The Liberal Arts Core

The Liberal Arts Core

The Liberal Arts Core curriculum, administered by University College in collaboration with UNC’s other colleges, is the centerpiece of an undergraduate’s student’s learning at UNC. To be an educated person means not only to possess a set of skills and knowledge within a discipline, but to be a continual learner, able to understand the connections between and among the academic disciplines. The vision and goals of the LAC encapsulate the university’s aspirations for all of its graduates.

Mission

The mission of the program is to give students a foundation in the liberal arts, enabling them to become responsible well-educated citizens capable of contributing effectively to a rapidly changing, technologically advanced, global society. The program’s curriculum is designed to introduce students to undergraduate studies; to foster their competencies in reading, writing, critical thinking, mathematics, and the use of technology; to improve their awareness of the multicultural character of contemporary society; and to give them a sense of connections among the various academic disciplines. Students who complete the program will be prepared to think for themselves, to marshal relevant information, to reason about complex issues, to reflect upon questions of principle, to express themselves effectively, to recognize the importance of the past, to appreciate cultures and values different from their own, to make choices with a sense of their ethical implications, to work towards a better future, and to function with skill and knowledge in an ever-changing world.

Requirements

Students are required to complete at least 40 hours, distributed among the following areas: Basic Core Courses, Multicultural and International Studies Courses, and Electives. Every student must successfully pass:

  • At least 31 hours of Basic Core Courses (Areas 1-6), distributed as indicated below, and with at least 15 of those hours being drawn from Areas 3, 4, and 5.
  • At least one Multicultural Studies course and at least one International Studies course (Areas 7-8). There are courses that may be counted simultaneously toward satisfying the requirement of 31 hours of Basic Core Courses and towards satisfying the Multicultural Studies and International Studies requirements.
  • Enough Electives to bring the total number of hours to at least 40 hours.

Guaranteed Transferability

Courses bearing the gtP designation have been approved by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) for inclusion in the Colorado Guaranteed Transfer Program. These courses will automatically transfer to any Colorado public institution and continue to count toward general education or other graduation requirements for any liberal arts or science associate or bachelor’s degree program, if you receive a grade of "C-" or better. Statewide articulation agreements prescribe specific general education and degree requirements in the following professional degree programs: business, early childhood, elementary education, engineering and nursing. Most of the other courses, not approved for the designation, will also be accepted in transfer by other institutions, but they may not fulfill general education or degree requirements.

Basic Core Courses

NOTE: Students pursuing Interdisciplinary Studies: Elementary Teaching Emphasis (ISET) with Elementary (K-Grade 6) Licensure and Interdisciplinary Studies: Liberal Arts Emphasis (ISLA) refer to Required Specific LAC Credits.

Special Notes

  • Up to nine semester credit hours of the courses listed above that can be used to satisfy the requirements of a student’s first major and that carry the prefix of that major may also be used to satisfy the requirements of the Liberal Arts Core.
  • Any course listed above that can be used to satisfy the requirements of a student’s first major but that does not carry the prefix of that major may also be used to satisfy the requirements of the Liberal Arts Core.
  • Any course listed above that can be used to satisfy the requirements of a student’s minor or second major may also be used to satisfy the requirements of the Liberal Arts Core.
  • No course taken before the time it appears as a Liberal Arts Core course in the Catalog may be used to satisfy the requirements of the Liberal Arts Core.
  • No course taken after the time it is removed from the eligibility list for the Liberal Arts Core may be used to satisfy the requirements of the Liberal Arts Core.

 Exceptions to the Requirements of the Liberal Arts Core

  • Transfer students who have completed equivalent programs as determined by the Admissions Office may be exempted from all or part of the requirements of the Liberal Arts Core.
  • A student who has earned a liberal-arts based Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree or who has completed an equivalent program as determined by the UNC Admissions Office will receive credit for such work and be excused from Areas 1-8 of the requirements.
  • If a student presents an ACT score of 30.0 or higher in English, or an SAT verbal score of 630 or higher, he or she is exempt from ENG 122.
  • If a student presents an ACT score of 26.0 or higher in mathematics, or an SAT math score of 560 or higher, he or she is exempt from the Area 2 requirement.

Students interested in challenging a Liberal Arts Core course should contact the appropriate program to determine the availability of a challenge examination.

Exploring the Liberal Arts Program

Exploring the Liberal Arts is UNC’s program of study for first-year students who choose to begin building their academic foundation prior to declaring a major. Administered by University College’s Office of Academic Support and Advising, in collaboration with Career Services, this program provides students an environment of intensive professional advising that helps them discover their academic interests and aptitudes while exploring the rich and diverse course offerings in UNC’s Liberal Arts Core. Students emerge from their "exploring" experiences solidly grounded in an understanding of their path to academic success.