Board of Regents Policy Manual

Official Policies of the University System of Georgia

3.3 Curriculum

3.3.1 Core Curriculum

The USG core curriculum was developed with the goals of assuring institutional accountability for learning, incorporating learning requirements in global perspectives and critical thinking, allowing institutions some flexibility in tailoring courses to their institutional mission, while ensuring that core curriculum courses completed at one USG institution or through eCore, the USG’s designated online core curriculum, are fully transferable to another USG institution. All core curriculum requirements must be completed as part of the associate of arts, associate of science, bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degree programs.

Each institution’s core curriculum shall consist of 42 semester credit hours, with minimum credit hours in each area of the core as follows:

Area Name Hours
Area A1 Communication Skills At least 6 semester hours
Area A2 Quantitative Skills At least 3 semester hours
Area B Institutional Options At least 3 semester hours
Area C Humanities/Fine Arts, and Ethics At least 6 semester hours
Area D

Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Technology
At least 4 of these hours must be in a lab science course.

*Given the importance of the STEM disciplines, any institution that wishes to drop Area D below 10 hours must make a compelling intellectual case that its core proposal will not lead to students knowing less about the natural sciences, math, and technology. [An example of such a compelling case might be if the institution proposed to put 3 or more hours of math in Area B and 7 hours of natural science in Area D.]

At least 7 semester hours*
Area E Social Sciences At least 6 semester hours

The specific learning outcomes for areas A through E of an institution’s core curriculum are approved by the Council on General Education.

Students completing any core curriculum course at one USG institution or through eCore will receive full credit for that course upon transfer to another USG institution within the same major, even if a core area is not completed and even if it means giving transfer credit across areas (e.g., credit of a math course in Area C).

Assessment of the core curriculum by each institution is required as part of their accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and by the USG Comprehensive Program Review process.

(BoR Minutes, October 2009, October 2014, October 2015; March 2016)


3.3.2 Academic Approval for Off-Campus Instructional Sites

An “off-campus instructional site” is a site located geographically apart from the main campus at which an institution provides instruction and where students go to access support services. An off-campus instructional site is not independent of the institution’s main campus.

Institutions wishing to offer courses or degree programs externally must adhere to the guidelines, criteria, and nomenclature contained in guidelines issued by the Chancellor or his or her designee, which are maintained in the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook. The designation of an off-campus instructional location as a campus, center, or consortium requires approval by the Board of Regents through its Committee on Academic Affairs.

The procedures for approving facilities for off-campus instruction are outlined in the Board of Regents’ Policy on Off-Campus Institutional Sites. Institutions shall not initiate requests for new off-campus instructional facilities prior to the approval of related academic proposals unless authorized by the Chief Academic Officer to proceed concurrently during the academic review process.

It is desirable in most instances to have the closest qualified institution respond to off-campus credit course needs. In cases where requests for services exceed the qualifications or ability of the closest institution, attempts should be made to have such requests met by other qualified USG institutions. Prior to the offering of off-campus course work, the President of the institution proposing such work will notify the president of any other USG institution located in closer geographic proximity to the site proposed for the off-campus course work. In the event that the involved institutions are unable to arrive at a mutual agreement on the offering of off-campus credit courses, the matter will be referred to the Chancellor for final resolution.


3.3.3 Distance Education

“Distance education” is defined as a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction in a course occurs when the student and instructor are not in the same place and the instruction is delivered using technology. Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. No institution may offer programs completely online prior to the Board of Regents’ approval of the academic program or programs to be offered completely online.


3.3.4 United States and Georgia History and Constitutions

All USG institutions shall give instruction in the history of the United States, in the history of Georgia, and in the essentials of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Georgia. No undergraduate student shall receive a certificate of graduation or a degree without successfully completing coursework or passing a satisfactory examination on the history of the United States, the history of Georgia, and the provisions and principles of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Georgia.


3.3.5 University System and Technical College System of Georgia Articulation Agreement

The articulation agreement is based on the principles of serving student needs, avoiding duplication of mission, using state resources efficiently, and expanding opportunities for post-secondary attainment in Georgia.

A Post-secondary Oversight Council comprised of appropriate System Office staff from the TCSG and USG will meet on a regular basis to assure compliance with this articulation agreement, address other articulation issues if they arise, and encourage the development of programs and policies to support Georgia’s college completion goals.

3.3.5.1 Associate Degrees

Associate of Applied Science Degrees

In order to minimize duplication of program offerings across TCSG and USG, the following procedures are required for all new Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees. All new A.A.S. degrees proposed for implementation at USG institutions will be submitted through the following process:

  • The USG institution submits the degree proposal to the USG System Office. If the degree duplicates an existing AAS degree at a TCSG institution near the proposing USG institution, the proposed degree must have a letter of support signed by the respective TCSG college president.
  • USG System Office staff will present the proposal to the TCSG System Office for review by System Office staff.
  • If recommended by TCSG System Office staff, the proposal will be reviewed by the TCSG Board.
  • The TCSG Board will return the proposal to USG with a recommendation for support or nonsupport.
  • USG System Office staff will share the recommendation from the TCSG Board with the USG Board. The USG Board will take final action on the proposal.

Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees are primarily for students who intend to transfer to another institution for completion of a four-year degree program. These degrees are generally awarded through successful completion of a planned program of study at USG institutions.

Associate of Arts Degrees (A.A.)

TCSG institutions will not offer Associate of Arts degrees.

Associate of Science Degrees (A.S.)

All new Associate of Science degrees proposed for implementation at TCSG colleges, regardless of delivery system will be submitted through the following process:

  • The TCSG institution submits the degree proposal to the TCSG System Office. The proposed degree must have an articulation agreement signed by the respective TCSG and USG institutions’ presidents.
  • TCSG System Office staff will present the proposal to the USG System Office for review by System Office staff.
  • If recommended by USG System Office staff, the proposal will be reviewed by the Board of Regents (BOR).
  • The BOR will return the proposal to TCSG with a recommendation for support or non-support.
  • TCSG System Office staff will share the recommendation from the BOR with the TCSG Board. The TCSG Board will take final action on the proposal.

Bachelor Degrees

Bachelor degrees are offered only through USG institutions. Technical certificates and diplomas are generally awarded for the successful completion of a planned program of study through the colleges of TCSG. These programs are typically not designed for transfer.

3.3.5.2 General Education Course Transfer

This policy ensures students who transfer between TCSG and USG institutions will not be required to repeat the course work approved for transfer that was successfully completed at another institution.

USG institutions and TCSG institutions will accept general education courses for transfer between their respective institutions articulated in the Academic and Student Affairs Handbook. Courses will only be accepted from institutions accredited by the SACSCOC. Both the USG and the TCSG are committed to and responsible for assuring that faculty teaching these courses meet the SACS comprehensive standard for faculty qualifications.

New TCSG general education courses proposed for transfer to USG institutions in Core Curriculum Areas A-E will follow the same review procedure required for new Core Curriculum courses proposed by USG institutions:

  • The TCSG System Office staff will present the proposed course(s) to the USG System Office.
  • The USG System Office will convene a meeting of the appropriate disciplinary Regents Academic Advisory Committee. Non-voting faculty designated from the TCSG will be invited to participate.
  • Course(s) approved by a Regents Academic Advisory Committee for transfer in Areas A-E will be recommended to the USG General Education Council for review.
  • Course(s) approved by the USG General Education Council will be reviewed by System Office staff who will submit the courses to the USG Board for final action.

Upon receipt of USG Board approval for the designated course(s), TCSG colleges will clearly publicize the designated approval categories to TCSG students.


3.3.6 [Reserved]


3.3.7 Learning Support Programs

Each USG institution that admits students required by Board of Regents or USG policy to enroll in Learning Support courses as they attempt core curriculum courses shall provide a program or programs to support the academic needs of students who enroll in Learning Support. Institutions may set higher standards for placement and the program may include other Learning Support components. The USG chief academic officer will issue administrative procedures regarding the operation of these programs.


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