Innovative Courses

Innovative Courses and Programs allow districts to offer state-approved innovative courses to enable students to master knowledge, skills, and competencies not included in the essential knowledge and skills of the required curriculum. (TAC Section 74.27The State Board of Education (SBOE) may approve any course that does not fall within any of the subject areas listed in the foundation and enrichment curricula. The commissioner of education may approve a discipline-based course in the foundation or enrichment curriculum if the proposed course is academically rigorous and addresses documented student needs. Applications for innovative courses are accepted annually by the Texas Education Agency.

Approved Innovative Courses 

With the approval of the local board of trustees, school districts and charter schools may offer any state-approved innovative course for state elective credit. No application is required for a district or school to offer an approved innovative course.

For a complete listing, download the PDF document of all currently approved innovative courses  (PDF, 479KB). You may request course descriptions and requirements for each course from the contact person identified for each course.    

2016-2017 Expiring Courses

Courses Expiring 2016-2017 (PDF, 127KB)

2017-2018 Course Application

The agency is currently considering applications for new innovative courses. TEA will review the applications in the order in which they are received. Applicants are encouraged to submit innovative course applications as soon as possible. See the 2017-2018 innovative course application and instructions shown below.

2017-2018 Innovative Course Application

The application timeline for innovative courses will be as follows: 

Phase One: Applications received by December 16, 2016

  • During this phase, entities are strongly encouraged to submit innovative applications for 2017-2018 that will require the approval of the SBOE (i.e., courses that contain content that is not addressed in any of the foundation or enrichment subject areas). Applications for innovative courses requiring SBOE approval will be scheduled to go before the SBOE at the January-February 2017 meeting.
  • Entities that wish to submit an application for an innovative course that will require the approval of the commissioner of education (i.e., courses whose content falls within the foundation or enrichment subject areas) may also submit applications during Phase One. Applications received by this date will receive a final determination by February 15, 2017.

Phase Two: Applications received by February 15, 2017

  • This is the final deadline to submit an application for an innovative course. Applications not received by this date and/or considered incomplete at this date will not be considered for approval.
  • Applications for innovative courses received by this date will receive a final determination by April 28, 2017.

Questions related to innovative courses or the approval process may be directed to Kelsey Kling by phone at (512) 463-9581 or by email at