consist of 15–18 credit hours so are narrower in scope and shorter in duration than baccalaureate degrees. They are distinct from both degree programs and teacher certification programs. See the “Undergraduate Certificate Programs” section of the Catalog for additional details and for a list of certificate programs offered at UTSA. For information about teacher certification programs, see “Teacher Certification” below.

Degree Requirements

There are minimum requirements students must meet in order to earn a bachelor’s degree from UTSA, regardless of the major they select. These are detailed in the “Degree Requirements” section of the Catalog. The same requirements apply to earning a degree online.

Gateway Course

Gateway courses are courses within a major that contain key material with which students need to have a clear-cut comprehension in order to be successful in completing other courses in the major. Gateway courses often demonstrate whether a student is a suitable candidate for their indicated major. For more information about Gateway Courses, see the “Gateway Courses” section of the Catalog.

In order to ensure students are selecting majors appropriate for their aptitudes and skills, students may not attempt a Gateway course more than twice. For more information about this policy, see the “Limitation on Attempting Gateway Courses” section of the Catalog.


Majors are the main part of a degree program a student will earn in their academic career. It is the underlying knowledge a student will engage in and obtain during their degree program.

Some majors have additional admission requirements, which can be found in the “Admission to Colleges, Departments, and Special Programs (in addition to UTSA Admission)” section of the Catalog.


UTSA offers minors in many disciplines, as well as several interdisciplinary fields. A minor doesn’t necessarily support a student’s major directly but can assist in their major knowledge. To earn a minor, students much complete at least 18 semester credit hours (though certain minors may require more), including 6 hours at the upper-division level at UTSA, and achieve a grade point average of at least 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on all work used to satisfy the requirements of a minor. See the “Minors” section of the Catalog for additional details and requirements.

Teacher Certification Program

Students interested in becoming teachers can complete the teacher certification program concurrently with pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Not that a teacher certification is distinct from UTSA’s certificate programs, which you can read about in “Certificates” above. See the “Teacher Certification Programs” section of the Catalog for additional information and requirements.

Three-attempt rule

Universities cannot receive state funding for courses containing the same content attempted by a student more than twice at the same Texas state-supported institution of higher education. This includes completing a course more than twice, as well as classes where grades of “W” were earned by withdrawing or by dropping a call after Census Date for that semester.

On the third (or subsequent) attempt to take the same course at UTSA, a surcharge per semester credit hour will be assessed. See the “Three-attempt Rule” section of the Catalog for additional details about this policy.

Undergraduate Credit Limitation (the 150-hour rule)

This policy requires all undergraduate students to complete their degree program within 150 semester credit hours. This includes courses that are repeated, duplicated, or courses for which the student received a grade of “W.” See the “Undergraduate Credit Limitation (the 150-hour rule)” section of the Catalog for more detailed information about this policy.

Core Curriculum Terminology

Component Areas

Component areas are the broad subject areas from which students must take a selection of courses to meet Core Curriculum requirements. The component areas consist of: First-Year Experience; Communication; Mathematics; Life and Physical Sciences; Language, Philosophy, and Culture; Creative Arts; American History; Government-Political Science; Social and Behavioral Sciences; and Component Area Option (CAO). See “Core Curriculum Component Area Requirements” in the Catalog for more information about this policy, as well as a list of the specific courses that fall within each component area.

Roadrunner Learning Outcomes

Roadrunner Learning Outcomes are learning objectives that are incorporated across Core Curriculum courses: critical thinking; communication skills; empirical and quantitative skills; teamwork; social responsibility; and personal responsibility. See “Roadrunner Learning Outcomes” for more detailed information about each objective.

These objectives are derived from the six core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) for the Texas Core Curriculum. The “Texas Core Curriculum” document includes additional details about Core components.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)

THECB is a government agency that oversees higher education in Texas and established the statewide Core Curriculum. See “Texas Core Curriculum” for additional details. 

Transfer Credit Terminology

Texas Common Course Numbering (TCCN) System

The TCCN system is a standard set of four-character abbreviations for academic disciplines and four-digit course numbers, which aids in the transfer of lower-division academic courses among colleges and universities in Texas. Most community colleges in Texas have adopted TCCN as their course numbering system; others cross-reference their courses with TCCN. The Catalog lists TCCN courses and their UTSA equivalents.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is credit students receive toward their UTSA degree program for courses that they’ve completed at a different institution(s). See “Transferring Courses” for more details about this policy. 

Accreditation and Assessment Terminology


Accreditation is a review process to ensure an institution’s programs meet quality standards. Being accredited allows institutions to be eligible to receive student financial aid and participate in other federally-supported programs. Being accredited also demonstrates the quality and value of an institution and its programs to the public. UTSA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.


Assessment is the means by which an institution is evaluated in order to earn or maintain its accreditation. UTSA is requited to assess all educational programs, administrative support services, academic and student services, and general education competencies in order to maintain its SACSCOC accreditation.  

See the “Assessment Resources” page for more detailed information about assessment, including a glossary of assessment-related terms.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

SACSCOC is the accrediting body for UTSA.