All You Need to Know About Common Core Course Selection (For Regular Students)

Areas of Inquiry

The Common Core (CC) is divided into four Areas of Inquiry (AoIs):

  1. Science, Technology and Big Data (CCST), 
  2. Arts and Humanities (CCHU), 
  3. Global Issues (CCGL), and
  4. China: Culture, State and Society (CCCH).

UG5(c) Common Core Requirements

  • Unless otherwise prescribed in the curriculum regulations, students are required to successfully complete 36 credits of CC courses, one course from each AoI and not more than 2 from any AoI.
  • Students are not allowed to take more than four CC courses within an academic year (except for students who are required to make up for failed credits as well as those who take courses offered in the summer semester which is optional).
  • CC courses cannot be taken as free electives. Students are not allowed to add or take additional CC courses beyond what is required by their programme.

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Course Types on Offer in 2023-24

  • Regular F2F courses (6 credits) (course code 90XX)
  • Fully online courses (6 credits) (course code 50XX) [Click here to learn more.]
    • All the class activities and assessments of these courses will be conducted online, and thus students would be able to complete the entire courses online. However, the class activities are scheduled at fixed times and students taking the courses should participate online at these scheduled times.
    • In fulfilling your CC requirements for graduation under UG5(c), you may take up to 2 CC courses in fully online format.
  • Microcredential courses (CCMCs) (3 credits, counted as 0.5 course) (course code 60XX)
    • CCMCs focus on undergraduate transdisciplinary learning and are conducted in a highly compressed format.
    • In fulfilling the UG5(c) Common Core requirements, you may take two CCMCs in place of one standard 6-credit Common Core course. [If you opt to take CCMCs in fulfilling the 36-credit CC requirements, you must take TWO CCMCs.]
    • Registration for 2023-24 Summer CCMCs is via Click here to learn more.

Clusters and Transdisciplinary Minors (Optional)

cluster consists of four Common Core courses, and a Transdisciplinary Minor consists of six courses, all drawn from the same thematic cluster.

  1. Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth (SCCE) (applicable to cohorts admitted in or after 2017-18)
  2. The Quest for a Meaningful Life (UQM) (applicable to cohorts admitted in or after 2020-21) / The Universe and the Question of Meaning (UQM) (applicable to cohorts admitted in 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20)
  3. Creative Arts (CA) (applicable to cohorts admitted in or after 2021-22)
  4. The Human Life Span (HL) (applicable to cohorts admitted in or after 2021-22)
  5. Gender, Sexuality, and Diversity (GSD) (applicable to cohorts admitted in or after 2021-22)

Students who have declared a CC Transdisciplinary Minor will be given priority to enroll on the final two courses belonging to the same cluster needed to complete for the Minor!

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Course Selection Schedule

Course Selection Period

Current Students

Year 1 Students

August 2, 2023 (Wed) – August 8, 2023 (Tue) (4:00 pm)

August 17, 2023 (Thur) (10:00 am) – August 24, 2023 (Thur) (4:00 pm)

Sem 1 Add/Drop Period

August 31, 2023 (Thur) (10:00 am) – September 18, 2023 (Thur) (4:00 pm)

Sem 2 Add/Drop Period

January 15, 2024 (Mon) (10:00 am) – January 29, 2024 (Mon) (4:00 pm)

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Course Approval Method

  • First-come-first-served during course selection period in August
  • Auto-ballot during add/drop period

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Checklist for Common Core Course Selection

  • Enrollments comply with CC and programme requirements
  • No more than four CC courses in Sem 1 and Sem 2 of an academic year (unless you are required to make up for failed CC credits)
  • No enrollments on courses which are listed as non-permissible combinations
  • No time clashes
  • Enroll on sub-classes NOT marked by “X” only (“X” sub-classes are offered to exchange/visiting students)
  • Optional:
    • Cluster
      • four CC courses from the same thematic cluster
    • Transdisciplinary Minor
      • six CC courses from the same thematic cluster
    • Fully online courses
      • no more than two courses
    • 3-credit microcredentials
      • take two CC microcredential courses

Ensure that your Common Core course selection does not violate any requirement of the Common Core or of your programme!

Otherwise, the system will bar your enrollment, or your enrollment will be subsequently disapproved and dropped by the system.

Useful Information