Jun 13, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

UK Core

NOTE: Please use the UK Core search filter located on the online course catalog page to view current offerings of UK Core courses.

The UK Core - General Education Requirements

The University of Kentucky’s general education program - the UK Core - is foundational to a university education at the University of Kentucky. A university education is more than simply learning a set of skills in a specific area in preparation for a job or career. A university education is designed to broaden the students’ understanding of themselves, of the world we live in, of their role in our global society, and of the ideals and aspirations that have motivated human thought and action throughout the ages. It must help individuals effectively put into action their acquired knowledge, to provide the bases for critical thinking and problem solving, and to develop life-long learning habits.

The UK Core is composed of the equivalent of 30 credit hours in 10 course areas that address four broad learning outcomes. Depending on choice of major or courses, some students may take more than 30 credit hours to complete the UK Core.

The UK Core Learning Outcomes

The UK Core curriculum is based on a comprehensive set of student learning outcomes that all students are expected to be able to demonstrate upon completion of a baccalaureate degree at the University of Kentucky. All UK Core courses are designed to meet one or more of the following learning outcomes:

  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of and ability to employ the processes of intellectual inquiry. [12 credit hours]

    Students will be able to identify multiple dimensions of a good question (i.e., interesting, analytical, problematic, complex, important, genuine, researchable); determine when additional information is needed, find credible information efficiently using a variety of reference sources, and judge the quality of information as informed by rigorously developed evidence; explore multiple and complex answers to questions/issues problems within and across the four broad knowledge areas: arts and creativity, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and natural/ physical/mathematical sciences; evaluate theses and conclusions in light of credible evidence; explore the ethical implications of differing approaches, methodologies or conclusions; and develop potential solutions to problems based on sound evidence and reasoning. Students will take four 3-credit courses, one in each of the four broad knowledge areas defined above.
  2. Students will demonstrate competent written, oral, and visual communication skills both as producers and consumers of information. [6 credit hours]

    Students will demonstrate the ability to construct intelligible messages using sound evidence and reasoning that are appropriate for different rhetorical situations (audiences and purposes) and deliver those messages effectively in written, oral, and visual form. Students will also demonstrate the ability to competently critique (analyze, interpret, and evaluate) written, oral, and visual messages conveyed in a variety of communication contexts. Students will take one 3-hour course focusing on the development of effective writing skills, and one 3-hour integrated communications course focusing on oral and visual communication skills, along with continued development of written communication skills.
  3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of and ability to employ methods of quantitative reasoning. [6 credit hours]

    Students will (a) demonstrate how fundamental elements of mathematical, logical and statistical knowledge are applied to solve real-world problems; and (b) explain the sense in which an important source of uncertainty in many everyday decisions is addressed by statistical science, and appraise the efficacy of statistical arguments that are reported for general consumption. Students will take one 3-hour course on the application of mathematical, logical and statistical methods, and one 3-hour course devoted to a conceptual and practical understanding of statistical inferential reasoning.
  4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of citizenship and the process for making informed choices as engaged citizens in a diverse, multilingual world. [6 credit hours]

    Students will recognize historical and cultural differences arising from issues such as ethnicity, gender, language, nationality, race, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic class; students will demonstrate a basic understanding of how these differences influence issues of social justice, both within the U.S. and globally; students will recognize and evaluate the ethical dilemmas, conflicts, and trade-offs involved in personal and collective decision making. Students will take two courses, each with a topical or regional focus. The first course will include critical analysis of diversity issues as they relate to the contemporary United States. The second will be a non-US based course that includes critical analysis of local-to-global dynamics as they relate to the contemporary world. In addition, each course must address at least 2 of these 4 topics: societal and institutional change over time; civic engagement; cross-national/comparative issues; power and resistance.

The Curricular Framework and Relationship to the Learning Outcomes

Students must take one course from each of the areas listed below in order to complete the UK Core. A course taken to satisfy a requirement in one area of the UK Core cannot be used to satisfy a requirement in another area, even if a specific course is present in more than one area (e.g., some courses are designed to meet the learning outcomes in more than one area).

Course Areas by Learning Outcome Credit Hours
Learning Outcome I: Intellectual Inquiry  
     The Nature of Inquiry in Arts and Creativity 3
     The Nature of Inquiry in the Humanities 3
     The Nature of Inquiry in the Social Sciences 3
     The Nature of Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences 3
Learning Outcome II: Written, Oral and Visual Communication  
     Composition and Communication I 3
     Composition and Communication II 3
Learning Outcome III: Quantitative Reasoning  
     Quantitative Foundations 3
     Statistical Inferential Reasoning 3
Learning Outcome IV: Citizenship  
     Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA 3
     Global Dynamics 3
UK Core Credit-Hour Total* 30

*The UK Core is designed to provide the equivalent of 30 credit hours. Some courses in the UK Core require more than three credits, resulting in more than 30 credits in some cases.

Please consult your advisor for a complete list of options.