Core Curriculum FAQs
In Fall 2013 FSU introduced a revised Core Curriculum. The revised Core has many of the same requirements as the old Core, but there are several changes, from small--the names of some requirements are different--to large--entirely new requirements.
- Why was the Core Curriculum revised?
- What's new in the revised Core Curriculum?
- Who has to satisfy the revised Core Curriculum requirements?
- I will be entering as a transfer student. Which of the revised requirements apply to me?
- I will be re-entering FSU as a readmit. Do the revised core requirements apply to me?
- Will my choice of major affect which core courses I need to take?
- Why was the Core Curriculum revised? To align core requirements with core learning outcomes. Core learning outcomes are the skills and knowledge all students should have when they complete the Core. Core requirements should ensure that students master the core learning outcomes. FSU's core requirements were out of alignment with its core learning outcomes. As a result, students could complete core requirements without mastering all of the core learning outcomes. After the revision, requirements and learing outcomes will be completely aligned.
- What's New? The major changes to the core include the following:
- Reduction of core credits from 45 to 38. Despite new requirements, the credits required for the core curriculum have been reduced. (Note: Some majors have requirements that increase the core credits to 40.) The reduction was accomplished by removing the "Restricted Electives" requirement. Because the total credits required for graduation remains 120, most majors have increased in size to make up the difference. Many majors have incorporated core courses that used to be Restricted Electives into the major. Others have added free electives.
- More options for Transitional Studies. The new Transitional Studies learning outcome combines two requirements from the old core. University Studies helps students develop the academic skills they need to be successful in college. Life Skills includes the former Physical Education requirement, but it expands the category to include other non-academic skills that help students succeed: financial literacy and environmental literacy are two such skills.
- Change in math requirement from two courses to one. The old core required two math courses, one of which had to be College Algebra (or higher). Many students who placed into College Algebra chose a major that did not require a higher math. Nevertheless, they still had to take a second math. As a result, many such students would take Introduction to College Algebra after College Algebra, just to fulfill the math requirement. This resulted in a waste of University resources. Under the new core, only one math is required. It must still be equivalent to College Algebra, but for students who do not need a higher math, the one class satisfies the requirement. Entering students whose placement scores indicate a need for preparatory work will still be required to take Introduction to College Algebra. In addition, recognizing the importance of statistical reasoning in modern life, a new course in Quantitative Reasoning is being introduced that includes both algebra and statistics. Finally, for the first time, courses in statistics satisfy the core math requirement, now called Quantitative Reasoning.
- Change in natural science requirement. The natural science requirement remains two courses; however, the courses need not be taken as a sequence. This allows students to explore different sciences. In addition, only one of the natural science courses must include a lab. Note: some majors require two lab sciences.
- New requirement in Global Literacy. This core learning outcome had no curricular requirement under the old core. In the revised core, students will be able to satisfy the requirement through a variety of courses, including foreign languages.
- New requirement in Ethics and Civic Engagement. This core learning outcome also had no corresponding requirement in the old core. In the new core, all students will be required to take at least one course.
- Core Learning Outcomes redefined: The core SLOs have been revised in many cases and provided rationales in all cases. more...
- Who must satisfy the revised requirements? The revised requirements apply to three sets of students:
- Students who enter FSU for the first time in Summer II or Fall 2013. Students who enter during Summer I 2013 fall under the 2012-2013 Catalog.
- Students who re-enter FSU as readmit students in Summer II or Fall 2013. Readmitted students must satisfy the requirements of the Catalog in effect the semester they re-enter the University.
- Continuing students who choose to move to the new Catalog. All currently enrolled students have the option of choosing to follow a more recent catalog. However, students who choose to move must satisfy ALL curriculum requirements of the new catalog--including the core. Students should discuss the pros and cons of moving to the new catalog with their advisor.
- Transfer Students who enter in Summer or Fall 2013 must in general satisfy all requirements of the revised core curriculum.
However, the following exceptions may apply:
- University Studies. Students who transfer 30 or more credit hours are exempt from the University Studies requirement. Unless they transfer equivalent courses, however, they do not earn credit for this requirement. As a result, students may have to take additional courses to earn the required minimum of 120 hours for graduation.
- Critical Thinking. Students who transfer 60 or more credit hours are exempt from the Critical Thinking requirement. Unless they transfer equivalent courses, however, they do not earn credit for this requirement. As a result, students may have to take additional courses to earn the required minimum of 120 hours for graduation.
- Ethics and Civic Engagement. Students who transfer 60 or more credit hours are exempt from the Ethics and Civic Engagement requirement. Unless they transfer equivalent courses, however, they do not earn credit for this requirement. As a result, students may have to take additional courses to earn the required minimum of 120 hours for graduation.
- Associate's Degree. Students who have earned an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from a North Carolina community college are considered to have satisfied all core requirements at FSU. However, students may have to take specific core courses if required by their major program.
- Yes. Readmitted students must follow the catalog in effect the semester of their readmission.
- Yes. Many majors require students to select specific courses from the core curriculum. Revised core requirements for each major will be included in the 2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog. Until then,
- Continuing students should contact their advisor for more information.
- Entering freshmen should contact University College (910-672-1060).
- Entering transfer students should consult their major advisor.