Academic Degree Requirements
An undergraduate education at The University of Texas at Dallas is designed with several goals in mind. First, the purpose of an undergraduate education is to acquaint students with ways of knowing the world of the natural sciences, mathematics, arts, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences. Therefore, all students are required to complete a Core Curriculum consisting of 42 semester credit hours. Secondly, students are expected to acquire depth in a field of study. To this end, students must fulfill the major and related requirements of a specified number of semester credit hours for their major. Thirdly, students are encouraged to take courses outside of their major and related field and beyond the Core Curriculum, and thus students are given free and advanced elective hours in which to explore intellectual domains beyond their area of specialization and beyond the core requirements.
In order to graduate with a baccalaureate degree from UT Dallas, students must complete and receive credit for all graduation requirements stated in "Graduation Requirements" as well as specific degree requirements..
Students are responsible for fulfilling their degree requirements and enrolling in courses appropriate to their degree programs. Students should, at the lower division, complete all freshman and sophomore prerequisites for the degree program. These requirements are set by the degree program and are listed under the program heading in the catalog; the number of semester credit hours may vary according to degree program. Students who are Texas residents should be aware that state law limits the number of semester credit hours that an undergraduate Texas resident may complete while paying tuition at the rate provided for Texas residents. See the section on "Tuition for Excessive Undergraduate Hours".
If a student successfully completes a field of study curriculum approved by The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, that block of courses may be transferred to The University of Texas at Dallas and substituted for appropriate lower-division requirements of the appropriate degree. Following receipt of credit for these courses, students may be required to satisfy further requirements in the field of study curriculum for that degree at UT Dallas.
Courses taken in satisfaction of requirements for the student's major field of study are major and related courses. Some of these may be outside the courses with the major's designation; such courses are related to the major and required for its satisfaction. Other requirements may be satisfied by courses from lists of guided electives within the major and related courses. Finally, some requirements may be courses preparatory to the major; they are not considered major-core or major-related courses.
The degree requirements of every major include the opportunity for elective courses, that is, courses exploring subjects not directly related to a student's major. The minimum number of elective hours is 18. Specific exceptions have been granted to Electrical Engineering and Accounting, where the minimum number is 12. Six of the elective hours for all majors are required to be selected from advanced electives, which are defined as upper-division courses, or lower-division courses that have prerequisites, and that are outside the major. All students are encouraged to use their electives to explore fields beyond their major.
Some academic units designate a set of classes that constitute a minor in that academic unit. The requirements of the minor are set by the faculty of the academic unit offering the minor, not by the academic unit of the student's major field of study. When an academic unit offers a minor in a field of study, it is open to all students in the University regardless of school of origin. Students who take a minor will be expected to meet the normal prerequisites in courses making up the minor. Minors consist of a minimum of 18 credit hours, of which at least 12 must be upper-division hours, although individual academic units may require more hours at their sole discretion. Credit hours may not be used to satisfy both the major and minor requirements; however, free elective hours or major preparatory classes may be used to satisfy the minor. At least one-third of the hours for a minor must be taken at The University of Texas at Dallas. Students enrolled as of Fall 1999 who are pursuing majors under prior catalogs may incorporate minors in their degree plans. Students should consult with an advisor in their major field of study as they select and plan minors.