UAB Core Curriculum

The UAB Core Curriculum provides students with the foundation for later academic and personal success. It is designed to deliver six competencies that make up the Shared Vision for a UAB Graduate. These competencies both equip students for more advanced study in their chosen majors and help them develop a broader and more complex understanding of the world.

As part of its new strategic plan, Forging the Future, UAB is currently reexamining and redesigning its Core Curriculum. For more details, visit the Signature Core Curriculum page.

Core Curriculum Competencies

Sometimes called general education courses, the core curriculum is a selection of required and elective courses that together promote six competencies which build the foundation for attainment of the Shared Vision for a UAB Graduate. 

A graduating student should be able to demonstrate the following core competencies:

  • Reading and writing skills sufficient to ensure access to information and ideas in the institution’s curriculum as well as in society at large.
  • An ability to make aesthetic judgments in the arts, literature, and humanities based on relevant historical, social, or philosophical contexts.
  • The ability to collect and evaluate information within the context of the scientific method and to use this ability to further one’s understanding of the natural world.
  • The ability to apply mathematical skills and quantitative reasoning to solve problems and interpret information.
  • The ability to reason and evaluate information within the context of the social and behavioral sciences and to use this ability to further one’s understanding of the social, economic, and political environment.
  • Knowledge of contemporary and/or historical issues.

Can One Satisfy Core Curriculum Requirements with Alternative Credit?

Students may satisfy certain Core Curriculum requirements by presenting credit earned through the following: Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and Credit by Examination (CBE). Students with AP, IB, or CLEP credit must have official documents sent to the Office of Enrollment Management, ATTN: Alternative Credit, 1605 Building, 1605 11th Avenue South, (205) 934-8228 for evaluation and acceptance before credit can be posted on the UAB transcript. 

What Courses Satisfy Core Curriculum Requirements?

Core curriculum requirements are divided into four areas, and all students must fulfill requirements in each area. See Collat School of Business and School of Engineering sections of this catalog for their specific variations. Majors may also have specific requirements in each area, as indicated in this catalog.

Core CurriculumHours
Area I. Written Composition 6 hours

Effective written communication skills are essential in a literate society. Requirements include six semester hours in written composition. UAB students must complete EH 101 English Composition I or EH 106 Introduction to Freshman Writing I and EH 102 English Composition II or EH 107 Introduction to Freshman Writing II with the grade of C or better within their first 30 hours or as soon as possible thereafter.

RequirementsHours
EH 101English Composition I3
or EH 106 Introduction to Freshman Writing I
or EH 108 English Composition I for Second Language Writers
EH 102English Composition II3
or EH 107 Introduction to Freshman Writing II
or EH 109 English Composition II for Second Language Writers
Area II. Humanities and Fine Arts 12 hours

Study in the humanities addresses the ability to deal with questions of values, ethics, or aesthetics as they are represented in literature, philosophy, religion, and the arts, and is fundamental to general education. Requirements include at least 12 semester hours in humanities with a minimum of three semester hours in literature, three semester hours in the fine arts, and the remaining hours from the humanities and/or fine arts. In addition to literature, disciplines in the humanities include, but are not limited to, philosophy, religious studies, speech, foreign languages, art, music, theatre, and dance. As part of the common Core Curriculum, students must complete a six-semester hour sequence in literature (Area II), history (Area IV), or economics (Area IV).

The following courses satisfy Area II of the Core Curriculum:

RequirementsHours
AAS 200Introduction to African-American Studies3
AAS 201Honors Introduction to African American Studies3
ARA 101
101L
Introductory Arabic I
and Introductory Arabic I Lab
4
ARA 102
102L
Introductory Arabic II
and Introductory Arabic II Lab
4
ARH 101The Art Experience3
ARH 203Ancient and Medieval Art3
ARH 204Early Modern-Contemporary Art3
ARH 206Survey of Asian Art3
ARS 280Creativity and Imagination3
CHI 101
101L
Introductory Chinese I
and Introductory Chinese I Lab
4
CHI 102
102L
Introductory Chinese II
and Introductory Chinese II Lab
4
CMST 101Public Speaking3
EH 212Forms of Literature3
EH 213Ideas in Literature3
EH 216Introduction to Literature3
EH 217World Literature I: Before 16603
EH 218World Literature II: 1660-Present3
EH 221British and Irish Literature I: Before 18003
EH 222British and Irish Literature II: 1800-Present3
EH 223American Literature I: Before 18653
EH 224American Literature II: 1865-Present3
FLL 120Foreign Cultures3
FLL 220Foreign Literatures in English Translation3
FR 101
101L
Introductory French I
and Introductory French I Lab Practice
4
FR 102
102L
Introductory French II
and Introductory French II Lab Practice
4
FR 108Introductory Intensive French4
FR 201Intermediate French I3
FR 202Intermediate French II3
GN 101
101L
Introductory German I
and Introductory German I Lab Practice
4
GN 102
102L
Introductory German II
and Introductory German II Lab Practice
4
GN 201Intermediate German I3
GN 202Intermediate German II3
GN 204Readings in German Literature3
ITL 101
101L
Introductory Italian I
and Introductory Italian I Lab
4
ITL 102
102L
Introductory Italian II
and Introductory Italian II Lab
4
JPA 101
101L
Introductory Japanese I
and Introductory Japanese I Lab
4
JPA 102
102L
Introductory Japanese II
and Introductory Japanese Lab II
4
MU 120Music Appreciation3
PHL 100Introduction to Philosophy3
PHL 115Contemporary Moral Issues3
PHL 116Bioethics3
PHL 120Practical Reasoning3
PHL 125Introduction to Ethics3
PHL 203Philosophy of Religion3
POR 101
101L
Introductory Portuguese I
and Introductory Portuguese I Lab Practice
4
POR 102
102L
Introductory Portuguese II
and Introductory Portuguese II Lab Practice
4
SPA 101
101L
Introductory Spanish I
and Introductory Spanish I Lab Practice
4
SPA 102
102L
Introductory Spanish II
and Introductory Spanish II Lab Practice
4
SPA 108Introductory Intensive Spanish4
SPA 201Intermediate Spanish I3
SPA 202Intermediate Spanish II3
THR 100Introduction to the Theatre3
THR 102Introduction to Cinema3
THR 105Introduction to Dance3
THR 200Plays on Film3
Area III. Natural Sciences and Mathematics 11 hours

Study in the natural sciences and mathematics emphasizes the scientific method and applies quantitative or inductive reasoning. Requirements include at least 11 semester hours with at least three semester hours in mathematics at the pre-calculus algebra level or higher and at least eight semester hours in the natural sciences. All courses in the natural sciences must include laboratory experiences. Disciplines in the natural sciences include, but are not limited to, astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. UAB students must take the required three semester hours in mathematics within their first 60 hours or as soon as possible thereafter.

The following courses satisfy Area III of the Core Curriculum:

RequirementsHours
AST 101
AST 111
Astronomy of the Universe
and Astronomy of the Universe Laboratory
4
AST 102
AST 112
Astronomy of Stellar Systems
and Astronomy of Stellar Systems Laboratory
4
AST 103
AST 113
Astronomy of the Solar System
and Astronomy of the Solar Systems Laboratory
4
AST 105
AST 115
Extraterrestrial Life
and Extraterrestrial Life Laboratory
4
BY 101
BY 102
Topics in Contemporary Biology
and Topics Contemporary Biology Laboratory
4
BY 108
BY 109
Human Population and the Earth's Environment
and Laboratory in Environmental Science
4
BY 111
BY 112
Extended Topics in Contemporary Biology
and Ext Topics Contemporary Biology Laboratory
4
BY 123Introductory Biology I4
BY 124Introductory Biology II4
CH 105
CH 106
Introductory Chemistry I
and Introductory Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CH 107
CH 108
Introductory Chemistry II
and Introductory Chemistry II Laboratory
4
CH 115
CH 116
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CH 117
CH 118
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
4
CH 125
CH 126
General Chemistry I HONORS
and General Chemistry I HONORS Laboratory
4
CH 127
CH 128
General Chemistry II HONORS
and General Chemistry II HONORS Laboratory
4
ENV 108
ENV 109
Human Population and the Earth s Environment
and Laboratory in Environmental Science
4
ES 101
ES 102
Physical Geology
and Physical Geology Laboratory
4
ES 103
ES 104
History of the Earth
and History of the Earth Laboratory
4
MA 105Pre-Calculus Algebra3
MA 106Pre-Calculus Trigonometry3
MA 107Pre-Calculus Algebra and Trigonometry4
MA 110Finite Mathematics3
MA 125Calculus I4
MA 126Calculus II4
MA 225Calculus I - Honors4
MA 226Calculus II - Honors4
MA 227Calculus III4
MA 252Introduction to Differential Equations3
MA 260Introduction to Linear Algebra3
PH 201College Physics I4
PH 202College Physics II4
PH 221General Physics I4
PH 222General Physics II4
PHS 101Physical Science4
PHS 102Physical Science II4
Area IV. History, Social, and Behavioral Sciences 12 hours

Study in history and the social and behavioral sciences deals primarily with the study of human behavior, social and political structures, and economics. Requirements include 12 semester hours with at least a three-semester hour course in history and at least six semester hours from among other disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. Disciplines include, but are not limited to, anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology. As part of the common Core Curriculum, students must complete a six-semester hour sequence in literature (Area II), history (Area IV), or economics (Area IV). 

The following courses satisfy Area IV of the Core Curriculum:

RequirementsHours
ANTH 101Introduction to Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 106Introductory Archaeology3
ANTH 120Language and Culture3
CMST 105Introduction to Human Communication3
DCS 101Media and Society3
EC 210Principles of Microeconomics3
EC 211Principles of Macroeconomics3
FN 102Money and Society3
GEO 121World Regional Geography3
HY 101Western Civilization I3
HY 102Western Civilization II3
HY 104World History to 16003
HY 105World History 1600 to the Present3
HY 106World History and Technology I3
HY 107World History and Technology II3
HY 120The United States To 18773
HY 121The United States Since 18773
ITS 101Introduction to International Studies3
PSC 101Foundations of American Government3
PSC 102Foundations of Comparative Politics3
PSC 103Foundations of International Relations3
PSC 221American State and Local Government3
PUH 202Introduction to Global Health3
PY 101Introduction to Psychology3
PY 201Honors Introduction to Psychology3
PY 212Developmental Psychology3
SOC 100Introduction to Sociology3
SOC 245Contemporary Social Problems3
WS 100Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies3
Area V. Pre-Professional, Pre-Major, and Elective Courses

Certain degrees/major may require students to take additional required courses and/or elective courses appropriate to the individual degree or program. Students should consult the appropriate college or school section of this catalog to see whether Area V requirements apply to them.

Total Semester Hours:41

The UAB Core Curriculum Matrix

The matrix below identifies how specific core curriculum courses introduce or reinforce the desired core competencies which build the foundation for attainment of the Shared Vision for a UAB Graduate. Faculty who teach courses in the disciplines have identified these core competencies as essential for success in upper-division major courses. 

Core Competency

Demonstrate reading and writing skills sufficient to ensure access to information and ideas in the institution's curriculum, as well as in society at large.

RequirementsHours
Core curriculum courses in which introduced:
CMST 101Public Speaking3
BY 123Introductory Biology I4
BY 124Introductory Biology II4
EH 101English Composition I3
EH 102English Composition II3
EH 216Introduction to Literature3
ENV 109Laboratory in Environmental Science1
FR 101Introductory French I3
GN 101Introductory German I3
MA 126Calculus II4
MA 252Introduction to Differential Equations3
PHS 101Physical Science4
SPA 101Introductory Spanish I3
Core curriculum courses in which practiced and reinforced:
AAS 200Introduction to African-American Studies3
ARH 204Early Modern-Contemporary Art3
EH 102English Composition II3
EH 217World Literature I: Before 16603
EH 218World Literature II: 1660-Present3
EH 221British and Irish Literature I: Before 18003
EH 222British and Irish Literature II: 1800-Present3
FR 102Introductory French II3
FR 201Intermediate French I3
FR 202Intermediate French II3
GN 102Introductory German II3
GN 201Intermediate German I3
GN 202Intermediate German II3
GN 204Readings in German Literature3
PHL 100Introduction to Philosophy3
PHL 115Contemporary Moral Issues3
PHL 116Bioethics3
PHL 120Practical Reasoning3
PHL 204Philosophy and Christianity3
SPA 102Introductory Spanish II3
SPA 201Intermediate Spanish I3
SPA 202Intermediate Spanish II3
THR 100Introduction to the Theatre3
THR 200Plays on Film3

Core Competency

Demonstrate an ability to make aesthetic judgments in the arts, literature, and humanities based on relevant historical, social, or philosophical contexts.

RequirementsHours
Core curriculum courses in which introduced:
ARH 101The Art Experience3
EH 216Introduction to Literature3
MU 120Music Appreciation3
PHL 100Introduction to Philosophy3
PHL 115Contemporary Moral Issues3
PHL 120Practical Reasoning3
PHL 204Philosophy and Christianity3
THR 100Introduction to the Theatre3
THR 105Introduction to Dance3
Core curriculum courses in which practiced and reinforced:
ARH 203Ancient and Medieval Art3
ARH 204Early Modern-Contemporary Art3
ARH 205African/Native American/Oceanic Art3
THR 200Plays on Film3
EH 217World Literature I: Before 16603
EH 218World Literature II: 1660-Present3
EH 221British and Irish Literature I: Before 18003
EH 222British and Irish Literature II: 1800-Present3
EH 223American Literature I: Before 18653
EH 224American Literature II: 1865-Present3

Core Competency

Demonstrate the ability to collect and evaluate information within the context of the scientific method and to use this ability to further one's understanding of the natural world.

RequirementsHours
Core curriculum courses in which introduced:
AST 101Astronomy of the Universe3
AST 102Astronomy of Stellar Systems3
AST 103Astronomy of the Solar System3
AST 105Extraterrestrial Life3
BY 101Topics in Contemporary Biology3
CH 105Introductory Chemistry I3
CH 107Introductory Chemistry II3
CH 115General Chemistry I3
CH 117General Chemistry II3
PH 201College Physics I4
PH 221General Physics I4
PHS 101Physical Science4
Core curriculum courses in which practiced and reinforced:
AST 111Astronomy of the Universe Laboratory1
AST 112Astronomy of Stellar Systems Laboratory1
AST 113Astronomy of the Solar Systems Laboratory1
AST 115Extraterrestrial Life Laboratory1
BY 101Topics in Contemporary Biology3
BY 102Topics Contemporary Biology Laboratory1
BY 112Ext Topics Contemporary Biology Laboratory1
BY 123Introductory Biology I4
BY 124Introductory Biology II4
CH 105Introductory Chemistry I3
CH 105Introductory Chemistry I3
CH 107Introductory Chemistry II3
CH 108Introductory Chemistry II Laboratory1
CH 115General Chemistry I3
CH 116General Chemistry I Laboratory1
CH 117General Chemistry II3
CH 118General Chemistry II Laboratory1
PH 201College Physics I4
PH 202College Physics II4
PH 221General Physics I4
PH 222General Physics II4

Core Competency

Demonstrate the ability to apply mathematical skills and quantitative reasoning to solve problems and interpret information.

RequirementsHours
Core curriculum courses in which introduced:
FR 101Introductory French I3
MA 105Pre-Calculus Algebra3
MA 106Pre-Calculus Trigonometry3
MA 107Pre-Calculus Algebra and Trigonometry4
MA 110Finite Mathematics3
PHL 120Practical Reasoning3
PHS 101Physical Science4
SPA 201Intermediate Spanish I3
Core curriculum courses in which practiced and reinforced:
MA 125Calculus I4
MA 126Calculus II4
MA 227Calculus III4
MA 252Introduction to Differential Equations3
MA 260Introduction to Linear Algebra3
PH 201College Physics I4
PH 202College Physics II4
PH 221General Physics I4
PH 222General Physics II4

Core Competency

Demonstrate the ability to reason and evaluate information within the context of the social and behavioral sciences and to use this ability to further one's understanding of the social, economic, and political environment.

RequirementsHours
Core curriculum courses in which introduced:
AAS 200Introduction to African-American Studies3
ANTH 101Introduction to Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 106Introductory Archaeology3
BY 108Human Population and the Earth's Environment3
BY 109Laboratory in Environmental Science1
ITS 101Introduction to International Studies3
PHL 100Introduction to Philosophy3
PHL 115Contemporary Moral Issues3
PHL 116Bioethics3
PHL 120Practical Reasoning3
PHL 125Introduction to Ethics3
PSC 101Foundations of American Government3
PSC 102Foundations of Comparative Politics3
PY 101Introduction to Psychology3
SOC 100Introduction to Sociology3
WS 100Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies3
Core curriculum courses in which practiced and reinforced:
ANTH 120Language and Culture3
EC 210Principles of Microeconomics3
EC 211Principles of Macroeconomics3
HY 102Western Civilization II3
HY 105World History 1600 to the Present3
HY 121The United States Since 18773
PHL 203Philosophy of Religion3
PSC 221American State and Local Government3
PUH 202Introduction to Global Health3
PY 212Developmental Psychology3
SOC 245Contemporary Social Problems3

Core Competency

Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary and/or historical issues.

RequirementsHours
Core curriculum courses in which introduced:
AAS 200Introduction to African-American Studies3
ANTH 101Introduction to Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 106Introductory Archaeology3
ANTH 120Language and Culture3
CMST 105Introduction to Human Communication3
BY 108Human Population and the Earth's Environment3
BY 109Laboratory in Environmental Science1
HY 101Western Civilization I3
HY 102Western Civilization II3
HY 104World History to 16003
HY 105World History 1600 to the Present3
HY 120The United States To 18773
HY 121The United States Since 18773
ITS 101Introduction to International Studies3
PHL 100Introduction to Philosophy3
PHL 115Contemporary Moral Issues3
PHL 116Bioethics3
PHL 120Practical Reasoning3
PHL 125Introduction to Ethics3
PUH 202Introduction to Global Health3
PY 101Introduction to Psychology3
SOC 100Introduction to Sociology3
WS 100Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies3
Core curriculum courses in which practiced and reinforced:
EH 217World Literature I: Before 16603
EH 218World Literature II: 1660-Present3
EH 221British and Irish Literature I: Before 18003
EH 223American Literature I: Before 18653
EH 224American Literature II: 1865-Present3
PHL 204Philosophy and Christianity3
PSC 221American State and Local Government3
PY 212Developmental Psychology3
SOC 245Contemporary Social Problems3

Shared Vision for a UAB Graduate

The Shared Vision for a UAB Graduate reflects high expectations in the areas of Communication, Knowledge, Problem-Solving, and Citizenship.

Communication - A UAB graduate

  • Participates effectively in the world of ideas and information.
  • Reads with comprehension, attention to detail, and an awareness of context, tone, and interconnections with other texts, life experiences, and public events.
  • Writes correctly and effectively in response to specific needs and for diverse audiences and contexts.
  • Speaks effectively as determined by audience, setting, and circumstances.
  • Uses information technology effectively for professional communication.

Knowledge - A UAB graduate

  • Possesses a depth and breadth of knowledge sufficient for informed decision-making.
  • Demonstrates substantial knowledge in a disciplinary major.
  • Differentiates among methodologies, major ideas and figures, and specific information or issues relevant to the sciences and humanities.
  • Uses effectively the technology appropriate for one’s discipline.

Problem-Solving - A UAB graduate

  • Collects and evaluates data and analyzes complex issues, using appropriate methods.
  • Demonstrates critical thinking skills by synthesizing information, making reasonable arguments, and arriving at logical conclusions.
  • Demonstrates quantitative reasoning by interpreting data in multiple formats and applying quantitative methods to solve complex problems.
  • Demonstrates the ability to achieve goals through collaboration.

Citizenship - A UAB graduate

  • Is aware of contemporary issues and prepared to engage responsibly in the community.
  • Understands civic responsibility and engages in informed decision-making with respect to social and political issues.
  • Recognizes that values and ethics are integral to one’s academic, personal, and professional life.
  • Respects the significant role of diversity in the contemporary world.

The Shared Vision for a UAB Graduate is achieved beginning with the first year experience and the core curriculum; continues with major courses, elective courses, and perhaps courses required for a minor or certificate; and culminates in a capstone experience.