University General Course Catalog 2021-2022 
    Jun 19, 2024  

Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum

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The Core Curriculum is the foundation for undergraduate education at the University of Nevada, Reno. Substantial revisions to the Core Curriculum became effective for the 2016 catalog. The old Core Curriculum will be phased out within ten years. Entering freshmen and students who change degrees or majors after July 1, 2016 must complete the requirements of the new Core Curriculum. Students may also choose the catalog of the year of graduation.

The Core consists of a set of General Education courses and specified courses in the major program which address 14 Core Objectives representing the competencies that every UNR graduate must acquire.

General Education and Core Objectives

The Core contains General Education requirements which comprise at least 24 units: (a) at least 3 units of Core Composition & Communication; Critical Analysis & Use of Information, including ENG 102  plus prerequisites; (b) at least 3 units of Core Quantitative Reasoning as required by the major, including prerequisites; (c) at least 6 units of Core Physical & Natural Phenomena, including at least one course with an approved lab; (d) 3 units of Core Cultures, Societies, & Individuals; (e) 3 units of Core Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression; and (f) 6 units of History & Culture. These courses are normally completed during the student’s freshman and sophomore years.

Students must also take a 3 unit Capstone Integration & Synthesis course during their junior or senior year, and other courses as required or recommended in the major program description to meet the 14 Core Objectives. Some of these Core Objectives will be met by General Education courses or the Capstone Integration & Synthesis course, while others will be met by courses within the major or from outside the major. Courses which satisfy these Core Objectives must be verified in advance by the university’s Core Curriculum Board and are listed in the Catalog.

Fundamental Practice includes 3 Core Objectives:

CO1-Composition & Communication;  

CO2-Quantitative Reasoning;   and

CO3-Critical Analysis & Use of Information.  

These requirements build foundational skills and competencies that will be developed elsewhere in the General Education requirements. Majors will be expected to further develop discipline-specific competency in these objectives, and they will also be integrated into the Capstone Integration & Synthesis course.

Primary Areas of Focused Inquiry includes 5 Core Objectives:

CO4-Physical & Natural Phenomena;  

CO5-History & Culture;  

CO6-Cultures, Societies, & Individuals;  

CO7-Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression;   and


The CO8 requirement may be met by the Core Humanities course CH 203, or by another course.

Advanced Areas of Focused Inquiry includes 4 Core Objectives:

CO9-Science, Technology & Society;  

CO10-Diversity & Equity;  

CO11-Global Contexts;  and


These can be satisfied by courses – or a sequence of courses – within the student’s major requirements or electives.  Some General Education courses may also satisfy these objectives. Courses in this group must devote substantial attention – equivalent to a full credit-hour worth of student effort at minimum – to each objective, and they cannot be satisfied by AP courses, International Baccalaureate exams, or credit by examination.

Integrative Experience includes the final 2 Core Objectives:

CO13-Capstone Integration & Synthesis;   and


These must be satisfied in residence, and cannot be transferred from another university. CO13 is satisfied by the Capstone Integration & Synthesis course, which must also integrate objectives from CO1-3 and at least one more from CO9-12. CO14 may be satisfied by either the Capstone Integration & Synthesis course or another upper-division course or structured experience in the major.

Students are responsible for keeping track of their progress through the Core Curriculum. It is strongly recommended that students complete lower-division Core Curriculum requirements by the beginning of their junior year. Requests for substitutions, waivers and exceptions must be made before the senior year. It is also strongly recommended that students meet with their academic advisor each semester before registering for classes. Courses completed at the University or at any Nevada System of Higher Education institution to satisfy Core Curriculum requirements must be taken for a letter grade, with a few exceptions allowed for CO14.