Providing our students with the critical skills and knowledge to be successful while at BU and beyond.
The CAS College Program is based on the principles of a liberal education, and on our dedication to the goal that all CAS undergraduates should receive a rigorous and engaging education that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
The College Program is a common framework of elements that drive the basic requirements for every BA earned in the College of Arts & Sciences: critical skills and competencies graduates will need to continue to learn, create, and flourish; a breadth of knowledge and understanding provided by the general education requirement; and a depth of knowledge and expertise gained through completing a major. The College Program is also dedicated to exploration and discovery as a fundamental part of the undergraduate experience. Flexibility is built into all courses of study to encourage students to delve into any of the many fascinating fields of learning available in CAS or other colleges or to take advantage of some of the special academic opportunities we offer.
For more information about completing the College Program, see Degree Requirements.
Students matriculating as freshmen prior to 2018 and all transfer students should refer to the Bulletin Archive for CAS College Program requirements.
Second Language Requirement
CAS requires all students to demonstrate or develop proficiency at or above the intermediate level in a language other than English.
Proficiency in a second language provides insight into other cultures, enables direct contact with literature and other written and oral texts, and combined with other fields of study, serves a multitude of practical and professional purposes. It sharpens skills in one’s first language, and it develops critical thinking and understanding needed for life in multicultural and multilingual societies in the US and elsewhere.
The BU Hub
CAS requires all students to complete the the BU Hub requirement, Boston University’s general education program, which establishes a common educational experience for all BU undergraduates. It offers them the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind that will enable them to be lifelong learners and leaders in a rapidly evolving, interconnected, and globalized world.
The Hub fosters intellectual exploration by encouraging students to take courses in schools and colleges across the University. Hub courses can fulfill both Hub and major requirements, and are interwoven throughout a student’s undergraduate education.
A particular way to complete the BU Hub requirement in a consolidated sequence of courses is the Core Curriculum.
The Core Curriculum is an integrated curriculum in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences that provides a strong intellectual foundation for any undergraduate major or professional pursuit, as well as a guided pathway through the BU Hub. Interested students should consult the Core Curriculum or CAS Academic Advising for information.
The Core Curriculum offers the advantages of a small learning community within a large and diverse university.
Majors and Minors
The role of majors in the curriculum is to ensure that all graduates have experienced the challenges and rewards of studying an academic discipline or interdisciplinary subject in considerable depth. With the help of an advisor, each student chooses and completes one major of between 9 and 18 courses. Some students elect to double-major, or to supplement their major with a minor in a second field of strong personal interest.
Most students select their major from a comprehensive list of existing departmental and interdisciplinary majors. In certain cases, students may instead complete an independent major planned in consultation with an advisor.
Because engaging in wide-ranging academic exploration is fundamental to the undergraduate experience at the College of Arts & Sciences, space is preserved in every student’s course of study for several free electives such as minors.
Although minors are not required, they are available to students who wish to study an area other than their major. Each minor consists of a coherent sequence of five to eight courses in a single department or interdisciplinary field.