Requirements for Graduation: Liberal Arts

There are four requirements for a bachelor’s degree in the School of Arts and Sciences. You must:

  1. Earn a minimum of 34 credits.
  2. Satisfy all foundation, distribution, and major requirements.
  3. 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. 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 1, 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 Requirment  Frequently Asked Questions

Language and Culture JumboLanguage/Culture

There are two parts to the Language/Culture requirement. First, every 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.)

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 a some freedom in which courses you can take, keep these important rules in mind:

  • You must complete two credits in each area for a total of ten credits.
  • You may not take more than two of your ten total credits from a single department or program.
  • You may use one approved pre-matriculation credit in each of the five distribution areas.
  • You may not use a single course in more than one distribution area. For example, you may count a history course as either a humanities or a social science requirement, but not both.
  • You may only use one experimental college credit as a distribution requirement.

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

Humanities JumboArts Requirement JumboSocial Sciences JumboNatural Sciences JumboMath Jumbo