General Education

All UMKC undergraduate students complete general education requirements. The UMKC General Education Core (UMKC Core) curriculum is designed to provide knowledge and skills that are important for all students, no matter their major or field of study. For full details, see or the UMKC General Education Core tab.

To facilitate transfer among Missouri's public colleges and universities, a state-wide general education curriculum (Core 42) has been developed. For full details, see the Missouri Transfer Core 42 tab.

General Education Requirements for Transfer Students

Per a requirement passed into Missouri law in 2016, a state-wide general education curriculum specific to transfer students was created to facilitate transfer among Missouri’s public colleges and universities. This new state-wide curriculum requires 42 hours of coursework spread among five knowledge areas:

  • Mathematical sciences – three (3) credit hours
  • Natural sciences – seven (7) credit hours, including a course with a lab
  • Humanities and fine arts – nine (9) credit hours from at least two disciplines
  • Social and behavioral sciences – nine (9) credit hours, including a civics course
  • Written and oral communications – nine (9) credit hours (six in written communications and three in oral communications)
  • Additional hours – five (5) additional credit hours distributed among the above five knowledge areas.

All transfer students to UMKC from an accredited regional institution shall be treated the same as those transferring from a public Missouri institution of higher education. Starting Fall 2018, new incoming transfer students may be eligible to complete either the UMKC Core or Core 42 general education curriculum. Students may opt-in to the Core 42 via the following link:   

For more details on Core 42, please visit -

Transfer Students with a Completed Core 42, an Associate of Arts degree or a Bachelor’s degree

  • Students who complete the CORE 42 curriculum at a participating Missouri institution, an Associate of Arts degree from any regionally accredited institution, or a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution before transferring will have met all UMKC general education requirements.

Transfer Students with General Education Coursework in Progress

  • Students transferring to UMKC with at least twelve (12) post-high school college credit hours but without the completed Core 42 or Associate of Arts degree may have the option to complete either the UMKC Core or Core 42.
  • Transfer guides are built based on the optimal general education curriculum to create your shortest path to graduation from UMKC.
  • Your advisor will review your transfer credits with you prior to the end of your first semester at UMKC to help you determine which general education curriculum best suits your degree plan and moves you closest to graduation.
  • General education requirements for some degrees – including education, engineering and nursing – differ due to professional licensing and other requirements. For these programs it is not to the student’s advantage to complete the Core 42 curriculum because Core 42 likely adds hours to the student’s individual plan of study to complete their UMKC degree. To avoid adding time and cost to the student’s UMKC experience, transfer students are encouraged to complete the UMKC Core for the following majors:
    • Dance, Bachelor of Fine Arts
    • Early Childhood Education, Bachelor of Arts
    • Elementary Education, Bachelor of Arts
    • Jazz Studies, Bachelor of Music
    • Music Education, Bachelor of Music Education
    • Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Pre-Licensure program)
    • Performance, Bachelor of Music (all instruments)

Transfer Credit Appeal Policy

Transfer students and/or post-secondary institutions who are not satisfied with a decision regarding the awarding of transfer credit may appeal the articulation of their coursework by completing a Transfer Articulation Appeal form. Students have 10 business days following notification of the transfer articulation decision to file an appeal. Submission of this form shall initiate a two-level review process facilitated by the university’s Transfer & Articulation Officer (TAO). 

UMKC General Education Core

UMKC General Education Core Website

General Education Learning Outcomes

The UMKC General Education Core curriculum is designed to build students' capacity for intellectual inquiry and discovery, critical reasoning and effective communication. By completing the General Education Core, the successful graduate will acquire skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Communication
  • Technology and Information Literacy
  • Scientific Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Interdisciplinary and Innovative Thinking
  • Culture and Diversity
  • Human Actions, Values and Ethics
  • Civic and Community Engagement

General Education Core Curriculum: Overview

The UMKC General Education Core is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete.  The 30-credit hour core curriculum includes three course types designated as Anchor, Discourse and Focus.

18 hours (One 6-hour pair at each level)

12 hours (One 3-hour course in each focus area)

Core course types - Focus course graphic


Anchor courses take an interdisciplinary approach to teach students critical thinking. The Anchor classes cut across traditionally recognized academic disciplines. Although there may be some overlap between the General Education Core courses and major requirements, Anchor I and Anchor II courses may not be used to satisfy major or degree-specific requirements.

Anchor I - Reasoning and Values 1
ANCH 101University College Seminar3
ANCH 102Introduction to Urban Studies3
ANCH 103Muse3
ANCH 106Money, Medicine and Morals3
ANCH 108Surfing the Matrix: Keeping Your Head Above Water in a Sea of Information3
ANCH 109Education and Urban Society3
ANCH 150Computing and Engineering in Society3
ANCH 199Anchor I Special Topics3
ANCH H199Anchor I Special Topics3
Anchor II - Culture and Diversity 2
ANCH 201Race in American Film3
ANCH 202Crossing Boundaries3
ANCH 204Women in the Ancient World3
ANCH 205Self in a Multicultural Society3
ANCH 208Women in the Medieval World3
ANCH 209World Cultures, Histories and Ideas3
ANCH 211Cities of the World3
ANCH 212Critical Issues in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies3
ANCH 214European Cultures, Histories & Ideas3
ANCH 216Intersections of Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality3
ANCH 218Introduction to Ethnic Studies3
ANCH H298Great Ideas: The Idea of Culture3
ANCH 299Anchor II Special Topics3
ANCH H299Anchor II Special Topics3
Anchor III - Civic and Community Engagement 3
ANCH 301Environmental Sustainability3
ANCH 302Archaeology of Ancient Disasters3
ANCH 303Film Adaptation3
ANCH 304Telling Stories: History, Memory, and American Life3
ANCH 305The Artist in Society3
ANCH 306From Bench to Bedside: Translational Research3
ANCH 307Frauds, Myths and Mysteries in Archaeology3
ANCH 308Ethical Issues in Computing & Engineering3
ANCH 309Mechanical Design Synthesis I3
ANCH 310Innovation and the Aging Population3
ANCH 311Civil Engineering Capstone Design II3
ANCH 314Interdisciplinary Community Oral Health Field Experiences3
ANCH 318From Oil Gushers to Fracking: A History of American Petroleum3
ANCH 319Immersion in Urban Communities3
ANCH 320Visual Culture and Civic Engagement3
ANCH H397Public Urban Education3
ANCH 399Anchor III Special Topics3
ANCH H399Anchor III Special Topics3


Discourse classes teach speech, writing and other presentation and communication skills in an integrated environment. Anchor and Discourse classes are paired so that each class may reinforce the skills and knowledge gained in the paired class.

DISC 100Discourse I: Reasoning and Values (Speech and Writing) 13
DISC 200Discourse II: Culture and Diversity (Writing and Speech) 23
DISC 300Discourse III: Civic and Community Engagement (Speech and Writing) 33


These discipline-specific classes give students a broad base of skills and knowledge and serve as a strong foundation for all students in every major.  Students take four Focus courses, one from each of three areas: Arts and Humanities (Focus A); Scientific Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis (Focus B); and Human Actions, Values and Ethics (Focus C).  The fourth Focus class is an elective from any one of the three areas. In some cases, Focus courses may simultaneously satisfy major or degree-specific requirements.

Focus A - Arts and Humanities
ART 105Introduction To Photography3
ART 114Foundation Digital Design3
ART 121Foundation 2D Design3
ART-HIST 110Introduction to the History of Art: Pyramids to Picasso3
ART-HIST 201From Cave Paintings to Cathedrals3
ART-HIST 202From Michelangelo to Modernism3
ART-HIST 303World Currents of Contemporary Art3
ART-HIST 315Arts Of African and New World Cultures3
BLKS 315Arts of African and New World Cultures3
CLASSICS 119Myth and Literature3
CLASSICS 210Foundations Of Ancient World Literature I3
CLASSICS 300CYAncient World in Cinema3
COMM-ST 230Introduction to Film Studies3
COMM-ST 345German Film3
CONSVTY 103NFundamentals of Music3
CONSVTY 118Electronica3
CONSVTY 120Music Appreciation3
CONSVTY 120NMusic Appreciation3
CONSVTY 125History and Development of Rock and Roll3
CONSVTY 126Introduction to World Music3
CONSVTY 341Principles of Arts Business3
CONSVTY 342This is Your Brain on Music3
CONSVTY 351History of Music in Western Civilization I3
CONSVTY 352History of Music in Western Civilization II3
CONSVTY 364Yeah, Yeah, Yeah: The Cultural and Musical Impact of the Beatles3
ENGLISH 123True Lives: Autobiographical Arts and Acts3
ENGLISH 126Popular Literature3
ENGLISH 207World Literature in English3
ENGLISH 214Introduction To Fiction3
ENGLISH 215Introduction To Poetry3
ENGLISH 216The Craft of Creative Writing3
ENGLISH 242Women Writing/Women Reading3
ENGLISH 273Science Fiction3
ENGLISH 278Asian American Literature3
FRENCH 301Introduction to French Literature3
FRENCH 304Masterpieces Of French Literature II3
FRENCH 354French Civilization III: Lyon, Crossroads of France and Europe3
HISTORY 201European History to 16003
HISTORY 202European History since 16003
HISTORY 206World History To 14503
HISTORY 208World History since 14503
HISTORY 306AHistory of Christianity to the Middle Ages3
HISTORY 307AHistory of Christianity from the Middles Ages to Present3
HISTORY 428AHistory Of The Body3
HISTORY 433RHistory of Britain 1603-18323
HISTORY 434RHistory of Britain 1832-Present3
PHILOS 210Introduction to Philosophy3
TCH-ED 201Children's Literature3
THEATRE 121Oral Interpretation Of Literature3
THEATRE 130Foundations Of Fine Arts Theatre3
Focus B - Scientific Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis
ASTR 150Astronomy: Motions of the Cosmos3
ASTR 155Astronomy: Starlight and Star Stuff3
BIOLOGY 102Biology and Living3
BIOLOGY 108General Biology I3
BIOLOGY 109General Biology II3
CHEM 115Elements Of Chemistry I4
CHEM 206Human Nutrition3
CHEM 211General Chemistry I4
CHEM 211LExperimental General Chemistry I1
CHEM 212RGeneral Chemistry II4
COMP-SCI 100Computer Fundamentals and Applications3
ECON 201Introduction To Economics I3
ECON 202Introduction To Economics II3
ENV-SCI 110RUnderstanding the Earth: Introduction to Environmental Science and Laboratory3
ENV-SCI 210Issues in Environmental Science3
GEOLOGY 220General Geology3
GEOLOGY 250LField Methods in Earth and Environmental Science3
HLSC 476Research Methods in Health Sciences3
LS-MCRB 121Human Biology III (Microbiology)3
LS-PHYS 217Human Physiology3
MATH 110Precalculus Algebra3
MATH 116Mathematics For Liberal Arts3
MATH 120Precalculus5
MATH 130Mathematics for Teachers: Number Systems3
MATH 140Mathematics for Teachers: Elementary Geometry3
MATH 210Calculus I4
MATH 216Calculus for Biological Sciences4
NAT-SCI 130Physics of Sports3
NAT-SCI 140How Things Work3
NAT-SCI 140LHow Things Work Laboratory1
NAT-SCI 150Astronomy: Motions of the Cosmos3
NAT-SCI 155Astronomy: Starlight and Star Stuff3
NAT-SCI 171Physics For Future Presidents3
NURSE 476Research Methods in Health Sciences3
PHILOS 222Foundations Of Logic and Scientific Reasoning3
PHY-SCI 130Physics of Sports3
PHY-SCI 140How Things Work3
PHY-SCI 140LHow Things Work Laboratory1
PHY-SCI 150Astronomy: Motions of the Cosmos3
PHY-SCI 155Astronomy: Starlight and Star Stuff3
PHY-SCI 171Physics For Future Presidents3
PHYSICS 130Physics of Sports3
PHYSICS 140How Things Work3
PHYSICS 140LHow Things Work Laboratory1
PHYSICS 150Astronomy: Motions of the Cosmos3
PHYSICS 155Astronomy: Starlight and Star Stuff3
PHYSICS 171Physics for Future Presidents3
PHYSICS 210General Physics I4
PHYSICS 220General Physics II4
PHYSICS 240Physics For Scientists and Engineers I5
PHYSICS 250Physics For Scientists and Engineers II5
STAT 235Elementary Statistics3
UPD 280Land Use Planning3
Focus C - Human Actions, Values and Ethics
ANTHRO 103Introduction To Cultural Anthropology3
BLKS 201Global Systems and the Origins of Black American Culture and Institutions3
CJC 101Introduction To Criminal Justice3
CJC 240Delinquency And Juvenile Justice3
CJC 280Gangs and Crime3
CJC 282Criminal Justice & Criminology in Popular Media3
COMM-ST 317Persuasion3
COMM-ST 323Concepts of the Hero in Ancient Literature and World Cinema3
ENT 326Creativity, Innovation, and Problem Solving3
HISTORY 101U.S. History to 18773
HISTORY 102U.S. History Since 18773
HISTORY 215Getting High: Alcohol & Drugs in American History3
LLS 201Introduction to Latinx and Latin American Studies3
POL-SCI 210American Government3
POL-SCI 220Introduction To Comparative Politics3
POL-SCI 221Introduction to Comparative Politics and Research3
POL-SCI 309Public Opinion3
PSYCH 210General Psychology3
SOCIOL 101Sociology: An Introduction3
UPD 260History Of Planning And Urban Design3
WGS 201Introduction To Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies3

Application of Previous Coursework

Students may apply transfer credit, Advanced Placement credit and International Baccalaureate credit toward UMKC General Education Core course requirements, with the exception of the level III Anchor and Discourse 300 classes.  Coursework that is not directly equivalent to UMKC’s Anchor and Discourse courses may be used to satisfy some Anchor and Discourse requirements as follows, but only if the coursework was completed prior to enrolling at UMKC as a degree-seeking student.

One of the following satisfies Discourse 100:

  • English 110 or its equivalent
  • Communication Studies 110 or its equivalent
  • ACT English sub score of 30 or greater
  • SAT Writing score of 690 or greater

Either of the following satisfies both Discourse 100 and 200:

  • English 110 or its equivalent (or qualifying ACT or SAT sub score, see above) AND Communication Studies 110 or its equivalent
  • English 225 or its equivalent

Anchor I may be satisfied with 6 credit hours of “extra” Focus coursework. Anchor I and Anchor II may be satisfied with 12 credit hours of extra Focus coursework. A course is considered an “extra” Focus course if the student has completed another Focus course in the same category (i.e., A, B or C) and has satisfied the Focus elective.

  • Example 1:  Prior to enrolling at UMKC as degree-seeking, a student completed four Focus classes (three credits each), one each of Focus A, Focus B, and Focus C, as well as a Focus elective. This student has no credit hours of extra Focus coursework.
  • Example 2: Prior to enrolling at UMKC as degree-seeking, a student completed four Focus courses (three credit each), all from the same Focus category, e.g., Focus A. The first course satisfies the Focus A requirement, the second course satisfies the Focus elective, and the third and fourth courses are considered extra Focus courses. This student has satisfied Anchor I.

Anchor requirements may be not be satisfied with extra Focus classes that are completed during or after the student’s first term at UMKC as a degree-seeking student.