Monday, August 8, 2011

Deciphering the Core Requirements

One of the first thing new Jumbos will want to sort out before they register for courses this September are the university requirements: the classes you need to take in order to graduate. It makes a lot of sense to start working on these now while you still have some flexibility and perhaps haven't quite figured out your major. Here's the cheat-sheet to getting a Tufts degree.

AP and IB credits can help you hit some requirements before you even get started on the hill. The university has a guide to figuring out how many credits you'll get online, but I have two important warnings. Firstly, they won't grant you more than 5 credits from pre-matriculation, although additional scores can still fulfill requirements (that is to say, if you are getting 5 credits from science/math courses, your AP English score could still get you out of the Writing requirement, you just won't be getting a 6th credit from it). Secondly, you can't kill any "Distribution" requirements without taking a Tufts course in it - so 2 science APs don't get you out of Natural Sciences. See below.

Distribution Requirements (2 credits of each)

  • Humanities
  • Arts
  • Social Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences

Foundation Requirements

  • Writing: 2 credits
  • Foreign Language/Culture: 6 credits
    • The first 3 must be in language, the later 3 can be a mixture of language and/or culture courses. Any mixture must match; you can't take German language and Spanish culture, or three distinct cultures.
  • World Civilizations: 1 credit
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 1 credit
    • Automatically exempt with 560 math SAT or 23 math ACT

More details can be found in your official 2011-2012 Bulletin.

It may seem like a lot, but you can probably get through the requirements pretty quickly. Especially when you're starting off, practically anything you take is bound to fulfill something. And at the end of it, we all come out as well-rounded little Renaissance men and women with degrees in...


Liberal art?

Yes, I'm on a comic-drawing roll. Randall, watch out.


  1. Note: When Randall Munroe says he lives in Massachusetts now, he means Somerville. I say we try to find him.

  2. Brilliant! I'm up for a walk...

  3. I'll come too! Yay xkcd :D

  4. You liberal artists and crazy distribution requirements. Count me in for xkcd adventures. We could go geohashing!


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