Undergraduate Curriculum


All bachelor’s degrees offered at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley consists of the 42-hour Core Curriculum and a minimum of a minimum of 30 hours in the academic major. In addition to the Core Curriculum and hours in the major, some degrees have options for minors and certificates. Students are responsible for fulfilling all degree requirements as prescribed in the official degree plan for the major.


Major requirements may include required courses, prescribed electives, concentrations, and support courses as applicable. The minimum institutional requirements for a major are 30 semester credit hours including a minimum of 15 advanced credit hours; however, majors often exceed these requirements.

Required courses in the major typically draw largely from one academic department; however, interdisciplinary programs may include courses from more than one department. Required courses provide a foundation for in-depth understanding of the discipline.

Prescribed electives provide guidance to students for exploring courses within the discipline or field of study. Prescribed electives complement required courses and are numerous enough to provide breadth and depth of study. Prescribed electives are sometimes referred to as guided electives, restricted electives, or technical electives or other variations by academic programs.

A concentration is a designated and coherent set of courses designed to develop an area of emphasis within the major. Some majors provide students with the option of choosing from two or more concentrations related to the major.

Support courses consist of a brief list from one or multiple fields, often outside, but complementary to the discipline, that provide pre- or co-requisite knowledge, skills, and experiences for success in the major. Depending on the degree, support courses may be taken prior to taking courses in the major or concurrently with courses in the major.

A minor is a designated area of study outside of the major that allows the student to explore a secondary discipline or field of study. Minors must be completed concurrently with the undergraduate degree. Some degrees require students to select a minor, which is typically a minimum of 18 hours, but may require more hours.

Some degrees have designated a specific number of free electives that allow students the opportunity to explore areas of interest outside of their discipline. Free electives are courses with no prescribed or restricted list of courses.


In addition to being admitted to the institution, some programs require admission to the major. Program admission requirements are typically used when the program requires a separate application for admission to the program. This application process is above what is required at the institutional level and can occur as early as the freshmen year and anytime beyond (e.g., after earning 30 credit hours towards the degree). Unlike the institutional admission process, the program admission process is owned by the college, department, or program.

Major progression requirements are used when programs are sequenced and structured in a manner that requires completion of certain courses with specific grades before advancing to the next sequence of courses. Major progression requirements may also include other benchmark requirements that prohibit progression in the program if not met.

Major graduation requirements are included when graduation requirements differ from institutional requirements for a bachelor’s degree.