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Kent Core (General Education Requirement) PDFDownload to print

The Kent Core is the foundation of the university's mission to prepare students to live in today's complex, global society. It broadens intellectual perspectives, fosters ethical and humanitarian values and prepares students for responsible citizenship and productive careers. Through this learning experience, students develop the intellectual flexibility they need to adapt to an ever-changing world.

Students in bachelor’s, the Associate of Arts and the Associate of Science degree programs must complete a minimum 36 credit hours of the Kent Core in six categories: I. Composition (6 credits), II. Mathematics and Critical Reasoning (3 credits), III. Humanities and Fine Arts (9 credits), IV. Social Sciences (6 credits), V. Basic Sciences (6-7 credits) and VI. Additional (6 credits). Students in applied and technical associate degrees must complete minimum 15 credit hours, one from each of the first five categories, from the Kent Core. All exceptions must be approved by the students’ academic advisor and the Office of the Provost.

Students in associate degree programs who intend to earn a bachelor’s degree will be expected to fulfill this requirement. Individual programs and colleges may have modified these requirements, so it is necessary to review the specific Kent Core hour and course expectations described in in the individual program requirements in the University Catalog.

The availability of specific Kent Core courses varies by campus. No Kent Core course may be taken pass/fail.

More information, including all approved courses, can be found on the Kent Core page in the University Catalog.

Post-undergraduate students who have earned a baccalaureate from a regionally accredited institution will be deemed to have completed the equivalent of the university’s Kent Core requirement. By virtue of having earned a bachelor’s degree, these students will be recognized as having completed their general education requirements. If they pursue an academic program at Kent State University that requires specific courses that are also in the Kent Core but are unmet, they can be held to those requirements because the courses are considered program requirements first and foremost.

Kent State students who update their official catalog from a year prior to 2010 to the current catalog year will be given special consideration in determining completion of the Kent Core. If students have met all of the general education requirements (or Liberal Education Requirement) in their prior catalog, their Kent Core will be considered complete. Students must contact their advisor to determine eligibility.

Transfer Credit, Proficiency Testing and Other Options in Meeting the Kent Core

  1. Certain alternatives to formal Kent State coursework may be recognized in the fulfilling of the Kent Core.
  2. Credits earned for specified courses within the Kent Core course list through external credit-conferring testing programs, such as Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP), will be applied toward the fulfillment of the Kent Core as appropriate for the specific courses for which credit is received.
  3. Courses transferred from accredited post-secondary institutions will be applied toward fulfillment of the Kent Core as appropriate for the specific courses for which credit is awarded.
  4. The university’s Credit-By-Examination (CBE) program may be utilized in fulfillment of the Kent Core within the conditions, guidelines and policies established for that program and for the course (s) for which credit is sought.
  5. Proficiency, as established by placement examinations or other recognized procedures and mechanisms for this purpose, can be used to fulfill categories I (Composition) and II (Mathematics and Critical Reasoning) of the Kent Core. For example, students who are placed into ENG 21011 and complete it with a passing grade will have met category I. It is assumed that students who are placed at and pass the higher level of one of these sequenced courses have also mastered the content of the prerequisite course. While students may meet the requirements of categories I and II through proficiency, minimum hours must be met in categories III, IV, V and VI. Students meeting Categories I and II requirements through proficiency must substitute other courses, which shall be elective, to earn the minimum hours required for the bachelor's or associate degree.

To fulfill the purposes of general education, any of the above alternatives to the fulfillment of the Kent Core by formal coursework at Kent State University must be exercised by the students within the first 60 hours of academic credits earned at and/or transferred to Kent State University.

Students who transfer to the university with more than 45 semester hours of applicable credits (including students with associate's degrees in technology from the Kent State University regional campuses or those who transfer to bachelor's-level programs from associate-level technology programs) must exercise such option(s) within the first calendar year of their Kent State University enrollment.