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faq's - Curriculum instructions


The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
The board oversees the curriculum at all institutions of higher education in the state of Texas.

Texas Higher Education Data
Use this link to access reports and statistics regarding higher education in the state.

Texas Higher Education Data Classification of Instructional Programs
Use this site to locate the appropriate CIP code for your programs and courses.  The Texas CIP codes are used to identify degree and certificate programs, courses, and declared majors on the reports and inventories of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The first six digits of each code are identical to those in "A Classification of Instructional Programs," published by the National Center for Education Statistics. The seventh and eighth digits are the Texas suffixes, which identify the CIP codes created for the diversity of courses and program offerings in Texas. The two digits following the CIP code are the formula funding code.

THECB Table of Programs
Use this site to identify the programs UTB/TSC has authority to offer.  Consult the footnotes carefully to determine if the institution has full authority or partial authority in a particular area.  Planning authority must be sought for programs not currently approved.


How often can a program of study be revised? 

UTB/TSC will be moving toward a two-year program of study revision cycle.  An academic department may request an exception to this cycle by submitting a request to the appropriate dean.  The dean would then gain approval from the vice president for academic affairs or designee before submitting the paperwork to the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

This change in procedure is in an effort to stabilize the curriculum on our campus.  This change affects only programs of study and does not affect changes made to the course inventory.

What rules govern the General Education Core?

The 48-hour General Education Core is required in all academic associate degrees and all bachelor’s degrees. A 15-hour General Education Core is required in all Associate of Applied Science degrees.  The lower-division "Academic Course Guide Manual" is the official list of courses approved for general academic transfer that may be offered by public community and technical colleges in Texas for state funding.  Courses in the General Education Core must be selected from the ACGM; however, in very special circumstances, an institution can request to offer a course that satisfies unique needs.  Both are described in the ACGM. 

In general, the General Education Core should not be prescriptive in terms of the specific courses needed to complete the component areas.  Students should be allowed freedom to select their courses as often as possible.  This will help students who transfer and will help students find seats in general education sections.

In addition, a program of study cannot specify a specific course as part of the General Education Core to satisfy a requirement of the major.  If a specific course is required as part of the major or as a prerequisite to courses in the major, then that course must be listed outside of the General Education Core as part of the major.

Who approves a curriculum change?

All changes to a major must be approved at all levels internally as described by "Handbook of Operating Procedures" section 7.6.3.  New majors and significant (substantive) changes to an existing major must also be processed externally by the VPAA’s office.  This processing includes approval by The University Of Texas System’s Division of Academic Affairs and the THECB.  A new major is not considered approved until all approvals have been received by the VPAA.

Associate of Science, Associate of Arts, and Associate of Applied Science degrees are approved internally and then must be submitted to the THECB for final approval. 

What is the difference between a major, a minor and a concentration?

The institution requires that all majors and minors be reviewed and assessed by the department according to the program review calendar published by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. 

What constitutes a major? 

Number of hours in a major: A minimum number of scheduled credit hours is required for an academic major (required courses and prescribed electives):

  • Bachelor’s program – 24 SCH (30 SCH for most majors) of which at least 15 SCH must be upper-level (3000 level or above)

Number of hours in a degree program: The number of SCHs for the degree shall be comparable to the number the SCHs required for similar degrees in the state.  A minimum number of SCHs are required to complete a degree:

  • Bachelor’s program – 120 SCH

What is a support area, minor or concentration?

Number of hours in a minor: A minimum number of SCHs is required for an academic minor (required courses and prescribed electives):

  • 18 SCH, of which 9 SCH must be upper level (3000 level or above)

New minors and concentrations and changes to existing minors and concentrations are processed internally only.  Minors and concentrations are only appropriate if they address a unique need of the university’s population.  New minors or concentrations must be accompanied by a justification statement. 

As of September 2007, minors will no longer be required for any of the programs of study.  Programs of study that currently offer a minor will be designed to have blocks of courses.  Through advising, students will select the most appropriate support area.  The current inventory of minors will become the master list of Support Areas for existing programs of study.

How do I add or modify the "Advising List" of concentration areas?

To add a new Support Area to the "Advising List," complete the Request to Add a Support Area form.

To modify an existing support area, complete the Request to Modify a Support Area form.

For processing and eventual approval of the minor, please follow the section titled  "What must be submitted for new programs of study."

How many upper-division hours are required in a program of study?

A bachelor’s degree must have a minimum of 36 hours of upper-division courses.  A BAT or BAAS degree must have a minimum of 30 hours of upper-division courses.

What CIP code do I use for a new major/minor/concentration?

Visit the "Texas CIP Codes" site to find the correct classification for your proposed curriculum.

What CIP code do I use for a new course?

If the course is a lower-division course (WECM or ACGM), use the CIP code listed in the "Workforce Education Course Manual, 2009-2010."  

If the course is an upper-division course, find the correct classification at the "Texas CIP Codes" site.

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