Degree Requirements

Distribution Requirement

To ensure that students gain a rich and varied education, the College requires students to complete 12 courses for distribution requirements. Students must complete four designated courses in the arts and humanities, four designated courses in social and historical studies, and four designated courses in natural and mathematical sciences. Specific courses that fulfill distribution requirements are designated by abbreviations following the course titles (i.e. A & H, S & H, N & M). For a complete list of courses that fulfill the distribution requirements, please see the section of this Bulletin entitled “Appendix II,” which can be found under "Course Designations."

A course can carry only one distribution designation.

Arts and Humanities (A & H)
Courses in this area help students think about the complexity of human experience, appreciate the range of human thought and emotion, learn about varieties of aesthetic expression, and grapple with moral issues. Such courses study written texts and works in literature, the visual arts, music, and the other performing arts, as well as philosophical and religious thought, and intellectual and cultural traditions. The approach may be comparative, historical, or analytical, but the emphasis is on developing students’ interpretive and critical skills.

Social and Historical Studies (S & H)
Courses in this area analyze social institutions, the behavior of individuals in social contexts and historical settings, and changes in social conditions over time. Such courses study the political, economic, and cultural institutions of society, from individuals in social interactions to the international system of nation-states and transnational organizations and actors as well as changes in the human condition over time, including the inception, development, and transformation of institutions and civilizations, ideas, genres, or forms of representation.

Natural and Mathematical Sciences (N & M)
Courses in this area provide an appreciation of the physical and biological environment, introduce students to systematic investigation of that environment, show the value of experimental methods for understanding natural laws, and explore the role and methods of the mathematical sciences. Such courses study the natural sciences, introducing and emphasizing basic principles of the chemical, physical, and life sciences, and expanding students’ understanding of the physical world and scientific inquiry about it, as well as analytical reasoning, the mathematical sciences, and the thinking process and its representations. Courses may focus on forms of reasoning or the nature and processes of cognition and computation.