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TCU Core Curriculum

What is the TCU Core Curriculum?

The TCU Core Curriculum structures students’ experiences in general education while studying at TCU.  General education provides the learning experiences to ensure student success before and after graduation, in their personal and professional lives and as citizens of the world.

General education provides students with a breadth and range of skills they can not gain in any single major. This learning prepares them for other college courses, for future workplaces, to navigate a changing world, to contribute to their communities, and to find fulfillment as lifelong learners.

Today’s world is complicated and multidimensional.  Courses in the TCU Core Curriculum prepare students to evaluate information, use multiple perspectives in problem solving, look for connections across seemingly disparate cultures and academic disciplines, develop cultural awareness and sensitivity across differences, clearly communicate and express oneself, practice ethical reasoning, and collaborate with others to create change.

In other words, through the TCU Core Curriculum, TCU student ready themselves to fulfill the University’s mission to to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.

The educational experience offered by the TCU Core Curriculum, which was developed and is maintained by TCU’s faculty and enriched by their teaching and research, reflects TCU’s membership in the worldwide academy of learning. The intellectual traditions of the University, often called the liberal arts, are founded upon a rational and reflective examination of humanity and its natural and social environments. The liberal arts ethos of Texas Christian University is stated clearly in the Heritage, Philosophy and Goals section of the TCU Handbook for Faculty and Staff:

The University … regards as essential the advancement and communication of general knowledge which enables students to understand the past, to comprehend the natural and social order, to search for the good and the beautiful, and to integrate knowledge into significant wholes.

The TCU Core Curriculum is designed to:

  • Embody the liberal arts ethos of TCU;
  • Facilitate a focus on educational competencies, learning outcomes, and assessment;
  • Show sensitivity to the special needs of students in different schools/colleges and degree programs; and
  • Provide intellectual challenges and opportunities for students and faculty.

The TCU Core Curriculum has three components:

  1. The Heritage, Mission, Vision, and Values Curriculum (18 hours)
  2. The Human Experiences and Endeavors Curriculum (27 hours)
  3. The Essential Competencies Curriculum (12 hours plus 6 hours Writing Emphasis)

All courses in the TCU Core Curriculum may overlay with other requirements of the student’s degree program. The overlay feature provides the flexibility for core requirements to be satisfied in a range between 39 and 63 hours.

The Core Curriculum is assessed regularly, including by a Faculty Senate committee during the current academic year, 2021-2022.