Office of the

Your first year of college forms the launch pad for a successful education and, eventually, career. Our general education curriculum, UMKC Essentials, helps you build the connections that will power your education — beginning with your very first semester.

Working with key business partners, we identified Essential Questions that will help you develop the experiences and skills needed to be game-changing employees, entrepreneurs and citizens. We’ve incorporated those ideas into our core general education program: UMKC Essentials.  

What UMKC Essentials means for you

Every four-year degree-granting institution has general education requirements, but at UMKC, we’ve enhanced the experience beyond coursework to help you connect with your campus, community and future career beginning on Day One. Here are ways UMKC Essentials gives you an advantage.

UMKC Essentials Explained (PDF)

Connect to campus

Through your First Semester Experience, you’ll get connected to a professor, peer academic leader and small group of students who will help you get involved on campus and take advantage of the many resources UMKC has to offer.

Hear from the Professor

Explore your major options

You’ll be grouped with other first-year students who are interested in related majors. With small group discussions and activities, together you’ll explore a range of possibilities while considering your choice of major.

Network with professionals

One of the perks of being located in the heart of Kansas City is that our Roos are easily connected across a wide range of professional circles. We’ll have industry professionals as guest speakers in courses.

Get experience outside of the classroom

In your career, you’ll find it’s important to be able to creatively solve complex problems. You'll develop these skills as you explore our Essential Questions and see their applications by connecting with guest speakers in your industry, attending experiences outside the physical classroom and giving back to the Kansas City community through service learning.

Get more course flexibility

The state of Missouri requires 42 hours of general education courses for four-year degrees, but incoming UMKC first-time students only have a specified 30 hours of general education courses and a constitution course. If you’re starting UMKC as a first-time college student (not a transfer student), you can use the remaining required nine hours to meet the state-required 42 hours from courses across the university — like getting a head start on your major or taking mind-expanding electives.

*Note: The Missouri Core 42 continues to apply to transfer students. The details of Core 42 are available here.

We're excited for you to take advantage of everything UMKC Essentials has to offer!

How UMKC Essentials works with Transfer/Dual High School credits

If students have already completed six hours of courses within a “Ways of Knowing” area, the requirement will be considered met.

When did you start at UMKC?