Core and Your Requirements

Degree candidates in the College of Arts and Sciences must complete requirements in WritingForeign LanguageMathematics, and General Education. Completion of the full 8-course Core Curriculum satisfies both the Writing and the General Education requirements. Certain Core coursework may be considered for credit in other concentrations, providing exemption from required courses.

Students applying to receive transfer credit equivalency should be advised that equivalency to Core courses is given only for transfer courses whose reading lists correspond closely to those in our current classes. Students are encouraged to determine whether other departments in CAS offer courses that are more similar; a list of courses and their descriptions can be found at the Undergraduate Programs webpage.


All candidates for the BA degree who entered the College of Arts and Sciences in September 2001 and after are required to complete a full year of formal instruction in writing, reading, research, and speaking.

This requirement can be satisfied by taking two courses from the Writing Program, WR100 and WR150, or by completing equivalent coursework in the Core Curriculum. Students who complete the first-year Humanities sequence of the Core, CC101 & 102, satisfy the first half of the Writing requirement (WR100). Students who complete the second-year of the Core Curriculum (either Humanities, CC201 & 202, or Social Sciences, CC203 & 204) receive credit for the second-half of the Writing requirement (WR150).

Foreign Language

Degree candidates are required to demonstrate proficient in a language other than their own. This may be satisfied by: A score of 560 or higher on the SAT-II Chinese, French, German, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, or Spanish; a score of 3, 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement foreign language test (see the Modern Languages website for details); completion of university-level foreign language coursework. Information as to what courses satisfy this requirement may be seen in the Boston University Undergraduate Programs Bulletin or from faculty advisors.


Students must demonstrate comprehension of mathematical principles by either earning an SAT-I Math score of 580 or higher, earning a 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement mathematics test, earning a 23 or higher on the ACT math component, or completing a CAS mathematics courses numbered 113 or higher. Those students who choose to satisfy their Mathematics requirement through the Divisional Studies Track, instead of through the Core Curriculum, must take 2 math courses numbered 113 or higher. However, students earning a 580 or above on the SAT I Math may elect to take computer sciences courses, rather than mathematics courses.

General Education

The General Education requirement is satisfied by the successful completion of all 8 courses of the Core Curriculum, or by taking 6 courses in the Divisional Studies Program, or a combination of courses from the Core and Divisional Studies. Students choosing the Divisional Studies track must take a total of 10 one-semester courses from the four divisions of humanities, mathematics & computer sciences, natural sciences, and social sciences. At least one course from the natural sciences division must include a laboratory component.

Course Equivalencies

Core coursework provides exemption from the following courses as indicated:

  • For Anthropology concentrators, CC203 and CC204 together count for AN101.
  • For concentrators in the Joint Concentration in Anthropology and Religion, CC203 and CC204 together count for AN101.
  • For Classical Studies concentrators with CL advisor approval, CC101 and CC102 together count as a four-credit course towards the Classical Civilization major. Taking these classes does not preclude a student from taking any other CL class.
  • For English concentrators, CC101 and CC102 together count for HU221.
  • For History concentrators, CC101 and CC102 together count for HI101, and CC201 and CC202 together count for HI102.
  • International Relations concentrators who complete both CC203 and CC204 will get credit for one track class in either the International Systems & World Order or Regional Politics & Cultural Anthropology tracks.
  • For Comparative Literature majors, CC101 & CC102 together count for XL222; and CC201 & CC202 together may be substituted for one of the required XL 300-level courses.
  • Philosophy concentrators, who complete the Core Humanities (CC101, CC102, CC201, and CC202) receive concentration credit for PH150 or PH155; and CC203 and CC204 together count for either PH253 or PH254.
  • For Political Science concentrators, CC203 counts for PO392.
  • For Religion concentrators, CC101 and CC102 each count for one of the 2 required 100-level RN courses.
  • For Sociology concentrators, CC203 and CC204 together count for SO100.

Please confirm all information concerning degree requirements and course equivalencies with the appropriate department. If you have questions at any time, please contact the Core staff or the staff at the CAS Advising Center.