About Core Curriculum

How to Get Started: It’s Easy as 1-2-3

  1. Use our locator map to check out which of the seven colleges of DCCCD is most convenient to your home or work or has a program that’s of particular interest to you.
  2. Complete the admissions process. Check with the Admissions/Registrar’s Office at any of our seven colleges.
  3. Set up an appointment with an academic advisor to guide you through the admissions process. Be sure to mention your interest in completin​g the Core Curriculum so he or she can help you determine which courses you should take to align with your academic and career goals.

If you are planning to earn an associate degree or certificate, please note that you must complete 25 percent of your degree requirements at the college awarding the degree.


Dallas County residents pay $177 per three-hour class — that is $59 per credit hour, or just $708 for a full-semester load of 12 credit hours.

Compare that to what you’d pay elsewhere! See our tuition rates for tuition according to your place of residency.

Rising Star Program

If you are a Dallas County high school graduating senior, you may qualify for Rising Star funds to help pay for this program. The Rising Star program offers academic support services and up to $4,000 for tuition and books, if you have established financial need.​​

Courses Offered (Curriculum)

Our catalog provides detailed information about the courses we offer and the courses required for the following associate degrees:

* Only the A.A.T. degrees with specializations in Foreign Language and Mathematics include the complete Core.

The Core’s ‘Big Ideas’

The Core’s three tiers each include one or more learning categories, groupings of courses that reflect “big ideas.” Like a pyramid, each tier builds on previously mastered skills.

Pre-CORE College Requirements

There are pre-Core requirements for some. If you have completed fewer than 12 hours of college-level course work, you’ll need to enroll in the three-credit-hour Learning Framework (EDUC 1300) course. This course offers multiple learning strategies that will help you become a better critical thinker.

You may be required to take Developmental Studies, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or computer literacy classes if assessment indicates a need.

pyramid illustrating the three tiers of the Core Curriculum

A Three-Tiered Appro​ach Builds a Solid Foundation

The Core is built in three layers, similar to a pyramid. You take three sets of courses — called tiers — and earn 42 credit hours. Like a pyramid, courses in each tier build on the knowledge you previously learned:

Tier 1 — Core Foundations provides the fundamentals of college-level learning: reading, writing, speaking, listening, wellness and reasoning. Tier One requires completion of five to six courses. Learning categories are:

  • Critical Reading and Writing (6 credit hours)
  • Speaking, Listening, Wellness and the Human Experience (4 credit hours)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (3-4 credit hours)

Tier 2 — Core Domains reinforces and applies the fundamentals you learned in Core Foundations to the fields of study you are pursuing. Tier 2 requires completion of eight courses. Learning categories are:

  • Qualitative Reasoning, Literacy and Research (3 credit hours)
  • Self and Society (9 credit hours)
  • Humanity, Creativity and the Aesthetic Experience (6 credit hours)
  • Scientific Discovery and Sustainability (8 credit hours)

Tier 3 — Integrative Learning ties everything together as you explore critical issues in the state-federal relationship. This tier consists of a single learning category:

  • Critical Issues in the State-Federal Relationship (3 credit hours)

Note: The tiers are intended to guide you, not serve as a rigid plan. You can enroll in Tier 2 courses while completing Tier 1 requirements or enroll in Tier 3 while completing the Tier 2 courses.

Get specific information about the Core Curriculum or learn about the history of the Core selected by the colleges of DCCCD.

Accreditation and Affiliations

The colleges of Dallas County Community College District — Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland — are individually accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The official statement of accreditation for each college is published on the college’s accreditation Web page.

Transferring Information

Get more information on transferring your Core Curriculum courses to a four-year institution at the Transfer Services website.

Want to Know More About the Core?

Check out our frequently asked questions.