General Education Reform Enters Next Phase

A woman teaches a course at The University of Alabama while students sit in front of computer screens.
Daphne Palmer, senior instructor of accounting, The Sloan Y. Bashinsky Lab in the Bruno Library.

The framework for a reimagined general education program for students at The University of Alabama was recently announced by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Information about the program’s curriculum is available on a new website that will be updated as work progresses toward the launch of the new core for students entering in fall 2025. The Built by Bama Core Curriculum name reflects its strength in allowing students more flexibility to meet future challenges and prepare for success.

“The curriculum combines the best of what UA has always provided for our students, with state-of-the-art, high-impact practices to create a general education curriculum that is rigorous, relevant, and designed to prepare our graduates to solve the challenges of working in a complex, interconnected world,” said Dr. Jim Dalton, executive vice president and provost.

It is designed to give students flexibility and freedom to tailor a course of study toward their interests, allowing students the ability to add another major or more minors while following themed pathways for electives. Students will also find advanced education requirements in their colleges as part of the new core curriculum.

“A faculty-driven process will continue to prepare the Built by Bama Core for students to begin taking classes,” said Dr. Chapman Greer, associate provost. “The updated curriculum allows for a coherent, unified core spanning an entire undergraduate education while providing a foundation for all majors and minors.”

The Built by Bama Core also offers greater flexibility for transfer students to reduce time to graduation.

The updated core reduces required credit hours from 53-55 over two years to 37-38 credit hours, with advanced education requirements within majors.

Highlights of the Built by Bama Core framework include:

  • A common course for all incoming students designed to engage students in the UA experience.
  • A requirement for experiential learning.
  • A Capstone Experience before graduation that brings together all that’s been learned.
  • A requirement to complete a Student Core Outcomes and Readiness Evaluation.
  • A requirement to take at least one literature course and one history course.
  • Required proficiency in a foreign language either by two years of the language in high school, passing a foreign language exam or taking six to eight hours of a foreign language at UA.
  • Required upper-level courses with a writing intensive designation and courses designated as teaching United States and global citizenship.

University of Alabama faculty passed a referendum in fall 2022 to update the general education curriculum. At the start of the year, the General Education Reform Steering Committee was charged with building out the new core curriculum. The committee, with its 11 subcommittees, is comprised of about 115 faculty and staff from all areas of campus. The committees worked with associate provosts Greer and Dr. Erik Peterson to review the approved curriculum and make recommendations for its implementation.

This fall and spring, faculty and staff will further develop the curriculum and details needed to prepare for students entering in fall 2025 to begin the Built by Bama Core.

More details on the updated general education core curriculum and recommended timeline for implementation can be found on the Office for Academic Affairs website.