Frequently asked questions

Q:What are the CORE requirements?

A simple outline of CORE requirements can be found here:

Q: What's an IE course and how may I use it?

A: Interdisciplinary and Emerging Issues (IE) is a new and optional CORE Distributive Studies category, effective beginning fall 2005. All students under the CORE requirements are eligible to use the IE option, however, no IE courses are required. If you choose to take an IE course, understand that only one IE may be used to fulfill CORE and it may be used in only one of three ways. See details on how to use an IE course.

Q: Why do I have to take CORE courses anyway when I'm not interested in all those different subjects.

A: Actually, CORE requirements are quite modest. They provide the very minimum exposure to the liberal arts and sciences that our faculty consider essential for the granting of a Baccalaureate degree. Most students do more than the minimum in at least one CORE area. You need to know something about a field of knowledge in order to develop an interest in it and to see how it relates to other fields. There are lots of juniors and seniors who found their majors through CORE course experiences. Think of CORE as a kind of academic basic training for life in a complicated and challenging world. You have lots of choices within CORE. You can choose courses that will help you discover your interests and talents. You can choose courses that will support interests you already have. You can also choose to do your best in these courses and get the most you can from the experience they offer. If you do these things, you will maximize the value of CORE, maximize your education, and your potential for the future.

Q: Do I have to take another math course for CORE in addition to the fundamental studies math course?

A: No. Under the Sciences and Mathematics requirements, you must take three courses. If you choose, you may take two physical sciences and a life science, or two life sciences and a physical science and use those to fulfill your Sciences and Mathematics requirements, as long as at least one of the three courses you take is an approved CORE Lab Science course. You are not required to choose a course from Mathematics and Formal Reasoning. Please note that many majors require additional math courses.

Q: Some of the Lab Sciences have two numbers listed. Can I take one of the two courses, or do I have to take both?

A: If the lecture and lab are listed with separate course numbers, both must be taken together for CORE lab science credit. If you take only one of the two courses, it will not count toward CORE. It is the combination of the two courses that satisfies the goals of CORE. The only exceptions at this writing are ASTR 100, CHEM 121, and AOSC 200, which appear independently on the CORE non-lab science lists.

Q: How do I know what courses I can use toward the CORE Advanced Studies requirements?

A: First, read the section on Advanced Studies in this web site. If you still have questions, you can contact your college advising office, or the CORE Office.

Q: Will courses with a grade of "D" count toward CORE?

A: Courses taken at UM in which a grade of "D+, D, D-" is received will count toward the CORE requirements. However, if the course is also required for a major or college requirement, a higher grade may be needed. Students should see advisors in their college to determine if specific courses in which a "D+, D, D-" is received will meet their requirements.

Q: If I take a CORE Distributive Studies Mathematics and Formal Reasoning course, does that course also count for CORE Fundamental Studies?

A: Yes, if it is a MATH or STAT course. All MATH and STAT courses which satisfy the CORE Distributive Studies Sciences and Mathematics requirement in the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning category also satisfy the Fundamental Studies requirement for mathematics. You must earn credit under the regular grading option.

Q: If my SAT scores exempt me from CORE Fundamental Studies mathematics or English, do I earn credits.

A: No. Your SAT scores do not earn college level credit at UM.

Q: I took/want to take a great course in __________. How come it's not a CORE course?

A: Not all courses are proposed or approved for CORE. Reasons may include: prerequisites; not a match with a CORE category; course level; credit level; limited availability; etc. CORE requirements are meant to meet specific educational goals. Many outstanding courses simply serve different educational goals. Most majors will have sufficient elective credit to select some courses that meet no requirements. Please do take advantage of such credits to pursue additional interests, pick up another major course, or just explore.

Q: Q: I'm a senior and I still need one or more CORE course(s) to fulfill requirements. How do I get permission to register for these courses?

A: College permission is required. If you have 90+ cumulative credits and know that you still need one or more CORE course(s) to fulfill requirements, please contact your advisor and visit your college office to get the special permission in place before you are scheduled to register.

This restriction is in place because students often wish to register for popular CORE courses after they have fulfilled CORE requirements. It is intended to save seats in required CORE classes for students at lower credit levels, the students who need the most CORE classes. It is not intended to keep seniors from getting CORE courses they need in order to fulfill requirements.

At scroll down to “Do you need Special Permission?” and then to “CORE Restrictions.”

Seat Management Plan

At scroll down to “I need to satisfy this CORE requirement and the seats are currently reserved…”

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CORE Planning and Implementation
Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Studies
2110 Marie Mount Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Last modified Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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