University Undergraduate Core Curriculum

The University of Toledo (UToledo) Core Curriculum consists of 36-42 credit hours of coursework that provides the educational foundation for all undergraduate degree programs. The UToledo Core exposes students to a range of disciplines that gives breadth to the learning experience, prepares students for advanced coursework in their degree programs, and develops students as lifelong learners who will thrive in and contribute significantly to a constantly changing global community.

The UToledo Core Curriculum gives students critical reasoning skills to explore complex questions, grasp the essence of social, scientific and ethical problems, and arrive at nuanced perspectives. It hones the ability of students to communicate artistically, orally and in writing. It allows students to recognize their place in history and culture, and to appreciate their connection to others in a multicultural world. It prepares students to be thoughtful, engaged citizens in a participatory democracy. It requires students to explore the whole range of the liberal arts, both for the intrinsic value of doing so and in preparation for study in their degree programs. It provides students with insight into the social and behavioral sciences; familiarity with the history, aesthetics, and criticism of all aspects of human culture, including the fine arts; and experience in the scientific, philosophical and mathematical processes required to examine theoretical and natural phenomena.

Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes

Assessment of the core curriculum is organized into five student learning outcomes. Below are the outcome definitions.

  • Communication: UToledo students must demonstrate abilities to communicate meaningfully, persuasively and creatively with different audiences through written, oral, numeric, graphic and visual modes.
  • Personal, Social, and Global Responsibility: UToledo students must demonstrate understanding of and critical engagement in ethical, cultural and political discourse and capacity to work productively as a community member committed to the value of diversity, difference and the imperatives of justice.
  • Critical Thinking and Integrative Learning: UToledo students must be able to integrate reasoning, questioning and analysis across traditional boundaries of viewpoint, practice and discipline.
  • Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning and Literacy: UToledo students must demonstrate the capacity to apply mathematical reasoning and scientific inquiry to diverse problems.
  • Information Literacy: UToledo students must demonstrate the ability to find, organize, critically assess and effectively use information to engage in advanced work in a challenging field of study. Students should demonstrate responsible, legal, creative and ethical use of information.

The core curricular components through which these learning outcomes are met are as follows:

  1. Skill areas (9 semester hours)
    1. English composition courses (minimum 6 hours) emphasize expository prose writing. Creative writing and speech courses will not fulfill this requirement but may be found in II Distributive, A. Arts and Humanities.
    2. Mathematics courses (minimum 3 hours) provide an analytical foundation for quantitative problem-solving that build on and extend beyond three years of college preparatory math.
  2. Distributive areas (18 or more semester hours - to include at least two courses totaling 6 hours in each of the following three areas. Students must choose two courses from different disciplines.)
    1. Arts and Humanities courses (minimum 6 hours). Arts courses should introduce students to the basic principles, history, concepts and criticism of the fine arts or performing arts. Humanities courses should provide historical, literary and philosophical perspectives of our world. Both Arts and Humanities courses may also introduce skills and techniques to communicate perspectives artistically, orally and/or in writing.
    2. Social Science courses (minimum 6 hours) integrate factual, institutional, methodological and basic theoretical issues involved in the study of society or human behavior. Social science courses should emphasize methods of thinking and approaches to solving social and economic problems rather than merely reviewing factual material specific to that field.
    3. Natural Science courses (minimum 6 hours) expose students to the process of scientific inquiry and encourage development of a scientific perspective. Natural science courses should not merely provide facts, but also an understanding of the basic issues, methodologies and theories in the major disciplinary areas. At least 1 hour of coursework in this category must include a hands-on laboratory component.
  3. Electives
    • Students must take 9 additional hours of courses from I. Skills, B. Math or II. Distributive described above. Students should work with their advisor to select the appropriate courses to take, as many degree programs have specific core course requirements.
  4. Multicultural Courses
    • Students must take one course from each of the following categories:
    1. Diversity of U.S. Culture courses (minimum 3 hours) examine the economic, political, philosophical, social or artistic life of distinct cultural communities within the United States. Communities may include, but are not limited to, communities based on race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, and disability.
    2. Non-U.S. Culture courses (minimum 3 hours) examine the economic, political, philosophical, social or artistic life of communities outside the United States.

Students may satisfy both of the multicultural requirements with courses that simultaneously fulfill a second area of the core curriculum. One multicultural course may be a course that also meets one of the requirements in II. Distributive Area, and the other may be a course that also meets one of the requirements in III. Electives, as stated above.

The result is a Core Curriculum with 36 to 42 credit hours of coursework. Students should work with their advisor to select the appropriate courses to take in the core. It is important to note that many programs require their students to take specific core courses which are foundational to that course of study.

Students must earn a 2.0 GPA or higher across courses used to satisfy their core curriculum requirements.

Core Curriculum

SkillsEnglish Comp I3
SkillsEnglish Comp II3
DistributiveArts and Humanities (2 disciplines) 16
DistributiveSocial Sciences (2 disciplines) 16
DistributiveNatural Sciences (2 disciplines) 26
ElectiveElectives from Math or Distributive category 19
MulticulturalDiversity of US 30-3
MulticulturalNon-US Diversity 30-3
Total Hours36-42

One Multicultural course may also count here.


A 1 credit lab or a course with a lab component is required.


If one or both multicultural courses count in a second area, the total number of required courses reduces accordingly, but never below 36 credits.

Ohio Transfer 36

On May 11, 2021, the Ohio Transfer Module (OTM) was renamed Ohio Transfer 36.  Ohio Transfer 36, as directed by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), includes courses in the following areas: English composition and oral communication; mathematics, statistics, and logic; arts and humanities; social and behavioral sciences; and natural sciences.

Completion of the transfer module at UToledo requires students complete courses approved by ODHE as OT36 general education courses.  The Ohio Transfer 36 Approved Courses Reporting System will help identify approved courses that are guaranteed to transfer and apply toward the above-mentioned general education subject areas at any of Ohio’s public colleges and universities.

View List of Core Curriculum Courses.