Smart starts with the Core Curriculum — a set of courses that provides the knowledge, skills and experiences you need to succeed in college and in life. Whatever your academic or career goals, the Core Curriculum can help you to launch a successful future. Here’s why:

• It builds a solid academic foundation with personal flexibility. Our three-tiered (PDF – 291KB) approach ensures that you build fundamental skills upon a solid educational base. But it’s also flexible enough that you can choose the courses that will apply to your chosen field of study while completing your Core requirements.

• You can earn an associate degree with just a few more courses. Take your block of Core courses (42 credit hours), and with just 18 additional hours, you can earn an associate degree. Go right to work with your new skills, or transfer your Core Curriculum to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree.

• Transfer is guaranteed. It’s a state law that students who complete the Core Curriculum with at least a 2.0 GPA are guaranteed that their courses will transfer as a block of credit to any Texas public college or university. Individual Core courses must be accepted as well by the transfer institution.

What Is the Core Curriculum?

The core of learning in college is a set of courses that will provide you with the knowledge, skills and educational experiences you need to succeed in higher education. Those classes — called the Core Curriculum — are the courses that lead to an associate degree from the colleges of DCCCD and which then transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

This solid foundation of Core courses enables you to meet the challenges of your entire college career head-on. You can transfer credits to another college or university while saving yourself time and money. Core courses are guaranteed to transfer to Texas public colleges and universities.

Get specific information on the Core Curriculum, or read answers to frequently asked questions about the Core or learn about the history of the Core selected by the colleges of DCCCD.

Why Is the Core Curriculum Important?

The concept of a “core” curriculum is based on the idea that the mastery of certain fundamental skills is crucial to the learning process, no matter what you choose to study.

Our goal is to help you become a successful learner, not just in the time you spend with us, but also in preparation for a lifetime of learning. We want to equip you for successful living and responsible citizenship in a rapidly changing local, national and world community. We also believe in the importance of encouraging self-directed and strategic learning — so that you’ll have the tools you need to make a lifetime of important decisions.

What’s the Idea Behind the Core?

The Core Curriculum has its foundation in the idea of a liberal education. A liberal education, in the words of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, “is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity and change. A liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills.”

That’s the goal of the Core Curriculum.

Core courses encompass the bulk of the courses you’ll take for the Associate in Sciences (A.S.), Associate in Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.) degrees (as well as Field of Study and Emphasis degrees).

What’s in It for Me?

  • Value. Get a top-quality education without breaking the bank. Our low tuition rates are the best educational bargain around! One three-hour credit course for in-county students is only $177, or just $708 for a full semester-load of 12 credit hours — and there are no hidden fees. Compare that with UNT’s $1,322, UTA’s $1,048 or UTD’s $2,230 for just one three-hour class.

  • Quality. Going to a college of DCCCD gives you the opportunity to learn from top-notch professors who have impressive credentials but choose to teach in the intimate community college setting. To us, you’re not a number but a person with individual learning needs and dreams that we can help you reach. And in the community college setting, you’ll get the time you need to talk to your professors in smaller classes, have access to all of our facilities and enjoy a wide range of support services and activities. You’ll get the same degree of academic challenge as you would at a four-year college or university but with more personalized support.

  • Guaranteed transfer. It’s a state law that students who complete the Core Curriculum with at least a 2.0 GPA are guaranteed that their courses will transfer as a block of credit to any Texas public college or university. Individual Core courses must be accepted as well by the transfer institution.

    Successful completion of the Core Curriculum satisfies your general education requirements, and receiving institutions cannot require additional Core courses if you have a C average (2.0) or higher.

Associate Degree Options

The Core Curriculum is the very basis of these associate degree programs:

* Only the A.A.T. degrees with specializations in Foreign Language and Mathematics include the complete Core.

Other Degree and Certificate Options

The colleges of DCCCD offer nearly 350 career and technical degrees and certificates, plus more than 50 academic degrees. For more information, see a chart of degree plans by college or visit the credit programs home page.