To earn the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, 120 semester hour units (SHUs) are required. Every student will have a major, and major requirements will vary, but a typical major consists of 10-15 classes, and a typical class is worth 3 or 4 SHUs. Beyond the primary major, students select the classes of their choice, sometimes opting for a second major (about a third of all students will have a double major) or a minor (about half of all students will have a minor), while fulfilling several general education requirements: writing, language, world civilizations, and distribution. We summarize the requirements below, but for a comprehensive look at the requirements for graduation, please see the Tufts Bulletin.
Outline of Foundation and Distribution Requirements
|First-Year Writing Requirement|
|English 1, English 3, or exemption due to course equivalents|
|English 2, English 4, Philosophy 1, exemption due to A or A- in English 1 or 3, or exemption due to course equivalents|
|Foreign Language or Culture Requirement|
|Part 1: Competence equivalent to three semesters of college language classes|
|Part 2: Competence equivalent to three additional semesters of college language or culture classes|
|World Civilizations Requirement|
|1 class on a non-Western civilization or the interaction between non-Western and Western civilizations. The class may overlap with the language requirement or distribution requirement, but not both.|
|2 classes in the humanities, 1 of which can be a course equivalent|
|2 classes in the arts, 1 of which can be a course equivalent|
|2 classes in the social sciences, 1 of which can be a course equivalent|
|2 classes in the natural sciences, 1 of which can be a course equivalent|
|2 classes in the mathematical sciences, 1 of which can be a course equivalent|
|*no more than 2 of the distribution classes may be from a single department|
Why these foundation and distribution requirements?
From the faculty:
These elements as basic to any program leading to a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, whatever a student’s particular interests may be. First, an educated person in our society must be able to write coherent English and must be able to apply that writing ability to the critical analysis of information and ideas in any field. Second, the study of another language and of foreign cultures is indispensable to a liberal education; such study provides a basis for locating oneself within a larger cultural and international context. Courses in college writing, foreign language and culture, and world civilizations constitute the foundation of a liberal arts education at Tufts.