Hub Policies & Procedures

The BU Hub

The BU Hub, Boston University’s innovative general education program, provides a shared academic and intellectual experience for all BU undergraduates. The program emphasizes working across multiple disciplines to prepare for a complex and diverse world. Beginning in Fall 2018, all students who enter BU as first-years will share the same general education requirements. Beginning Fall 2020, entering transfer students will also fall under the BU Hub for their general education requirements. Your experience within the Hub will be part of what defines your Boston University degree.


All students who matriculated as first-years in Fall 2018 or later share the same BU Hub requirements, regardless of their program of study. The same is true of entering transfer students beginning in Fall 2020, who follow a specially tailored Hub curriculum.

Entering first-year students must fulfill 26 Hub requirements, spread across the 6 Capacities. The minimum requirements are listed below. However, most students will fulfill many more than the minimum number of requirements, especially in areas central to their major field of study.

Transfer students take BU courses that fulfill requirements in each of the Hub capacities below and must fulfill all 10 Hub requirements in order to graduate.

Hub Requirements for Entering First-Year Students

Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Historical Interpretation

Philosophical Inquiry and Life’s Meanings (1 requirement)
Aesthetic Exploration (1 requirement)
Historical Consciousness (1 requirement)

Scientific and Social Inquiry

Scientific Inquiry I (1 requirement)
Social Inquiry I (1 requirement)
Scientific Inquiry II OR Social Inquiry II (1 requirement)

Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning I (1 requirement)
Quantitative Reasoning II (1 requirement)

Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship

The Individual in Community (1 requirement)
Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy (2 requirements)
Ethical Reasoning (1 requirement)


First-Year Writing Seminar (1 requirement)
Writing, Research, and Inquiry (1 requirement)
Writing-Intensive Course (2 requirements)
Oral and/or Signed Communication (1 requirement)
Digital/Multimedia Expression (1 requirement)

Intellectual Toolkit

Critical Thinking (2 requirements)
Research and Information Literacy (2 requirements)
Teamwork/Collaboration (2 requirements)
Creativity/Innovation (2 requirements)

In addition to these requirements, students are encouraged to pursue opportunities on campus to develop Life Skills.

Hub Requirements for Transfer Students

Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Historical Interpretation

Philosophical Inquiry and Life’s Meanings OR Aesthetic Exploration OR Historical Consciousness (1 requirement)

Scientific and Social Inquiry

Scientific Inquiry I OR Scientific Inquiry II* (1 requirement)
Social Inquiry I OR Social Inquiry II* (1 requirement)

Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning II* (1 requirement)

Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship

The Individual in Community OR Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy OR Ethical Reasoning (1 requirement)


Writing, Research, and Inquiry (CAS WR 150 or equivalent) OR Writing-Intensive Course* (1 requirement)

Intellectual Toolkit

Critical Thinking (1 requirement)
Research and Information Literacy (1 requirement)
Teamwork/Collaboration (1 requirement)
Creativity/Innovation (1 requirement)

In addition to these requirements, students are encouraged to pursue opportunities on campus to develop Life Skills.

*Please note: Scientific Inquiry II, Social Inquiry II, Quantitative Reasoning II, and the Communication Hub areas all assume and build on previous coursework in these disciplines.

Fulfilling Hub Requirements

There are three ways students can fulfill Hub requirements.

  • Students who earn a high enough score on certain AP, IB, and other Advanced Credit Exams can fulfill Hub requirement(s). To see which Advanced Credit Exams fulfill Hub requirements, see the Advanced Credit & Dual Enrollment section of the BU Admissions website.
  • To fulfill all of your Hub requirements, you will take courses both within and outside of your major field of study. A BU course can only satisfy Hub requirements after a faculty member has worked through a collaborative approval process with the General Education Curriculum Committee. If you take a course without Hub requirements that is later approved for Hub requirements, you will not fulfill those requirements – the approval is not retroactive, as courses often go through significant revision during the approval process.
  • A Hub cocurricular experience can fulfill one Hub requirement. See more about Hub cocurriculars below. To see the list of Hub cocurriculars, click here.

Hub Specialty Courses

In addition to courses in the schools and colleges, the Hub offers several distinct and innovative kinds of elective learning experiences that encourage exploration and allow students to engage with faculty, staff, and students across the University:

These educational activities differ from the traditional classroom experience–they are often grounded in experiential learning and give students the chance to explore BU, immerse themselves in an important topic, and challenge themselves in different ways.

The Cross-College Challenge (XCC)

The Cross-College Challenge (XCC) is the BU Hub’s signature project-based, 4-credit elective course open to juniors and seniors. XCC allows faculty, staff, and community partners to explore a complex real-world problem with a team of undergraduate students. XCC classes are open to students from all of BU’s undergraduate schools and colleges, providing a unique opportunity to engage with students from across campus. Each course is co-led by two faculty members from different disciplines who supervise student teams and connect them with a community partner who is an expert in the topic the course addresses.

XCC operates as a 4-credit course that is taken for a letter grade (A – F). The XCC fulfills four Hub requirements in Teamwork/Collaboration, Creativity/Innovation, Research and Information Literacy, and an area of Communication. Depending on your program of study, it may count for other degree requirements, in addition to Hub requirements.

Social & Racial Justice Courses

Two Hub courses on social and racial justice, HUB SJ 101/102, are available to first-year and sophomore students. Both are taken for a letter grade (A – F) and each fulfills three Hub requirements.

  • HUB SJ 101: Social & Racial Justice: Systems and Structures is a 4-credit course that explores the historical/systemic bases of social and racial inequity. It fulfills three Hub requirements in Historical Consciousness, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, and Critical Thinking.
  • HUB SJ 102: Social & Racial Justice: Advocacy and Action is a 4-credit course that focuses on how to engage in advocacy and action. It fulfills three Hub requirements in Social Inquiry I, The Individual in Community, and Teamwork/Collaboration.
Cocurricular Learning Experiences

The Hub recognizes the value and impact of learning that happens outside of classroom settings by offering students opportunities to participate in cocurricular learning experiences that combine activities, assignments, and reflection. Hub cocurriculars are 0-credit offerings that fulfill one Hub requirement. Hub cocurriculars are listed as HUB CC or HUB FY.

Entering first-year students can fulfill up to 2 Hub requirements of their total Hub requirements through Hub cocurriculars. Transfer students can elect to fulfill up to one requirement with a Hub cocurricular experience. While students can enroll in multiple Hub cocurriculars (i.e., Hub cocurriculars with different course numbers), Hub cocurriculars are not repeatable for additional Hub requirements.

RIL with Honors Thesis or Directed Study

Students who are taking an honors thesis or other directed-study project with a faculty mentor and still need to fulfill a requirement in in the BU Hub area Research and Information Literacy (RIL) can take a 0-credit corequisite course, HUB RL 401. They write a reflection on how they met the learning outcomes of RIL that is approved by their faculty advisor and submit it to the Hub office to fulfill a requirement in RIL.

Study Abroad

You will see that a number of courses within BU’s many study abroad programs fulfill Hub requirements. Consulting with your academic advisor and with a study abroad advisor can be helpful in determining how you will fulfill Hub requirements while you are away.

A small number of students each year choose to enroll directly in a non-Boston University international program for their study abroad experience. Depending on your interests, this can be a good choice. Courses offered in programs that are not affiliated with BU do not fulfill Hub requirements, so you will need to work with your advisor to determine how you will fulfill all of your requirements during your semesters in residence.

Transfer Courses

The BU Hub is a Boston University program. Courses offered through other universities do not satisfy Hub requirements. Students may still choose to take courses at another institution (check the Bulletin and consult with your advisor about your program policies) to meet major or minor requirements or to earn elective credits.

Because transfer courses may not be used to meet general education requirements, you should consult with an advisor before registering for a course at another institution, to make sure you understand whether (and if so, how) the course will count toward your degree.

Sequencing of Requirements

As you think through your undergraduate program of study, you should keep in mind that some courses must be taken before others.

Some courses that interest you within the Hub may have prerequisites, so you will want to factor those prerequisites into your planning.

WR 120 (or its equivalent) must be taken before both WR 150 (or its equivalent) and Writing-Intensive courses. However, WR 150 (or its equivalent) is not a prerequisite for a Writing-Intensive course.

If you want to take a second language to fulfill a requirement in Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, it is usually courses taken at the 4th-semester level that satisfy these requirements. You can check the Bulletin for specific information about the language that interests you. Lower-level language courses also satisfy a requirement in the Individual in Community.

While any course within the Hub may have prerequisites, it is particularly likely that Quantitative Reasoning II courses, Scientific Inquiry II courses, and Social Inquiry II courses will have prerequisites (although this is not always the case). As you map out future courses, be sure to keep prerequisites in mind.

For many students, taking a Quantitative Reasoning I course before a Quantitative Reasoning II course will be a logical sequence. However, depending on the course and on a student’s background, this will not always be the case. You do not need to take Quantitative Reasoning I before Quantitative Reasoning II. The same is true for Scientific Inquiry and Social Inquiry.

In addition, you can substitute a level II class for a level I course, as long as you have met the prerequisites. So, for instance, you could take two Quantitative Reasoning II courses to meet your Quantitative Reasoning requirement. The same is true for Scientific Inquiry and Social Inquiry.

As you think about your overall plan of study, think about what would be helpful for you to learn earlier rather than later. For instance, if you are considering writing a thesis, it might be helpful to you to take your Writing-Intensive courses before your senior year, to get more practice and constructive feedback before you begin the thesis. If you don’t know much about Digital/Multimedia but think it might be helpful to you in producing class projects or in pursuing a cocurricular activity that interests you, you might want to take a course that fulfills that requirement in your first couple of years.


For a Hub course that is taken for a letter grade A–F, the student must earn a grade of D or higher (i.e., receive a passing grade) in order to fulfill the Hub requirement(s) met by the course.

For a Hub course that can only be taken P/F, the student must earn a P in order to fulfill the Hub requirement(s) met by the course.

In accordance with the University policy on Pass/Fail Courses for Undergraduate Students, a student may also elect to take a Hub course P*/F*. For a Hub course that a student chooses to take P*/F*, the student must earn a P* in order to fulfill the Hub requirement(s) met by the course. Please note that there are a number of restrictions on electing P*/F*, and you should review the University policy and talk with your advisor before choosing this option.

In addition, the following Hub offerings can only be graded as follows:

  • For Hub cocurriculars, which are 0-credit, ungraded experiences (course numbers begin with “HUB CC” or “HUB FY”), students receive a P upon completion or are otherwise withdrawn.
  • Hub Study Abroad experiences, which are 0-credit courses (course numbers begin with “HUB SA”), are graded P/F.

If a student takes a course designated as Repeatable for Additional Credit, the student, upon successfully repeating that course, will again fulfill any Hub requirements met by that course. The Cross-College Challenge (XCC), Hub social and racial justice courses (HUB SJ 101/102), Hub cocurriculars, and Hub Study Abroad experiences (with the exception of HUB SA 330) are not repeatable for additional credits or Hub requirements.

To see the policy regarding an Incomplete in a course that fulfills Hub requirements, review the Incomplete Policy in the Bulletin for the School offering the course. For instance, the policy regarding an Incomplete in CAS WR 120 would be the CAS policy, found in the CAS Bulletin. To see the policy regarding Incompletes in courses that carry the “HUB” prefix, click here.

You can find the policy for filing a grade grievance for a Hub course in the Bulletin.

Academic Conduct

Boston University’s Academic Conduct Code applies to all courses and cocurricular learning experiences that satisfy Hub requirements. Students engaged in Hub specialty courses, such as the Cross-College Challenge (XCC) or Hub Social & Racial Justice courses, should be sure to attend to course policies around collaboration and citation of sources.

For academic conduct cases that arise in Hub specialty courses and learning experiences that have “HUB” as the college code, the Assistant Provost for General Education will serve as the “designated Dean” who oversees the academic conduct process.


Exceptions to Hub requirements are rarely made. In truly unusual circumstances, a student’s school or college will work with the BU Hub Exceptions Committee to determine whether any adjustments are warranted. Students should address questions regarding exceptions to their school’s advising office or student services office. For a list of school/college liaisons to the Hub Exceptions Committee, please visit the BU Undergraduate Advising website.

Life Skills

Boston University offers a number of opportunities for students to develop skills that will help them lead healthy, productive, rewarding lives during their time at BU and long after. Recognizing that students come to campus with unique backgrounds and different needs, the BU Hub does not require you to work on particular life skills. Rather, it encourages you to consult with an advisor to identify which opportunities might be most useful to you, given your particular set of circumstances and experiences. You should explore opportunities to develop various life skills, particularly by taking advantage of resources offered through BU Student Wellbeing and the BU Center for Career Development. Coursework in Life Skills is not required.