Requirements for Graduation: Liberal Arts BA/BS

There are four requirements for a BA or BS degree in the School of Arts and Sciences:

  1. Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2018 must complete 34 courses and 120 semester hour units. Students matriculating in Fall 2018 and later must complete 120 semester hour units.
  2. All students (regardless of matriculation date) must satisfy all foundation, distribution, and major requirements.
  3. All students must meet the quality requirement, earning grades of C- or better in three-quarters of the courses you have taken at Tufts under standard grading.
  4. All students must satisfy the residency requirement of eight full-time semesters, according to the stipulations outlined in The Bulletin.

Foundation and Distribution Requirements

Foundation Requirements

Writing JumboWriting Requirement

Writing is fundamental to a liberal arts education. All liberal arts students are required to take two semesters of college writing in order to graduate. You should complete this requirement in your first year except under extraordinary circumstances. Most students complete this requirement by taking English 1 or English 3 in the first semester and English 2, Philosophy 2, or English 4 in the second semester, when the majority of such classes are offered. Find out if you have completed part or all of this requirement with pre-matriculation credits.

Learn More about the Writing Requirement  Frequently Asked Questions

Language and Culture JumboLanguage/Culture

There are two parts to the Language/Culture requirement. First, every BA/BS student must demonstrate knowledge of a language other than English through the third semester college level. The second part may be satisfied in several different ways including: advanced courses in the same language, study of an additional language, or study of a specific culture through courses taught in English. You may place out of part or all of this requirement with Tufts language placement exams, SAT II/AP/IB/other scores, or a college transcript. (Please refer to the exam equivalency chart to determine placement or credit.)

Language and Culture Requirement

Learn More about the Language Requirement

World Civilizations JumboWorld Civilization

The world civilizations requirement focuses on an in-depth study of a non-Western civilization or the interaction of non-Western and Western civilizations with equal attention given to both. The definition of the non-Western world includes Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and selected indigenous cultures of Oceania and North America.

Distribution Requirements

A liberal arts degree must include the following five areas: humanities, arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematical sciences. While there is some freedom in which courses you can take, keep these important rules in mind:

  • Complete the equivalent of 2 courses that total at least 6 Semester-hour units (SHUs) in each distribution area.
  • For students who matriculated prior to Fall 2018, no more than 2 courses, of any number of SHUs, may be from the same department or program. For students who matriculate in to Fall 2018 or after, no more than 3 courses, of any number of SHUs, may be from the same department or program.
  • At least 3 SHUs in each area must come from credits earned after matriculation (or from transfer credits).
  • No single course may be used in more than one distribution area.
  • Only one Ex-College course (no matter how many SHUs) may be used as  a distribution requirement.
  • Courses graded pass-fail may not be used to satisfy any distribution requirement.

You can search for classes that meet each requirement by using Tufts’ Student Information System (SIS) class search.

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