Undergraduate Degree Requirements FAQ

Find frequently asked questions and the IQ Curriculum.

How do AP/IB Scores fit into the Arts & Sciences requirements?

You may count up to 15 AP or IB credits toward the 120 total units needed, and you may use them to place into advanced courses where appropriate; however, AP and IB credits do not count toward distribution requirements.

What about courses in other divisions such as Business or Art?

These courses also count toward the 120 total units, but they do not participate in Integrations nor do they fulfill distribution requirements: only Arts & Sciences course fulfill Arts & Sciences distributions. Please note that you must earn at least 90 Arts & Sciences units to earn the B.A.

If I take courses over the summer at home, can they count?

With pre-approval, such courses can be transferred to WU and will count toward your 120 units; they can also serve as prerequisites to advanced courses and may count, with prior approval, toward your major or minor. They do not, however, substitute in Integrations or count toward other Arts & Sciences distributions. 

What are attributes, what do they mean, and where do I find them?

Attributes are the letters associated with a course that indicate which distribution requirement(s) a course can fulfill. For the IQ Curriculum there are “Area” attributes (NSM, SSC, HUM, LCD), as well as “Core” attributes (AN, SD, WI). For the Discovery Curriculum, there are "Area" attributes (NS, SS, LA, TH) as well as other attributes (WI, QA, SD, CD). Each course's attribute(s) will be included in its description in Course Listings.

If a course carries more than one attribute, can I use it for both?

Yes! For the IQ Curriculum you may apply a course toward one Area requirement and one or more Core requirements. For example, Cultural Anthropology is designated SSC, LCD, and SD, and you can count it as an SSC *or* an LCD (not both!), as well as for SD. For the Discovery Curriculum the only exceptions are courses carrying both the SD and CD attributes: you must fulfill these two requirements through two separate courses.

How does my major fulfill requirements?

All students must complete an approved major program. For the IQ Curriculum, each major (as well as each minor) serves as an Integration in an Area, and any course work counted toward the major or minor can also be counted toward any distribution requirement. For the Discovery Curriculum, each major (as well as each minor) will automatically serve as a cluster in an area, and any courses you take toward the major or minor can also be counted toward any distribution requirement.

What should I do in my first year with regard to the requirements?

Beyond taking Writing 1, simply explore! Keeping Integrations in mind will help give shape to your education and may even lead you to interesting courses that you might not otherwise discover. If you really enjoy a particular class, you might consider looking it up to see if it participates in any Integrations, but at this stage you certainly don't have to. Instead, focus on taking courses from lots of different departments and begin to discover what you're passionate about studying in depth.

If an Integration belongs in two (or more) areas, can I count it for both?

No. You must choose one. This is true for all types of Integrations, including majors and minors.

How do Integrations comprising courses from more than one area work?

To count an Integration toward a particular Area, at least one of the courses you choose to take must carry that Area’s attribute. Keep in mind, also, that one of your Integrations must be in an Area different from the others.

My Focus program counts toward my major. Have I completed two Integrations?

Some Focus programs (and some study abroad programs) constitute a component of a major or minor. If this is the case with your program, you can count only one of them as an IQ; that is, you cannot “double count” the same set of courses.

How can I learn about specific Integrations?

All Integrations are detailed online through Course Listings. Click “A&S IQ Tab/Integrations” then “Search.”