Students at the University of Alabama (UA) might not be spending as much time studying certain core classes, according to a proposed curriculum that will be decided on by November 15.

Starting in 2025, the new curriculum, if implemented, would reduce the number of required core credit hours for regular students from around 54 to around 37.

Credit hours in core subjects such as math, humanities, history, sciences and foreign language are typically required by universities in order for a student to receive a diploma. On top of completing the core curriculum, students complete coursework pertaining to their chosen field of study.

The current curriculum requires six credit hours of writing composition, six credit hours of intensive writing, six to eight credit hours in computing or foreign language, 12 credit hours in the humanities, literature and fine arts and 12 credit hours in history and social and behavioral sciences. 

The requirements are currently different for students in the College of Engineering, who aren’t required to earn as many credit hours in some subjects.

The current core curriculum has been in place since 1997.

The UA General Education Taskforce (GET) began to review UA’s core curriculum requirements in 2018 and concluded the university should reduce the number of required core credit hours s.

The proposed core curriculum would maintain the number of credit hours required for written composition but reduce the requirement for intensive writing to three.

Students would only have to take a foreign language if they did not take a foreign language in high school. 

The proposed curriculum also reduced the requirement for credit hours in humanities, literature and fine arts, as well as in history and social and behavioral sciences, to nine. 

It would also require students to earn two credit hours in “UA first-year experience,” which they can earn by taking two one-hour courses in their first year of school.

This curriculum would apply to all UA students as opposed to just those who are not in the College of Engineering.

According to the university, the changes would give students more flexibility and create opportunities for double majors. It will also make it easier for transfer students to complete core requirements at other schools.

The new curriculum will be voted on by UA faculty in an online vote.

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