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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:

Humanities

  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

View all approved principal course distribution courses »

Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

View all approved non-Western culture courses »

Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All History courses

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This research seminar will focus on the history of women in the United States from the pre-contact period to the present. Students will research and write a paper using primary sources, and present those papers to the seminar for evaluation. (Same as AMS 973 and WGSS 873.) LEC
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A research course focusing on selected topics in history. LEC
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An intensive study of United States foreign policy during a selected period. LEC
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An inquiry into major issues and methods in environmental history, viewed from both an American and modern world perspective. LEC
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Study of issues and interpretations in the history of the American West from prehistory to the present, including attention to new approaches and techniques in research. LEC
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Examines the various patterns of interpretation influencing current historiography of science: the substance and impact of "internalist" history, which deals with the evolution of scientific ideas; the diversity of "externalist" history, which stresses interaction between the scientist's activity and social environment. Readings and discussions will assess intellectual, chronological, socio-economic, theological, philosophical, national, institutional and literary aesthetic influences on the history of science. LEC
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Writing and editing of materials in the student's professional portfolio. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. RSH
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An inquiry into the source material upon a specific subject. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. THE
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