Common Transfer Credit Issues

Government Courses

Core Curriculum Component Area 070

The Texas Education Code §51.301 requires Texas public university and community college students to complete six semester hours of coursework in government/political science as part of the Core Curriculum (core component code 070). But the statute does not specify how the required course content (study of Federal and Texas constitutions, structures, and functions) should be distributed across the six required semester hours.

As a result, two patterns of instruction have evolved among Texas universities and community colleges in which Federal and Texas government are studied either separately or in a parallel/comparative manner.

  • At UT Austin Federal and Texas government are studied together in GOV 310L to satisfy the content requirement of §51.301; one course chosen from GOV 312L, 312P, or 312R rounds out the semester-hour requirement. Courses at institutions teaching Federal and Texas government in a comparative/parallel pattern transfer as GOV 310L+312L.

  • Courses at institutions teaching Federal and Texas government separately transfer with the generic transfer credit evaluations “GOV 3 US” and “GOV 3 TX” to denote which course is dedicated to the Federal or Texas constitution, structures, and functions. These two evaluations in combination substitute for GOV 310L+312L on a whole-sequence basis, but neither evaluation is directly equivalent to 310L or 312L on a course-for-course basis.

  • Introductory Federal government surveys from out-of-state institutions also transfer as “GOV 3 US” and must be combined with credit for GOV 310L or “GOV 3 TX” to complete the requirement.

The Texas Common Course Numbering (TCCN) system identifies two pairs of courses applicable to the legislative requirement:

*Beginning with the fall semester 2013, Texas community colleges offer only the GOVT 2305+2306
TCCN Course Title UT Evaluation
GOVT 2305* Federal Government (Federal constitution & topics) GOV 3 US
GOVT 2306* Texas Government (Texas constitution & topics) GOV 3 TX
GOVT 2301 American Government I (Federal & Texas constitutions) GOV 310L
GOVT 2302 American Government II (Federal & Texas topics) GOV 312L

The two courses offered at another Texas public institution to satisfy the core curriculum 070 requirement always transfer to fulfill the requirement at UT, but combining courses from two institutions with different instructional patterns may omit some state-mandated content.

It is strongly recommended that students complete both required government courses at one institution to avoid problems in completing the core curriculum 070 requirement. Students who choose to take the required courses at two different institutions should at least be certain they transfer as one of the following combinations:

Acceptable Credit Combinations Comparable TCCN Designations
GOV 310L+312L GOVT 2301+2302
GOV 310L+3 US GOVT 2301+2305
GOV 310L+3 TX GOVT 2301+2306
GOV 3 US+3 TX  GOVT 2305+2306

Other credit combinations usually omit the Texas constitution component of the legislative requirement. For students with such credit, and for those with five or more semester hours of applicable government credit transferred from out-of-state institutions, a one semester hour course is available to complete the requirement – GOV 105 Texas Government, offered by University Extension.