KU Core Curriculum
To establish the KU Core curriculum as the University-wide general curriculum for all baccalaureate degrees. The goal of the KU Core is to establish a streamlined and coherent curriculum designed to meet six primary educational goals.
All undergraduate students on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. This policy also applies to students working toward a graduate degree in which all coursework needed for a baccalaureate degree on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses is completed while working toward the graduate degree (e.g., the five-year Master of Architecture degree).
All undergraduate students first enrolling in fall 2013 or later must complete the requirements of the KU Core curriculum in order to earn a baccalaureate degree. The term “requirements” refers to the educational goals and learning outcomes — and the approved courses and educational experiences to meet them — specified in the KU Core curriculum at KU Core curriculum.
Transfer students first enrolling in academic years 2013–14 and 2014–15 are eligible to opt out of the KU Core curriculum and complete their degrees under the former general education requirements of their academic units. Current students, who first enrolled at KU for summer 2012, fall 2012, spring 2013, or summer 2013 and who were first-time freshmen or transfer students with 29 or fewer hours completed at the term of admission, may choose to move from the prior general education requirements of their academic units and instead opt into the KU Core requirements. For more information see the “Transition from General Education to KU Core Requirements” section below.
Students who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. institution shall be exempted from the KU Core when enrolling in an undergraduate degree program at KU. The U.S. Department of Education provides a list of approved regional accrediting agencies. All degree requirements for the bachelor’s degree being earned at KU must be completed; such requirements will be defined by the academic unit.
Each course and educational experience may be approved to meet more than one learning outcome within the KU Core curriculum; however, students are limited to applying an approved course or experience toward only one learning outcome. Students may meet more than one learning outcome via an approved series of courses and/or experiences so long as either (1) the total number of credit hours in the series equals at least 3 credit hours per learning outcome or (2) the total learning outcome count does not exceed the total number of courses and/or experiences within the series. The number of learning outcomes a particular series of courses and experiences can meet is determined by the University Core Curriculum Committee. Students must complete the entire series of courses in order to receive credit for completion of the associated learning outcomes. The schedule of classes and the academic catalog contain comprehensive lists of courses and experiences that have been approved to satisfy requirements of the KU Core.
Students are required to complete all degree and major requirements of the school/College granting the baccalaureate degree in addition to the requirements of the KU Core. A course may simultaneously satisfy a KU Core requirement as well as degree or major requirements.
The chancellor and provost are responsible to the Kansas Board of Regents to oversee the curricula at the University of Kansas. Upon request by the chancellor and provost, the KU Core curriculum was created and recommended by faculty groups and the broader KU community as described in the “Background” section below. The KU Core replaces the general education requirements of the academic units in existence before fall 2013. It is the responsibility of school and College curriculum committees to establish, if needed, school-specific/College-specific bachelor degree requirements that complement the KU Core and the currently approved University of Kansas major requirements.
The letters A, B, C, D (+/–), and S are used to indicate passing work. Students must receive passing grades in courses approved for the KU Core Curriculum in order to meet the learning outcome. Additional details of the grading system can be found in Article 2, Section 2 of the University Senate Rules and Regulations.
Students may select the credit/no credit option in courses to meet the KU Core curriculum requirements.
Courses for which students receive grades of F, NC, or U do not satisfy the requirement for the relevant learning outcome.
Transition from general education to KU core requirements
Between March 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014, first-time freshmen or transfer students who have completed 1 to 29 credit hours as of their admit term and whose first enrollment at KU was summer 2012, fall 2012, spring 2013, or summer 2013 may choose to move from the prior general education requirements of their academic units and instead opt into the KU Core requirements. Students who first enrolled at KU prior to summer 2012 are not eligible to opt into the KU Core. After July 31, 2014, those students will no longer be eligible to opt into the KU Core. Once a student has opted into the KU Core, the student may not opt back out. Eligible students who wish to move to the KU Core must meet with, and receive approval from, an academic advisor. For students who opt into the KU Core, their degree and major requirements will be aligned to those in effect fall 2013.
A transfer student is one who has attended a post-secondary institution after graduating from high school (excluding the summer immediately after senior year).
All transfer students admitted to KU for fall 2013 or later will be admitted under the requirements of the KU Core. Transfer students first enrolling for the academic years 2013–14 and 2014–15 (between March 1, 2013 and July 31, 2015) may opt out of the KU Core and instead follow the general education requirements in place immediately prior to fall 2013. Transfer students first enrolling for the 2013-14 academic year can opt-out of the KU Core between March 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014. Transfer students first enrolling for the 2014-15 academic year can opt-out of the KU Core between March 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015. However, in order to allow sufficient time for evaluation of transfer coursework, transfer students who first enroll for summer 2014 may opt out of the KU Core until December 31, 2014, and transfer students who first enroll for summer 2015 may opt out of the KU Core until December 31, 2015. After December 31, 2015 transfer students will no longer be able to opt out of the KU Core. Eligible students who wish to opt-out of the KU Core must meet with, and receive approval from, an academic advisor. For students who opt out of the KU Core, their degree and major requirements terms will be aligned to summer 2013.
Students are required to follow the readmit process for the appropriate school or College. The school’s policy for readmissions will mandate whether the student is required to complete the KU Core requirements or prior general education requirements.
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
University of Kansas
Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Boulevard, Room 250
Lawrence, KS 66045
The Kansas Board of Regents charges the chancellor and provost to oversee the curricula at the University of Kansas. On the basis of that authority and in accordance with the policy on Faculty Responsibility for the Establishment of Curricula, Academic Standards, and Degree Requirements, the chancellor and provost charged faculty groups during the years 2009–10 through 2011–12 to examine the current curricula and, based upon those results, to formulate the first university-wide curriculum. The KU Core curriculum is the end product constructed and recommended by those faculty groups.
The development of the KU Core began with the chancellor’s task force on retention and graduation in 2009–10. During the 2010–11 academic year, the strategic planning work group on energizing the educational environment sought extensive input and feedback from over 1,000 faculty, students, staff, and alumni through surveys, focus groups, and group meetings. The result was a strong and clear mandate to create a new university-wide core curriculum. The work group, guided by direct input from the great majority of academic departments and schools on campus, developed the six educational goals that form the KU Core. They became an integral part of the first goal of KU’s strategic plan Bold Aspirations, which seeks to position our students for life-long learning and success in a changing 21st Century world.
The implementation of the KU Core began in fall 2011 with six satellite committees, which developed learning outcomes for the six educational goals and presented them to the university community for vetting and comment among faculty, staff, and students. During the spring 2012 semester, the transition committee, with faculty, governance, and student representation, further refined and vetted the learning outcomes with the broader KU community.
University policy, developed and vetted in collaboration with Faculty Senate, established the University Core Curriculum Committee (UCCC), a standing committee with elected representation from each school/College division and from the student body. The UCCC is charged with reviewing and approving courses and educational experiences to meet the KU Core and overseeing the process of how students meet the KU Core. University policy on faculty responsibility to establish curricula was modified with collaboration and feedback from Faculty Senate; this policy identifies the UCCC as the advisory committee responsible for overseeing the KU Core. The UCCC began meeting in August 2012.
10/05/2016: Fixed broken link.
10/09/2015: Revised policy to allow for an exemption from the KU Core for students holding bachelor's degrees. This exemption was proposed by the UCCC, reviewed by deans, and endorsed by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs prior to being approved by the Provost.
12/10/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
10/17/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
05/15/2014: Extended the opt-out window for transfer students.
04/07/2014: Changed the parameters for series of courses to allow for 3 credit hours per learning outcome.
02/07/2014: Added missing hyperlinks and corrected typo.
06/05/2013: Details of exemptions were removed from the policy; a link to the page of the KU Core website that outlines current exemptions was inserted.