Distribution Requirement

Students matriculating in Fall 2016 and after:

Students beginning their studies in Fall 2016 or later must complete one course (four credits) in each of the following categories:

  • CL Civic Learning
  • HE Human Experience
  • IP International and Intercultural Perspectives
  • ME Modes of Expression
  • PD Power, Privilege, and Difference
  • QR Quantitative Reasoning
  • SB Social Behavior and Institutions
  • SP Scientific Process and Knowledge

Courses can “double count” for these requirements, and many courses will satisfy two of the eight requirements. When taken in the appropriate department, courses may also “double count” toward both the Distribution Requirements and the student’s major or minor. These courses must be taken for a grade (and so not “credit/no credit”) in order to count for distribution.

The categories satisfied by a given course are indicated in the Academic Bulletin (beginning with the 2016-17 edition) and in WebAdvisor. The Learning Outcomes for each category are listed here.

Students who matriculated before Fall 2016:

Students who began their studies as degree-seeking students before Fall 2016 must take two courses (eight credits) in each of the three divisions of the college. When taken in the appropriate department, these courses may also “double count” toward both the divisional distribution requirements and the student’s major or minor. The academic departments in each division are as follows:

  • Humanities (Art, Communication Arts, Dance & Movement Studies, English, all Modern and Classical Languages, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies)
  • Natural Science (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science*, Geology, Mathematics**, Neuroscience, Physics). Note that one course (four credits) must include a laboratory. Students majoring or minoring in Mathematics are exempted from the lab science requirement.
  • Social Science (Economics, Environmental Science*, History, Political Science, Psychology)

*Courses in the Environmental Science department may count as Natural Science, Social Science, or neither for the purpose of satisfying the Distribution Requirement. Please consult the description of each course in the Academic Bulletin to determine if and how it satisfies the requirement.

**Please note that Math 159 Precalculus does not count for distribution.