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NOTE: To facilitate the development of a statewide
transfer/articulation program, the AGSC created the following five areas
that outline the minimum general academic content that is covered in
the freshman and sophomore years prior to transfer to a four-year
institution in Alabama. All the transfer guides (except for Engineering) follow these area guidelines. For more information about the Engineering differences, click here.
General studies curriculum core (41–42 SH)
Forty-one to forty-two semester hours of credit in general studies core courses have been approved by the Articulation and General Studies Committee (AGSC). The general studies curriculum core includes study in the areas of written composition, humanities and fine arts, natural sciences and mathematics, and history, social, and behavioral sciences.
AREA I - Written composition (6 SH)
Effective written communication skills are essential in a literate society. Minimum requirements include at least 6 semester hours in written composition.
AREA II - Humanities & fine arts (12 SH)
Study in the humanities addresses the ability to deal with questions of values, ethics, or aesthetics as they are represented in literature, philosophy, religion, and the arts, and is fundamental to general education. Minimum requirements include at least 12 semester hours in humanities with a minimum of 3 semester hours in literature*, 3 semester hours in the arts, and the remaining semester hours from the humanities and/or fine arts. In addition to literature, disciplines in the humanities include, but are not limited to philosophy, religious studies, speech, foreign languages, art, music, theatre, and dance.
Courses should be broad in scope and content rather than specific and should emphasize a global perspective. Courses in the arts should emphasize history and appreciation rather than performance. Examples in the humanities and fine arts include, but are not limited to world literature, art history, music appreciation, comparative religions, and history or origins of dance.
*As a part of the General Studies Curriculum, students must complete a 6 semester hour sequence either in literature (Area II) or history (Area IV)
AREA III - Natural & mathematical sciences (11–12 SH)
Study in the natural and mathematical sciences emphasizes the scientific method and applies quantitative or inductive reasoning. Minimum requirements include at least 11 semester hours with at least 3 semester hours in mathematical sciences** and at least 8 semester hours in the natural sciences which must include laboratory experiences. Disciplines in the mathematical sciences include mathematics and statistics and courses should be broad in scope and content. Disciplines in the natural sciences include, but are not limited to astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics.
**Some mathematics courses are offered for 4 semester credit hours. This accounts for the variation in hour requirements in Area III.
AREA IV - History, social, & behavioral sciences (12 SH)
Study in history and the social and behavioral sciences deals primarily with the study of human behavior, social and political structures, and economics. Minimum requirements include 12 semester hours with at least a 3 semester hours course in history* and at least 6 semester hours from among other disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. Disciplines include, but are not limited to anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology.
Courses should be broad in scope and content, include global or international perspectives, and must emphasize the methods of inquiry in the social sciences.
*As a part of the General Studies Curriculum, students must complete a 6 semester hour sequence either in literature (Area II) or history (Area IV).
The Maximum Total for AREAS I–IV is 41–42 Semester Hours
Pre-professional curriculum (19–23 SH)
AREA V - Pre-professional, major, & elective courses (19–23 SH)
Area V is designated for courses appropriate to the degree/major requirements of the individual student (it may also include electives*).
*Some institutions may include courses in wellness or physical education.
Grant total for AREAS I–V: 60–64 SH
Note: For institutions requiring 120 semester hours for graduation, the maximum allowable hours for transfer from a community college into a four-year baccalaureate degree program will be 60 semester hours.
For all engineering majors, the AGSC voted to allow the hour requirements in Area II to be reduced from 12 SH to 9 SH and in Area IV to be reduced from 12 SH to 9 SH. This reduction allowed for additional hours (6 semester hours) to be added to Area V for engineering majors so that required math and science courses could be taken prior to transfer that would meet national engineering accreditation standards (ABET).