General Education Requirements

Basic Requirements

  • Principles of Writing (U11 101)*
  • Critical and Researched Writing (U11 203)*
  • One 3-unit advanced writing course (any 300-level or higher course in English composition)*
  • One 3-unit course in numerical applications with a minimum grade of C- which may be applied to the relevant distribution area as noted below.
  • One 3-unit course in non-Western culture, which may be applied to the Social Sciences or Humanities distribution requirements noted below.  Courses that satisfy the non-Western culture requirement focus on the study of cultures in societies outside of English-speaking North America and Western Europe, including Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East, and encourage students to explore issues of human diversity within such cultures. 

*Students who receive a grade of C- or lower in U11 101 Principles of Writing taken at University College must repeat the course. Students who receive a grade of C- or lower in U11 203 Critical and Researched Writing taken at University College must, in consultation with the Department of English and University College, choose between two options to satisfy the requirement: 1) repeat the course; or 2) complete a 3-unit composition tutorial with a grade of C or higher. Transfer credit for U11 101 Principles of Writing may be granted for a grade of B or higher. U11 203 Critical and Researched Writing is required of all undergraduate degree candidates, and this course must be taken at Washington University. Students may still receive transfer credit for a second-level basic writing course, however, that will count as elective credit and they still will be required to take U11 203 Critical and Researched Writing. A student who transfers English Composition courses from another college or university must consult an academic advisor at University College, who will provide options for completing requirements.

Distribution Requirements

36 units, 9 units in each area noted below.  Major courses also may fulfill basic and distribution requirements, however each distribution area must include course work from at least two disciplines:

  • Humanities: (9 credits) Courses from Art History, Classics, History*, Literature, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.
  • Social Sciences: (9 credits) Courses from: Anthropology, Economics, History*, Political Science, Psychology, Social Thought and Analysis.
    *History courses may satisfy either the Humanities or Social Sciences requirements, but not both.
  • Natural Sciences & Mathematics: (9 credits) Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Physics, and Science. To meet the numerical application requirement you must take one of the following: Econ 231 (Economic Statistics), Math 1011 (Intro to Statistics), Math 123 (Programming in C), Math 141 (Pre-Calculus I), Math 142 (Pre-Calculus II), Math 155 (Calculus I), Math 156 (Calculus II), Math 205 (Applied Statistics Online), Math 210 (The Art of Mathematical Thinking), Math 212 (Sports and Statistics), Math 255 (Calculus III), Math 256 (Calculus IV), any 300 level and higher math classes, Programming with Python (U20 133), PolSci 323 (Introduction to Quantitative Methods) or Psych 300 (Psychological Statistics).
  • Languages and the Arts: (9 credits) Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Film Studies, Foreign Languages, Music, Speech, and Studio Art.

Learn more about transferring previously earned credit from other schools on our Transfer Policy page.

Additional Information

Advanced Courses

At least 30 units of advanced courses must be completed at Washington University.

Residency Requirement

Students working toward the Bachelor of Science degree at Washington University must complete the final 36 units of course work at Washington University. At least half of the units for the major must be completed at Washington University.



Additional Elective Courses

Students must complete a total of 120 credit units of course work for the degree by taking additional courses in either the liberal arts or professional areas. No more than 10 percent of a student's course work may be in independent work (including internships, directed readings), and no more than 60 units in one department may count toward the degree.

Grade Requirements

To receive the Bachelor of Science degree, you must maintain a 2.0 GPA in all courses taken and receive a grade of C- or better in all courses applied to your major.