In each undergraduate degree program, the institution requires the successful completion of a general education component at the collegiate level that (1) is a substantial component of each undergraduate degree, (2) ensures breadth of knowledge, and (3) is based on a coherent rationale. For degree completion in associate programs, the component constitutes a minimum of 15 semester hours or the equivalent; for baccalaureate programs, a minimum of 30 semester hours or the equivalent. These credit hours are to be drawn from and include at least one course from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural science/mathematics. The courses do not narrowly focus on those skills, techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession. If an institution uses a unit other than semester credit hours, it provides an explanation for the equivalency. The institution also provides a justification if it allows for fewer than the required number of semester credit hours or its equivalent unit of general education courses. (General Education)
Judgment of Compliance
Sam Houston State University requires the successful completion of a 45-hour general education component  at the collegiate level that (1) is a substantial component of each undergraduate degree (30% - 35%), (2) ensures breadth of knowledge (humanities and arts, math, natural science, social science, cultural studies, and computer literacy), and (3) is based on coherent rationale and state mandate.
The general education component at Sam Houston State University is embodied in the “Core Curriculum” required of all students. The current core curriculum is congruent with the requirements of the state of Texas as required by the rules of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) . These rules were created by THECB as a result of Texas Senate Bill 148 .
The current Sam Houston State University Core Curriculum was approved by the University Administration  on February 1, 1999, The Texas State University System Board of Regents in February, 1999 , and the THECB on May 19, 1999 . This approval was the culmination of a process of faculty input  and deliberations by an ad-hoc Core Curriculum Committee (CCC), University Curriculum Committee, Academic Affairs Council, Academic Policy Council, and the University administration. The CCC was charged with the task of developing the new core curriculum congruent with and supportive of Sam Houston State University’s mission  and within parameters established by THECB .
Breadth of the Core Curriculum
The core curriculum at Sam Houston State University provides for a wide breadth of knowledge encompassing the humanities and arts, math, natural science, social science, cultural studies, and computer literacy. In addition, as an institutional prerogative, a kinesiology course dealing with fitness for living was also included. As opposed to a skills-related curriculum, these requirements are designed to provide the following basic principle areas of knowledge as required and subsequently approved by the THECB:
• Critical Thinking
• Computer Literacy
At Sam Houston State University, a group of faculty and administrators identified classes containing content aligning with the basic principles outlined by the Coordinating Board. The 45 credit hour core curriculum (general education) at Sam Houston State University is divided into six components: communication, mathematics, natural sciences, humanities and visual and performing arts, social and behavioral sciences, and institutionally designated option. Students must have six credit hours from the communications component; three credit hours from the mathematics component; eight credit hours from the natural sciences component; nine credit hours from humanities and visual or performing arts component with three credit hours from the visual or performing arts, three credit hours from literature or philosophy, and three credit hours from cultural studies; 15 credit hours from the social and behavioral sciences with six credit hours each from history and political science and three additional credit hours from selected courses in social behavioral areas; and four credits from the institutional designated component to include a course in computer literacy and a course in fitness for living. With the exception of the communication and institutionally designated components, students are given the option  of selecting from a variety of courses that fulfill the criterion set by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board .
Beginning with the 2008-2009 academic year, the SHSU core curriculum requirements were reduced from 45 to 42 credit hours. This initiative was undertaken in conjunction with the state mandate to reduce degree programs to 120 hours. Based on faculty input, it was decided to remove the computer science class from the core curriculum. Although the class was removed, the requirement to address computer literacy was not. Thus, all programs had to show that computer literacy was addressed in other parts of the curriculum or incorporated into other classes. Some programs opted to retain the computer science class while others developed specific classes within the major area courses that addressed computer literacy.
In developing the core curriculum educational requirements for Sam Houston State University, the Core Curriculum: Assumptions and Defining Characteristics, a document published by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, was used as a template. The core curriculum at Sam Houston State University concurs with and is based on the THECB rationale that all graduates should possess the basic intellectual competencies, which include reading, writing, speaking, listening, critical thinking, and computer literacy. Furthermore, the THECB established perspectives and exemplary educational objectives to serve as the basic guidelines for the component areas . Using these guidelines, Sam Houston State University adjusted the core curriculum. For any course to be added to the general education core, a course must be shown to address one of the eight perspectives and satisfy the exemplary educational objectives associated with its respective component area  .
The core curriculum at Sam Houston State University is consistently published in the university catalog, within department or program recruitment material, and on academic degree plans. Several degree plan examples showing the core curriculum are presented in the Support Documents   . Prior to graduation, student academic records are checked by the Registrar’s Office to verify that all of the requirements including the core curriculum are complete. The number of hours in the core curriculum cannot be reduced and, unless approved by the THECB, substitutions cannot be made. By law and THECB Rules, transfer students who have completed some, or all, of the core curriculum at another state-supported institution (two- or four-year) in Texas must be given credit for that portion of the core curriculum at Sam Houston State University .
Revisions and/or additions to the core curriculum comprise one component of the annual curriculum review cycle which includes review and approval by the appropriate College Curriculum Committee, the University Curriculum Committee and The Texas State University System Board of Regents .