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Kentucky General Education Core

Students are encouraged to complete their lower division general education requirements prior to transfer. Students are responsible for planning their transfer by working with their advisor, reviewing institutional catalogs, and using the statewide transfer website to determine how their coursework will transfer.

What are General Education courses? 

General education courses are those courses that expose you to a variety of disciplines and ways of thinking. They create a foundation for the essential skills that the courses in your major build upon. While the content may not be specific to your major, these courses teach you how to think critically, communicate effectively and develop other skills that are necessary to be successful in your major and your career.

What is the Statewide General Education Core?

The Kentucky General Education Transfer Policy applies to students who are accepted for admission into one of Kentucky's public higher education institutions. Every public college or university in Kentucky is required to offer at least 30 credit hours of general education courses in five categories, which are based on both essential skills and academic disciplines, and meet required learning outcomes.

Essential Skills

Communications (6-9 hours) consists of written communication and oral communication.

  • Written communication refers to the ability to develop coherent ideas and express them in writing.
  • Oral Communication refers to the ability to create a presentation that impacts your audience by increasing the understanding of a subject or influences their ideas about a subject.

Quantitative Reasoning (3 – 6 hours) -is the ability to provide solutions guided by data, quantitative reasoning, and the best methodologies for arriving at informed conclusions.

Academic Areas

Arts and Humanities (6 – 9 hours) are those disciplines that focus on the creations of humans, such as languages, history, philosophy, as well as visual and performing arts.

Natural Sciences (3 – 7 hours) deal with the physical world and how it works. It consists of several disciplines, including chemistry, astronomy, earth science, physics and biology.

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 – 9 hours) analyzes human relationships and actions and includes disciplines such as political science, economics and sociology.

How do these core courses transfer?

In Kentucky, there are three levels of general education transfer.

  • Category Certified. This means you completed some but not all of the five categories in the core. For instance, you may be category certified in Communications and Quantitative Reasoning, but not in any of the other categories.
  • Core Certified. This means you completed all of the categories – the core component – with a minimum of 30 unduplicated credit hours. There may be other general education requirements at the institution you transfer to, but you are finished with the core.
  • Fully Certified. This means you finished the core plus all additional gen ed courses required by your institution. If your current institution requires more gen ed credit hours than the one you’re transferring to, then the other institution will accept the additional gen ed hours and see if they can apply towards degree requirements. However, you may still have to complete any additional graduation requirements or upper-level gen ed courses at your new institution.

What if I already have my AA or AS Degree? 

If you already have a Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree, you are fully certified. If you are admitted to a university, you have met all lower-level gen ed requirements, and the university must admit you as a junior.

Can I take gen ed courses at multiple institutions? 

The statewide policy applies to students who start at one institution and then transfer to another with the intention of completing their degrees at the other institution. If you plan to take courses from another institution and transfer them back to your home institution, then you may be required to get written approval from your home institution first.

So, I never have to take another gen ed course? 

No. You may still have to complete any additional graduation requirements or upper-level gen ed courses at your new institution. Plus, the gen ed core is not intended to fulfill general education requirements for particular majors. If a major requires a specific gen ed course, then you have to take the course. That’s why it’s important to work with your advisor and understand the requirements of each degree pathway. Explore Kentucky's Degree Plan tool to create your pathway.

Is there an appeals process?

If you believe that a college or university did not follow the Kentucky General Education Transfer Policy contact your transfer office about their appeals process. Each institution is required to have a written student appeals process in its catalog. The appeals process will provide for institutional review of transfer decisions.