The University of Arkansas has adopted the “state minimum requirements” of 35 semester-credit-hours of courses that are required of all baccalaureate degree candidates. This is in compliance with Arkansas Act 98 of 1989 and the subsequent action of the Arkansas State Board of Higher Education. Since 1991, all state institutions of higher education in Arkansas have had a 35-hour minimum core requirement with specified hours in each of seven academic areas in the table below. The university has identified those courses that meet the minimum requirement, and they are listed in the chart below.

Some colleges and programs have specified which courses to use, so students should consult the requirements of their major when choosing courses from the options below. Completion of these courses will also satisfy many of the university's general education learning outcomes

Areas Hours State Minimum Core
English 6 ENGL 1013, ENGL 1023, ENGL 1033
Mathematics* 3 MATH 1203/MATH 1204, MATH 1313, MATH 1514 or any higher-level mathematics course with MATH 1203 as a prerequisite or as required by major; to include STAT 2303
Science** (Students required to take corresponding lecture/lab combinations as listed) 8 ANTH 1013/ANTH 1011L, ASTR 2003/ASTR 2001L, BIOL 1003/BIOL 1001L, BIOL 1524, BIOL 1543/BIOL 1541L, BIOL 1584, BIOL 1603/BIOL 1601L, BIOL 1613/BIOL 1611L, BIOL 2213/BIOL 2211L, BIOL 2443/BIOL 2441L, CHEM 1053/CHEM 1051L, CHEM 1073/CHEM 1071L, CHEM 1103/CHEM 1101L, CHEM 1123/CHEM 1121L, CHEM 1203/CHEM 1201L, CHEM 1223/CHEM 1221L, ENSC 1003/ENSC 1001L, ENTO 1023/ENTO 1021L, GEOS 1113/GEOS 1111L, GEOS 1133/GEOS 1131L, PHYS 1023/PHYS 1021L, PHYS 1034, PHYS 1044, PHYS 1054, PHYS 2013/PHYS 2011L, PHYS 2033/PHYS 2031L, PHYS 2054, PHYS 2074
Fine Arts 3 ARCH 1003, ARHS 1003, COMM 1003, DANC 1003, ENGL 2023, HUMN 2114H, LARC 1003, MLIT 1003, MLIT 1013, MLIT 1333, THTR 1003, THTR 1013
Humanities 3 Any intermediate level foreign language***, AAST 2023, ARCH 1013, CLST 1003, CLST 1013, COMM 1233, ENGL 1213, GNST 2003, HUMN 1124H, HUMN 2124H, MRST 2013, MUSY 2003, PHIL 2003, PHIL 2103, PHIL 2203, PHIL 3103, WLIT 1113, WLIT 1123
U.S. History or Government 3 HIST 2003, HIST 2013, PLSC 2003
Social Sciences (Select from at least two different fields of study) 9 AGEC 1103, AGEC 2103, ANTH 1023, COMM 1023, ECON 2013, ECON 2023, ECON 2143, GEOS 1123, GEOS 2003, HDFS 1403, HDFS 2413, HDFS 2603, HIST 1113, HIST 1123, HIST 2003****, HIST 2013****, HIST 2093, HUMN 1114H, HUMN 2114H, PLSC 2003****, PLSC 2013, PLSC 2203, PSYC 2003, RESM 2853, SOCI 2013, SOCI 2033

Rationale for U of A State Minimum Requirements

In order to prepare its students for lives of the highest individual quality and the greatest potential contribution to the making of a better world, the University of Arkansas has developed a comprehensive program of general education. Although the basic skills, knowledge, methodologies, and judgments derived from experience in the core area set forth here may provide the basis for a major or professional concentration, the aims of these core requirements are not career specific. Rather, the following areas are designed to develop the tools for critical thinking and effective communication, an understanding of our richly diverse human heritage, the flexibility to adapt successfully to a rapidly changing world, a capacity for lifelong learning, and an enthusiasm for creativity.

English/Communication (6 hours)

Courses offered in this area are designed to develop the ability to organize ideas and to communicate them in grammatically correct written English with clarity, precision, and syntactical maturity.

  • Students who score below 19 on the English section of the ACT, below 450 on the Reading section of the SAT (Pre-March 2016), below 490 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the redesigned SAT (Post-March 2016), below 80 on the Writing Skills section of the Compass (the test was discontinued in 2016 but scores are valid for five years), below 83 on the Sentence Skills section of the Accuplacer Classic, or below 255 on the Writing section of the Accuplacer Next-Generation must enroll in ENGL 1013 and ENGL 0002.
  • Students with ACT English scores of 19-27, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores of 490-620, ACT Compass Writing Skills scores of 80 or higher, or College Board Accuplacer Sentence Skills scores of 83 or higher should enroll in ENGL 1013 and ENGL 1023.
  • Students with ACT English scores of 28-29 or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores of 630-680 may enroll in ENGL 1013 and ENGL 1023 or in ENGL 1013H and ENGL 1023H.
  • Students with ACT English scores of 30 or greater or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores of 690 or greater may enroll in  ENGL 1013H and ENGL 1023H or elect exemption. Some degree programs require credit in composition, and students should confer with their advisors before exempting.

Fine Arts/Humanities (6 hours)

Courses presented in this area are drawn from the study of human thought, emotion, values, culture, and aesthetics. They are designed to develop the capacity for reflection, an appreciation of our own diverse culture and a tolerance of those foreign to us, and a heightened aesthetic and ethical sensibility. The courses are not performance-based, but offer students a basis for the gradual acquisition of broad cultural literacy.

Mathematics (3 hours)

Courses offered in this area are designed to develop the student’s ability to understand the diverse mathematical concepts that shape our increasingly technical culture. Core mathematics courses presuppose the ability to apply mathematical techniques at the level of high school algebra and geometry. The specific course(s) selected will depend upon each student’s curriculum, but no course below college algebra may be used to fulfill core requirements.

Science (8 hours)

A primary goal of these courses is to develop an appreciation of the basic principles that govern natural phenomena and the role of experiment and observation in revealing these principles. Students should acquire an understanding of the relationship between hypothesis, experiment, and theory, and develop the skills common to scientific inquiry, including the ability to frame hypotheses and defend conclusions based on the analysis of data. These courses are designed to prepare a student for informed citizenship by illustrating the importance of science and technology to the present and future quality of life and the ethical questions raised by scientific and technological advances.

Social Science (9 hours)

The purpose of the social science core is to introduce students to the breadth of inquiry in the social sciences — such as the study of ideas, the behavior of individuals, groups, institutions, and their interactions. The core should expose students to the history of and the challenges encountered in our complex, culturally diverse world.

American History or Government (3 hours)

Under Arkansas law, no undergraduate degree may be granted to any student who has not passed a college course in American history or civil government. Courses offered by the University of Arkansas, any one of which will meet this requirement, are HIST 2003, HIST 2013, and PLSC 2003.