KU Core Exemptions

Depending on exam scores, past coursework, and educational experiences you may be able to receive exemptions from KU Core requirements. Below are the approved methods for receiving KU Core exemptions. 

Exemption Information

ACT Mathematics

Score of 26+ - Goal 1.2 Complete

SAT Mathematics

Score of 610+ - Goal 1.2 Complete

For students who do not have prior college credit in mathematics courses, initial placement is determined by Math ACT or SAT score. If you believe you should start in a more advanced math course, you can take the ALEKS Placement, Preparation and Learning (ALEKSPPL) Math assessment. It is recommended to take the exam at least two days prior to your Orientation date.

ACT English

Score of 27+ - ENGL 101 Complete

SAT English or Verbal

Score of 630+ - ENGL 101 Complete


Students with two high school courses in public speaking (totaling two semesters) with a grade of B or higher may be exempt from the oral communication learning outcome. Students who believe they qualify for this exemption should complete the form at this link to petition the exemption: Goal 2.2 Exemption Petition.

Please note: debate and forensics courses will not be considered for students entering in Fall 2020 or after.

International students who have met all of the following three requirements will be granted an exemption from completion of Goal 4, Learning Outcome 2.

  1. Students must have begun their studies at KU with a non-immigrant visa (visa categories A, B, C, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, NATO, O, P, Q, R, or TN);
  2. Students must have met the KU English Proficiency Requirement; and
  3. Students must have completed one semester of full-time study in a degree program at KU.

This exemption will automatically be notated on the students' transcripts upon meeting the requirements listed above.

Approved by the University Core Curriculum Committee 4/11/13.

Students who have earned an Associate degree from the following list will be considered to have met Goals 1-3 of the KU Core (general education). Additional postsecondary institutions may be added as KU continues to create formal partnerships.

  • An Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited Kansas public college, Kansas public university, or Kansas public community college
  • An Associate of Arts degree from Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City, Missouri
  • An Associate of Science degree from Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas

Associate of Arts degree holders to whom this policy applies must meet all additional requirements of their chosen program of study as well as the requirements of goals 4-6 of the KU Core. Requirements may include additional lower-division coursework or minimum grades for specific courses.

This policy does not apply to students with an initial KU entry term prior to Fall 2013.

Policy on Applicability of Associate of Arts Degree to the KU Core.

Students who hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. institution shall be exempted from the KU Core when enrolling in an undergraduate degree program at KU. The U.S. Department of Education provides a list of approved regional accrediting agencies. All degree requirements for the bachelor’s degree being earned at KU must be completed; such requirements will be defined by the academic unit.

KU Core policy as revised October 9, 2015.

AP, IB, & CLEP exams could provide you with course credit depending on your exam scores. Course credit differs from an exemption by providing credit hours for a particular course rather than waiving the requirement. Please visit the admissions website to view how your test scores translate to course credit. You can view which Core goal those courses fulfill here

If you have any questions regarding exemptions from KU Core requirements, please email kucore@ku.edu